Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What is the difference between a Certificate and a Concentration?
A: The requirements of both the Rhetorical Leadership Concentration and Certificate are identical. The two technical terms are used by the Graduate School to indicate whether the Rhetorical Leadership program was completed as part of a degree sequence (concentration) or as a stand-alone credential (certificate).

Question: I have a master’s degree. Why should I pursue a Graduate Certificate in Rhetorical Leadership?
A: If your graduate degree is outside the Communication field or even outside the Rhetoric specialty within Communication, this program offers you the chance to develop a range of approaches to contemporary leadership problems from a humanities perspective. These rhetorical theories and skills are valuable complements to one’s advanced content mastery as they are applicable across the various areas in which one might be called to lead (e.g., education, business, health care, social advocacy, non-profit management). In addition to learning new skills, program participants attest to their improved capacity to identify and take advantage of connections among their other sets of skills.

If you already have a graduate degree in Rhetoric generally, you might consider pursuing the Certificate because it offers a coherent, integrated sub-specialty that deals specifically with how rhetoric, decision-making, and contemporary leadership challenges interact. The coordinated courses provide a sustained opportunity to explore the ways in which this approach differs from leadership training based in the social sciences or military and is practically applicable to a wide variety of situations.

Question: How long does it take to complete the Rhetorical Leadership Certificate?
A: It is possible to complete the Graduate Certificate in Rhetorical Leadership in two years, if the right combination of required classes is offered in that time frame. Due to other curricular demands on the RL faculty’s time, however, sometimes the required classes for the program may be scheduled so that they are spread across a three-year cycle. There is a time limit of three years from initial enrollment for completion of the certificate program. If one is pursuing the Rhetorical Leadership program in conjunction with another graduate degree, one has the same time limit to complete the program as one has to complete that degree.

Question: Are there any options for distance learning?
A: The Graduate Certificate is not offered online at this time.

Question: I already have completed some graduate-level coursework at another school. Can I transfer credits?
A: A maximum of 3 credits may be transferred in to count toward the Certificate Program’s required 15 credits. Courses will be considered for transfer into the Certificate Program only if the applicant can provide ample, acceptable evidence that the course taken was substantially the same as one of the UWM courses that constitute the Certificate Program. The Rhetorical Leadership Committee will make the final decision in such cases.