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Rhetoric and Composition

Books set on a table with students in the background.

The Texas State master of arts in rhetoric in composition (MARC) program ranks among the top nationwide with award-winning faculty and commitment to student success. Students develop unique programs of study combining foundational knowledge with focused study in areas ranging from minority and feminist rhetorics to digital literacies, writing for social justice, and writing center studies.

Students join a vibrant community dedicated to studying written discourse and the teaching of writing within a variety of contexts.

 Contact The Graduate College for general questions about getting started with your application, funding your degree, and more.

If you have program-specific questions after reviewing the program details, we encourage you to contact the following: 

Graduate Advisor
Dr. Eric Leake
Flowers Hall (FH), Room M13

Co-Graduate Advisor
Dr. Rebecca Jackson
Flowers Hall (FH), Room 245

“There is a strong community among students and faculty, and the program provides a space for students to develop personally and professionally. My experience in the program has been invaluable to me as a composition instructor and to my development as a Ph.D. student.”

— Casie Moreland, M.A. ’11

Course Work

The M.A. in rhetoric and composition requires 33 credit hours and includes both thesis and portfolio options. All students take core courses that provide a solid and shared foundation in theory, pedagogy, and research methods. Students choose electives to craft a degree program that meets their needs. Thesis students complete elective hours in rhetoric and composition, hours in a cognate, and thesis hours. Portfolio students complete elective hours in rhetoric and composition, hours in a cognate, and hours of directed portfolio course work.

Degree Hours Thesis Option Minor Option
M.A. 33 Non-Thesis (Portfolio) Cognate required
M.A. 33 Thesis Cognate required
Flowers Hall building

Students present papers at regional and national conferences, win awards, and co-author articles with faculty. Graduates distinguish themselves as university writing teachers and professional writing specialists and pursue doctoral studies in top-tier universities.

Program Mission

The goal of the MARC program is to immerse students in historical and contemporary conversations in rhetoric and composition and encourage them to use and contribute to these conversations as they serve the students’ own interests and goals. The program is dedicated to students’ success by mentoring and collaborating with them, encouraging professional development through workshops and networking, and providing a supportive environment for learning. In short, the program aims to expose students to the richness that is rhetoric and composition and to encourage them to find their own ways to add to this richness.

Visit program website ›

Program Faculty

MARC faculty members are united under the umbrella of rhetoric and composition and dedication to advocacy and activism, yet diversity is a major strength. Faculty specialize in unique facets of rhetoric and composition, including digital media, Latinx and feminist rhetorics, writing and empathy, and writing center studies, yet understand how these specialized interests intersect and diverge. Outside the program, faculty members hold high-profile positions in national organizations, serve on editorial boards of major journals, present papers at conferences, and publish actively in top-tier journals.

Meet our faculty ›

Career Options

The MARC degree prepares students to:

  • pursue writing careers in business, industry, and nonprofits
  • teach writing in high school, community college, and university settings
  • develop and administer writing programs and writing centers in these settings
  • train teachers of writing
  • enter doctoral programs in rhetoric and composition

Application Process

Step 1

Review Requirements

Application Deadlines

Deadlines U.S. Citizen International
Fall - Priority January 15 January 15
Fall - Standard June 15 June 1
Spring November 1 October 1
Summer I April 15 March 15
Summer II April 15 No Admission

Application Deadline
This program has a flexible deadline.

Funding Information
Applications must be complete by the priority deadline to be considered for certain types of funding. Read additional information about departmental funding opportunities.

Decision Timeline
This program reviews applications on a rolling basis.

Application Requirements

The items required for admission consideration are listed below. Additional information for applicants with international credentials can be found on our international web pages.


  Review important information about the online application.

Application Fee(s)

  • $55 nonrefundable application fee
  • $90 nonrefundable application fee for applications with international credentials

  Review important information about application fees.

Transcripts & GPA

  • baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited university
  • a copy of an official transcript from each institution where course credit was granted
  • minimum 2.75 GPA in your last 60 hours of undergraduate course work (plus any completed graduate courses)
  • minimum 3.0 GPA in 12 or more hours of undergraduate English course work

  Review important information about transcripts. Official transcripts, sent directly from your institution, will be required if admission is granted.

GRE Scores

  • GRE not required


  • portfolio (submit the following items as a single PDF document):
    • statement of purpose
    • at least two non-fiction documents (combined minimum of 15 pages, double-spaced) consisting of at least one academic research paper written for an undergraduate or graduate course
    • cover letter explaining when and for whom the submitted writing samples were written and discussing why they have been included as representative work
  • three letters of recommendation

  Review important information about documents.


Applicants are required to submit TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS scores that meet the minimum program requirements below unless they have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or the equivalent from a country on our exempt countries list.

  • official TOEFL iBT scores required with a 78 overall
  • official PTE scores required with a 52 overall
  • official IELTS (academic) scores required with a 6.5 overall and
    • minimum individual module scores of 6.0

  This program does not offer admission if the scores above are not met.

  Review important information about official test scores.

Additional Information

  Funding Information
If you are applying for a departmental graduate assistantship (IA/TA), you must submit required materials for both the rhetoric and composition program and the IA/TA position by January 15 for the following academic year. Letters of recommendation should describe your potential as a writing instructor, including experience teaching, tutoring, or editing if you are applying for a graduate assistantship.