The Concentration in Rhetoric and Composition

Ideal for students who wish to pursue careers as teachers of writing or as professional writers or editors, the concentration in rhetoric and composition focuses attention on the art and craft of teaching, on the many roles of writing in business and industry, and on the history and practices of public discourse itself—from political rhetoric and the rhetoric of advertising to the complex uses of language and imagery in contemporary magazine and internet publications.

Students in this concentration can choose between writing a thesis (Plan I) and taking area exams (Plan II). For an overview of the differences and requirements in Plan I and Plan II, see "Plans: Thesis or Non-Thesis".

The Concentration in Rhetoric and Composition on Plan I (Thesis)

Required courses
  • EH 645 (3 hours);
  • One course (3 hours) of linguistics;
  • Three courses (9 hours) of literature electives;
  • One course (3 hours) of rhetorical theory;
  • Two courses (6 hours) of composition pedagogy, professional writing, or additional rhetorical theory;
  • EH 699 twice (6 hours).
Additional requirements
  • 12 hours of course work, not including EH 699, must be at the 600 level in English.
  • Students must choose a member of the English faculty to chair their Graduate Study Committee (GSC). In consultation with this chair, students must select at least two other faculty members to complete their GSC. All members of the GSC must be graduate faculty, and one must come from outside the UAB English Department. Once constituted, membership of the GSC cannot be changed without the approval of the departmental Graduate Committee.
  • Before students can be admitted to candidacy, they must have passed 18 hours of course work and had a thesis proposal accepted by their GSC and the departmental Graduate Committee.
  • Students must pass a Thesis Defense.

The Concentration in Rhetoric and Composition on Plan II (Non-Thesis)

Required courses
  • EH 645 (3 hours);
  • One course (3 hours) of linguistics;
  • Three courses (9 hours) of literature electives;
  • One course (3 hours) of rhetorical theory;
  • Four courses (12 hours) of composition pedagogy, professional writing, or additional rhetorical theory.
Additional requirements
  • 15 hours of course work must be at the 600 level in English.
  • Students must pass individual examinations in 5 areas, but 1 of these examinations may be replaced by earning a cumulative 3.5 or better G.P.A. in two English graduate courses in one of the listed areas OR by passing two creative writing courses at the 500 level.
  • All students must take and pass at least one examination selected from each group.
  • No single area examination may be attempted more than three times.

While every effort is made to keep information on the Department of English web site as accurate and up-to-date as possible, students are responsible for verifying course requirements and program status by seeing the appropriate university advisor(s) and program director(s).