Professional Writing and Rhetoric

The Professional Writing & Rhetoric Major affords students disciplined instruction in writing alongside dynamic opportunities for writing, collaboration, and revising for diverse audiences (academic, professional, and public) and in diverse genres and media.  Students will work with faculty to develop identities as writers and plan a workable career path that centers on critical inquiry, cultural analysis, and document drafting. This multifaceted approach to writing will help students see how writing works in different contexts and for different occasions, and how to leverage their expertise in writing to gain a competitive foothold in the many arenas writing takes place in the professional world.

The program focuses on student-centered learning and high-impact practices such as peer review, reflective writing, audience and genre analysis, and content creation.

Faculty in the program value:

  • rhetorical effectiveness
  • intellectual rigor
  • critical inquiry
  • creativity
  • meta-awareness

Students who pursue the PWR major will learn to:

  • move between multiple audiences and genres;
  • constructively critique the writing of their peers as well as their own;
  • approach different writing occasions in creative, analytical, and reflective ways;
  • and understand the experiences of others in an effort to promote inclusivity and accessibility through writing.

In addition to the major requirements, students must complete all CASL Degree Requirements.


Pre-major Requirement3
Writing & Rhetoric I
Honors Writing & Rhetoric I
Gateway Requirement3
Writing & Rhetoric II
Honors Writing & Rhetoric II
Writing Across Contexts9
Select 3 courses from the following:
Intro to Creative Writing
Intermed Expo and Arg
Tech Writing for Engineers
Business Writing & Rhetoric
Advanced Writing
Topics in Composition
Mid-major Requirement3
Writing in the Professions
Writing Specializations12
Select 4 courses from the following:
Transnational Rhetorics
Contemporary Rhetorical Theory
Arguing Feminism: Rhetoric, Writing & Advocacy
Read/Writ Young Adult Fiction
Supporting Literacies
How Writing Works
Capstone Experience4
Writing Studio
Writing for Civic Literacy
Any one upper level course from: COMM, ENGL, JASS, LING
Total Credit Hours37


1. If students place out (with English Placement Exam) of COMP 105, this pre-major requirement is met

2. At least 15 of the 31 credit hours must be taken at UM-Dearborn.

3. Composition and Rhetoric faculty will advise students on curriculum plan to take COMP 341 during second semester of sophomore year. 

Learning Goals

  1. Critical Thinking & Problem Solving Skills
  2. Writing & Editing Skills for a Variety of Forms, Styles, and Scripts
  3. Media Literacy
  4. Research Skills in Gathering and Critically Evaluating Information
  5. Appreciation of Diversity & Global Contexts
  6. Understanding of and Application of Link between Theory & Practice