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Degree Overview

Dr. Laurie Grobman instructing a classThe Baccalaureate Degree Program in Professional Writing is intended to prepare students to write effectively in a variety of workplace and academic settings. Methods of instruction draw upon the strategies and techniques of practicing writers outside of the university, including workshops, peer conferencing, collaborative writing, portfolio preparation, and internships. At the same time, theory courses provide the necessary background to help students understand and appreciate the larger issues surrounding the writing and reading of texts. This program features:

  • A broad foundation in effective language use.
  • The development of specific rhetorical skills and knowledge required in professional arenas.
  • Exposure to a wide range of rhetorical situations intended to develop proficiency in composing, research techniques, problem solving, critical thinking, and negotiating workplace contexts.
  • Courses in business and technical writing, writing for electronic media, magazine and newspaper writing, nonfiction and creative writing, editorial processes, technology, and literature.
  • An expansive theoretical grounding combined with practical writing experience.
  • Preparation for a variety of career options.
  • Preparation for graduate study.

Special Features:

Students in the Professional Writing degree program work closely with faculty who are dedicated to providing meaningful learning experiences both inside and outside the classroom.

Curriculum requirements also include a number of specialized educational experiences:

  • a workplace internship to gain practical writing, research, and/or editing experience in organizational settings
  • the development of a professional portfolio for the job search or for admission to graduate school
  • exposure to and instruction in numerous technologies used by professional writers.

Additionally, students in the program can participate in numerous opportunities for PW students, including involvement with the student newspaper, the Berks Collegian, and participation in the Writing Fellows program.

Career Options

Through a combined series of courses and hands-on experiences, graduates of this degree program will have the knowledge and skills to obtain employment in many fields, including the following:

  • Writing
  • Editing
  • Publishing
  • Advertising/Public Relations
  • Business Administration/ Management
  • Technical Writing

Students will also be well prepared for graduate and professional schools.

Faculty Teaching in the Professional Writing Program

Terry Baker, B.S., M.A., Lecturer
Jayne Relaford Brown, B.A., M.A., M.F.A., Lecturer
Sandy Feinstein,  B.A., M.A., Ph.D. Associate Professor
Laurie Grobman, B.A., M.S., M.A. Ph.D., Associate Professor
Gary Kunkelman, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Lecturer
Tom Lynn,   B.A., M.S.W., M.A., Ph.D. Assistant Professor
Ray Mazurek, B.A., M.A. Ph.D., Associate Professor
Holly Ryan, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Jeanne Marie Rose, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Associate Professor
Stephen Snyder, B.A., M.A., Lecturer
Christian Weisser, B.A., M.A., Ph.D., Associate Professor

To request information about the Professional Writing program, please go to our online Request Information Form.

For more information about the program, contact Dr. Laurie Grobman, Program Coordinator, by phone (610-396-6141) or by e-mail: leg8@psu.edu.

For admissions information, contact the Berks Admissions Office at 610-396-6060.