RCTE Program Overview

PhD Degree Requirements

MA Degree Requirements


UA’s RCTE program was created in 1988, growing out of a program in English Education founded in the 1960s. It is one of four graduate programs in the Department of English, the others being Literature, Creative Writing, and English Language and Linguistics.

RCTE offers the MA in English, with a concentration in RCTE, and the PhD (in RCTE) degrees. Students in RCTE have opportunities to work with UA's comprehensive undergraduate Writing Program, with Writing Specialists and others doing outreach, articulation and assessment.

The RCTE program prepares graduate students to conduct research in rhetoric and composition, to teach undergraduate and graduate courses in the field, and to develop writing programs in school settings and on the job.

The MA Program is designed for students intending to teach in the public schools and community colleges. This is ordinarily a two-year course of study. Students who are working full-time as teachers in local schools may take longer, up to a Graduate College limit of six years.

The PhD program is designed for students intending to teaching in four-year colleges or writing programs. The RCTE program has a 100% placement record for students seeking jobs in higher education, 95% of those in tenure-track positions.

RCTE’s Professional Studies Colloquium is a three-credit course that introduces students to the Program and considers issues on matters ranging from publishing, to the history of our professional organizations, to professionalism at conventions, to the job search. Graduate Assistant Teachers also attend Preceptorship, the training and support program for the Writing Program. Preceptorship brings several well-known speakers to campus each year to address and mentor the graduate students.
Students may also propose internships in several settings:
  • The Writing Program, which is staffed by faculty, graduate student interns, and academic professionals, has a three-part mission: to support and develop writing across the curriculum at UA; to do outreach work with the schools; and to do research on writing at the University.
  • The UA Writing Center is a multidimensional peer-tutoring facility run by the Writing Program.
  • Many RCTE students work with local community literacy groups.
  • The Writing Program organizes an annual Spring Conference for high school and community college teachers throughout the state.
The English Graduate Union (EGU) is an active graduate student group that elects representatives to departmental committees and represents the graduate students to faculty and administration.
Each year, RCTE is able to offer a number of GATships (which pay a stipend to students who teach First-year Composition classes) and a number of Graduate Tuition Scholarships.
The university also offers several summer programs which employ students as teachers.


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