Applying to the Writing & Rhetoric Program

Program Requirements

We welcome your enrolment in the Writing & Rhetoric Program (W&R) at Innis College, on U of T’s St. George Campus. This is a minor program, requiring a total of 4.0 credits for completion.

You can combine your minor in W&R with almost any other program or academic discipline, as the skills gained here are foundational to your academic and career success. 

Entry requirements and enrolment instructions

Completion requirements

  • 4.0 credits, including 1.0 credit at the 300/400-level. There is no specialist or major designation available.
  • No more than a 0.5 transfer credit may be counted towards the program.
  • For the most up-to-date completion requirements, check the Faculty of Arts & Science Calendar.

Frequently Asked Questions

Have you ever tried to persuade someone through speaking or writing to change their mind or behaviour? Then you were using the art of rhetoric. Although the term is sometimes used negatively to refer to empty words or style over substance, rhetoric is an ancient Greek discipline that is relevant and useful today.

Rhetoric can help us recognize and resist unethical persuasion such as propaganda and fake news that others may use to manipulate us. Rhetoric is a powerful tool to help us make decisions about who and what to believe. Rhetoric can also help us achieve our own persuasive goals – whether we are trying to convince an employer to hire us or advocating for environmental rights or social justice — and guide us to communicate both effectively and ethically.

Today the study of rhetoric includes analyzing language in the broadest sense of the word (written but also multimedia) and how language works to create and influence identities, ideologies, narratives, tropes, ideas, and the effects of these in a wide range of contexts: politics, law, science, the social world, economics, business, art, religion, journalism, fiction, history, and architecture, among others.

A better understanding of rhetoric and rhetorical tools can help you become more successful in your academic journey, your career — and throughout your life.

Whereas the English program focuses on literary criticism (writing about literature), W&R courses include the study of non-fiction texts as well writing a variety of genres, including creative writing, literary non-fiction, and business and professional writing.

  • Combine it with a major/specialist in another discipline to enhance your communication skills.
  • Pursue post-secondary degrees in rhetoric, professional writing, law, medicine, communications, management, creative writing, journalism, and media studies, to name a few possibilities.
  • Be more confident in your professional workplace because of the writing skills you’ve acquired in the program.

Check W&R Scholarships to learn more. If you are an Innis College student looking for financial help, the College also has a friendly financial advisor who can help you to access info about student loans, scholarships, budgeting, and managing your finances.

Innis College students contact:

If you are registered with another U of T college, please contact your college registrar’s office for help.

You need 4.0 completed credits (generally completed during your first year) from any discipline.

  • 4.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) from the list of program course offerings. Find these in the Faculty of Arts & Science Calendar.
  • You must choose at least 2.5 of the 4.0 FCEs from the W&R courses.
  • At least 1.0 of the 4.0 full-course equivalents taken for the minor must be at the 300 or 400 level.
  • For detailed completion requirements, please check the Faculty of Arts & Science Calendar.




See courses listed under Critical Analysis and Reasoning, Workplace Writing and Media, and Language and Rhetoric. in the Faculty of Arts & Science Calendar. There may be other courses not included on this list that may be acceptable. Please email the W&R program director with a specific course outline attached to your inquiry. That course must reflect the themes of the W&R program.

With a few exceptions, they are the same as the prerequisites for entry to the program: 4.0 completed credits (from any discipline).

Often, yes. Please contact the program coordinator at first. Please note that no more than 0.5 FCE (i.e., one half or “H” credit) transfer credit can be used toward W&R completion requirements. Only transfer credits coded WRR or JEI may be used to replace 0.5 FCE of the required 2.5 WRR course credits.

Enrol on ACORN during the A&S program enrolment period. Only students who enrol in the program prior to the course enrolment period will have priority enrolment in select WRR courses.

Yes, if you have the course prerequisites. Innis’s courses fill very quickly. A “P” indicator is on several (but not all) WRR Writing & Rhetoric courses. This “P” indicator reserves some of our courses for program students. The “P” falls away in early August of each year. At that point, any student who has the prerequisites may enrol in the courses.

Yes, these are maintained through ACORN.

The Innis College Library has dedicated W&R print and periodical collections. You can get research assistance too from the friendly Innis librarian.

You also have access to the Innis Writing Centre, where a one-to-one consultation can help with any assignment or paper. 

Have a question about W&R?

Need more info about Innis College’s Writing & Rhetoric Program? Not sure which courses are right for you? Wondering how you can combine W&R to your advantage with your major program? We can help with any questions. Contact our program coordinator, Jannie Chien.

Check the A&S Calendar

The Faculty of Arts & Science Calendar is your definitive guide to up-to-date info on program requirements and courses, including the W&R Program. Check out the handy user’s guide, terminology section, and A-Z program listing.

Explore W&R courses

Are you interested in social justice? There’s a W&R writing course made for you. What about learning how to communicate strategically in business? You’ve come to the right place. Looking to discover more about the persuasive power of social media? You’ll find what you’re looking for here, as well as a wide range of other exciting W&R courses.