B.A. in Writing, Rhetoric, and Speech Communication
Learn the art of effective communication
The B.A in Writing, Rhetoric, and Speech Communication (or simply “Rhetoric”) is a liberal arts degree with a wide range of practical applications. Whether you are starting businesses or making scientific breakthroughs, you need to tell people what you’re doing.
Studying Rhetoric will help.
A strategic and accessible major.
By studying Writing, Rhetoric, and Speech Communication, you will gain the effective writing and speaking skills sought by all employers. You will leave college with a portfolio of well-crafted projects and marketable skills for every aspect of professional life—from interviews and emails to business plans and reports.
Combined with another major—in anything from the humanities to business or pre-med—Rhetoric can prepare you to communicate specialized subjects in a variety of contexts. And, at only 33 credit hours, Writing, Rhetoric, and Speech Communication is an accessible double major. You will hone your communication skills while staying on track to graduate in four years.
Set yourself apart in the professional world.
Our major helps you build critical thinking and communication skills that will set you apart in the professional world. You will build marketable writing skills and practice public speaking and interpersonal communication.
All this work culminates in a portfolio of well-written projects. Your portfolio serves as a tool in the job-search process so that you can not only tell but show employers the quality of work you are capable of completing.
Studying Writing, Rhetoric, and Speech Communication can also open new avenues in technical fields like the sciences or engineering. A knowledge of biology combined with engaging writing could make for a career in healthcare writing. With a background in engineering, the same combination creates opportunities in technical writing.
A discipline of the past for the future.
We get it. The word “rhetoric” may conjure up images of long-gone philosophers decked out in robes. But, in our view, this ancient art of persuasion is a key aspect of creating or analyzing communication in any era. Whether it’s a political speech, business plan or poem, rhetoric helps explain how and why communication succeeds or fails.
Understanding how effective communication works—and how to use that to our advantage—is vital. It’s even more vital today because the world economy is increasingly centered around knowledge and information.
Studying Rhetoric allows you to look at these modern problems—and into the future—through the lens of a time-tested discipline.
Classes combining theory and practice.
Through your required coursework, you will learn the crafts of effective writing and speaking all while receiving plenty of hands-on practice and examining the theory that explains the art of persuasion.
Required classes include:
- Public Speaking (SPCH 102) or Business and Professional Speech (SPCH 105)
- Collaborative Communication (SPCH 305) or Intercollegiate Debate (SPCH 314)
- Survey of Rhetoric (WRIT 220)
- Advanced Composition (WRIT 250)
- Rhetoric of Professional Communication (WRIT 300)
The major is rounded out by electives that cover all aspects of rhetoric. In these classes, you can learn professional skills like editing and grant writing, create a collaborative zine in our Community Writing course or explore how rhetoric intersects with gender, sexuality and race.
- Introduction to Rhetoric (RHET 201)
- The Art of the Interview (SPCH 210)
- Writing for Digital Media (WRIT 350)
- Grant Writing (WRIT 410)
- Organizational Communication (SPCH 405)
- Rhetorics of Race in the US South (RHET 477)