Carnegie Mellon University

Professional Writing - Primary Major

In addition to satisfying all of the Dietrich College degree requirements for B.A. candidates, which include the General Education curriculum, Professional Writing majors must complete coursework in the following areas below.

Learn how to declare your primary major in Professional Writing.

Curriculum: 13 courses, 111 units minimum

All courses are 9.0 units each, unless otherwise noted.

Introductory Genre Writing Course (1 course, 9 units):

76-260   Intro to Writing Fiction
76-261   Intro to Writing Creative Nonfiction  
76-265   Intro to Writing Poetry
76-269   Intro to Screenwriting

PW Core Requirements (4 courses, 30 units):

76-271 Introduction to Professional & Technical Writing
76-300 Professional Seminar (3 units)
76-373 Argument
76-390 Style

Rhetoric/Language Studies Requirement (1 course, 9-12 units):

Course options include but are not limited to:

76-318 Communicating in the Global Marketplace
76-319 Environmental Rhetoric
76-325 Intertexuality
76-355 Leadership, Dialogue, and Change
76-371 Innovation in Teamwork
76-378 Literacy: Educational Theory and Community Practice
76-384 Race, Nation, and the Enemy
76-389 Rhetorical Grammar
76-476 Rhetoric of Science
76-485 The New Public Sphere
76-491 Rhetorical Analysis
76-492 Rhetoric of Public Policy

Advanced Writing/Rhetoric Requirements (4 courses, 36-48 units):

Course options include but are not limited to:

76-301   Internship (variable units)
76-302   Global Communication Center Practicum (6 units)
76-354   Watchdog Journalism
76-359   User Experience Methods for Documents            
76-360   Literary Journalism Workshop   
76-372   News Writing    
76-375   Magazine Writing            
76-378   Literacy: Educational Theory and Community Practice    
76-389   Rhetorical Grammar      
76-391   Document & Information Design
76-395   Science Writing
76-396   Non-Profit Message Creation    
76-415   Mediated Power and Propaganda           
76-425   Science in the Public Sphere      
76-474   Software Documentation            
76-476   Rhetoric of Science         
76-481   Introduction to Multimedia Design (12 units)
76-487   Web Design (12 units)
76-491   Rhetorical Analysis         
76-494   Healthcare Communications

English Electives (3 courses, 27 units):

Complete three additional courses from the English Department’s offerings.

  • Only one of the three English Electives may be at the 200 level. The remaining English Electives must be at the 300 or 400 level.
  • Two of the three English Electives must be courses that focus on the relationships between texts and their cultural and historical contexts. (We call these Text/Context courses.)
Please consult the list of courses published each semester by the Department for current offerings. English Electives may include any 200-level or above course offered by the Department. In choosing English Electives, you are encouraged to sample courses from across the Department.