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English: Professional and Creative Writing

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As an English major with a professional and creative writing emphasis, you'll study the art of storytelling while building practical writing skills in specific areas of specialty.

Why should I study professional and creative writing?

You'll expand your intellectual, moral, and creative capacity through the study of stories while developing technical writing skills that translate to any industry. Through courses like Prose Studio, Introduction to Logic, and Professional and Technical Communication, you'll learn how to write and edit copy that resonates with your audience—whether you're working on a scientific grant, advertising campaign, or business proposal.

What can I do with this degree?

When you earn a B.A. in English with an emphasis in professional and creative writing, you'll be prepared to communicate effectively in your primary field. Our alumni have built careers as:

  • Editors
  • Journalists
  • Marketers
  • Technical writers
  • University professors
  • Content designers
  • Attorneys

What skills will I develop?

  • Communication
  • Editing
  • Blog, personal essay, technical, user experience, and op-ed writing
  • Critical thinking
  • Presenting
  • Literary analysis and research

You’ll also have the opportunity to participate in the R.E.A.L. Experience—a program specifically designed to help you gain the relevant, hands-on experience employers desire—so that when you graduate, you’ll be as impressive in practice as you are on paper.

What unique experiences or opportunities will I have?

Learn cross-culturally

Study other cultures in the classroom or experience them by studying abroad. Options include:

  • World Literature (Japanese or Central and South American)
  • Travel Writing
  • The J-Term Textura trip, which gives you the opportunity to practice photojournalism and create a culturally insightful magazine

Learn from accomplished faculty writers

  • April Vinding in Ruminate; her most recent book, Triptych
  • Marion Larson in The Journal of College and Character; her most recent book, From Bubble to Bridge: Educating Christians for a multifaith world. 
  • Scott Winter's most recent book, Nebrasketball: Coach Tim Miles and a Big Ten Team on the Rise, won a 2016 Nebraska Book Award
  • Mark Bruce, in his recent anthology, The Anglo-Scottish Borders and the Shaping of Identity: 1300-1600, worked with distinguished scholars from such diverse institutions such as the University of California, Berkeley; Hamilton University; Cornell University; Auburn University; the University of Oxford; and the University of Nottingham.

Overall, in the last four years, English department professors have published 4 books, 4 book chapters, 34 creative pieces, 20 scholarly pieces, and given 71 professional presentations. As a result of these professional successes, our professors are well-connected with the writing and publishing communities both locally and nationwide—such as Angela Shannon, who serves on the board at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis. These connections help to provide students with top internship opportunities where skills can be developed further.

In a recent survey of 200 department alumni, 85 respondents have an M.A. or are currently pursuing one; 15 have a Ph.D. or are currently pursuing one; and 6 have completed law school.


above state average for edTPA scores by English education majors

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