Jump to content

Comp/Rhet PhD without Master's in the field?

Recommended Posts

Hey all,

I've been reading through the information on the forum over the past month or two, and found all of your insights incredibly helpful as I begin the process of researching and applying to graduate programs in composition and rhetoric. I've found that many comp/rhet programs require a master's degree before one is admitted to a PhD program, and those that don't seem to highly value those with a Master's Degree. I have a Master's degree, but am unsure it does me any good. Let me explain:

I graduated in 2014 with a BA in English and History, then immediatly began an intensive, 14-month Master's Degree in English Education, graduating in August 2015. My plan has always been to spend 3-4 years teaching at the secondary level before entering a doctoral program, as my primary area of interest is the difference between writing pedagogy at the secondary and university levels (there is a longer version, of course, but I digress). The only difference between my 14-month Master's degree and a traditional two year Master's degree was that it was accelerated--I still conducted research and wrote a thesis, and took all the classes you would expect one to take for a Master's Degree in English Education. However, I'm worried that the accelerated nature of the degree makes it have less meaning/weight with admissions committees. I'm also worried that it will mean nothing if I am to pursue a PhD in comp/rhet because it was not a Master's degree in English.

So, my main question/concern: Do PhD programs in Comp/Rhet look specifically for Master's degrees in English and/or Comp/Rhet? Or, would a program such as, say, Michigan or Syracuse admit a student to their PhD program with a Master's degree in a different, but (somewhat?) related field?   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know people in C/R with MAs in Literature, Education, History, Classics, English, and Physics, along with MFAs in creative writing and theater (my own MA is in Comp/Rhet, which is the most common). I can't tell you if Syracuse would be ok with that (I believe they would), but Michigan's program is actually in the Department of English and English Ed, so I don't see the problem there. Mostly, it comes down to how you frame your experience relative to the work you want to do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. See our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use