The Department of English offers graduate work leading to the Master of Arts in Writing and the Master of Science in Writing degrees with specializations in Book Publishing and Technical/Professional Writing. The 48-credit M.A./M.S. in Writing is designed for students who are prepared to undertake advanced work in the field. The program provides a range of courses in technical and professional writing and in book publishing. The motives and destinations of the students in the program vary, but the focus on writing to earn a living will attract those who wish to make writing a career.
The M.A./M.S. in Book Publishing and Technical/Professional Writing programs have rolling admissions which follow the University's admission deadlines as follows: April 1st for Fall admission only; Jan 3rd for those also applying for both Fall admission and a Graduate Assistantship; Sept. 1st for Winter; Nov. 1st for Spring; and Feb. 1st for Summer.
Please note that all Graduate Assistanship applications, including Technical and Professional Writing, can only be accepted from fall term applicants, who must meet the January 3 deadline. Graduate Assistantships in Publishing are awarded only for one year, and only in the second year of the program; the deadlines for application will be announced within the program annually; and receiving such an appointment is conditional on the appointee remaining for the entire coming school year.
Admission to graduate study is granted on the basis of evidence of suitable preparation and the probability of success in the intended field of study. In both Book Publishing and Technical/Professional Writing, strong writing skills are considered central. Applicants do not need to have a previous degree in English or Writing, but must hold a B.A. or B.S. degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Applicants must also submit the following:
You will be asked to upload your writing samples and optional material such as a C.V. or resume in one of the following supported file types: PDF, DOC, DOCX, RTF, or TXT.
Note: Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are not required for admission to the M.A. in Writing or the M.S. in Writing program.
For technical/professional writing and book publishing, the department requires a minimum of 28 graduate credits in writing. The remainder of the student's program may, with the approval of the adviser, include coursework in fields related to writing.
In every case, the student's program must be approved by the adviser and the Chair of the M.A./M.S. in Writing Committee. The student will choose between two tracks: technical/professional writing and book publishing.
Technical and Professional Writing Specialization
Students typically will complete 16 core credits (4 courses), 16 elective credits (4 courses), and 16 credits (4 courses) in a specialization that may involve coursework in another discipline (e.g., Management, Marketing, ISQA).
Students will be required to submit a final project in addition to completing their course work. This project typically will be a portfolio of their work demonstrating competence at a professional level but, with adviser approval, may be a single, substantive work.
Note: core courses include Mgmt 512, Organizational Management, or an alternate adviser-approved business course, which are offered through the School of Business Administration. Students may substitute Wr 560 Introduction to Book Publishing for Mgmt 512.
Electives include seminars and workshops on a variety of topics. Writers are encouraged to supplement their core courses in technical/professional writing with electives from creative writing, nonfiction writing, or literature. Adviser-approved courses from outside the department may also count as electives.
Note: the M.S. option does not require students to demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English. In cases where a student does opt to demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English, the M.A. in Writing: Technical and Professional Writing will be awarded.
Core Courses (16 Credits)
Wr 560: (may also be replaced with an alternate graduate business course with adviser approval).
Electives (16 Credits)
|Writing and Conference
|Selected Topics in Writing
|Writing Computer Documentation
|Desktop Publishing II
Wr 510: Selected Topics in Writing (4) (Topics vary, including, e.g., Technical Publications Project Management, Writing for Presentations, Information Technology for Writers, Multimedia for PT Writers, Managing Web Communications, International Aspects of PTW, History of Business and Technical Writing, Legal Issues for Technical Writers, Public Relations Writing in Technical Industries, and many others. Consult the Bulletin for each quarter’s offerings.)
Note: Students needing training in relevant software are encouraged to look for the Wr 510 Trends series offered in Framemaker, RoboHelp, Adobe Creative Suite, and others.
Specialization Tracks (16 Credits)
Students will select a specialization track in consultation with the program adviser. Possible specializations include publications management (e.g., Introduction to Book Publishing, Book Editing, Book Design & Production, Book Marketing, Book Selling, Publications Project Management, PT Editing, Workshops in Publication Technologies, Writing Seminars, Selected Topics, Internship), technical communication (e.g., Writing Computer Documentation, Writing for Presentations, Information Technology for Writers, PT Editing, Writing Seminars, Selected Topics, Internship).
Additional specializations outside of technical/professional writing include nonfiction (i.e., four courses from the nonfiction strand chosen in consultation with the adviser) and creative writing (i.e., four courses from the creative writing strand chosen in consultation with the PTW adviser).
Possible specializations outside the field of writing include business administration (management, marketing/public relations), communication (speech), computer science, environmental sciences and resources, and information systems. Students are encouraged to enhance their professional development by specializing in a series of courses that will create advantages in employment opportunities. Students will identify possible specializations in consultation with the program adviser and with an appropriate faculty adviser from the related discipline.
In consultation with the School of Business Administration, for example, M.S. advisers have identified the following series of courses that would well serve technical communicators in the workforce:
Total Credit Hours: 48
Book Publishing Specialization
Students typically will complete 20 core credits (5 courses), 16 elective credits (4 courses) in writing, and 12 elective credits (3 courses) that may involve coursework in another discipline with Adviser’s approval. Of the 28 elective credits, candidates are expected to take a total of eight (8) credits working at Ooligan Press in either or both Wr 574 Publishing Studio or Wr 575 Publishing Lab.
The final project, in addition to completing the coursework, will be a portfolio of work demonstrating competence at a professional level, but with adviser approval, may be a single, substantive work. Upon completion and delivery of the final project or portfolio to the student's orals committee, a topic will be assigned by the student's adviser for a final paper of approximately ten pages to be delivered within 10 days to each member of the committee.
The student will take an oral exam in defense of the final project and final paper. Work included in a portfolio will be representative of that done in each course, and appropriate to it, but may otherwise focus in greater detail on one or more areas of study. For instance, the portfolio may include samples of editorial work, query letters for fiction and nonfiction books, book marketing plans, book design proposals and finished designs, research and writing on issues in contemporary publishing. Other possibilities are negotiable with the assigned graduate adviser in publishing.
Core Courses (20 credits)
|Introduction to Book Publishing
|Book Design and Production
|Book Marketing and Promotion
|Intellectual Property and Copyright
Electives (28 credits)
28 credits from other writing courses, from literature courses, or from another discipline.
Students earn eight (8) of their elective credits by participating in the work of Ooligan Press, a small trade publishing house. Students work in groups to review, accept, and edit manuscripts; design the interior and the exterior of books; send books to press; and market the books to booksellers, libraries, and other outlets.
Note: the M.S. option does not require students to demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English. In cases where a student does opt to demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English, the M.A. in Writing: Book Publishing will be awarded.
Total Credit Hours: 48