Right arm and upper body (no head) of student holding pen and seated at a classroom desk

What does it cost?

Check out our cost calculator or visit student financial services for information on estimated costs.

How long will it take?

The program is designed to be completed in five years. It requires 30 hours of coursework plus 20 thesis hours.

Where will I take classes?
Atlanta Campus

Application Deadlines View Admissions Requirements

  • Fall: February 15
  • Spring: Does Not Admit
  • Summer: Does Not Admit

English, Ph.D., Rhetoric and Composition

Director of Graduate Studies in English
Tanya Caldwell
[email protected]

We offer the largest Rhetoric & Composition program in the Southeast, with eight specialized faculty members in rhetoric, composition, digital media and communication, writing center theories and pedagogies and language studies.

Within our distinctive curriculum, students can combine areas of interest across historical periods, current composition studies, rhetorical theory, visual and digital rhetoric, new and emerging media, advanced academic writing, language studies, writing center studies, writing program administration and professional writing. No other university in Georgia offers these comprehensive graduate academic programs in rhetoric and composition. We provide internship opportunities for graduate students with our department publications, nonprofits and other Atlanta-based organizations, and we offer mentoring and training in the teaching of writing and writing program leadership.

Lower Division Studies, unique to Georgia State University, offers training and mentoring opportunities for graduate students who teach many of the First-Year Composition and Sophomore Literature Survey courses as instructors of record.

Writing Across the Curriculum is a faculty development program geared toward helping faculty use learner-centered, active pedagogical strategies for developing all students' writing and communication abilities across the undergraduate curriculum.  Its faculty participants have made significant contributions to the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Program Details
  • A master’s degree in English or a closely related discipline from an accredited college or university;
  • A 10-20 page critical writing sample;
  • A statement describing academic and professional goals.
  • GRE not required!

For full application and admissions requirements, see the graduate catalog.

  • Nine hours in history and theory courses;
  • Six hours in academic research and publishing courses;
  • Nine hours of rhetoric, composition courses, technical communication and strongly related courses
  • To complete the 30-hour requirement, electives as needed in rhetoric and composition, language, theory, literature or any strongly related fields of study outside of English

For complete degree requirements, see the graduate catalog.

The PhD program in Rhetoric and Composition provides students with opportunities to study history and theory as well as contemporary approaches to writing in both academic and non-academic settings, to learn how to use new digital publication and information technologies, and to acquire valuable software skills that make them attractive to prospective employers. During the doctoral program, students will develop in-depth knowledge in a specialized area and establish their position as future scholars of national caliber.



Our program's recent graduates have found full-time employment in academic and administrative positions at a wide range of colleges and universities, including the University of Arizona, the University of Mississippi, Boston College and the University of Sydney.

Our alumni have also found positions outside academia in technical writing, digital design and professional communication.


Director of Graduate Studies in English
Tanya Caldwell
[email protected]

Director of Rhetoric and Composition
Baotong Gu
[email protected]

College of Arts & Sciences Lockup25 Park Pl NE #2500
Atlanta, GA 30303

The information shared provides an overview of Georgia State’s offerings. For details on admissions requirements, tuition, courses and more, refer to the university catalogs.