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Welcome to the OSU Rhetoric and Professional Writing Program

The Rhetoric and Professional Writing program at Oklahoma State University offers a distinctive curriculum for those who not only love language but love what language can do in the world. Specifically, the program investigates the act of composing texts in multiple situated contexts within both academic and workplace settings.

Rigorous, critical engagement with theories of rhetoric, genre, discourse, and pedagogy characterize the variety of courses offered, as does thoughtful dialogue between theory and practice. Students may choose to prepare for academic or professional writing positions.

The program offers concentrations in either Composition and Rhetoric or Professional Writing.

Composition and Rhetoric Concentration

Students may pursue a general MA degree or a Ph.D. in English with a focus on Composition and Rhetoric. 

Professional Writing Concentration

Students may pursue a BA in Professional Writing, an MA with a focus on Professional Writing, or a Ph.D. in English with a focus on Professional Writing.

In both concentrations, students have the opportunity to take courses in many areas, including:

  • Composition theory and pedagogy
  • Discourse approaches to writing
  • Visual rhetoric and design
  • Environmental writing
  • Genres in professional writing
  • History of rhetoric
  • Style and editing


BA in English with an option in Professional Writing

College/Departmental Requirements: 23 hours

Arts and Humanities: ENGL 2243 and 6 additional hours 

Major Requirements: 48 hours

ENGL 2233 Writing as a Profession, ENGL 3223 Professional Writing Theory, ENGL 3203 Advanced Composition, ENGL 4013 English Grammar, ENGL 4523 Professional Writing Internship, ENGL 4530 Studies in Professional Writing, ENGL 4543 Style and Editing, ENGL 4553 Visual Rhetoric and Design (24 hours) 

Linguistics 9 hours upper division

English 3 hours upper division elective

Cognate Areas

Students must chooose one of the following areas:

Science and Engineering: ENGL 4563 Scientific and Technical Literature and 9 upper division hours in science or engineering

Education: ENGL 3903 One to One Writing Instruction, ENGL 3xx3 Teaching Writing, and 6 hours in upper division Education

Humanities: 12 hours upper division humanities

Social Sciences: 12 hours upper division social sciences

Business and Management: 12 hours upper division Buisness and Management

MA in English

The general MA in English at Oklahoma State University allows students to develop expertise in a variety of areas. The RPW program allows students to select either Composition and Rhetoric or Professional Writing; however, students will have the opportunity to increase their breadth of knowledge through some coursework in other fields as well including Literature, Screen Studies, Creative Writing, Linguistics, and Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL). 

The MA in English consists of 30 credit hours (thesis plan, which includes six hours of thesis), or 32 credit hours (literature exam plan). In addition to these hours, students must demonstrate reading knowledge of a language other than English, pass the MA Qualifying Examination and successfully defend a thesis.

More Information about MA Degree Requirements

MA in English with option in Professional Writing

The MA in English with Professional Writing Option at Oklahoma State University prepares students for careers in professional writing and consists of 30 credit hours (with thesis) or 33 credit hours (without thesis). These hours consist of required courses in Style and Editing, Visual Rhetoric and Design, Genres in Professional Writing, and Discourse Analysis, among others. In addition to these hours, students must fulfill language requirement and pass the MA Qualifying Examination in Professional Writing

More information about MA in English with Professional Writing Option Degree Requirements

PhD in English with a concentration in Rhetoric and Professional Writing

The PhD degree consists of 60 credit hours beyond the Master’s degree. Fifteen to twenty of these hours are devoted to the dissertation. In addition to these hours, students must take the First-year PhD Exam; demonstrate reading knowledge of two languages other than English or mastery of one language; successfully complete PhD Qualifying Assessments in two areas; and pass an oral defense of the dissertation. A description of the degree requirements and regulations appears here. 

More Information about PhD Degree Requirements 


An Cheng, Associate Professor. Dr. Cheng's areas of interest include English for Specific Purposes, English for Academic Purposes, and the genre-based framework of learning academic and professional writing. 

Joshua Daniel-Wariya, Assistant Professor (Associate Director, First Year Writing Program)Dr. Daniel-Wariya's areas of interest include Digital Rhetorics and New Media, with emphasis in game studies and game-based pedagogy.

Lynn C. Lewis, Associate Professor (Director, First Year Writing Program). Dr. Lewis's areas of interest include Visual Rhetoric and Design,New Literacies,Rhetoric theory,Pedagogy and Writing in Traditional and Digital Environments, and New Media Studies. 

Anna Sicari, Assistant Professor (Writing Center Director). Dr. Sicari's interests include writing center theory and pedagogy, feminist theory, qualitative research, and writing program administration scholarship. 


Find out about course offerings at the Course Offerings Page.