Academic Programs Catalog

College of Arts and Letters

Department of Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures

Undergraduate Programs
Professional Writing

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Professional Writing is a degree program for students wishing to specialize in writing as an area of expertise. Students will develop advanced writing skills with emphasis on writing in digital environments such as web authoring and multimedia writing; on writing for and in diverse public and disciplinary communities; and on editing and publishing in a variety of professional contexts. The major prepares students for careers in professional editing and publishing, technical writing, information development, communications management, web design, and web authoring. It may further prepare students for graduate work in rhetoric, writing, technical writing, the teaching of writing, and the study of culture.

Students who elect the Professional Writing major must contact the Director of Professional Writing in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures. Students should work closely with the department's faculty academic advisors to shape a program that fits their career interests and plans. Internships, management of professional writing projects, and development of a professional portfolio are all important aspects of the student’s preparation for work in the profession, either in the workplace or in graduate studies.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Professional Writing

  1. The University requirements for bachelor’s degrees as described in the Undergraduate Education section of this catalog; 120 credits, including general elective credits, are required for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Professional Writing.

    The University’s Tier II writing requirement for the Professional Writing major is met by completing one of the following courses: Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures 320, 331, or 370. Those courses are referenced in items 3. c. and 3. d. below.
  2. The requirements of the College of Arts and Letters for the Bachelor of Arts degree.
  3. The following requirements for the major:
    a. All of the following courses (13 credits):
    WRA 202 Introduction to Professional Writing 3
    WRA 210 Introduction to Web Authoring 3
    WRA 260 Rhetoric, Persuasion, and Culture 3
    WRA 360 Visual Rhetoric 4
    b. The following course (3 credits):
    WRA 455 Portfolio Seminar 3
    Credits earned in this course may not be used to fulfill requirements in item 3. d.
    c. One of the following concentrations (9 credits):
    Digital and Technical Writing
    WRA 320 Technical Communication (W) 3
    WRA 410 Advanced Web Authoring 3
    or
    WRA 420 Content Strategy 3
    WRA 415 Digital Rhetoric 3
    Writing in Communities and Cultures
    Three of the following courses:
    WRA 330 Writing Research in Communities and Cultures 3
    WRA 331 Writing in the Public Interest (W) 3
    WRA 453 Grant and Proposal Writing 3
    WRA 471 The Rhetoric of Grammar 3
    Writing, Editing, and Publishing
    WRA 370 Introduction to Grammar and Editing (W) 3
    WRA 480 Publication Management I 3
    WRA 481 Publication Management II 3
    Credits earned in any of these concentrations may not be used to fulfill requirements in item 3. d.
    d. Nine credits from the following courses. (9 credits).
    WRA 225 Introduction to Multimedia Writing 3
    WRA 290 Independent Study 3
    WRA 308 Invention in Writing 3
    WRA 320 Technical Communication (W) 3
    WRA 330 Writing Research in Communities and Cultures 3
    WRA 331 Writing in the Public Interest (W) 3
    WRA 341 Nature and  Environmental Writing 3
    WRA 355 Writing for Publication Workshop 3
    WRA 370 Introduction to Grammar and Editing (W) 3
    WRA 395 Writing Center Theory and Practice 3
    WRA 410 Advanced Web Authoring 3
    WRA 415 Digital Rhetoric 3
    WRA 420 Content Strategy 3
    WRA 425 Advanced Multimedia Writing 3
    WRA 441 Social Justice and Thetorical Practice 3
    WRA 453 Grant and Proposal Writing 3
    WRA 455 Portfolio Seminar 3
    WRA 460 Advanced Visual Rhetoric and Document Design 3
    WRA 471 The Rhetoric of Grammar 3
    WRA 480 Publication Management I 3
    WRA 481 Publication Management II 3
    WRA 482 Information and Interaction Design 3
    WRA 491 Special Topics 1 to 4
    WRA 499 International Research in Professional Writing 1 to 3
    WRA 493 Internship in Professional Writing 1 to 3
    One or two writing or design courses from outside WRA may be used with approval of the student's academic advisor. Credits earned in any of these courses may not be used to fulfill requirements in items 3. b. or 3. c.