B.A. in Professional Writing

B.A. in Professional Writing

The Baccalaureate Degree Program in Professional Writing is intended to prepare students to write effectively in a variety of workplace and academic settings. Writing well requires both skill and savvy. In the Professional Writing program, we teach you both. The program interweaves real-world, practical writing experiences with theories about writing so that students come to understand and execute the complexities involved in good writing. 

To become effective writers in any situation, and especially as technologies and genres change, students must understand and implement the fundamental concerns of understanding a writer's particular audience, purpose, and context.

Today, rhetoric and professional writing involve so much more than speaking persuasively, since communication and persuasive language take place in so many forms and venues, from the street to the internet.

Degree Overview

Faculty members in the Professional Writing degree program work closely with students to coordinate their studies and to prepare them for the professional world or graduate study. The program combines a strong liberal arts foundation with practical writing experience. Students will take courses in article writing, business and technical writing, editorial processes, journalism, literature, nonfiction and creative writing, rhetorical theory, writing for digital media, web writing, and writing tutoring.

These courses combine theoretical knowledge with practical writing experience to give students a broad foundation in effective language use. The curriculum exposes students to a wide range of writing situations in order to promote proficiency in composition, research techniques, problem solving, critical thinking, and negotiating workplace contexts. Methods of instruction include workshops, peer conferencing, and collaborative writing.  

Complementary Minors and Certificates

Enhance your degree with one of the college’s academic minors; the following are recommended for Professional Writing majors.

  • Business
  • Civic & Community Engagement
  • Communication Arts & Sciences
  • Entrepreneurship & Innovation
  • Global Studies
  • Information Sciences & Technology
  • Natural Science
  • Spanish
  • Women’s Studies

Internships, Research, and Application

The Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing offers students many specialized writing and editorial experiences, including writing for the student literary magazine Shadows of Birds, serving as a tutor at the campus Writing Center, writing for the campus news magazine Berks Beat, conducting community-based research projects, and attending lectures by guest speakers from the professional world.

Students majoring in Professional Writing experience workplace writing through an internship to learn about the demands of workplace-specific writing tasks and to help them make decisions about career paths and prepare for their first jobs. Internships are available in assorted professional fields including technical writing, reporting, editing, public relations, tutoring, communications, and journalism. Students have the opportunity to select an internship from a variety of settings, including publishing companies, newspapers, high-tech companies, engineering firms, health organizations, educational and research institutions, government, and non-profit corporations.

Students complete the internship with published documents for portfolio inclusion and potential sources of recommendations for future professional positions. In the program’s capstone course, students develop a polished portfolio of their work and prepare for the job search and/or graduate school applications.

After Graduation

After completing the Professional Writing degree program, students will be well prepared for graduate and professional schools. Some students go on to earn an M.A. or Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition, Journalism, or other writing- related programs, while others pursue a J.D. in Law or an M.F.A. in Creative Writing.

Students are also prepared for professional careers in Marketing, Publishing, Journalism, Freelancing, Advertising, Teaching, Broadcasting, Public Relations, Business Administration, and Corporate Communications.