To maintain good standing, students must complete at least two courses in WRD within twelve months of their admission to the program. Students must also maintain an overall grade-point average of at least 3.0 in their course work. Students whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 will be placed on probation and given two quarters to raise their average to the minimum 3.0 level. Students on probation are required to consult with the program director before registering for classes. Failure to meet these requirements constitutes grounds for dismissal.


A student may be dismissed from the program in any of the following cases: (1) failure to maintain a GPA above 3.0 for three consecutive quarters; (2) failure to meet with the program director before registering for classes while on academic probation; or (3) failure to complete at least two courses in WRD within twelve months of their admission to the program.


If a student is dismissed from the program (as outlined in the dismissal policy), he or she may reapply through the formal application process

Transfer Credit

Students may transfer up to three relevant courses (or twelve credits) of coursework previously taken in another program. The exact number of credits and courses that transfer will be determined by the program director. Transfer grades from other institutions do not calculate into the DePaul grade point average.

Undergraduate Courses

Students may count one four-credit undergraduate-level course toward the graduate degree, if the grade received in that course was an A- or higher.

Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate from the program, students must complete all program requirements with a total of 48 credit hours (12 courses) and a minimum GPA of 2.8.

Graduation with Distinction

To graduate with distinction, students must have a final GPA of 3.85 or higher.

Time Limit

Students must complete the program within six years of their start date. Students who fail to complete the program within this timeframe must re-apply to the program.

Non-WRD Courses

Students may take up to two non-WRD courses at DePaul to count toward their degree. Students must complete six courses in WRD before taking courses outside of the program. In exceptional cases (e.g., students completing Certificate programs that require non-WRD courses), students may be granted permission to take courses outside of the program earlier in their degree study. All non-WRD courses must be approved by the graduate committee prior to enrollment in the course. Students who have transferred in two or more courses from another institution (see Transfer Credit policy) must take all of their remaining courses in the WRD program.

Non-Degree-Seeking Students

All WRD graduate courses are open to non-degree-seeking students, with the exception of the following: WRD 500, 590, 591, 595, and 598.

Partial Tuition Waivers

Partial Tuition Waivers (PTW) are awarded quarterly to eligible students. Eligibility is based on GPA and financial need. Students whose tuition is being paid by DePaul or another organization or institution are not eligible for PTW awards. PTW awards can only be used toward the reimbursement of courses offered by the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse.

Independent Studies

WRD 595 INDEPENDENT STUDY is offered to allow students to explore specific interests for which a formal WRD course is not offered. In general, WRD 595 courses will count as electives in a student's degree program; WRD 595 can only fulfill area requirements (Rhetoric & Discourse or a concentration area) when these requirements cannot be filled through a formal course (for example, because such a course is not offered).

A WRD Graduate Faculty member typically serves as the instructor of record for WRD 595; requests otherwise must be approved by the program director.