Requirements for Master of Arts in Professional Writing

The MPW degree requires 33 total credits for completion, including: 

  • ENL 501 Rhetorical Theory
  • ENL 510 Thesis Research
  • ENL 505 Stylistics
  • ENL 620 Usability Studies
  • ENL 621 Document Design
  • ENL 623 Web Authoring
  • ENL 700 Internship
  • ENL 750 Thesis
  • Three ENL electives

Thesis Portfolio

You will earn an additional 3 credits for your thesis, a professional-caliber piece or portfilio of original and exceptional work completed while in the graduate program. You will register for ENL 750 during the semester you are completing your thesis portfolio. Your Master's thesis will be submitted to your committee at the end of your graduate studies. 

In preparing for the thesis, you will research the historical trends, rhetorical and theoretical underpinnings, and current best practices in your chosen field of writing. Based upon that research, you will draft a thesis proposal demonstrating your understanding of the field and justifying your proposed portfolio concept, including an in-depth discussion of your work as it relates to writing professionally. Your mission in the thesis proposal is to demonstrate expertise in your chosen field and rhetorical acumen for constructing a sound, professional final product.

Internships

You are required to complete one internship; you may complete a maximum of two. Your internship gives you the chance to apply classroom work, gain experience, network in your professional field, and earn credits while working in a professional setting. Areas of opportunity for internships include but are not limited to:

  • Technical Writing
  • Journalism
  • Creative Writing
  • Editing
  • Web Authoring
  • Professional Writing

Your internship gives you the chance to apply classroom work, gain experience, network in your professional field, and earn credits while working in a professional setting.

Credit Requirements for Full-Time Status

Full-time degree candidates who have not been awarded a Fellowship/Assistantship are required to take 9 credits (three courses) a semester. If you want to take more than 9 credits in a semester, you need the approval of your advisor. You may take fewer than 9 credits; however, you will be listed as a part-time student.

Fellowships/Assistantships are awarded to students who maintain full-time status only. To maintain full-time status, Fellows/Assistants are required to take 6 credits (two courses) each semester. Teaching fellows will be limited to 6 credits in their first semester, but may register for 9 credits each semester thereafter.

Application Requirements

Students with at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of higher learning may submit an application. You will need to:

  • Send an official transcript(s) from colleges or universities
  • Write a three-page statement about your writing and professional background and goals
  • Complete a graduate application

UMassD Students: If you have earned your undergraduate English degree at UMass Dartmouth, you may waive the GRE or MAT

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