Rhetoric and Composition
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OverviewSalary and DebtIs a Bachelor's EnoughCareersSchoolsRelated ProgramsGenderRace/Origin
Overview
Rhetoric and composition is a program that focuses on the humanistic and scientific study of rhetoric, composition, literacy, and language/linguistic theories and their practical and pedagogical applications. includes instruction in historical and contemporary rhetoric/composition theories; composition and criticism of written, visual, and mixed-media texts; analysis of literacy practices in cultural and cross-cultural contexts; and writing program administration.
Highlights
School with the highest reported median starting salary ($51K) with a Bachelor's Degree: Arizona State University - Polytechnic
Career with the highest median salary ($93K) where most workers have a Bachelor's Degree: Software Developers
Explore Pathways
Careers for program graduates
Rhetoric and composition majors work in these careers, which are sized by percentage of majors in the career (at least 1%) and colored by the predominant level of education.
Elementary and Middle School S...Writers and AuthorsSpecialized ManagersEditorsPostsecondary TeachersTechnical WritersSecretaries and Administrative...First-Line Supervisors of Reta...Lawyers, and judges, magistrat...Marketing ManagersRetail SalespersonsCustomer Service Representativ...Office and Administrative Supp...Secondary School TeachersManagement AnalystsSoftware DevelopersLibrarians and Media Collectio...Public Relations SpecialistsChief executives and legislato...Computer and Information Syste...Labor Relations SpecialistsMarket Research Analysts and M...
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Current completions
What level of degree do most graduates achieve, and do they match what your goals?
01K2K3K0-1 Year CertificateAssociate's DegreeBachelor's DegreePostbaccalaureate CertMaster's DegreePost-master's CertResearch Doctorate
SOURCES:
Completions over time
Have completions for composition and rhetoric changed over time? Increasing completions may mean you'll likely have an easier time finding a school that offers this degree, with the opposite being true as well.
Show percentages
Number of graduates
02,0004,0006,0008,0002010201120122013201420152016201720182019
Research Doctorate
Post-master's Cert
Master's Degree
Postbaccalaureate Cert
Bachelor's Degree
Associate's Degree
1-2 Year Certificate
0-1 Year Certificate
Salary and Debt
How are students who recently completed a degree in rhetoric and composition doing?
Below is the distribution of starting salaries along with accumulated federal and private education loans across schools that offer a degree in the field rhetoric and composition/writing studies, which includes rhetoric and composition.
Median starting salaries
$29K$35K$0$20K$40K$60KMaster'sBachelor's
Median cumulative loan amount
$24K$41K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KMaster'sBachelor's
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Context: median salaries
How does the median (middle) salary for composition and rhetoric majors compare to the median salaries for other college majors?
$47K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K
Distribution: composition and rhetoric majors' salaries by education level
What is the salary distribution for graduates with a bachelor's incomposition and rhetoric by the level of their highest degree (Graduate degrees may not be in the same field as the bachelor’s)
$55K$43K$70K$64K$0$50K$100K$150KBachelor'sMaster'sDoctorateProfessional
We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.
Is a bachelor's degree all you need?
Education level of workers with a bachelor's in composition and rhetoric
Is a bachelor's degree going to be sufficient to make you competative in the job market? We can look at the education level of workers with a bachelors in this degree to see if there is a likely need for a graduate degree. You'll also want to check out the careers section on this page to where they are employed.
This chart shows the level of education of workers with a bachelor's degree in composition and rhetoric. The worker's graduate degree may have been completed in a different field.
Education level of workers
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
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Context: Graduate degrees in any field by undergraduate ACS degree
About 30% of composition and rhetoric majors chose to also earn a graduate degree (possibly of a different major). The percentage of composition and rhetoric majors who also earned a graduate degree is higher than about 61% of other fields.
30%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Percentage salary boost obtained with a graduate degree
How important is a graduate degree for earning a higher salary? We can see the difference in salary of workers with a bachelors in this degree to workers with a bachelor’s AND a graduate degree.
28%64%49%0%20%40%60%80%Bachelor's to Master'sBachelor's to DoctorateBachelor's to Professional
Careers
Top careers for those with a degree in composition and rhetoric
Following are the most frequent jobs held by people who earned a bachelor's degree in Composition and Rhetoric (which combines 6 programs), though may not be limited to just those with a bachelor’s.
  1. Elementary and Middle School School Teachers
  2. Writers and Authors
  3. Specialized Managers
  4. Editors
  5. Postsecondary Teachers
  6. Technical Writers
  7. Secretaries and Administrative Assistants
  8. Education and childcare administrators
  9. First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers
  10. Lawyers, and judges, magistrates, and similar judicial professionals
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Careers for composition and rhetoric majors
Where do composition and rhetoric majors work, and how well do those jobs pay? A ** in the job title indicates that the Department of Education recommends this job for this program.
Not so much?
The top ten careers for workers with a bachelor's in composition and rhetoric
Take a minute to interact with this sankey diagram. Follow the top ten jobs held by composition and rhetoric graduates through to their most hired majors. Learn where it may easiest to find work. Expand the careers to explore other majors that might lead to the job that excites you the most. *For many majors, the top ten jobs don't even include half of graduates!*
Expand careers
Elementary and Middl...Writers and AuthorsSpecialized ManagersEditorsPostsecondary Teache...Technical WritersSecretaries and Admi...Education and childc...First-Line Superviso...Lawyers, and judges,...All othersThis degreeTop 10 Careers
What careers hire composition and rhetoric majors as one of their top 10?
To the left of this diagram, see all careers that hire composition and rhetoric majors as one of their top 10 majors, and on the right, see what proportion of openings for the jobs on the left are filled by composition and rhetoric majors.
Composition and RhetoricAll other degreesTechnical WritersEditorsAll other careersDegreeDegree in top 10 employed
Where can I complete this degree
Explore schools that offer rhetoric and composition degrees and certificates
You can use this table to find schools that offer this program based on location and program level offered. Each entry goes to a school page similar to this one with all our information about that school.
Understanding the columns

