Schools, Departments & Programs


Major in English with a Concentration in Public and Professional Writing

The B.A. Major in English with a Concentration in Public and Professional Writing emphasizes the critical analysis and production of writing and written discourse in professional, academic, and civic contexts. This concentration provides English majors with a strong core of abilities in reading and writing, as well as an opportunity to build rhetorical knowledge in a variety of modes, sites, and genres of language use.

Successful completion of the Public and Professional Writing concentration will prepare students for effective participation in language-intensive professions. Its guiding aim is two-fold: 1) to foster critical literacy--the ability to see and intervene in the cultural forces that shape the conventions of language use in the many professions and fields that students will enter upon graduation; and 2) to encourage an understanding of how the expansiveness of language helps us describe the workings of written communication in different modes and contexts.


Students must complete 33 credit hours in English, with at least 21 credit hours at the 300–400 level, including:

  1. ENG L260 Introduction to Advanced Study of Literature (3 cr.), recommended within the first 9 credit hours of the major.
  2. One introductory genre course (3 cr.) approved for CASE Intensive Writing credit, chosen from
    • L203 Introduction to Drama
    • L204 Introduction to Fiction
    • L205 Introduction to Poetry
    • L206 Introduction to Prose (Excluding Fiction)
  3. Three literary history courses (9 cr.) recommended within the first 21 credit hours of the major.
    • L310 Literary History 1: Beginnings through the Seventeenth Century
    • L312 Literary History 2: Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries
    • L316 Literary History 3: Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries
  4. L371 Critical Practices (3 cr.)
  5. ENG W231 and W350.
  6. Two courses (6 cr.) in Public and Professional Writing, of which at least 3 credit hours must be at or above the 300 level, chosen from ENG L240, W240, W270, W280, W321, G302, G405, and X473 (with approval, up to 3 credit hours of X473 internship in editing may be applied to the concentration).
  7. One course (3 cr.) at the 400 level (student work in G405 or X473 above could count for this requirement).

Students must also complete the degree requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Note: W202 and W205 are not approved for inclusion in the major or minor.


Students interested in pursuing an M.F.A. in Creative Writing should consider completing the major’s concentration in creative writing. For advice in planning a course of study, students should consult their departmental advisor and the department’s website Each semester, the department publishes detailed descriptions of courses to be offered the following semester.