Bachelor of Arts | College of Arts and Science
Professional Writing is an ideal first or second major for students seeking to enter a wide range of public and professional careers. Students learn to write using digital and print media to make effective arguments and persuade audiences in business, law, government, education, and non-profit organizations. Students select from the following emphases (1) Editing, (2) Digital and Technical Communication, (3) Public Writing and Rhetoric, and (4) Self-Designed Track.
Students in the Professional Writing major choose from a wide array of required and elective courses, including many courses in other programs such as Creative Writing, Communication, Interactive Media Studies, Journalism, Linguistics, and Literature. This variety makes it easy for them to tailor their studies to match their interests and aspirations.
In a number of courses in the Professional Writing major, students work on corporate and community-based writing projects that enable them to gain valuable real-world experience and build their professional portfolios. In addition, all students have the opportunity, if they wish, to earn credit for internships as editors, media designers, and/or writers for companies and organizations.
All the writing courses in the Professional Writing major are small, ensuring that majors receive individualized attention and extensive feedback on their writing, editing, and the rhetorical effectiveness of their arguments.
Students in the Professional Writing major have access to computer classrooms (PC and Mac) equipped with high-end software for digital and print design, Web publication, image and audio editing, animation, and online development of help systems and portfolios.
The award-winning faculty in the Professional writing major are a diverse and energetic group committed to helping students pursue their interests, expand their expertise, and launch their professional careers.
There are no additional admission requirements for this program.
In this major from freshman to senior year, you may choose from a wide variety of required and elective courses focusing on many aspects of rhetoric and writing, such as classical rhetoric, multimedia composing, business communications, foundations of editing, and journalism. You will also have the opportunity to select from four tracks in the major: 1) Editing, (2) Digital and Technical Communication, (3) Public Writing and Rhetoric, and (4) Self-Designed. In each track there are many electives to choose from. In your senior year, you choose one of three options for a senior capstone course, including options where you create print and digital communications for local community partners or corporate clients.
The major will prepare you to do the following
Career prospects for professional writers are extensive and expected to continue to be so (see the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook for projections regarding authors, writers, and editors). In addition, the strong writing and persuasive skills you will develop in this major are considered by business leaders to be essential, as evidenced by the national study, "Writing: A Ticket to Work ... Or a Ticket Out."