(Students may select the literature-based M.A. or the M.A. track in Professional Writing and Editing to complete their degree. On this page are the requirements for the PWE track M.A.)
The PWE track of the English M.A. offers students the opportunity to learn the principles and practices—the techne—of writing for organizations, institutions, governments, and businesses.
Students in the program take courses in document design, technical editing, publication management, and language studies. All of these courses draw on both traditional and modern theories of rhetoric, and all offer hands-on experience—using cutting-edge software tools—in the creation and crafting of professional documents.
Students are encouraged to explore a variety of approaches to the study of professional writing and editing. For some, the degree will be useful in gaining employment upon graduation; the degree also will make excellent preparation for the increasing number of Ph.D. programs in professional and technical communication.
Students must have an undergraduate English major or other preparation judged satisfactory by the Department and an unrecalculated grade point average in undergraduate study of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale).
Applicants for the M.A. are required to submit a brief (750-1000 words) statement of purpose outlining their reasons for wishing to obtain the PWE track of the M.A. in English and how that degree fits into their professional goals.
To complete the PWE M.A. track. students must complete 30 semester hours of credit, as follows (exceptions must have prior approval by the PWE Program Director and the English Department Chair):
Required courses (21 s.h.)
Choose three (9 s.h.)
Thesis or Internship/Portfolio (3 s.h)
All PWE M.A. track students must complete either the graduate-level Professional Writing Internship and Professional Portfolio (6898) or a Master's thesis (6999).
The portfolio consists of selected work written during graduate coursework or as part of a professional internship. Most of the writing will come from class assignments; however, up to 15 pages of personal writing done outside of the classroom may be included. The student will present the portfolio to a faculty review committee no later than the eighth week of the semester in which s/he plans to graduate.
Students in the Professional Writing and Editing track may count up to three semester hours of credit earned in their professional internship toward the 30 semester hour requirement.
The thesis option is designed especially for, but not limited to, students planning to pursue a doctorate. Students choosing this option must select a committee consisting of a thesis director and two additional graduate faculty members. This committee must approve a thesis proposal before the student can register for thesis credit. Students must demonstrate through the thesis a familiarity with appropriate sources and an ability to interpret the material and properly document their research.
Students selecting the thesis option may count up to three semester hours of thesis credit toward their total of 30 semester hours of graduate coursework.