English: Writing, Rhetoric & Communication option

Offered as: major | minor

English is an exciting discipline that challenges you to explore both literature and writing. Focus your studies on writing by choosing the writing, rhetoric & communication option. You'll learn how to:

  • read and think critically
  • write with style and conviction
  • develop strong research and organizational skills
  • communicate effectively through written and oral presentations
  • utilize traditional and digital media

Our award-winning faculty members specialize in a wide and diverse range of fields such as creative nonfiction, composition and rhetoric, fiction, technical writing, and many more.

The skills you'll develop as an English major are essential in today's competitive job market and can lead to rewarding careers in communications, editing, journalism, public relations, social media, technical writing, web publishing, writing for general and specialized audiences, and many other areas. You'll also be prepared for graduate study across many disciplines, such as creative and professional writing, education, law, and library/information science.

Special opportunities

  • Publication: publish your work in Corridors, an e-journal of student essays; Dart, a pop-culture magazine; or Temper, a literary review
  • Internships: pursue internships in communications, editing, journalism, professional writing, publishing, and more
  • Community: join the Literary Society, write for The Torch student newspaper, or DJ on WUMD 89.3FM

Major in English: Writing, Rhetoric & Communication option

Develop your professional and creative writing skills, working across a spectrum of genres including fiction, creative nonfiction, journalism, public relations, technical writing, speechwriting, and web authoring.

For the BA in English, you'll complete at least 36 credit hours in English courses and 120 credits overall.

Minor in English: Writing, Rhetoric & Communication option

Consider a minor in English to improve your writing, communications, and critical thinking skills: all qualities that employers value highly.

For the minor, you'll take English courses that focus on writing, rhetoric & communication.

Advance your career with graduate studies

4+1 programs: The English Department offers 4+1 options in both the Professional Writing master's program and the Master of Arts in Teaching Secondary English. Earn your master's degree with only one additional year of study. Juniors and seniors are eligible to apply.

Professional Writing master's program: Develop your professional skills in diverse areas of writing such as technical writing, web authoring, journalism, public relations, and creative writing. You'll focus on a particular professional area but can select courses from other areas of study to create a well-rounded program.

Graduate certificate in Professional Writing: In the 4-course certificate program, you'll develop professional writing skills that focus on specific settings, situations, and communities.

Master of Arts in Teaching Secondary English: Gain a strong background in pedagogy and practice in our Master of Arts program. Our rigorous and comprehensive interdisciplinary program provides you with the tools and knowledge necessary to engage in effective and creative teaching.

Related academic areas

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Success story

Jacob Miller

Jacob Miller '16
English Writing, Communications & Rhetoric

Read Jacob's story

Career placements

  • American International Group
  • Backbone Media
  • Blue State Digital
  • Boston’s Children Hospital
  • Copyright Clearance Center
  • Disney ABC Television Group
  • Dr. Pepper Snapple Group
  • Fall River Public Schools
  • GateHouse Media
  • Goodwill Industries International
  • Google
  • HubPages
  • Jenni Bick Bookbinding
  • The Providence Journal
  • Reebok
  • Rubicor Group Ltd. ( Australia )
  • Wells Fargo
  • Yahoo! Sports

Sample graduate schools

  • Bridgewater State University
  • Brown University
  • Endicott College
  • Harvard Kennedy School
  • Holy Names University
  • Southern New Hampshire University
  • UMass Dartmouth
  • University of Pennsylvania


Christopher Eisenhart
Chair, Department of English
Liberal Arts Building, Room 340

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