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Master of Arts in Professional and Technical Writing

Applying to the Program

Program Requirements

In order to apply for full admission to the PTW master’s program, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must complete your bachelor’s degree prior to your first semester of enrollment.
  • You must have earned a 3.0 cumulative GPA for your bachelor’s degree, or a 3.0 GPA in your last 60 hours of coursework.  In some cases, students whose GPAs fall below 3.0 (but not below 2.75) may be considered for conditional admission with strong writing samples and letters of recommendation; however, these students are not eligible for graduate assistantships during their first 12 hours of coursework.  Most students with low GPAs will be asked to take post-baccalaureate writing courses to bring up their averages and then reapply.

Note: As of May 2006, we no longer require applicants to submit GRE or MAT test scores.  Many studies suggest that these scores do not successfully predict the writing abilities of graduate students.

Students who meet these requirements are welcome to submit applications at any point during the year. Once accepted, you must begin coursework within one calendar year; otherwise you will be required to reapply. The sooner you complete your application, the sooner you can be admitted, advised, and get registered for courses. 

Application Procedure

1. Submit the following materials to UALR’s Graduate School:

  • Application form - this link will take you to the Admissions Login for New Users page where you can create an account and begin the application process.
  • Official transcript of baccalaureate degree (3.0 GPA minimum) or of most recent 60 hours of university work (3.0 GPA minimum). Transcripts must be sent directly to the Graduate School by the registrar of your previous university (see the mailing address below).
  • Vaccination records as required by the state of Arkansas.

Graduate School
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
2801 S. University Ave.
Little Rock, AR 72204-1099

2. Submit the following materials to the Rhetoric and Writing Department’s graduate coordinator:

  • A cover letter/statement of purpose. Tell us why the PTW master’s program is the right place for you. Describe your expectations and the plans you have for your degree.  Your cover letter should also include one or more paragraphs describing the writing samples you have chosen to send us.  What are these documents?  For what audience were they written?  What was their purpose?  What do you believe they demonstrate about your writing?  Cover letters should be approximately 2 pages long.
  • A current resume.
  • Three or four samples of your best writing. Show us that you can write for a variety of purposes and circumstances. Include at least one researched, documented essay. Include published pieces if you have them. Please make sure there are no instructor’s comments or course grades on any of the writing.

We strongly encourage you to submit your cover letter, resume, and writing samples in electronic form if at all possible (although we will accept paper copies if necessary). Please email your documents to Dr. Kuralt at kmkuralt@ualr.edu AND to Tara Walls (tlwalls@ualr.edu). You are also strongly encouraged to schedule an appointment to discuss your materials with Dr. Kuralt before submitting them to the committee for evaluation.

Note:  If you don’t have recent writing samples that you believe would be appropriate for this application, you may want to consider applying to UALR’s Graduate School as a non-degree-seeking graduate student.  You could then take up to 3 graduate-level writing courses before applying for full admission to the program.  This is also a good option if you need to work with professors who can provide strong letters of recommendation.  See our Special Admission webpage for more information.

3. Have three people who know your work as a writer (such as a professor or employer) send recommendation letters DIRECTLY to:

Dr. Karen M. Kuralt, Graduate Coordinator
Department of Rhetoric and Writing
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
2801 S. University Ave.
Little Rock, AR 72204-1099

Ask your recommenders to discuss what they know about your background in one or more of the following areas: writing ability, editing skills, research skills, critical thinking, ability to read and analyze complex books and articles, teaching or tutoring aptitude, technology proficiency, workplace communication, overall academic achievement, potential for success in a graduate program, and/or work ethic.

Keep in mind that these letters are not meant to serve as character references.  Do not request references from family members, friends, coworkers, or religious authorities unless these people have directly observed your writing, editing, or teaching skills in a professional or community setting and can evaluate your academic and professional potential objectively.   We are looking for information to help us determine whether you have the skills and attitude required to succeed in a challenging master’s-level writing program.

(Current Rhetoric and Writing Department faculty members may fill out the Rhetoric and Writing Faculty Recommendation Form.)

Note: If your recommenders work at UALR (but not in the Rhetoric and Writing Department) — or if they work outside of UALR — we prefer that their recommendations be mailed in hard copy, printed on company or school letterhead, and signed. If you need to get a recommendation in quickly to complete your application, we will accept emails, but the recommender should also send a formal letter for your permanent file.

Deadlines

The PTW Graduate Committee reads and votes on admission applications 3-4 times each semester and once in the summer. To be admitted in time for Spring 2014 registration, submit your materials by:

Sept. 20 for our Oct. 4 meeting,

Oct. 18 for our Nov. 1 meeting,

Nov. 29 for our Dec. 13 meeting — last day for spring admission; classes begin in January

Note: We usually award graduate assistantships during the late spring of each year, and most assistantships run from August to May.  If you are applying for spring admission, you likely will not be eligible for an assistantship until after your first semester.

Questions? Contact the Graduate Coordinator:

Dr. Karen M. Kuralt, (501) 569-8334, kmkuralt@ualr.edu

Updated 9.7.2013