Information for Prospective Students

Why study Writing and Rhetoric at Mason?

Our degree programs offer courses, research opportunities, mentorship, and other resources that help students acquire the skills, knowledge, and networks they need to succeed across professions.

Common to all of our programs are:

Academic Rigor. Each course challenges students with new theories, ways of thinking, methods for researching and solving problems, and course assignments that will have an impact both in and out of the classroom.

Career Focus. Our programs are spaces where students launch and advance careers in writing. We do this through extensive focus on professionalization, networking, and connection to career opportunities, from the undergraduate to the PhD level.

Real-world Applications. Through our research, teaching, and community-engaged work, our faculty and students are deeply invested in solving communications challenges in the real world.

Programs and Options

Undergraduate Programs

Undergraduates in our Writing and Rhetoric concentration gain a broad range of skills to prepare them for careers in writing, including nonfiction writing, publishing, and editing.

Undergraduates in our Professional and Technical Writing minor gain in-depth experience in the specific skills needed to succeed as a writer in the workplace, including audience and genre awareness, technical editing, proposal writing, and preparation for professional certifications.

MA and Certificate in Professional and Technical Writing

The PWR-MA and Certificate are oriented to workplace uses of language. In addition to training in pragmatic skills like project management, proposal writing, and editing, this graduate program is characterized by a self-reflexive attention to workplaces as institutions and sites for rhetorical action.

Graduates of the PWR-MA and Certificate programs go on to pursue or advance careers as writers across a variety of industries, including government, nonprofit management, education, and related fields.

PhD in Writing and Rhetoric

The PhD in Writing and Rhetoric prepares students for careers in academia, government, policy, and their own entrepreneurial ventures. Grounded in the theoretical, practical, and productive approaches to writing and rhetoric in organizations and in public spaces, faculty prepare students in this program to apply the tools of rhetoric to a wide range of spaces and problems.

Graduates of the PhD in Writing and Rhetoric have entered faculty positions in higher ed, pursued leadership positions within governmental organizations, and run businesses in writing and communications consulting.


With a combination of in-person, hybrid, and online offerings at the undergraduate and graduate levels, popular non-degree course offerings include courses such as:

  • Proposal Writing (ENGH 489/509 and ENGH 689)
  • Technical Editing (EHGH 483/503)
  • Web Authoring and Design (ENGH 357/507)

Applying to our Programs


You have the option to take graduate courses in non-degree status. To apply, you must complete an online application for your intended start term and include transcripts as well as a resume. You will also be required to indicate on the application which courses you plan to take for approval during the application review process. Credits earned in non-degree status may potentially transfer to a degree program at a later date so long as it meets the program requirements and the program director approves the transfer. For information on transfer credit policies, please refer to the University Catalog.


For more information on pursuing the undergraduate concentration in Writing and Rhetoric or the Professional and Technical Writing Minor, students should contact their academic advisor and/or look here

MA and Certificate

Interested in applying to the MA or Certificate program? Find more information about your application here.

PhD in Writing and Rhetoric

Interested in applying to the PhD program? Find more information about your PhD application here.