The Writing Major
The Writing Major is a modular curriculum that allows you to determine your own course of study, while balancing your creative and professional writing interests. By carefully designing your course of study, your coursework can lead to a graduate program, freelance writing, editing and publishing, or corporate workplace writing. The modular curriculum allows you the flexibility to develop your writing skills to become a grant writer, program administrator, technical writer, freelance writer, teacher, or author, to name a few.
If you are primarily interested in creative writing, you can take courses where you will create original works of poetry, fiction, and literary nonfiction. You will learn to recognize and describe various poetic and prose forms, to analyze the creative work of others, including both professional writers and fellow students, and to reflect on your own developing personal aesthetic. You will also have opportunities to develop your editing and professional writing abilities in other coursework and extracurricular activities. If you have a desire to pursue graduate education in creative writing, to enhance a love and appreciation of literature, to write independently, or to improve your writing skills for any career in which writing may play a part, many students combine their study of creative writing with a minor in another academic area, such as art, English, history, liberal studies, philosophy, or theater. Students who focus on creative writing typically find careers as teachers, editors, grant writers, program administrators, freelance journalists, or authors.
If you are interested in technical writing, workplace writing, or working in publishing, you can take courses where you will generate a wide range of nonfiction prose appropriate for a wide range of rhetorical situations. Writing majors who focus their study on professional writing, multimedia writing, document design, and writing for the web will become sophisticated analysts of communication situations and self-reflective about their own rhetorical skills. By graduation, you will feel confident writing and designing pamphlets, newsletters, magazines, web pages, presentations, and a variety of other forms and genres. Students that are primarily interested in professional writing courses typically seek careers in writing, publishing, or other fields in which specialized skills in written communication are required.
While not required for the major, we encourage all writing majors to consider combining their interest in writing with a minor in a professional area such as advertising and public relations, business, computer science, English, information systems, or international relations. You can work with your advisor to create a major-minor combination that suits your own interests and career plans.
Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Writing
Program Requirements for a B.A. in Writing
The Bachelor of Arts degree requires third-semester proficiency in a foreign language of the student's choice.
Program Requirements for a B.S. in Writing
The Bachelor of Science degree requires that students take the following three courses:
- STA 215: Introductory Applied Statistics
- CIS 238: Internet Media and Programming
- ENG 261: Foundations of Language Study
Why Choose the B.A.?
Learning a foreign language provides writing students with perspectives on global cultures. The program course requirements also offer insights on how language influences cultural understanding and prepare students for further studies in a foreign language. Students who are interested in developing foundational skills in another language might choose this option.
Why Choose the B.S.?
Exploration of technology, statistics, and language provides writing students with an introduction to disciplinary cultures. The program course requirements also offer insights on the logic behind language and prepare students to write and research in a variety of contexts. Students who are interested in the technical application of writing might choose this option.
Writing Major Requirements (42 credits)
Core Requirements (4 courses = 12 credits)
- WRT 200: Introduction to Professional Writing
- WRT 210: Introduction to Style
- WRT 219: Introduction to Creative Writing
- WRT 253: Document Production and Design
You should do your best to complete all four core requirements during your first two semesters as a major because:
- The advanced WRT courses you will take generally require some of the core as prerequisites.
- The core courses will introduce you to a wide range of areas that could help you to better choose a path through the major.
- You cannot complete your internship or take the capstone without first completing these four courses.
Module Requirement (choose 3 modules and complete 2 courses in each = 18 credits)
In selecting which modules to take, think about which modules might help best to shape you as the writer you want to be for your future career. If you are uncertain as to which modules might best support your career goals, consult with your advisor. If you are uncertain what your career goals are, it would also be a good idea to talk with your advisor.
While you must complete three separate modules by taking two courses in each module, if you take a course in a module and decide the module is not for you, or perhaps change your career goals, you can always use the single course to count toward the elective requirement (see below).
Working with Writers & Manuscripts
WRT 307: Consulting with Writers
WRT 308: Editing and Publishing
Style and Technique
WRT 310: Int. Style and Technique
WRT 410: Adv. Style and Technique
WRT 320: Int. Poetry Workshop
WRT 420: Adv. Poetry Workshop
WRT 330: Int. Fiction Workshop
WRT 430: Adv. Fiction Workshop
Writing for the Web
WRT 351: Writing for the Web
WRT 451: Adv. Writing for the Web
Writing with Technologies
WRT 353: Visual Rhet. and Doc Design
WRT 455: Multimodal Composing
WRT 360: Int. Creative Nonfiction
WRT 460: Adv. Creative Nonfiction
WRT 365: Int. Magazine Writing
WRT 465: Adv. Magazine Writing
Writing Electives (2 courses = 6 credits)
The writing electives offer you further flexibility to design your curriculum to suit your future career. For example, you can choose WRT courses that are not part of the modules above. In some instances, you may be able to choose elective courses that also count towards completion of another major or minor (be sure to verify this by talking to advisors in both disciplines). You should meet with your advisor before selecting the writing electives.
Choose any two courses from the following:
- Any WRT Module course other than those you are using to satisfy the module requirement
- WRT 350: Business Communication
- WRT 354: Writing in the Global Context
- WRT 380: Special Topics Course
- WRT 381: Sports and Writing
- Any two interdisciplinary writing electives (see a list of possibilities)
- Any two advisor-approved interdisciplinary electives (talk to your advisor before taking)
- Any two study abroad courses
Internship and Capstone Courses (2 courses = 6 credits)
You must have senior standing and complete all the core classes before you can take the capstone course.
You must have at least junior standing to complete the internship courses. An internship is something that you need to plan well in advance. Be sure to review the WRT Internship Guide to learn more.
- WRT 490: Internship
- WRT 495: Genre and Writing
Old Writing Major (for catalog year prior to Fall 2012)
If you began attending GVSU prior to Fall 2012, you are strongly encouraged to pursue the current Writing Major requirements listed above. However, you are eligible to follow the old writing major. More details can be found here.