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Rhetoric is the study and practice of ethical persuasion. This ancient discipline brings enduring currency through the ages to the marketplace and civic life to engage today's global community. A major or second major in Rhetoric is ideal if you are interested in law or graduate school, a career in politics, or any vocation where argument and persuasive strategies and skills are important.

Career Fields


  • Civil or corporate law practice
  • Attorney specializing in criminal law
  • Trial lawyer in a large or small firm
  • State government agencies and offices (e.g., State Attorney General office)
  • Federal government agencies that make and enforce regulations (e.g, EPA, Civil Rights Office, Immigration)
  • Law enforcement (e.g., Federal Marshall, FBI, Homeland Security)
  • Paralegal

Strategies: Join Pre-Law Society at Duquesne; meet with pre-law advisor in the Political Science department; apply for government internships; research the Duquesne post-graduate paralegal certificate program.


  • Political campaign manager (national, state and local candidates)
  • Speech writer for campaigns and elected officials
  • Staffer for elected public official (e.g., Congress, State Legislator, Governor, Mayor)
  • Political party staff (National, State and local)
  • Interest groups seeking legislation at state and national levels

Strategies: Become active in public and community programs; search DuqCareerLink for posted PA internships in Harrisburg; play leadership roles  in student political organizations and political party groups (e. g., Young Republicans, Young Democrats); volunteer and/or work  part-time job in political campaign; volunteer in advocacy programs and action groups (e.g., Human Rights, Green  Energy).


  • Non-governmental organization ( NGO) (e.g.,  World Vision, Doctors without Borders)
  • Private foundations
  • Lobbyists
  • Action groups
  • Charitable organizations
  • Community organizer

Strategies: Take on leadership roles in on-campus advocacy groups (e.g., Animal Welfare Group; Lambda; Amizade); research organizations on the Internet to determine focal interests; do an internship with an advocacy group; become active in local advocacy groups and chapters of national/international groups.

Non-Profit Development

  • Development Director for charity or foundation
  • Alumni Fund-raising for a university
  • Grant-writing
  • Foundation relations
  • Fundraising event planner
  • Social networking in marketing non-profit

Strategies: Attend the annual spring Non-profit Career Fair co-sponsored by Duquesne; gain experience marketing and fundraising for campus organizations;  volunteer as a fundraiser for local charities and groups; intern at event planning firm; develop a strong portfolio of writing; take courses and gain experience in writing for the Internet; volunteer to develop materials for community and non-profit organizations; work with college magazines, radio and TV.

Public and Community Relations

  • Copywriter of press releases and statements in public relations firm
  • Risk and crisis communication for a company or organization
  • Media director for legislative representative or political campaign
  • Consumer affairs departments of government agencies

Strategies: Intern in PR firms and ad agencies; attend the Duquesne Job and Internship Fair every semester; write copy for promotions and PR of student organizations;  develop excellent communication and diplomatic skills; perfect your public speaking and writing skills; join and take leadership roles in student organizations; attend the regular government and the non-profit  job and internship fairs sponsored by Duquesne.

Public and Consumer Affairs

  • Government agencies (federal, state, local)
  • Corporate government relations departments
  • Tourism councils and chambers of commerce
  • Community affairs for professional, sports, and charitable organizations
  • World affairs, political and non-governmental organizations
  • Researcher for legislators or community action committees

Strategies: Intern with government agencies; participate in community action groups; volunteer in political campaigns in publicity areas; consider a minor or take coursework in Political Science or International Relations; work for election campaigns or legislators; develop strong presentation and persuasion skills; build excellent writing and communication skills in a variety of media.