Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse

The Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse (WRD) program is dedicated to studying literate activity across time and culture, and producing effective writing in contemporary settings from the personal to the professional.

Because our lives are increasingly mediated by digital technologies that combine writing, sound and image in interactive spaces, as a WRD major you will explore what it means to live and work as a digital writer.

Faculty members are published specialists in rhetoric, writing studies, English as a second language (ESL), technical and professional writing, and new media studies.

You can earn a combined bachelor’s + master’s degree that combines a WRD major with a graduate program, including our master’s program in Writing Rhetoric and Discourse. We also offer a combined bachelor’s + master’s in Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse and Secondary Education in English degree. All of these programs allow you to complete a bachelor’s degree and a graduate degree in as few as five years.

Additionally, we offer the 3+3 BA/JD, which allows high-achieving first-year undergraduate students to be admitted simultaneously to the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (LAS) and the College of Law (LAW). You’ll complete your first three years in LAS and your final three years in LAW.


Sample Courses:

  • Style for Writers
  • History of Literacies and Writing
  • Digital Storytelling
  • Writing in Workplace Contexts
  • Ghostwriting
  • Digital Writing
  • Writing with Photographs
  • Visual Rhetoric

Career Options

Common Career Areas:

  • Content development, strategy, management and administration
  • Publishing and editing
  • Social media writing and management
  • Technical writing
  • Digital marketing
  • Legal, technical, medical/health writing
  • Ghostwriting
  • Non-profit communications


86 percent of 2017 Writing, Rhetoric and Discourse graduates were employed, continuing their education or not seeking employment after graduation.

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