The school list includes a few facts about each school that give you an idea of the educational quality each school might offer:

  • Student-Faculty Ratio: A small number of students per full-time instructor suggests individual attention for each student and an up-to-date curriculum.

  • Satisfaction Rate: A high percentage of returning first-year students should correlate with satisfaction (schools call this their retention rate).

  • Repayment Rate: A high repayment rate means most alumni earn enough to make progress repaying loans within 7 years of leaving.

We also show the total enrollment for the school as measured by full-time-equivalent (FTE) students enrolled annually.

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Related Programs
Top 10 similar programs
Following are related programs, ordered by those with the highest number of completions. You can explore a full list by pressing the more details button.
  1. Speech Communication and Rhetoric
  2. Creative Writing
  3. Professional, Technical, Business, and Scientific Writing
  4. Writing
  5. Specialized Rhetoric and Composition/Writing Studies
Fewer details
Careers for composition and rhetoric majors
composition and rhetoric is part of a larger collection of programs: Writing and oral/written rhetoric. Is there a different program that's close to composition and rhetoric that might be a better match for your interests? You can use this table to see a little about the programs that fall under this umbrella. If you click on any of the table headers, that will sort the table by that column, or click on a row and see Ididio's profile for that program.
Gender
Gender of recent graduates
Of all people with any degree in rhetoric and composition earned in the last academic year, 65% were women.
Gender
Men
Women
SOURCES:
Fewer details
Completions over time
Have completions by gender changed over time, or at specific levels of education?
Award level
All levels
02K4K6K8KNumber of graduates2010201120122013201420152016201720182019
Women
Men
Context: Gender representation
How does the gender distribution in this major compare to all other majors?
60%40%0%20%40%60%80%100%WomenMen
Context: Percentage women
This major has a higher percentage of women than 63% other programs.
Distribution: salaries by gender
Does gender greatly influence your salary with this degree? The closer the bar are, the less discrepancy there is.
$46K$49K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K$250KWomenMen
Context: Salary inequity
For composition and rhetoric graduates, men have a 8% higher median salary than women, This is better than many: 91% of programs have graduates with higher salary inequities.
8%8%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Race/Origin
Race/Origin of recent graduates
Here is an overview of race/origin for all rhetoric and composition graduates from this last academic year. We found a higher percentage of international graduates in this program than in 52% of other programs.
Race/Origin
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Not Reported
International
SOURCES:
Fewer details
Completions over time
Have completions by race/origin changed over time, or at specific levels of education?
Award level
All levels
02K4K6K8KNumber of graduates2010201120122013201420152016201720182019
International
Not Reported
Multiracial
American Indian
Asian
Hispanic
Pacific Islander
Black
White
Context: Percentage of Minority Graduates
Minority students comprise a lower percentage of graduates than in 60% of other programs.