Carnegie Mellon University

Professional Writing Program

Professional Writing is English's most flexible program focused on the analysis, production, and research of clear and effective written, oral, and visual communication.


The Professional Writing undergraduate program blends rigorous study in rhetoric, argument, genre studies, and plain language - skills that put audience and purpose at the center of communication strategies. Our courses draw from a broad suite of options in journalism, public policy, rhetoric, document and web design, cultural studies, and global communication.*

Students who study professional writing go on to a broad range of careers in writing, communications, and information design (e.g., public relations and marketing, editing, news writing and multimedia journalism, internal and corporate communications, grant and public policy writing, social media strategy) including related fields where expertise in rhetoric, argument, and plain language are valued (e.g., law, medicine, non-profit advocacy).

Students in the Professional Writing Program can expect personal advising support through one or more internship or research experiences. As further professional support, all our students can take our 3-unit Professional Seminar course (76-300) to network with alumni and learn more about the field.  Additionally, Professional Writing majors are eligible to apply for a graduate degree through our accelerated one-year M.A. in Professional Writing (MAPW 4+1).

*If students are interested in a degree that develops skills in clear and effective written, oral, and visual communication, but want to focus on communicating scientific or technical content, they can explore our Technical Writing & Communication Program.


Declare Professional Writing

Spotlight: Chris Neuwirth

Professor Chris Neuwirth Creates A Tool to Help Students Polish Their Writing Skills

Carnegie Mellon University English Professor Chris Neuwirth is helping students learn to write clearly and think about word choices they make through the help of an online tutoring tool: Prose Style.

"Carnegie Mellon and its history and culture of collaborative interdisciplinary work just makes this the perfect place for work such as this," Neuwirth said.

Neuwirth received one of the first Simon Initiative ProSEED grants to build the initial system.

Read more about Neuwirth's work here.

Chris Neuwirth