The Rhetoric and Media Studies (RMS) major requires 11 courses: at least 5 at the lower division and at least 6 at the upper division. The RMS major allows for 3 electives, 2 of which must be 100-level courses. An English course may be used only once to fulfill a particular major requirement. Transfer students majoring in RMS must take at least 6 courses in English at Drake. Students with advanced placement (A.P.) will be credited one lower-level elective toward the major.
All English, RMS, and Writing majors will be required to take five lower-division courses: a “Common Core.” These courses focus on historical and topical areas deemed essential to the responsible study of English, RMS, and Writing and are meant to foster a shared sense of disciplinary identity and to encourage department-wide dialogue, discussion, and debate about issues of significance to students and scholars of English language and media. There are slight differences between the specific requirements of RMS and the other majors.
RMS students take ENG 37 Public Voices and ENG 39 Writing Seminar as their gateway courses. They also select a course in History and Traditions and Culture and Identity, core areas shared by all majors. They also take a required lower-level course in Media Studies that is specific to the RMS major. Courses in this category focus students' attention on what it means to be producers and consumers of media. This category introduces students to vocabulary used in the field of media studies. Courses might form on a particular media form, such as TV, or they might look at a variety of forms.
With second semester sophomore standing, RMS students can register for upper-level courses. They must take 3 courses from the upper-level RMS core, which includes courses in film, theory, visual rhetorics, and more. They take the department capstone, which is required of all department majors. The other upper-level courses are electives, which can include creative writing courses, advanced topics courses, courses in literature, and more. A course outside the department can count toward toward the major with advisor approval, as can experiences like internships or travel abroad.