Ph.D. in English and American Literature with a Concentration in Rhetoric, Composition, and Pedagogy

We invite you to become part of our dynamic, growing community at the University of Houston. 

The rhetoric, composition, and pedagogy concentration is intended to provide doctoral students with the intellectual training and the resources to make themselves into scholars and teachers of writing who understand teaching as a reflective practice.

Our goal is to create professionals who, understanding the changes in college student populations and the transformations occurring in home and community literacies, will be able to design new pedagogical practices and develop new writing curricula for the twenty-first century

Application Deadlines

Fall Admission: February 1
Spring Admission: November 1

Texas Common Application Form

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View the Degree Plan

Minimum Requirements for Admission

  • M.A. in English or related field appropriate for rhetoric and composition (e.g. speech or English education)
  • 3.5 g.p.a. in graduate studies
  • One foreign language (Student can complete this requirement while in residence.)
  • GRE general test 

Application Materials

Students should submit the following materials to the University of Houston’s Office of Admissions:

  • The online application 
  • Academic transcripts from all institutions of higher learning attended
  • Scores for the GRE general test 

The following materials should be submitted to the Director of Graduate Studies, Department of English:

  • Three letters of recommendation
  • The student’s statement of intent (1-2 pages)
  • A 15-25 page critical writing sample with bibliography

Requirements of the Degree

  • 36 hours of coursework
  • Foreign language. Students must demonstrate reading knowledge of two foreign languages or intensive knowledge of one foreign language.
  • 3 written comprehensive examinations
  • 1 oral comprehensive examination
  • Dissertation

Distribution of Coursework

  • 3 hours of Introduction to Doctoral Studies 
  • 6 hours of Literary Theory, Rhetoric: 3 hours of Critical Pedagogy and 3 hours of Research Seminar in Rhetoric and Composition I
  • 15 hours of Literature: Three of these hours must come from a literature course focusing on the cultural institution of writing in historical terms. Three more hours must come from a literature course focusing on the cultural institution of writing in terms of writing practices. The remaining 9 hours may come from any graduate literature courses taken here.
  • 12 hours of Electives in literature, folklore, linguistics, and/or rhetoric and composition. Advanced work in linguistics is strongly recommended. Of these 12 hours of Electives, 3 must come from Research Seminar in Rhetoric and Composition II.

Doctoral Reading Lists