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How to Apply

Application Portal Now Open!

The Department of Writing and Rhetoric Studies at the University of Utah announces its new stand-alone graduate program. Effective Fall 2021, we offer degrees through our department for the MA/MS and the PhD. Our nationally renowned, award-winning faculty prize on providing ongoing individualized mentoring to students. Our graduate program prepares graduates for various opportunities in academia, private industry, and nonprofit organizations. Full-time students have teaching and research opportunities both in and outside the department. 

Apply Now 

Applications due December 15th, 2024.

For more information, visit or contact Professory Jay Jordan, Director of Graduate Studies at

The application process varies slightly between each department, but the majority of the requirements are the same. Listed below you will find a general checklist for applying to the graduate program in Rhetoric and Composition, followed by links to the department specific requirements. In each case you will apply first to the University of Utah's graduate school and then to the specific department. If you have any questions at any point in the process, please contact Writing & Rhetoric Studies for assistance.

  1. Apply to the University of Utah's graduate school (make sure that you meet the graduate school requirements before applying).
  2. Pay the application fee.
  3. Submit transcripts from all previous universities and colleges you have attended.
  4. International students need to submit their TOEFL scores.

  1. Departmental Application: Apply here.
  2. GRE Scores: We do not require the GRE.
  3. Writing Sample:The writing sample is a critical part of your application. For Ph.D. applicants, your writing sample should be a significant paper such as a portion of your Master's thesis or a graduate seminar paper. If you are applying to an MA program, your writing sample might be a senior thesis or substantial paper demonstrating your best academic work.

In both cases, the Department of Writing & Rhetoric is looking for writing that demonstrates your analytical thinking, your sense of academic inquiry, command of rhetorical and composition tools, and your ability to engage existing literature on your topic. While your writing sample need not be directly related to the field of Rhetoric and Composition, we encourage you to select a sample that in some way addresses or engages issues relevant to writing or literacy.

  1. Statement of Purpose/Personal Statement: In this document, please include information that helps us better understand your motivations for pursuing graduate work in Rhetoric and Composition at the University of Utah. For example, you might discuss experiences you have had teaching writing or rhetoric, or perhaps you became interested in the field after taking a related undergraduate course. Also include the areas of Rhetoric and Composition that interest you, professors with whom you would like to work, and your future goals.
  2. Three Letters of Recommendation: Your letters should come from academic sources who can attest to the quality of your academic work. Please note that the English Department requires that you use a specific form for your letters.
  3. Application Deadlines: Both the departmental and graduate school Ph.D. and MA, with or without funding, applications are due December 15th.


Last Updated: 7/1/24