Prospective Students


August, 2018

Dear Prospective Students,

I personally invite you to investigate our innovative graduate degree program and all the opportunities for research and learning, teaching, and community engagement that we have to offer.

RCTE is housed at the University of Arizona, a premiere public research university. Our institution is fully engaged with the cultures and peoples of the Southwest and is always at work on issues of global and transnational import. In particular, RCTE is proud to serve our land-grant mission and to engage in action-oriented scholarship that recognizes the strengths and addresses the needs and potentials of the diverse communities at UA and in Southern Arizona. In RCTE, we view rhetoric and composition as arts at work in the world that must be studied and practiced in the context of broader cultural and public interests.

Established in 1988, RCTE became known for its commitment to Western understandings and leanings of rhetorical history and theory, composition pedagogy, writing program administration, and community literacy. In the last few years, we have shifted our program strengths and commitments to teach, engage in, and conduct research in social justice pedagogy and leadership, comparative technologies of writing, labor practices and administration for diverse environments, strategies for sustaining languages and literacies among diverse populations, community partnerships, and learning from the historical legacies of those silenced (or erased) under Western global expansion.

Graduate students in RCTE are institutionally and nationally distinguished for their public engagement and action-oriented, cutting-edge and timely research, published scholarship, and innovative teaching. They have been selected by local, national, and international committees to be Institute of the Environment Carson Scholars, Crossroads Collaborative Scholars, Fulbright Scholars, American Association of Women Scholars Fellows, and Scholars for the Dream. Further, our graduate students are often recognized for their teaching, research, and administrative contributions. Students and have received a range of teaching and research awards including the 1885 Dissertation Fellowship Award, the Centennial Achievement Award, the Marshall Foundation Fellowship, and the Patrick Dissertation Award, RCTE dissertation projects are broadly engaged with and interested in institutional transformation, social change, and justice.

RCTE graduate students will have the opportunity to work with nationally recognized scholars and leaders in their field. Each of our RCTE faculty – Matthew Abraham, Damián Baca, Amy C. Kimme-Hea, Aimee C. Mapes, Tom Miller, Susan Miller-Cochran, Shelley Rodrigo, Cristina D. Ramírez, Ann Shivers-McNair, and Stephanie Troutman – are published in top-tier disciplinary journals. Program graduate students are given the opportunity to learn, research and write with faculty scholars, as a number of our faculty publish with their graduate students. Further, each of the RCTE faculty hold high profile national positions in professional organizations and serve on editorial boards of top-tier journals. At each step to the doctoral process, from writing papers to applying for jobs, RCTE graduate students are mentored and supported, which accounts for our high job placement record.  

RCTE MA and PhD students teach in our national award-winning Writing Program, which provides varied opportunities to teach a range of first-year and upper-division courses and many are selected for  professional experiences within the program. We offer access to areas in which to gain specialized research, curriculum, and assessment experience. Graduate students receive small-group mentoring and support from experienced and committed teachers throughout their first year, and with continued support throughout their time teaching in the program. Additionally, we facilitate opportunities for research assistantships across the university, including UA THINK TANK, UA Athletics, and Office of Instruction and Assessment.

RCTE retains a remarkable job placement rate. Approximately 97% of our students who engage in  national searches are placed in tenure-track positions. Our graduates have been hired at universities around the country, such as the University of Utah, Arizona State University, the University of South Carolina, the University of Hawaii, California State University,  the University of California, Irvine, and many more. Some of our graduates have accepted leadership positions in community colleges, such as Oakland Community College and Bay Mills Tribal Community College, and others select employment in the non-for profit, private, or government sectors, including national research labs, such as Sandia National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratories, and other think tanks.

RCTE is connected to over twenty schools, departments, research, and outreach centers found on our campus, and we are broadly involved in collaborations with diverse community and education groups. RCTE has established a multitude of opportunities for graduate students to collaborate and study with other outstanding graduate programs on our campus, including American Indian Studies, Mexican American Studies, Gender and Women’s Studies, the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies, and the School of Information. Our students also have access to our department’s programs in English Applied Linguistics, Literature, and Creative Writing, as well as to exciting opportunities in the Institute of the Environment and the Institute for LGBT Studies.

As the RCTE Director, I invite you to consider our program for your future studies. Feel free to contact our faculty, as well as visit our campus and program.

Thank you, and we look forward to your inquiries.

Cristina D. Ramírez, Director of RCTE

NOTE: THE 'RCTE PhD' PROGRAM and the 'English PhD' program are two separate programs. Please make sure you are applying to the correct program.
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College of Social and Behavioral Sciences