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M.A. in Professional Writing and Editing

Professional writers do more than simply translate complex, technical information into easy-to-read prose. Professional writers assess the information needs of audiences from different languages and cultural backgrounds, and analyze how written texts circulate through the organizations in which they work. Professional writers possess the critical, rhetorical and technical knowledge necessary to produce successful and effective communications.

The M.A. in Professional Writing and Editing (PWE) combines theories of writing and practice in these real-world writing situations. You will study professional writing theory, rhetoric, editing, new modes of digital composition, and writing ethics over 30 credit hours. This program prepares you for a variety of career options, including technical writing and editing, project management, writing consulting, writing instruction, and advanced graduate study in rhetoric and composition. It is designed for recent graduates and full-time professionals seeking more training in writing and editing.

Graduate Catalog Description   Graduate Student Handbook

MA in PWE Program Goals

The program is designed to enable students to achieve the following goals:

  • Recognize and evaluate a variety of ethical, social, legal, and political values intertwined in the production and consumption of technical communications.
  • Analyze the uses and applications of new communication technologies.
  • Acquire historical and critical understanding of rhetorical theories and practices.
  • Master a variety of research and analytical methods, especially as these apply to the study and practical application of oral, written, and visual communication in professional contexts.
  • Acquire a practical and theoretical understanding of workplace dynamics including client relations and project management skills.

Language Requirement for the MA in PWE

The M.A. in PWE requires that students demonstrate proficiency in foreign language, statistics, or computer programming. Many incoming PWE students have already fulfilled this requirement through their undergraduate foreign language coursework. PWE students who have not recently completed language coursework must meet the requirement in one of following ways:

  • Completing a 204 (Intermediate II) or 200 (Intensive Intermediate) language course in a modern foreign language with a grade of “B” or above, or completion of the Graduate Student Foreign Language Exam administered by the Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics
  • Earning a “B” or above in the second-year level of foreign language study at an accredited college or university (or its international equivalent) within the last five years
  • Participating in a University-approved study abroad program of four or more weeks in a non- English-speaking host country will also fulfill the language requirement if, as part of the experience, students are required to study the language and culture of the host country. As part of the study abroad program, students must enroll in at least one, 3 credit hour course and earn a grade of “B” or above
  • Completing Statistics 201 (Applied Statistical Modeling) with a grade of “B” or above.
  • Completing Computer Science 110 (Introduction to Computer Science) and its accompanying 1 credit hour lab with a grade of “B” or above A student should state in the plan of study the means by which he or she plans to satisfy the language requirement. Graduate students who take undergraduate courses at WVU should note that course grades will be calculated into their GPA