Professional Writing at RU

The RU English Department offers a concentration and minor in Professional Writing.

Students who are majoring in English can pursue the concentration in Professional Writing. Students who are majoring in disciplines other than English can minor in Professional Writing; both the minor and the concentration require the same four courses.

How can you benefit from RU’s Professional Writing Program?

Expertise in professional writing prepares students for careers in business or government as a writer, editor, publishing specialist, trainer, or web content specialist. It also is excellent preparation for graduate study, law school, work in journalism, and teaching.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that in May 2012 the median annual salary for technical writers was $65,000. The BLS predicted a 15% growth in employment for technical writers, especially in web-based publishing, from 2012-2022.

What courses will you be required to take?

Both the concentration and minor in Professional Writing consist of four courses. The sequence of courses helps students to write clearly, concisely, and correctly; to address the needs of their audience; and to create various types of documents for both print and digital environments, such as proposals, grants, reports, brochures, instructions, website content, and blogs, to name a few.

To fulfill the requirements of the concentration, students must take:

  • ENGL 306 – Professional Writing (Spring Sophomore or Fall Junior year)
  • ENGL 403 – Grammar and Style for Writers (Sophomore or Junior year)
  • ENGL 406 – Advanced Technical Writing (Spring only; Junior or Senior year)
  • ENGL 407 – Technical Editing (Fall only; Junior or Senior year)

Students must take English 306 before English 406 or 407, and should take take English 403 before English 407.

For students in the concentration who have completed English 407, internships often are available.

For more information about the program, visit the English Department’s official home on the web, or contact program chair Dr. Rick Van Noy [rvannoy [at] radford [dot] edu], Dr. Laura Vernon [lvernon [at] radford [dot] edu], or Dr. Amy Rubens [arubens [at] radford [dot] edu].