Go to content

Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017

Professional Writing

1220 Tawes Hall

For students who wish to specialize in public and professional writing as an area of expertise and for students who wish to communicate their discipline through writing, the Professional Writing minor offers opportunities to engage deeply with the theory and practice of writing, editing, and designing both print and digital documents for professional workplaces, civic organizations, and community deliberations. Students will develop electronic portfolios throughout their minor coursework as a means to showcase their professional writing knowledge and skills. Writing-focused internships will be encouraged, although not required, in the later stages of coursework.

Successful completion of the Professional Writing minor requires the following:

A. Fifteen credit hours of coursework consisting of: 

1) Three credits in ENGL297: Introduction to Professional Writing

2)Twelve credits from the following courses, including at least nine credits at the 300 or 400 level and three credits at the 400 level:

ENGL281: Standard English Grammar, Usage, and Diction (See Note 1)

ENGL282: Introduction to Rhetorical Theory

ENGL291: Intermediate Writing

ENGL292: Writing for Change

ENGL293: Writing in the Wireless World

ENGL381: MGA Legislative Seminar (See Note 2)

ENGL384: Concepts of Grammar (See Note 1)

ENG388M: Writing Internship: Maryland General Assembly Pre-Professional Writing Internship (See Note 2)

ENGL388P: Writing Internship: Pre-Professional Writing Skills Internship

ENGL388W: Writing Internship: Writing Center Internship 

Professional Writing Program Courses:

ENGL390: Science Writing

ENGL391: Advanced Composition: Argumentation

ENGL392: Legal Writing

ENGL393: Technical Writing

ENGL394: Business Writing

ENGL395: Writing for the Health Professions

ENGL398A: Writing for the Arts

ENGL398B: Writing for Social Entrepreneurship

ENGL398C: Writing Case Studies and Investigative Reports

ENGL398E: Writing for Economics

ENGL398L: Scholarly Writing in the Humanities

ENGL398N: Writing for Non-Profit Organizations

ENGL398R: Writing Non-Fiction Narratives

ENGL398V: Writing for the Environment

ENGL487: Foundations of Rhetoric

ENGL488: Topics in Advanced Writing

ENGL493: Advanced Writing Theory and Practice

ENGL494: Editing and Document Design

B. Submission of an electronic professional writing portfolio

Successful completion of the Professional Writing minor also requires the submission of a writing portfolio during a student's final semester. This portfolio must be submitted to the minor advisor by November 1 for fall semester graduation or April 1 for spring semester graduation. The electronic portfolio must contain, at a minimum, the following material: 1. A welcome page; 2. Six finished, polished texts written by the student in Professional Writing minor courses; and 3. A reflective essay that analyzes how these documents demonstrate the student's achievement of the minor's learning outcomes. The minor advisor will confirm that each portfolio meets these minimum requirements.


1. Credit toward the minor will be granted for only one of these two courses: ENGL281 or ENGL384.

2. ENGL381 is a prerequisite for ENGL388M.

3. A student cannot count toward the Professional Writing minor the PWP course that he or she takes to fulfill the Fundamental Studies Professional Writing requirement for the University of Maryland General Education Program. Only a second PWP course can be used to fulfill the Professional Writing minor requirement. Advisors will encourage students to select a second PWP course only if it complements the students' academic or professional goals.

4. Students may satisfy up to three credits of the nine-credit 300- or 400-level coursework requirement through documented writing-intensive professional or internship experience. Students must submit an acceptable portfolio of workplace writing to the Professional Writing minor advisor in order to have these three credits count toward their minor.

5. Following university policy, English majors may count two Professional Writing minor courses toward both the requirements for the English major and the Professional Writing Minor.

Students must be accepted into the minor no later than the start of the semester before the semester in which they plan to graduate.  All courses presented for the minor must be passed with a grade of "C-" or better.  An overall GPA of 2.0 in the minor is required for graduation.

To make an appointment to explore or declare a minor, go to www.arhu.umd.edu/undergraduate/academics/minors .

Return to top