Academic Residency Requirement

To be enrolled as a full-time student, a student must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 units per semester, every semester until they advance to Candidacy.

Required Courses

Rhetoric 200 Classical Rhetorical Theory and Practice
Rhetoric 205 Contemporary Rhetorical Theory
Rhetoric 375 Pedagogy
Rhetoric Research Seminar
Rhetoric Proseminar 

Year 1 Review

Review of student’s progress with Head Graduate Advisor and Student Mentor

Year 2 Review 

Review of student’s progress and proposed Qualifying Exam fields with Head Graduate Advisor and two faculty of the student’s choice, at least one of whom is Rhetoric faculty. 


Grading and Independent Study

All required courses must be taken for a letter grade with at least a B average. Only courses graded A, B, C (+/-), Pass, or Satisfactory may be applied to degree requirements. Courses graded below C- do not yield unit credit toward a graduate degree, irrespective of the overall grade point average. No more than one-third of the Master’s program may be fulfilled by courses graded Pass or Satisfactory. Graduate students are required to maintain a B (or 3.0) grade point average. Graduate courses in the Rhetoric 300 and 600 series do not count toward residency or unit requirements. Courses in the 600 series are graded Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory (S or U). Special Study (Rhetoric 295) and Independent Study (Rhetoric 299) may be graded on an S/U basis or letter-graded. Rhetoric 295 may be repeated for a maximum of 6 units. All graduate students enrolled in independent study courses (295) who have not yet been advanced to candidacy for the PhD will be required to submit either a brief description of the research completed for the course together with a bibliography of the books read or a paper written for the course. A copy of all the material submitted for each independent or special study course will be placed in the student’s file.

Foreign Language Requirements

Candidates for the PhD are required to demonstrate competence in two foreign languages. Graduate Division accepts any natural language with a system of writing if the Department certifies that 1) the language has scholarly value in the field; 2) the language is integral to the training of a particular student; and 3) a person qualified to administer the examination is available. Deadlines for fulfilling language requirements are strictly enforced. The first language requirement should be fulfilled by the end of the first year. Students must fulfill the second language requirement by the end of the semester before they take their Qualifying Examination. Ordinarily the second language requirement will be fulfilled by the end of the fifth semester, followed by the Qualifying Examination in the sixth semester. 

Both of the two language requirements may be fulfilled by examination, in accordance with the regulations of the Graduate Division: translation of a 300-500 word passage with the aid of a dictionary in no more than 90 minutes. The examinations are regularly administered in the Department, normally toward the end of each semester. According to Graduate Division requirements an examination in any language may be taken only twice. 

One of the language requirements may be fulfilled by course work. The student must demonstrate advanced competence in the language of his or her choice by completing an upper division course at UC Berkeley with the grade of B or better. Course sequences of four semesters (six quarters) in a certified language completed at any UC campus automatically fulfill the requirement. If students take courses at other institutions, those courses must be validated by Graduate Division.


Optional MA Degree

An MA degree is optional following the Year 2 Review. A terminal MA, if chosen, is contingent on fulfilling all requirements for the first two years of the program. The MA degree requirements must be fulfilled by completing either an MA thesis or MA exam. The MA thesis can be fulfilled with approval by a committee of three faculty, at least two of whom must be Rhetoric faculty. The MA exam is set and graded by two faculty members, at least one of whom must be Rhetoric faculty.