What is the major in Professional Writing?
Professional Writing is an ideal first or second major for students who love the written word and want to learn how to write in a wide variety of public and professional contexts. Professional writing majors also learn rhetorical theories and strategies for persuading audiences and arguing effectively.
The major requires 42 credit hours, and includes four tracks that make it easy for you to tailor your studies to match your interests and aspirations. You can choose from the following tracks:
- Editing in Professional Contexts
- Digital and Technical Communication
- Public Writing and Rhetoric
- Self-designed Track
What kinds of courses can you take?
You can take courses in all the programs in English—including Creative Writing and Literature. You can also take courses in a number of other departments and programs, including Journalism, Interactive Media Studies, Linguistics, and Communication.
See Curriculum for a complete list of required and elective courses for the major.
What can you do with a major in Professional Writing?
Through your studies in this 42-credit hour, flexible program, you can
- Prepare to work as a writer or editor in business, government, education, or nonprofit organizations
- Learn to create and publish effective print and digital communications in a wide variety of genres and styles
- Develop strong persuasive skills ideal for future studies in law school or graduate school
- Participate in community- and corporate-based writing projects that provide valuable career preparation
- Develop personal and public expression for active citizenship in local and global communities
Career prospects for professional writers are expected to grow—see the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011, for projections regarding Authors, Writers, and Editors.
The strong writing and persuasive skills you will develop are considered by business leaders to be essential, as evidenced by the national study “Writing: A Ticket to Work, or a Ticket Out. A Survey of Business Leaders.”
Again in 2011 being a technical writer is listed as among the 50 Best Careers identified by U.S. News and World Report.