While there are few requirements regarding the general sequence of your coursework, the department strongly recommends that you take 501 Introduction to Professional Writing and Rhetoric during your first semester, and 502 Research Methods in Rhetoric and Writing during your first year. Both courses are prerequisites for the 797 project and 799 thesis courses, but they also provide an important introduction to the program and the field, as well as providing theoretical and methodological tools that will assist you in future coursework.
Specific courses may require completion of prerequisite courses before you can enroll in them. Consult the course catalog to see which courses have prerequisite requirements.
Not all courses are offered each semester or year, and some special topics courses are taught only once. Many courses are on a two-year rotation, some on a one-year rotation, though even in these the content may vary from semester to semester. Few courses are offered in the summer (usually ENGH 507 - Web Authoring and Design, as well as one or two Literature courses and a selection of Linguistics courses that may be taken as electives); you should plan carefully if you include summer classes in your planned sequence of coursework. Consult the University Catalog, the English Department Course Description book, and the English Department each term to see which courses in Professional Writing and Rhetoric are offered. You should also discuss with your advisor when classes will be available and how you should plan your coursework in order to fulfill the program requirements
Note that the same course may differ when taught by different faculty members. For example, ENGH 505, Document Design, may focus mainly on print documents, mainly on web documents, or both, depending on who is teaching the course; ENGH 503 typically cycles between a technical editing focus anda literary editing focus. You should discuss these options with your advisor when planning your coursework.
The capstone project or thesis represents the culmination of your work in the PWR program. You will take the 797 Capstone Course or 799 thesis option in the last year of your curriculum. Either option will focus on the fields of rhetoric, professional writing, or technical communication and will likely grow out of a project or question from one of your PWR courses. See the listing of past theses and projects for examples.
To pursue an MA in English, you must also demonstrate intermediate proficiency in a foreign language. Intermediate proficiency corresponds to George Mason's coursework through the 202 or 209 levels and represents four consecutive semesters in a given language. You may satisfy this requirement in one of the following ways: