Master of Arts in Professional Writing
As we're all very aware, the computer and the internet have revolutionized communications and thus the training and expected skills of communications specialists. Unlike the professional and technical writers who formerly dealt primarily with the written word in print documents, today's writers are thought of more as communications specialists with required expertise in a much wider range of skills and media. Where once it was sufficient to write clear and effective prose, it is now necessary to create and execute complex information strategies involving both visual and verbal elements and media ranging from print to on-line to multi- and social media. The goal of the M.A. in Professional Writing is to prepare students for careers as writers, communications specialists, and information designers working in this new era.
Why then do we continue to call ourselves a writing program? The answer is quite simple: While we are strongly committed to preparing students to understand, use, and be creative in current and emerging media-and we provide a range of courses to help them do so-we are equally committed to the belief that strong writing skills are foundational to both current and as-yet-to-be-dreamed-of approaches to communication.
Thus, our core program emphasizes fundamental skills in analysis and planning, writing, style and editing, and document design. Courses promote strong analysis and problem-solving skills, emphasize a research-based understanding of communication, and foster intellectual exploration and flexibility. They also provide ample opportunities to build a portfolio of professional-quality samples and to work on client and team projects that develop a range of professional skills. The core curriculum is enhanced by elective courses in a range of areas including information design for online and multimedia environments as well as more traditional courses. In sum, the program's blend of theory, research, and hands-on experience provides students with the means to become resourceful, multi-dimensional communication professionals, prepared to cope with changing and emerging technologies.
I invite you to explore our website and consider joining our community of professional writers at Carnegie Mellon. If you have questions or interests the website doesn't address, please contact the Assistant Director of Graduate Programs.