Here, you’ll join a close-knit family of English-language lovers. You’ll enjoy small class sizes and amazing friendships. Our dedicated professors will get to know you. They will support you in your coursework, creative endeavors, internships, and post-graduate or career preparations. They will become personally invested in your success and will open doors for you.
As a professional writing major, you’ll take liberal arts courses and hone various writing styles, including business, grant and technical. You’ll even learn desktop-publishing software such as Adobe Photoshop and InDesign. You’ll also get the chance to write and edit for University publications including Polaris Literary Magazine, the ONU journal of literature and the arts, and the English department newsletter.
Our small setting equals big opportunity. From attending a professional conference to taking a master class with a professional writer or editor, from our mandatory study abroad and internship experiences to career-exploration courses like Words at Work and Writing for Publication, you’ll discover countless opportunities to expand your horizons and build your résumé.
Upon graduation, you’ll have everything you need for success – advanced writing skills, a portfolio of work, savvy “real-world” skills like teamwork and leadership, and confidence. You’ll be ready to flex your creative muscle wherever your career takes you!
We’ll help you land a strategic internship geared toward your goals. Like web publishing? We’ll hook you up with a local business or non-profit. Recent graduates found internship opportunities at the United Nations, McGraw Hill Publishing, The Heritage Foundation, Vegan Magazine, the National Organization for Women (NOW), the Arizona Diamondback’s AAA minor league affiliate, and other organizations.
OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO
Imagine traveling to Boston, Denver or Chicago – all expenses paid – with your English professors and fellow students to attend a professional conference. You might spend the summer in Oxford, Cambridge or South Korea studying a different culture. We believe a well-rounded education includes opportunities to travel, experience new places, and stretch your comfort zone. These opportunities are here for you to grab.
AUTHORS IN THE HOUSE
Each year, we bring nationally and internationally acclaimed writers – like Heather Christle, Matt Hart, Anthony Madrid and Carol Drinkwater – to campus to share their journeys and conduct writing workshops for students. You’ll have the chance to meet these masters of the craft and soak up the knowledge they impart.
BA WITH A MAJOR IN PROFESSSIONAL WRITING
I enjoy the variety of my work. One week I might research factory production during World War II for a legal brief, and the next I might be writing personal stories on World War I soldiers and looking for images to accompany a museum exhibit. I also enjoy the local and out-of-state travel required for my job. Professional writing is an excellent major because it allows you the flexibility to build the type of writing skills and other skills you require for your career goals. With this degree, you are not boxed into any one style of writing but emerge with a diverse skillset that will make you incredibly marketable to employers.
Carol Wilson took advantage of the vast opportunities available for English and history majors at ONU. She attended a screenwriting conference in Los Angeles and traveled to England to study British authors. She served as copyeditor of The Northern Review and student editor of the law college’s newsletter and magazine. She interned at the State Historical Society of North Dakota and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Today, she works for History Associates Incorporated in Rockville, Md., where she conducts research at various repositories – like the National Archives and the Library of Congress – and writes historical narratives for legal cases, history books and museum exhibits.
OUTCOMES AND COURSES
- Creative Colleges: A Guide for Students, Actors, Artists, Dancers, Musicians and Writers ranks ONU a top 200 program for creative students.
- Over the past five years, an average of 88 percent of our English majors were employed in full-time jobs within six months, and 100 percent of those who applied to graduate school or law school were accepted within six months of graduation.
- Our graduates get accepted into top-notch graduate and law schools like Columbia, Duke, Vanderbilt, Northwestern and Ohio State.
You’ll need 120 credit hours to earn a B.A. in professional writing. With only 39 - 45 hours in the major, it is easy to combine a Professional Writing major with a major or minor in science, marketing, or another area of interest. Along with your core courses, you’ll be taking a wide range of writing and publishing courses including:
- Technical/Science Writing
- Grant Writing
- Web Publishing
- Words at Work
- Writing for Publication
- Layout and Design
- Professional Writing internship
WHERE WILL YOU END UP?
- Public relations or marketing professional
- English as a second language (ESL) specialist
- Government professional
- Business or nonprofit manager
- Creative arts administrator
Check out where some of our recent graduates have ended up: marketing manager at Wiley Blackwell Publishing in Boston, executive communications specialist at The Walt Disney Company in Florida, associate copywriter at KAO Inc. in Cincinnati, communications specialist at Comfort Keepers in Los Angeles, and attorney and editor at October Research LLC in Columbus.
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