How many people apply and get in each year?
  2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Applied 46 30 35 44 27 27
Admitted 6 8 8 7 9 7
Total Students in RCTE Program 41 44 42 39 39 41


My background is not in rhetoric and composition. Should I apply anyway?

Given that most universities do not have a major in rhetoric and composition, many of our students come from various academic backgrounds. Most are English majors, but students come from Creative Writing, Music, Law, and other fields. The University of Arizona's RCTE program encourages interdisciplinary study and the integration of outside experience into rhetoric and composition. Demonstrated dedication to the field of rhetoric and composition is essential, however. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions in this regard.

I want to start Spring semester. Is there a separate deadline?

RCTE does not have spring admission; all applications for an academic year must be submitted by December 31 of the previous year.

Where do graduates of RCTE end up?
All over! Check out our Alumni map.



When applying for the RCTE MA or PhD program, please note it is NOT the same as the English MA or PhD program! RCTE PhD is our program name.



Is there a Masters in RCTE?
Do I need to have an MA to apply to the PhD program? 
No.  (See next question for more info.)

If I only have a BA can I apply the PhD program?

Yes. You do not need to have an MA to apply to the PhD program. You should apply to the PhD program if you intend on finishing your PhD at the University of Arizona. You should apply to the MA program if you intend on earning a terminal Masters degree. Typically, Masters students are teachers in the public schools or desire employment in community colleges. Some applicants with less background in rhetoric and composition apply to the MA program as a transition. Feel free to call the Program Assistant and discuss this if in doubt.



How many of my graduate credits can transfer into the program?

Up to 15 units earned at other institutions can transfer into the PhD Program. Six graduate units can transfer into the MA program.




Do the letters of recommendation need to be on letterhead?



What if my recommenders cannot upload their letters?

If your recommenders are unable to submit their letters online, please have them email the letter to the program assistant (engl-rcte@email.arizona.edu).


Is there an official form for letters of recommendation?


Can any of my letters of recommendation be from non-academic professionals?

Yes, though letters from academic professionals are preferred.

Can letters be emailed or faxed?

Faxed and emailed recommendations are acceptable if on letterhead and signed.




How long should the statement of purpose be?

There is no fixed length. Most people write from three to six pages.

What should be included?

There are no strict rules, although most statements describe how the applicant has arrived at the field of rhetoric and composition, why he or she has chosen to apply to the University of Arizona in particular, and what personal and professional experiences prepare one for the program. It is perfectly fine to "get personal." These statements of purpose are read very carefully, and play an important role in the admissions decision. They help the faculty decide whether or not you would fit in with the UA program.




What kind of writing sample should I submit?

Ideally, one's writing sample is an academic paper from a rhetoric or composition class. An academic paper dealing with rhetorical and composition issues is second best. Non-academic papers are discouraged, although they may be included to supplement your application materials.




Are the GREs required for admission?


Do I need to take the GRE Subject Test?


My GRE scores are more than five years old. May I still use them?

ETS only releases official scores for exams taken in the last five years. Because of this, we cannot accept scores older than five years. If the applicant has taken the test more than once, we take the highest score in each category.


Are all three GRE categories considered equally important to my acceptance?

The verbal and analytic scores are the most important parts of the GRE. Most applicants who are accepted are in the ninetieth percentile in the verbal or analytic categories. The quantitative score is noted, but largely ignored.

Where do I send my GRE scores?

Please request that your official GRE scores be sent to School Code 4832 (University of Arizona).



Is there a separate form to apply for funding?

No. All our students are funded through Graduate Teaching Assistantships. There is no separate application.

What different types of funding are available?

The RCTE program offers Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAships),  Graduate Tuition Scholarships (GTS), and Graduate Fellowships. Students with GTAships typically teach two sections of undergraduate composition. A GTA's pay varies depending upon one's academic degrees and progress in the program. Tuition (in- and out-of-state) and health insurance are fully covered for a .50 FTE GTAship (teaching two courses per semester).

How many years is funding renewed?

GTAships are renewed from year to year according to your original contract letter. GTS awards may be renewed depending upon availability.

How many students get funding?

If you are admitted into RCTE you will receive a GTAship. Graduate Fellowship monies may be available. The fellowships are need-based and a FAFSA form must be filled out in order to qualify.


Does the GTAship provide a complete tuition waiver?

Yes.  However, the UA Miscellaneous Fees must still be paid by the student each semester.

Do new GTAs teach their first semester?

Yes. New GTAs teach one class during their first semster.

What is the GTA pay?

For AY 2018-2019, the starting GTA salary for a 2-1 (or 2-2, depending upon your year within the program) load ranges from $16,100 to $17,100 per academic year depending on your earned degree (BA or MA). Currently after passing their Comprehnsive Exams, a GTA's salary is currently $17,650 per year.

Is there a curriculum (syllabus, texts, etc.) that GATs follow or do GATs develop their own curriculum?

GTAs develop their own syllabi under supervision during their week-long training in the week before classes begin. Throughout the year they get further training and support in Preceptorship courses: small groups led by a faculty advisor.

In the undergraduate composition courses, how many students are typically in each course?

19 students. Please contact the Writing Program Director and RCTE faculty member Susan Miller-Cochran for more information regarding undergraduate composition courses.



How do most students satisfy their foreign language requirement?

We do not currently have a foreign language requirement.

Are the RCTE courses seminars or lectures? How many students are typically in these classes?

Seminars. There can be anywhere from 5 to 8 graduate students.


How much support do students receive during their job search?

Students are supported toward their job search from their first day in the program. We offer a professional studies colloquium, and as students near completion, they participate in a RCTE Job Workshop. In addition, various RCTE and English Department meetings and consultations are available.



What are typical statistics on admitted applicants?

The average successful applicant has an undergraduate GPA of around 3.8, GRE verbal and/or analytic scores in the ninetieth percentile, and excellent letters of recommendation. Applicants shouldn't be intimidated by these statistics, however. Applicants who are particularly strong in other parts of the application can compensate for deficiencies in others. The main consideration is that the faculty feels the student would fit in and flourish with the diverse UA Program.

Should I visit?

Usually students can gather enough information by emailing or phoning. Visits are very useful to get a "flavor" for Tucson and the RCTE Program and its faculty, staff, and students, but should by no means be considered a necessity. (Advance notice is encouraged so we can make sure to connect you with people in your area of interest. Please contact the Program Assistant for details.)

Are applications mailed in or online?

Applications to the RCTE program are online.

What are housing expenses in Tucson?
Typical apartments run about $600 a month at the low end, to $950 at the high end. Two-bedroom houses rent for an average of $700-1250. Guesthouses can range from $400-1000.



When applying for the RCTE MA or PhD program, please note it is NOT the same as the English MA or PhD program! You must choose RCTE PHD if you want to apply to the RCTE program. English PhD is a completely separate program.




College of Social and Behavioral Sciences