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Rhetoric and Writing Studies (RWS) is the largest academic department at San Diego State University, as well as the only such department in San Diego and the 23-campus California State University system! Most San Diego State undergraduate students enroll in at least one writing course in RWS, and many take more. In additional to our developmental writing and math courses, our lower-division General Education sequence, our business writing course, our upper-division offerings, and our certificate programs, we offer a rapidly growing undergraduate major and minor, as well as a Master’s Program that provides advanced training in professional writing, research in rhetoric and writing, and the teaching of writing. Across the department, we feature small classes with knowledgeable faculty dedicated to helping students become stronger writers, critical thinkers, collaborators, and producers and interpreters of a wide variety of texts. We help facilitate the school-to-job transition for our majors and minors through a personalized internship program that places students in an array of organizational settings.

Glen McClish,
Professor and Chair


The Department of Rhetoric and Writing Studies is honored to have received one of six Provost’s Innovation for Excellence Awards for 2015-2016.

The award goes to departments and schools that have, through collaborative effort, implemented a new initiative that has generated momentum toward achieving one or more of the key goals outlined in San Diego State's Strategic Plan, Building on Excellence.

We earned the award for developing learning communities to support the success of Compact Scholars in required General Education American Institutions and Communication and Critical Thinking courses, in collaboration with the Department of Political Science.

View interview with RWS major Sarah Bentley

Important Links

  • Writing Center
    The center helps students at all levels and in all disciplines strengthen their academic writing abilities.  It enhances the writing instruction that students receive in their classrooms through one-on-one attention from experienced readers.
  • Writing Placement Assessment (WPA)
    All undergraduates must demonstrate competency in writing skills at the upper division level as a requirement for graduation. At San Diego State University, the Writing Placement Assessment is used to assess that competency.
  • General Math Studies (GMS)
    GMS prepares students to satisfy the CSU Entry Level Mathematics requirement and to prepare students to succeed in their GE entry level Mathematics course.


  • Teaching Associate (TA) Program
    The Teaching Associate Program offers exciting opportunities for financial support and teaching experience to graduate students across the disciplines. TAs are hired to teach one or two lower division general education writing classes.
  • LORE Journal
    LORE is an electronic journal edited by the Department of Rhetoric and Writing Studies Department at San Diego State University. The journal’s focus is on rhetoric, writing, teaching, and culture.
  • Give to RWS
    Gifts from alumni, parents, students, and other friends help the department make a lasting impact on our world. Every gift makes a difference. All donations are tax-deductible, private and secure.