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RhetComp PhD Application Criteria


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According to ASU's 2007 survey of Consortium members (Doctoral Consortium in Rhetoric and Composition), here's what is most important:

Diversity of admission criteria continues among programs. The table below

represents the cumulative ranking of criteria, but prospective students will want to

consult the profiles of individual programs in order to better tailor applications.

Admit Criteria Rankings

Goals/statement of purpose 1

Writing sample 2

Perceived fit of applicant with program

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Great find. This is quite interesting.

Nothing in that list really blindsided me, with one exception: "Source of MA degree" (and to a lesser extent, source of your undergrad degree). I thought this bulletpoint was largely a myth; I guess I was wrong. That was really thought-provoking to me, namely because I received my B.A. from a really, really unknown school, and my M.A. from a fairly well-known one (SUNY Stony Brook)...

And I'm glad to see that the writing sample was a close second. I've said time and time again that for *Literature* programs, the writing sample was the heaviest criterion.

P.S. - I hope more people get into RhetComp. My college advisor was a RhetComp Ph.D., and if I could do it all over again, I would focus on taking composition theory and perhaps take fewer literature courses. It seems like the job market for them has always been better than us Lit folk... slightly better, at least...

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I found the source article most interesting because it had such a large sample (almost every U.S. doctoral program in rhetcomp). It seems acceptance criteria are more standardized in their subjectivity than I had thought.

If that paradoxical statement makes sense.

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  • 4 weeks later...
I found the source article most interesting because it had such a large sample (almost every U.S. doctoral program in rhetcomp).

How do you think this list stands up to English PhD programs that aren't RhetComp? Do you think these measures are similar across the board. (I imagine teaching experience would not be as important in English Lit/Theory programs.)

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How do you think this list stands up to English PhD programs that aren't RhetComp? Do you think these measures are similar across the board. (I imagine teaching experience would not be as important in English Lit/Theory programs.)

Looks like it's appropriate for English programs as well, from my understanding -- especially the emphasis on the qualitative and subjective factors that, ultimately, speak a lot more to your potential as a scholar than would GRE scores, etc.

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