Graduate Handbook - Special Emphasis

A Special Emphasis is similar to a graduate minor. Although it does not appear as a graduate minor on a student's transcript, the designation can be included on the student's c.v. Students may request that a letter explaining the requirements for a Special Emphasis be added to their job placement file. Master's and doctoral students may elect to pursue a Special Emphasis offered by any plan except their own.

Special Emphasis in Professional Writing

A Special Emphasis in Professional Writing consists of three professional writing courses (9 credits) and a Professional Writing Portfolio. Courses must be taken in the following categories:

  • 3 credits in a core course (English 712 or 706);
  • 3 credit elective in theory, such as English 706 or 712 (if not taken to fulfill the core course), English 855, or any 700- or 800-level professional writing course that covers a significant amount of theory;
  • 3 credit elective in practice (any professional writing 400-level U/G course or 700-level course that focuses mostly on practice).

The portfolio includes samples that demonstrate proficiency in the course assignments, including revised materials from the three courses taken for the Special Emphasis.

Students are encouraged to apply for the Special Emphasis before their final full year of coursework. See the Graduate Professional Writing Coordinator for further information about the Special Emphasis and the application process.

Special Emphasis in Rhetoric and Composition

A Special Emphasis in Rhetoric and Composition consists of four rhetoric and composition courses (12 credits), two semesters of teaching composition at UWM, and a portfolio of teaching materials.

  • One of the four courses must be English 701;
  • One must be a core course for Plan B (such as English 750, 751, 753, 755, 812, 850, 853, 854, 865).
  • The Graduate Rhetoric and Composition Advisory Committee must approve the other two courses.
    Teaching experience may include: English 090, 095, 101, 102, 210, 230, 240, and ESL 115, 116, 117, 118. The portfolio consists of teaching materials from at least two UWM composition courses.

Students shall declare their interest in a Special Emphasis to the Graduate Rhetoric and Composition Advisory Committee no later than one year before they plan to graduate. See the Graduate Coordinator of Rhetoric and Composition for further information about the Special Emphasis and the approval process.