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Online Professional Writing Courses

Curriculum Details

41 credit hours required in the major

The online professional writing courses in the Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing and Communication program feature a balance of topics in writing, rhetoric, communication, and the liberal arts. This broad-based approach to the curriculum means you’ll build expertise across disciplines, learning to write and communicate in a variety of contexts and environments.

An optional internship course is also available for those interested in gaining real-world field experience while earning their degree. Most students complete the online bachelor’s degree in professional writing and communication in two to four years.

Written Communication Core


This course is an introductory level course for students interested in journalism. The course introduces students to markets, styles, and audiences for non-fiction writing, focusing on writing of articles for all print journalism.

The course may be repeated once for credit.

This course is designed to introduce students interested in majoring in Professional Writing and Communication to this field of study. Topics covered in the course include: defining professional writing and its career paths, exploring trends and scholarship in professional writing, creating and keeping a professional writing portfolio, and planning a career path in professional writing.

This course is open to any students who have an interest in professional writing and is a required course for all Professional Writing and Communication majors.

The analysis, interpretation, presentation, and effective writing of letters, memos, reports, and other types of business documents.

This course deals with the impact of culture on human experience. Topics include similarities and differences in personality, emotion, cognition, development, mental health, and interpersonal behavior across cultures.

This course provides students with an introduction to and practice in professional editing. The course will expose students to topics including, but not limited to, editing symbols and techniques, editing for layout and design, and editing for publication.
This class introduces students to the theory and practice of new media and asks how such technologies have changed the realities of writing creatively, academically, and professionally. We will explore questions like the history, definition, and characteristics of new media; the nature of hypertext and its implications for the writing process; the integration of text with sound and graphics; and the implications of digital media for civil society and civic engagement.

Written Communication Core (Select 6 credits of the following)


A course designed to emphasize how public relations and other media professionals gather, produce, and distribute material in a modern society. This course acquaints students with both why and how to write for a variety of contexts such as new media, social media and public relations.

This course is open to students who work on the student newspaper and/or the student literary magazine.

This course is for all students who are interested in writing literary non-fiction. Assigned readings and students written work will form the basis of this writing workshop.

The course may be repeated up to a maximum of 8 credits.

This course builds upon skills developed in the first-year and sophomore LEP writing sequence courses. The focus in this course is on advanced argumentation and persuasion for an arguments intended audience and purpose. Students will engage in critical reading and evaluation activities in addition to research and writing. In addition to being required of certain majors, this course is useful for students planning to go to graduate school or law school and is open to students of any major.
This course is for students who have taken Introduction to Journalism and wish to research and write articles beyond the introductory level for traditional print and online newspapers as well as print and online magazines. Course will include story development, in-depth news and feature writing, crime reporting, journalism ethics and libel law, and portfolio preparation.

In this class students will be introduced to basic composition, conferencing, and tutoring theory and methods. Students will learn writing process theory, identification and prioritization of writing concerns, how to adapt to different writers needs, and basic conferencing communication skills.

Students in this class will tutor in the Writing Center as part of their course requirements.

The primary purpose of this course is to provide students with theoretical knowledge about how to teach writing. Students will read a variety of materials regarding composition theory and pedagogy, with the goal of developing their own philosophy about the teaching of writing. As a means of helping them to develop this philosophy, and in order for them to develop greater awareness and understanding of the writing process, students in this course will also be required to tutor in the Writing Center for course credit.

This course is the capstone course for Communication Arts and Literature/Secondary Education majors.

The internship is designed for students who wish to do internships in writing-related fields such as publishing, journalism, professional writing, or other areas as approved by the department.

Oral Communication Core (Select 6 credits of the following)


Participation in intercollegiate speech competition where students will research, write, and deliver an original speech.
Participation in intercollegiate speech competition where students will select, analyze, and perform pieces of literature.

The logical and psychological theories of persuasion present in everyday communication. The course emphasizes the analysis and application of persuasive strategies. Active and critical listening are integral components of the course.

This course examines the principles and practices of argumentation, public advocacy, and academic debate.

Participation in intercollegiate speech competition where students will prepare and deliver speeches with minimal preparation time.

Provides the basics of media production for learning and training. Students will learn how to utilize technologies such as video, still images, animation, and graphics in business and educational contexts.

This course is designed for professionals in the fields of education, corporate training, and management.

Course where students take a performance from COMM 161 or COMM 262 and translate it into a public advocacy project.

Visual Communication Core (Select 6 credits of the following)


Intended as a foundational graphic design course. Students will study design principles and current industry methods and tools. In addition, design principles are discussed not only as they relate specifically to graphic communication, but also as they apply to other forms of communication. The course is project-based with assignments designed to reinforce design principles and develop skill using software and methods common to the graphic design profession.

Intended as an introduction to typography, this course studies the fundamentals and development of typographic forms and principles of practical type selection and control. The course touches on history of type as well as current technology as it relates to type. Type design, classification, selection, and control techniques are studied in a hands-on environment that puts considerable emphasis on aesthetic considerations.

It is recommended, but not required, that student take ART 240 prior to this course.

This course addresses creating art in a digital environment by using the industry-leading raster image editing software, Adobe Photoshop. The course not only covers how to use the software in-depth, but it covers methods and strategies for developing artistic concepts.
The emphasis of this course will be on the use of a digital camera as a tool for artistic expression. Students will study basic photo aesthetics, composition through the lens, color manipulation through external factors, selective focus, motion capture and media distinctive of electronic cameras. Image manipulation will not be emphasized in this course, rather the class will dwell on the unique qualities of photography as a tool for looking at the world and as a means of individual and artistic expression.

Professional Expertise Area: History and Theory


In this course students will develop and revise a portfolio of professional works. Students will learn about the history and dynamic nature of the professional writing field by exploring its ethical and social dimensions as well as synthesizing what has been learned in past classes about written, oral, and visual communication elements.

This course is the capstone course for Professional Writing and Communication majors.

Required of all Literature majors and open to non-majors, this course reviews the history and structure of the English language and studies the process by which English and other languages change. Emphasis will be on the history, structure, and semantics of English with a review of sounds, spelling, grammar, and vocabulary.
This course, required of all Communication Arts and Literature/Secondary Education majors, but open to all English majors and minors and non-majors, introduces students to the study of linguistics and focuses on the analysis of grammar and syntax. Students will learn and apply different theories of grammar and will explore language change and choices.

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