North Dakota State University

English-Rhetoric, Writing and Culture


1340 Administration Ave

Fargo, ND 58102

United States



Program Information

Degrees Offered:


Format: Campus

Program Description:

The Rhetoric, Writing and Culture Ph.D. degree program is open to all qualified graduates of universities and colleges of recognized standing. The Ph.D. in Rhetoric, Writing and Culture provides students with employable skills in the area of professional and technical communication. This innovative and regionally unique program invites students to work at the intersection of rhetorical, textual, and cultural studies. The number of positions available in technical communication significantly surpasses the number of new Ph.D.s produced each year by a sizable margin. Graduates from NDSU's program may pursue careers as professors in universities or colleges; training and development specialists, user-experience experts, and human-computer interaction specialists in industry; technical, scientific, or professional writers and editors in research and development organizations, high-tech companies, non-profit organizations, or government agencies. Hands-on experience is essential to our program. NDSU offers opportunities for students in the Ph.D. program to teach discipline-specific writing, such as writing in the sciences, writing for engineers and writing in business and finance. Ph.D. students are eligible for Presidential Doctoral Graduate Fellowships. To be admitted with full status to the program, the applicant must fulfill all of the requirements set out below. In most cases, applicants are expected to have completed a Master of Arts or Science, (although exceptional candidates may be admitted directly out of the Bachelor's degree); have completed a BA, BS, MA, or MS from an accredited educational institution; and have a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.5. Conditional admission may be granted to students who do not meet all requirements for admission or have deficiencies in prerequisite course work, but demonstrate potential for graduate study. Such students may be required to take additional courses to address deficiencies in prerequisite course work. In addition to the Graduate School required materials, applications must include: 1) an academic writing sample, not to exceed 20 pages, that reflects the student's academic or professional interests and that demonstrates the student's critical and analytical abilities; 2) A statement of purpose that includes coursework you plan to complete in the program, faculty members with whom you wish to study; scholarship you plan to pursue, a sense of what you hope to do once you have completed a Ph.D. degree in English, and how your education and/or life experience have prepared you for graduate work; 3) official transcripts from all previous undergraduate and graduate records, and 4) when applicable, a letter stating your interest in and qualifications for a teaching assistantship. A practical and / or professional writing sample not to exceed 10 pages is also preferred. Teaching assistantships are available and are based on the applicant's scholastic record and letters of recommendation. However, the student must first make application to the Graduate School and be accepted for admission before she/he is eligible for an assistantship in the Department of English. Letters of application for teaching assistantships should be submitted at the same time as the application to the program is submitted to the graduate school and should specify experience and qualifications. Graduate students are awarded teaching assistantships for the academic year only. As of the 2014-15 academic year, the annual stipend is $14,000. University graduate tuition charges (not fees) are waived for all TAs. Teaching Fellowships are available to selected TAs after completing course work. Moreover, the Department of English annually awards the Rooney Scholarship (2014: $1,220) and the Madeline S. Gittings Scholarship (2014: $1,000) to deserving graduate students. The Ph.D. program requires 90 credits beyond the baccalaureate degree and a minimum of 60 graduate credits at NDSU. Students must take a minimum of 30 credits at the 700 level. Students admitted to the Ph.D. are required to demonstrate foreign language competency by the time they begin to write the dissertation. Students may meet this requirement in one of the following ways: 1) Demonstrate advanced reading competency in one foreign language equivalent to successful completion of a second-semester, third-year (300-level, 6th semester) college language course; 2) Demonstrate intermediate reading competency in two foreign languages equivalent to successful completion of two second- semester, second-year (200-level, 4th semester) college language courses; 3) Demonstrate intermediate reading competency in one foreign language equivalent to successful completion of a second-semester, second-year (200-level, 4th semester) college language course and, in consultation with the student’s advisor and the graduate director, demonstrate competency in one special research skill.


Contact the school for information

International Student Requirements:

TOEFL ibT 100 or IELTS 8

Facts & Figures

Financial Aid: Yes

International Financial Aid: Yes

Average Cost per Credit (Graduate): $352.87 USD

Classification: Doctoral/Research University—Intensive

Locale: Small City

Size & Settings: 10,000-19,999

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