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Department of English Rhetoric and Professional Writing

A major in Rhetoric and Professional Writing is for students preparing for careers in business, public service, law, or other professions requiring writing and reading skills. It is also suitable for those seeking careers in higher education specializing in rhetoric and composition.


UCORE  Requirement [HUM]
(1 course, 3 credit hours):

  • One of the following: Hum 101, 103, 205, 302, 304

Core (6 courses, 18 credit hours):

  • Engl 302 [M]: Introduction to English Studies
  • Engl 301: Writing and Rhetorical Conventions
  • Engl 360: Principles of Rhetoric
  • Engl 362: Rhetorics of Racism
  • One of the following:
    • Engl 370: The Making of “English”: Literature, Language and Culture Before 1600
    • Engl 371: 17th and 18th Century Transnational Literature in English
    • Engl 372: 19th Century Literature of the British Empire and the America
    • Engl 373: 20th and 21st Century Global Literatures in English.
  • One of the following:
    • Engl 460 [M]: The Scope of Rhetoric
    • Engl 461 [M]: Theory and Practice in Technical and Professional Writing (Note: Prerequisite of Engl 402 or 403 for 461)

Electives (6 courses, 18 credit hours):

  • Six courses from among the following: Engl 308, 354, 358, 361, 363, 401, 402, 405, 410, 458, 495, or any creative writing course deemed appropriate by the student and his or her advisor.


Majors in all options must have two [M] (writing intensive) courses in English. Of the 120 total credit hours required for the bachelor’s degree at WSU, forty credit hours must be in upper-division courses. For course descriptions and suggested four-year degree sequences, see the current WSU catalog.

Assessment: End-of-Program Portfolio

In all options, students are required to submit a sample paper from Engl 302 and from a senior literature course (for Creative Writing majors, a sample of writing from Engl 251 and from an advanced creative writing workshop course) and to complete an exit questionnaire before graduation.

Potential Careers

  • Author
  • Editor
  • Blogger
  • Copy editor
  • Librarian
  • Lawyer
  • Legislator
  • English Teacher
  • Fact Checker
  • Journalist
  • Lecturer
  • Professor
  • Literary Agent
  • Novelist
  • Historian
  • Biographer
  • Publicist
  • Columnist
  • Script writer
  • Playwright
  • Staffwriter
  • Copywriter
  • Writing Consultant
  • Speech Writer
  • Resume Writer
  • Cruciverbalist