Bachelor of Arts: Rhetoric and Writing Emphasis

University Requirements

General Education

UMKC Essentials is the university-wide curriculum that all undergraduate students will complete. The 30-credit hour program includes a First Year Experience course; three critical thinking courses in the areas of Arts & Humanities, Natural & Physical Sciences, and Social & Behavioral Sciences; a Culture and Diversity course; a Civic & Urban Engagement course; two courses in Written Composition and one course in Oral Communication; and a Math Pathway course. Transfer students entering UMKC will elect from the UMKC Essentials General Education Program or the Missouri Core 42 General Education Curriculum.  Academic advisors will meet with incoming transfer students to determine which option best serves the student’s educational needs. More information about General Education may be found here: https://catalog.umkc.edu/undergraduate-academic-regulations-information/general-education-requirements/

Constitution Course 

Every undergraduate student must take a course covering the United States Constitution and the Missouri State Constitution before graduation. Course options are included in the program requirements section below.

Exit Examinations

Information on exit examinations is available in the Undergraduate Academic Regulations and Information section of the catalog.

Missouri Higher Education Civics Achievement Examination

In accordance with Missouri Senate Bill 807 (section 170.013.1), 'any student entering a public institution of higher education for the first time after July 2019 who is pursuing an associate's or bachelor's degree from such institution shall successfully pass an examination on the provisions and principles of American civics with a score of seventy percent or greater as a condition of graduation from such institution'.  To satisfy this requirement at UMKC, students access the exam through the Canvas site. This requirement will be listed in the degree audit system as, 'Take State Mandated Missouri Higher Education Civics Achievement Examination', and listed on the transcript as 'Missouri Civics Examination'.   

Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from this program will:

  • Create coherent academic arguments that are built upon complex rhetorical and/or linguistic analysis.
  • Analyze the language and rhetoric of various texts and media.
  • Situate media in cultural and/or historical contexts.
  • Engage in critical conversations.
  • Present an essay in ways that reflect a sense of professional rules and conventions.

The Bachelor of Arts in English with an emphasis in Rhetoric and Writing is recommended for students interested in a broad background in the humanities with a focus in language and rhetoric and for those interested in obtaining a firm foundation for further study in graduate school. Students will receive intensive emphasis in the study of rhetoric and writing. This option is especially relevant for students considering law school and careers in communications, marketing, and business. 

To graduate with a major in English, students must achieve a grade-point average of at least 2.0 in the 36-hour program described below, but no credit will be given for courses in which the grade is below C-. No course may fulfill more than one requirement. At least 18 hours must be taken in the English Department at UMKC. Students complete a capstone project in their final year.

Program Requirements

UMKC Essentials

First Semester Experience Course (GEFSE)3
Written Communication:
ENGLISH 110Introduction to Academic Prose3
ENGLISH 225English II: Intermediate Academic Prose3
Oral Communication (choose one of the following):3
Fundamentals of Effective Speaking and Listening
Introduction to Communication
Argumentation And Debate (offered via dual credit only)
Interpersonal Communication
Math Pathway (choose one of the following):3
Mathematics For Liberal Arts
Statistical Reasoning
Precalculus Algebra
Precalculus (5 credit hours)
Any 200-level MATH or STAT course
ACT Math Subscore of 28 or higher; or SAT Math Subscore of 660 or higher
Critical Thinking in Arts & Humanities (GECRT-AH)3
Critical Thinking in Natural & Physical Sciences (GECRT-SC)3
Critical Thinking in Social & Behavioral Sciences (GECRT-SS)3
Culture & Diversity Course (GECDV)3
Civic & Urban Engagement Course (GECUE)3
Total Credits30

Constitution Course Requirement

Section 170.011.1 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, 2015, states that all candidates for a degree issued by a college or university in the state of Missouri must have “satisfactorily passed an examination on the provisions and principles of the Constitution of the United States and of the state of Missouri, and in American history and American institutions.” 

Courses at UMKC that satisfy this state requirement are:

Choose one of the following:3
The Supreme Court And The Criminal Process
U.S. History to 1877
U.S. History Since 1877
Honors American Government
American Government
Total Credits3

There are a few other ways this requirement can be satisfied for students transferring to UMKC:

  • Take an equivalent course from the list above at a regionally accredited institution.
  • Earn credit for one of the above courses through AP, IB, or CLEP.
  • Take a course that directly satisfies the Missouri Constitution Requirement at another Missouri institution.
  • Have a previous bachelors degree (or higher) from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Have an Associate of Arts degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Complete the 42 Hour Core at a Missouri institution and have it listed on the official transcript.

