Customizing the Degree-Department of English - Carnegie Mellon University

Elective Options and Suggested Courses

The strong foundational skills in rhetoric, writing, and document design provided in the 6 core courses of the MAPW are complemented and extended through 6 student-selected electives that allow you to personalize the degree to support your chosen career path. The categories listed below include those career paths most frequently pursued by MAPW students, and the linked charts provide relevant job titles and suggestions for specific elective courses most relevant to each path.  

Career and Concentration Options

The categories listed below include those career paths most frequently pursued by MAPW students and suggestions for elective courses most relevant to each. Because each student's path through the program is somewhat different, the recommendations are not intended as a template or mandate but simply as guidance on courses to be given particular consideration. Your MAPW advisor will work directly with you to consider and refine your selection and help you tailor your course of study to match your professional and academic goals. 

Note that the list is not exhaustive and that many courses - for example, Web Design and Communicating in the Global Marketplace - appear on most of the lists. The reason for this is the obvious one that these courses are broadly relevant and will enhance the skills and credentials of any professional writer. Also note that your elective options can be chosen from any category or combination. A student interested in writing for print media about science and technology, for example, would be likely to choose courses from both relevant lists. [return to top]

 

* Fulfills Rhetoric requirement   

** Fulfills Research Methods requirement.


Writing for New Media

Most Recommended
Elective Course Options

Additional Options

Relevant Job Titles

  • Web Designer / Writer
  • Web Content Provider
  • Information Architect
  • Information Designer
  • Multimedia Specialist
  • Interactive Media specialist
  • Web Design**
  • Writing for Multimedia
  • Communication Revolutions*
  • Communicating in the Global Marketplace *
  • Visual/Verbal Communication*
  • Processes of Reading & Writing *
  • Language & Culture*
  • Instructional Text Design**
  • Planning & Testing Documents**
  • Human Computer Interaction Methods **
  • Public Relations, Marketing, & Corporate Communications
  • Publishing in Information Age
  • Research for Writers**
  • Journalism**
  • Language, Power & the Law
  • Narrative & Argument
  • Basic Typography – School of Design; requires instructor permission
  • Discourse Analysis** or Sociolinguistics*
  • Multimedia Authoring I and II

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Writing for Print Media

Most Recommended
Elective Course Options

Additional Options

 

Relevant Job Titles

  • Reporter
  • Editor
  • Copy writer/copy editor
  • Journalist
  • Staff Writer
  • Magazine Writer
  • Freelance Writer
  • Managing Editor
  • Contemporary Journalism**
  • Advanced Journalism**
  • Web Design**
  • Rhetoric & Public Policy*
  • Processes of Reading & Writing *
  • Magazine Writing
  • Literary Journalism
  • Publishing in the Information Age
  • Science Writing
  • Environmental Rhetoric
  • Research for Writers**
  • Narrative & Argument
  • Narrative Theory*
  • Communication Revolutions*
  • Language & Culture *
  • Writing, Advocacy & Public Policy
  • Discourse Analysis** or Sociolinguistics*
  • Language, Power & the Law
  • Planning & Testing Documents**
  • Public Relations / Marketing

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Technical Writing

Most Recommended
Elective Course Options

Additional Options

 

Relevant Job Titles

  • Technical Writer or Editor
  • Instructional Designer
  • Software Documentation Specialist
  • Documenatation Manager
  • Publications Manager
  • Knowledge Manager
  • Software Documentation
  • Web Design**
  • Planning & Testing Documents**
  • Instructional Text Design**
  • Processes of Reading & Writing*
  • Communication Revolutions*
  • Computer Programming  – 15-100, 15-105 or 15-111
  • Human Computer Interaction Methods **
  • Writing for Multimedia
  • Rhetoric of Science*
  • Environmental Rhetoric(risk communication) *
  • Product Design
  • Communicating in Global Marketplace*
  • Language & Culture*
  • Research for Writers**
  • Science Writing
  • Visual/Verbal Communication*
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Multimedia Authoring I and II

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Science or Healthcare Communication

Most Recommended
Elective Course Options

Additional Options

 

Relevant Job Titles

  • Science Writer
  • Science Reporter / Editor
  • Healthcare Writer or Reporter
  • Research Communications Specialist
  • Grant / Proposal Writer
  • Technical Writer
  • Web Design**
  • Rhetoric of Science*
  • Science Writing
  • Healthcare Communication
  • Planning & Testing Documents**
  • Processes of Reading & Writing*
  • Environmental Rhetoric*
  • Statistics
  • Biology/Chemistry
  • Communicating in Global Marketplace*
  • Product Design
  • Leadership, Dialogue & Change*
  • Language & Culture*
  • Public Relations, Marketing, & Corporate Communications
  • Communications Revolutions
  • Writing for Multimedia
  • Research for Writers**
  • Multimedia Authoring I and II

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Public & Media Relations / Corporate Communications

Most Recommended
Elective Course Options

Additional Options

 

Relevant Job Titles

  • Copywriter
  • PR specialist
  • Media Relations specialist
  • Writer/editor
  • Internal Communications specialist
  • External Communications Specialist
  • Corporate Relations
  • Events Planner
  • Public Relations, Marketing, and Corporate Communications
  • Web Design**
  • Communicating in the Global Marketplace*
  • Processes of Reading & Writing *
  • Language, Power, and the Law
  • Writing for Multimedia
  • Environmental Rhetoric * (risk communication)
  • Narrative & Argument
  • History of Print Culture
  • Contemporary Journalism**
  • Advanced Journalism**
  • Sociolinguistics*
  • Discourse Analysis**
  • Language & Culture*
  • Argument*
  • Magazine Writing
  • Research for Writers**
  • Writing, Advocacy & Public Policy
  • Publishing in Information Age
  • Narrative Theory*

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Editing & Publishing

Most Recommended
Elective Course Options

Additional Options

 

Relevant Job Titles

  • Copyeditor
  • Editor /assistant editor
  • Managing editor
  • Acquisitions assistant / editor
  • Marketing specialist
  • Promotion & Sales specialist
  • Freelance Editor
  • Web Design**
  • Processes of Reading and Writing*
  • Editing & Publishing (permission only)
  • Public Relations / Marketing / Corporate Communications
  • Argument (proposal and grant writing)*
  • Publishing in the Information Age
  • History of Print Culture
  • American English*
  • Visual/Verbal Communication*
  • Narrative & Argument
  • Narrative Theory*
  • Language, Power & the Law
  • Communicating in Global Marketplace*
  • Literary Journalism
  • Magazine Writing
  • Basic Typography (School of Design -- permission only)
  • Letterpress & Bookbinding (Design -- permission only)
  • Literature & Cultural Studies

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Policy & Non-Profit Communication

Most Recommended
Elective Course Options

Additional Options

 

Relevant Job Titles

  • Grants / Proposal Writer
  • Media Relations Specialist
  • Internal or External Communications Specialist
  • Writer / Editor
  • Outreach Coordinator
  • Development Writer
  • Rhetoric & Public Policy*
  • Argument*
  • Web Design**
  • Writing, Advocacy & Public Policy
  • Public Relations, Marketing & Corporate Communication
  • Leadership, Dialogue & Change*
  • Language & Culture*
  • Environmental Rhetoric*
  • Communicating in Global Marketplace*
  • Processes of Reading & Writing*
  • Language, Power & the Law
  • Science Writing
  • Narrative & Argument
  • Narrative Theory*
  • Rhetoric of Science*
  • Journalism**
  • Writing for Multimedia
  • Research for Writers**
  • Healthcare Communication

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