Professional Writing

Two students engaged in conversation
 Classroom of students writing at desks
 Student and professor seated, talking
 Teacher addressing classroom
 Student seated on floor of library, reading
 Professor and students talking around a table
Students and professors talking around a table

This site includes course list information and alumni profiles. For more information about the Professional Writing major, including more detailed discussion of the curriculum, profiles of students and faculty, and internship and career placement information for Professional Writing, please see the PW Blog.

Professional Writing is an ideal first or second major for students who love to write and want to learn how to write effectively in a wide range of print and digital media.

As a Professional Writing major, you will learn rhetorical theories and strategies that will prepare you to be an excellent communicator for a variety of civic, academic, and professional careers. You will have the opportunity to engage in a number of client-based and community-based writing projects, such as creating websites, brochures, social media campaigns, essays for publication, and grant proposals. Professional writing alumni work in a variety of fields, including corporate and marketing communications, digital media, editing and publishing, education, government, health, law, and technology.

Opportunities for Majors

Professional writing prepares you to:

  • Be an excellent writer and communicator.
  • Work as a writer, editor, or communications specialist for companies and non-profit organizations in an array of professional sectors, including business, education, government, health, marketing, publishing, science, and technology.
  • Publish effective print and digital communications in a wide variety of genres and styles.
  • Develop strong persuasive skills needed in all fields but especially ideal for future studies in law school or other graduate studies.
  • Participate in writing projects for community organizations that provide valuable career preparation and that provide experience with project management and user-centered design.
  • Conduct rhetorical analysis and usability and user-experience research.
  • Develop personal and public expression and intercultural competencies for active citizenship in local and global communities.

Career prospects for professional writers are robust and expected to grow.

Overview of Curriculum

The 36-credit hour major offers a focused but flexible curriculum that allows you to tailor your studies to match your professional and academic interests and aspirations. All majors complete a core of five courses and then choose one of five tracks to specialize in:

  • Digital and Technical Communication
  • Editing in Professional Contexts
  • Intercultural Rhetoric and Writing
  • Public Writing and Rhetoric
  • Self-designed

In addition to Professional Writing courses, as a PW major you have the opportunity to take and have count in your major many courses from other programs, including Creative Writing, Interactive Media Studies, Journalism, Linguistics, Literature, Media and Culture, and Strategic Communication. More information can be found on the curriculum page.

PW Contact

Tim Lockridge, Director of Professional Writing