Rhetoric and Literary Studies (Graduate Certificate)

Award:  Graduate Certificate
Program of Study: Rhetoric and Literary Studies
Program Code: 7221

About This Major . . .

The Colorado Mesa University Graduate Certificate in Rhetoric and Literary Studies is a dynamic program designed to meet the needs of education professionals who desire to teach lower-division college English courses in high school or higher education but who don’t have the necessary graduate credits to do so. The certificate is awarded after successful completion of 18 credit hours in graduate coursework in English, and the program is designed to provide students with more advanced knowledge in composition and rhetoric, literary theory, linguistics, creative writing, and American and British literature.

Important information for this program:

  • A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college is required, prior to beginning the program.
  • A fully completed Application for Admission to Graduate Programs including official transcripts is required prior to beginning the program.
  • Applicants must also submit to the English Department a Letter of Intent of no fewer than 1000 words that provides information about the students’ background, interests, and inspirations, including how they relate to the Graduate Certificate in Rhetoric and Literary Studies.
  • For additional information on applicable polices, please refer to the Graduate Policies and Procedures Manual.

All CMU program completers are expected to demonstrate proficiency in critical thinking, communication fluency, quantitative fluency, and specialized knowledge/applied learning. In addition to these campus-wide student learning outcomes, all recipients of this Graduate Certificate will be able to:

  1. Contribute to scholarly advancement in composition/rhetoric, linguistics, creative writing and literary studies by completing projects individually and collaboratively. (Specialized Knowledge/Applied Learning)
  2. Generate oral and written communication based on sound theories of composition/rhetoric, linguistics, creative writing and literary studies. (Communication Fluency)
  3. Formulate hypotheses related to research problems, issues, and concepts in the fields of composition/rhetoric, linguistics, creative writing and literary studies. (Critical Thinking)
  4. Synthesize information from a base of scholarly resources related to composition/rhetoric, linguistics, creative writing and literary studies. (Information Literacy)
  5. Evaluate moral, ethical, legal, or professional challenges in the disciplines of composition/rhetoric, linguistics, creative writing and literary studies. (Ethical Reasoning)

Each section below contains details about the requirements for this program. Select a header to expand the information/requirements for that particular section of the program's requirements. 

To print or save an overview of this program's information, including the program description, learning outcomes, requirements, suggested course sequencing (if applicable), and advising and graduation information, scroll to the bottom of the left-hand navigation menu and select "Print Options." This will give you the options to either "Send Page to Printer" or "Download PDF of This Page." The "Download PDF of This Page" option prepares a much more concise presentation of all program information. The PDF is also printable and may be preferable due to its brevity. 

Institutional Graduate Degree Requirements

The following institutional requirements apply to all CMU graduate-level degrees. Specific programs may have different requirements that must be met in addition to institutional requirements.

  • Graduate certificates consist of a minimum of 5 credit hours.  Master’s degrees consist of a minimum of 30 credit hours. Doctoral degrees consist of a minimum of 60 credit hours.
  • All credits in a graduate program must be minimally at the 500-level.
  • At least fifty percent of the credit hours must be taken at CMU.
  • Students must achieve a 3.00 cumulative GPA or higher in all CMU coursework.
  • Students may not apply coursework with a grade lower than a “B” toward graduation requirements.  
  • A course may only be used to fulfill one requirement for each degree/certificate.
  • Capstone exit assessment/projects (e.g., Major Field Achievement Test) requirements are identified under Program-Specific Requirements.
  • The Catalog Year determines which program sheet and certificate requirements a student must fulfill in order to graduate. Visit with your advisor or academic department to determine which catalog year and program requirements you should follow.
  • See “Graduate Degree Requirements” in this catalog for a complete list of graduation requirements.
  • All policies for graduate certificates are outlined in the Graduate Policies and Procedures Manual, which is provided on the Graduate Studies website

Program Specific Requirements

(18 semester hours, must pass all courses with a grade of “B” or better.)

ENGL 521Seminar in Literary Theory3
ENGL 543Language Systems and Linguistic Diversity3
ENGL 550Studies in Creative Writing3
ENGL 554Topics in British and Commonwealth Literature3
ENGL 561Topics in American Literature3
ENGL 586Seminar in Rhetoric and Composition3
Total Semester Credit Hours18
Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Summer SemesterSemester Credit Hours
ENGL 586 Seminar in Rhetoric and Composition 3
 Semester Credit Hours3
Fall Semester
ENGL 521 Seminar in Literary Theory 3
 Semester Credit Hours3
Spring Semester
ENGL 554 Topics in British and Commonwealth Literature 3
 Semester Credit Hours3
Second Year
Summer Semester
ENGL 550 Studies in Creative Writing 3
 Semester Credit Hours3
Fall Semester
ENGL 543 Language Systems and Linguistic Diversity 3
 Semester Credit Hours3
Spring Semester
ENGL 561 Topics in American Literature 3
 Semester Credit Hours3
 Total Semester Credit Hours18

Advising Process and DegreeWorks

Documentation on the pages related to this program is intended for informational purposes to help determine what courses and associated requirements are needed to earn a certificate. Some courses are critical to complete in specific semesters while others may be moved around. Meeting with an academic advisor is essential in planning courses and discussing the suggested course sequencing. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to understand and fulfill the requirements for her/his intended certificate.

DegreeWorks is an online degree audit tool available in MAVzone. It is the official record used by the Registrar’s Office to evaluate progress towards a certificate and determine eligibility for graduation. Students are responsible for reviewing their DegreeWorks audit on a regular basis and should discuss questions or concerns with their advisor or academic department head. Discrepancies in requirements should be reported to the Registrar’s Office.

Graduation Process

Students must complete the following in the first two months of the semester prior to completing their certificate requirements (for one-semester certificates, complete in the first week of class):

  • Review their DegreeWorks audit and create a plan that outlines how unmet requirements will be met in the final semester.
  • Meet with their advisor and modify their plan as needed. The advisor must approve the final plan.
  • Submit the “Intent to Graduate” form to the Registrar’s Office to officially declare the intended graduation date and commencement ceremony plans.
  • Register for all needed courses and complete all requirements for each degree sought.

Submission deadlines and commencement details can be found at http://www.coloradomesa.edu/registrar/graduation.html.

If your petition for graduation is denied, it will be your responsibility to apply for graduation in a subsequent semester. Your “Intent to Graduate” does not automatically move to a later graduation date.