outside of Storm Hall West

Department of Rhetoric & Writing Studies

Rhetoric refers to the study and uses of written, spoken, and visual language in a variety of formats and media.

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 addition to our General Education writing courses, we offer a Major, a Minor, a Certificate in Professional Writing, a Master’s Program, and an Advanced Certificate in Teaching Writing.

Across the department, we feature small classes and personalized instruction delivered by knowledgeable faculty dedicated to helping students become stronger writers, critical thinkers, communicators, 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.

The Rhetoric Society of America (RSA) Student Chapter at SDSU acknowledges that members of the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) communities are hurting due to the increasing anti-Asian hate-motivated attacks across the nation. We condemn anti-Asian violence and stand in solidarity with the survivors, victims, and their families during this challenging time. Read our full solidarity statement.

The faculty and staff of the Department of Rhetoric and Writing Studies reaffirm our support of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and its efforts to end the systemic racism that has characterized our nation since its origins.  Read our full support statement

With regard to the recent violence at the U.S. Capitol and rhetoric’s role in nonviolent deliberation, we recommend the Rhetoric Society of America’s Board of Directors’ Statement Condemning Insurrectional Rhetoric and Resulting Violence 1/6/21.

Upcoming Events & Announcements


JHR - Journal for the History of Rhetoric coverCongratulations to Glen McClish, RWS Professor and Chair, on his recent publication! Glen's article "The very breath of life: The Conversational Rhetoric of Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South" in Journal for the History of Rhetoric 15 November 2022; 25 (3): 279–302.  Read Glen's full article.

Essential Actions coverCongratulations to Ann Johns, RWS Professor Emerita, on her recent publication! Ann's textbook, "Essential Actions" has been published by the University of Michigan Press.

LinceCongratulations to Anthony Lince, RWS Lecturer, on his recent publication! Anthony's article "Stepping Back to Step Forward: A Tribute to Mike Rose", has been published in the Journal of the Council of Writing Program Administrators Vol. 45 No. 2. Read Anthony's full article.

Woman in painting gazing out windowCongratulations to Kellie Miller, RWS lecturer, on her recent publication! Kellie's article "Representations of Identity and Agency in Charlotte Brontë’s Villette" has been published in Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies Issue 18.1 (Spring 2022). Read Kellie's full article.


Important Links

The RWS Writing Mentors Program offers graduate and upper division students the opportunity to blend theory with practice. Fellows gain valuable experience in the teaching of writing while assisting students in developing the reading and writing abilities.

The Teaching Associate Program offers opportunities for financial support and teaching experience to graduate students across the disciplines. TAs are hired to teach lower division general education writing classes.

Want to stay up to date with the department? You can view the latest edition of our newsletter.

The center works with students from all disciplines to develop their writing and broaden their understanding of audience, genre, language, and context.

The student chapter of the Rhetoric Society of America (RSA) is an organization for all students who are interested in rhetoric.