Carnegie Mellon University

Customizing the Degree

PW majors must take the 4 required foundations courses, a Rhetoric/Language Studies requirement, 4 Advanced Writing/Rhetoric courses, and 3 English electives, all of which they may choose on their own based on their specific interests in the program:

Rhetoric/Language Studies Requirement (1 course)

Complete one course from designated Rhetoric courses offered and advertised each semester by the Department. Rhetoric courses focus on understanding the role of language and language practices in both personal and professional contexts. Courses emphasize the relationships between texts and their contexts and pay particular attention to textual features, meaning, processes of reading and writing, and the ways in which language practices vary over time and across situations and cultures. The courses also equip students with explicit techniques for analyzing, understanding, and exploring language practices. Rhetoric courses may also be taken as part of a PW major's requirements for 4 advanced Writing/Rhetoric courses and include but are not limited to the following list.

76-318 Communicating in the Global Marketplace
76-319 Environmental Rhetoric
76-355 Leadership, Dialogue, and Change
76-378 Literacy: Educational Theory and Community Practice
76-385 Introduction to Discourse Analysis
76-386 Language and Culture
76-387 Sociolinguistics
76-389 Rhetorical Grammar
76-419 Communication Revolution and Technologies
76-420 Process of Reading and Writing
76-428 Visual/Verbal Communication
76-451 Topics in Language Study
76-457 Topics in Language Study: Historical Linguistics
76-476 Rhetoric of Science
76-491 Rhetorical Analysis
76-492 Rhetoric of Public Policy

Advanced Writing/Rhetoric Courses (4 courses)

76-301 Internship
76-359 Planning and Testing Documents
76-360 Literary Journalism Workshop
76-372 Introduction to Journalism
76-375 Magazine Writing
76-389 Rhetorical Grammar
76-391 Document Design
76-395 Science Writing
76-397 Instructional Text Design
76-452 Patterns of English Usage
76-464 Non-Fiction Workshop: Personal Essay
76-472 Advanced Journalism
76-474 Software Documentation
76-479 Marketing, Public Relations, and Corporate Communications
76-481 Writing for Multimedia
76-487 Web Design
76-491 Rhetorical Analysis
76-494 Healthcare Communications
39-605 Engineering Design Project

English Electives (3 courses)

PW majors complete three additional courses from the English Department's offerings. Two of the three Electives must be courses that focus on the relationships between texts and their cultural and historical contexts. Courses in literature, cultural studies, rhetoric, and media studies that meet this requirement are advertised on a semester-by-semester basis. Please consult the list of courses published each semester by the Department for current offerings in this category. English Electives may include any course offered by the Department with the exception of 76-270 Writing for the Professions, and 76-272 Language in Design, both of which are designed for non-majors and overlap with 76-271 Introduction to Professional and Technical Writing. Additionally, Electives can include no more than one course at the 200 level. The remaining Electives must be at the 300 or 400 level. In choosing Electives, students are encouraged to consult with their advisors and to sample courses from across the Department.