The Composition and Cultural Rhetoric Doctoral Program (CCR)
Composition and Cultural Rhetoric has historically drawn upon many disciplines in the production of its research and pedagogical goals. For this reason, many CCR graduate students will consider completing a graduate certificate in a specific field, such as Women and Gender Studies, in the process of completing their PhD. The CCR Graduate Office has a history of working with students to make the completion of certificate programs possible.
In deciding to pursue a certificate, CCR students are strongly encouraged to talk to both the Graduate Director as well as to their Exam and/or Dissertation Director to fully explore the goals of such an effort. While there might be research-based reasons to decide to take courses outside of the CCR program, it is not necessarily the case that completing a certificate will translate into a stronger professional profile. Ideally, a student’s dissertation will be framed in a way that insures the opportunity to research and understand many of the topics offered by a certificate program. And, ultimately, it is the PhD research that will make the strongest case about a student’s intellectual and pedagogical commitments.
If after such discussions, a student decides to pursue a graduate certificate, several additional issues need to be kept in mind. While there is no firm rule, typically graduate certificates require up to four courses/twelve credit hours. CCR students are allowed up to nine credits outside the department over the course of their graduate career. For this reason, students will have to decide what balance of internal and external course credits best support their research and professional goals. Also, where it becomes necessary to take more courses outside the department than the allowed by the curriculum, the student will have to petition the graduate committee for approval. Here the student will need to show that the outside credits meet the overarching goals of the CCR PhD program. In such cases, the student should consult in with the Director of the Graduate Program.
For additional information on graduate certificate programs, please consult with the particular academic unit. For questions about completing a graduate certificate as a CCR student, please consult with the CCR’s Graduate Director.