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Programs in the Northwest


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Advance apologies for geographical cluelessness.

A recent change in my personal life (namely, engagement to be married) has made me want to stay within a stone's throw, or short flight's worth, of where I'll be living after my MA, should I decide to pursue a PhD. Trouble is, I'll be living in the southwest of Canada, and it seems like most of the BAMF-iest programs for my interests hanging out eastward, southward, or (alas) both.

Apart from Washington and WSU, which both look pretty cool, what rhetoric programs might be hanging out in the northwestern US?

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Well, the University of Oregon English department has a Rhet/Comp field for the PhD, though I'm not sure if it qualifies as BAMF-y (what say you, PNW-ers?). They also are home to the Kenneth Burke Bibliography and Archival Project: http://pages.uoregon.edu/engl/people/faculty/rhetcomp/

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Yeah, U of O is a pretty good program all around, but if you strictly want to stay in the PacNW, there aren't a lot of strong English Ph.D. departments beside UW and UO. Oregon State may have a Ph.D. program, though I'm not sure; they do have an MA program, but that's all I know for sure. U of Utah (not PacNW but within striking range) has a Ph.D. program and is actually a pretty solid program. It's also a good place for flights being in Salt Lake City. Otherwise, there aren't really any other Ph.D. programs, or the ones that are there are a little. . .sketchy in my opinion. I'm from Montana and really, really wanted to stay in the Northwest and almost took offers at UO and U of Utah, but ultimately, they didn't fit my interests as well as my current program, so I feel your location desires. Congratulations on the engagement! I'm sure there are also some great Canadian programs as well. UBC and maybe U of Alberta, right?

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U of O had completely slipped my mind — a huge faux pas on my part, as Laskaya's there. Thanks for the reminder, antecedant!

Lyonessrampant, yes, I was afraid that'd be the case. Though I do find the idea of sketchy, trenchcoat-providing rhetoric programs intriguing in a 1930s Warner Brothers crime flick kind of way... Thanks for the tip on Utah! I think, given solid fit, I'd be up for Utah/Colorado/northern CA. To be honest, I'm still partly tempted to say that on the slim chance of an offer, I'd be up for Wisconsin-Madison, UT-Austin, or Penn State in a heartbeat. (Partly because they're Names enough to make placement within Canada possible. My partner's soon-to-be profession requires her to stay in the country.)

The U of A's where I'm heading for my MA, in fact! I'll definitely be applying for the PhD there. I have only wonderful things to say about UBC, but that's because I did my undergrad there — so it's out for PhD apps, sadly.

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Apart from Washington and WSU, which both look pretty cool, what rhetoric programs might be hanging out in the northwestern US?

Sigh. I initially attempted to limit my rhet/comp PhD application list to the West Coast, but I was discouraged when I saw how little is available here! I checked out U of Oregon's program; I was discouraged to find they only have three faculty members, and none of my interests overlap with theirs. Oregon State only has an MA. UC Davis has a designated emphasis in Writing, Rhetoric, and Composition for students in selected programs, such as English, but the English PhD is still primarily a literature program.

Good luck with the search! My fiance and I both gave up on the West Coast; we decided that we would be willing to relocate for the right program, especially if its driving distance to a major airport.

P.S. Congrats on the engagement!

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we decided that we would be willing to relocate for the right program, especially if its driving distance to a major airport.

P.S. Congrats on the engagement!

This is going to be a huge factor when I apply for PhDs. Not only is my family spread out across two continents, but my SO is likely Canada-bound unless we get married, so being able to see each other easily is a big part of my LDR survival strategy. In fact that was one point against UW Madison - the closest international airport is in Milwaukee or Chicago. Taking a two hour bus to an airplane doesn't count as "close" to me.

Austin, on the other hand, does have an international airport :)

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This is going to be a huge factor when I apply for PhDs. Not only is my family spread out across two continents, but my SO is likely Canada-bound unless we get married, so being able to see each other easily is a big part of my LDR survival strategy. In fact that was one point against UW Madison - the closest international airport is in Milwaukee or Chicago. Taking a two hour bus to an airplane doesn't count as "close" to me.

It's amazing how many great schools are not close to an airport! I had to cross University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign off my list despite its stellar rhet/comp program.

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