How to Apply

Details for a successful application

ApplyYour application will be reviewed by faculty members in the Rhetoric, Writing, and Digital Media Studies program at Northern Arizona University. A successful application contains the following:

Letter of Intent (1-2 pages):

This is a succinct letter explaining your interest in RWDMS, and your possible career aspirations.

Your letter of intent should include:

  • A clearly focused introduction that provides an overview of your reasons for applying to the RWDMS program. Reasons might include but are not limited to:
    • Gain more experience in applying writing practices to educational and workplace settings
    • Understand how literacy practices influence our interactions in a culturally diverse educational setting or workplace setting
    • Understand the connections between rhetorical principles and writing practices in business settings
    • Gain more experience in professional and business writing
    • Change careers and gain the background for teaching writing at a community college, becoming a professional writer, editor, etc.
  • Cleary laid-out paragraphs that follow up on your introductory overview and that provide specific details.
    • We expect each paragraph to show that you develop a main point and follow it up with specific examples.
  • A concluding paragraph that outlines how your M.A. in English with an emphasis in RWDMS will help you achieve your career goals.
    • We understand that you might not yet know what your specific career goals are, but we know that an online degree requires you to be goal-oriented and self-disciplined. We find that students are more likely to be successful when they have a specific reason for pursuing an M.A. online.

Writing Sample (5-10 pages):

Your writing sample can be a term paper from your time as an undergraduate or a piece of writing that you have done while in the world of work. Your writing should show that you are familiar with and can apply the principles of rhetoric. We expect a writing sample to show:

  • A clear purpose
  • An understanding that each document has to address a specific audience
  • An understanding of the qualifications of the author (you) who wrote the document

2 Letters of Recommendation

from people who can attest to your ability and potential for master’s level work

  • Professors you had in undergraduate courses make good recommenders, but, if you have been away from higher education for a time, then you might want to ask a colleague at work or a supervisor to write a letter of recommendation. Please do not ask for letters from family members or friends who do not know your professional work.

For more information on Rhetoric,Writing, and Digital Media Studies, contact