School of Humanities and Social Sciences Degree Requirements

Writing Intensive Course (300-level or above; satisfied in major requirements below):0
Total Credits0

Major Requirements

Students must successfully complete the major requirements below with at least 18 of the 36 required hours taken in the department at UMKC with 12 of those hours at the 300-level or above.

One of the courses taken below must be writing intensive. 

I. Introductory English Course3
Choose one of the following courses:
Myth and Literature
Foundations Of Ancient World Literature I
Introduction to Journalism
Literary Monstrosities
True Lives: Autobiographical Arts and Acts
Popular Literature
World Literature in English
Introduction To Fiction
Introduction To Poetry
The Craft of Creative Writing
Women Writing/Women Reading
Writing Tutor Training Seminar 2
Science Fiction
Asian American Literature
II. Literary Surveys12
Choose four of the following courses:
American Literature I 2
British Literature I 2
American Literature II 2
Shakespeare 2
British Literature II 2
African American Literature I 2
African American Literature II 2
Classical Literature In Translation 2
III. Rhetoric and Writing15
Choose five of the following, three of which must be at the 400-level:
Writing Tutor Training Seminar 2
Writing And The Academy
Professional and Technical Writing
Theory And Practice Of Composition
Rhetorics of New Media
Rhetorics of Public Memory
Introduction To Linguistics/Language Science
Structure Of English
History Of The English Language
Women And Rhetoric
Multimodal Writing and Rhetoric
Composing Digital Environments
Technical Communication
Girls, Literacies, and Print Culture 2
Studies in Rhetoric and Composition 1
Studies in Digital Humanities 1
External Internship
Publication Practicum
Publication Practicum
Publication Practicum
Senior Tutorial
IV. Electives6
Choose two of the following courses:
Ancient World in Cinema
Classical Literature In Translation 2
Introduction to Prehistoric and Classical Archaeology
Ancient Greek and Roman Medicine
Introduction to Screenwriting
Women in the Ancient World
American Literature I 2
Creative Writing I Fiction
Creative Writing Poetry
Literary Nonfiction
British Literature I 2
Bible As Literature
American Literature II 2
Shakespeare 2
Arthurian Legends
Modern Irish Literature
British Literature II 2
African American Literature I 2
Race and Literature
African American Literature II
Contemporary American Literature
Introduction to American Studies
Special Readings 1
Special Readings: Detective Fiction
The Novel Before 1900
Studies in Poetry
The Novel After 1900
Introduction to Latinx Literature
Old English
Histories Of Writing, Reading, And Publishing 1
Girls, Literacies, and Print Culture
Theory and Criticism in English Studies
Special Readings 1
Paleography
Classical Studies 1
Early Modern Studies 1
18th-Century Studies 1
Medieval Studies 1
19th-Century Studies 1
Studies in Authorship 1
Studies in Genre 1
20th- and 21st-Century Studies 1
Concepts of the Hero in Ancient Literature and World Cinema
Total Credits36

General Electives

Students must take elective credit hours to meet the minimum credit hour requirement for their degree, including at least 36 credit hours of coursework at the 300-level or above. The minimum required by the university is 120 credit hours, of which at least 30 credit hours must be taken at UMKC, but some degree programs require more.

General Electives51

Minimum GPA: 2.0

Total Credit Hours: 120

Tools for Planning and Fulfilling Academic Requirements

UMKC's Major Maps are detailed, semester by semester plans that lead a student to complete all degree requirements within four years.  Plans include benchmarks and critical courses by term that assist a student’s evaluation of progress and major “fit”.  In order to ensure that the appropriate courses are taken, students are encouraged to consult with the undergraduate advisor for this major. Please see the tab above to view the major map for this program.

UMKC’s Transfer Guides provide detailed guidance on recommended transfer coursework, plans of study, transfer timelines, and transfer contact information. To ensure a seamless transfer experience, students are encouraged to work with both their community college advisor and a UMKC advisor when planning their coursework.

UMKC’s PlanMyDegree ‘Audit’ degree audit system provides an individual evaluation of all degree requirements (General Education, Degree Specific, Major Specific, etc.) for students' officially recorded (Office of Registration and Records) and “what if” exploratory plans of study.  This evaluation is used to certify all graduation requirements.

UMKC’s PlanMyDegree ‘Plans’ degree planning tool enables students to develop a personalized semester by semester plan of study towards completion of degree requirements for student’s officially recorded (Office of Registration and Records) and “what if” exploratory plans of study. Update and edit your full plan to degree completion each term and confirm accuracy each semester with your Academic Advisor(s).