Program Details

Bachelor of Arts in English with an Emphasis in Professional Writing

Offered By: College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Total Program Credits & Course Length:
Total Program Credits: 120
Campus: 15 weeks
Online: 7 weeks [ More Info ]
Transfer Credits:
Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
Program Tuition Rate:
Campus: $8,250 per semester. [ More Info ]
Online: $470 per credit. [ More Info ]
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Pursue Your Purpose in Professional Writing

The Bachelor of Arts in English with an Emphasis in Professional Writing degree program is designed to prepare students to become effective writers in the 21st century. In addition to professional writing courses, you will study literature and informational texts as well as rhetoric and composition. Exploring these areas enriches critical thinking and analysis while enhancing foundational knowledge in the study of English.

The professional writing program is also designed to help graduates reflect on ethical dilemmas and professional situations relating to human value and dignity. This practice calls for the application of Christian worldview perspectives and principles. Upon reflection, you will be able to express a personal worldview and understanding associated with these dilemmas and situations.

You will gain a strong knowledge base in these core competencies:

  • Literature and Informational Texts: Analyze English-language literary history in its cultural context, as well as examine the diversity and likenesses among works of literature from various cultures
  • Rhetoric: Identify and analyze the rhetorical situation and use rhetorical devices in various texts; you will learn to develop the ability to write effective persuasive texts
  • Composition: Produce print and digital written composition with the ability to adapt to new and unfamiliar genres and audiences; you will learn to conduct inquiry, argue effectively and build the skills to review, edit and revise
  • Professional Writing: Learn to apply strategies for effective design, write persuasively for business settings, produce engaging multi-modal messaging and evaluate ethical issues

Degree Outcomes

Gain Hands-On Writing Experience

You will develop a variety of advanced writing skills and prepare a wide range of documents for diverse audiences, environments and disciplinary communities. Graduates will complete the professional writing degree program with a portfolio of various work samples to use as a tool for entering the job marketplace. You will create this portfolio under the guidance of a faculty member and continue to refine pieces throughout the program. Other hands-on opportunities include a creative writing workshop, mentorship and the student-driven creative writing print journal StartleBloom.

What You Will Learn

Develop a Wide Array of Writing Skills

The BA in English with an Emphasis in Professional Writing degree program begins with the writing-intensive introductory course Writing for the 21st Century Workplace. You will learn how to write for different genres, adapt to new contexts and audiences, and improve communication among people of diverse backgrounds. You will continue throughout the professional writing program by exploring multicultural texts from various genres and American literature with emphasis on narratives of cultural encounter.

Other course topics include:

  • The Art and Craft of Creative Writing
  • Writing for Advertising and PR
  • Multi-Media Journalism in the 21st century
  • Argumentation and Advocacy
  • Technical Writing

Career Outcomes

Enter into the Field of Communication

Graduates of the Bachelor of Arts in English with an Emphasis in Professional Writing program will have the preparation to pursue a career in journalism, publishing, technical writing, non-profit writing, grant writing, social media writing, public relations and advertising writing, and science writing. You may also choose to pursue a career path in editing.

Program Domains

Course List

The programs offered at Grand Canyon University may vary by content and course length. You are currently viewing the program version available in Arizona. For information about specific course content, credit length and VA approval in your state, please contact a counselor at 1-855-GCU-LOPE or click here to request more information.
General Education Requirements:
34-40 credits
44 credits
Open Elective Credits:
36-42 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
120 credits

General Education Requirements

General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University’s General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.


Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community.

Course Options

  • UNV-103, University Success: 4 credits
  • UNV-303, University Success: 4 credits


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.

Course Options

  • ENG-105, English Composition I: 4 credits
  • UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4 credits
  • ENG-106, English Composition II: 4 credits
  • COM-263, Elements of Intercultural Communication: 4 credits


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.

Course Options

  • CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4 credits
  • CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4 credits


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments. Students are required to take 3 credits of college mathematics or higher.

Course Options

  • MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4 credits


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, crosscultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.

Course Options

  • PSY-102, General Psychology: 4 credits
  • INT-244, World Religions: 4 credits
  • SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4 credits

Program Core Courses

Course Description

This writing intensive introductory course provides students with experience in typical workplace genres and written communication practices. Emphasizing the roles genres play in organizational communication, this course also provides students with practical, procedural knowledge that will help them adapt their writing to new contexts and audiences. Prerequisite: ENG-105.

Course Description

This writing intensive course focuses on improving communication among people with different racial, ethnic, cultural, and minority backgrounds. Students explore verbal and nonverbal communication behaviors in a variety of communication media and contexts. Communication styles, rituals, and traditions are explored through an examination of mass media, family structure, religion, politics, education, social life, art, and literature.

Course Description

This course explores multicultural texts from a variety of genres. Students in this course focus on awareness of diversity in culture and in written expressions by analyzing textual features and cultural/historical context. Prerequisite: ENG-105.

Course Description

This course explores the earliest American literatures to American Romanticism with an emphasis on narratives of cultural encounter. Students examine representative poetry and prose with attention to themes, rhetoric, and narrative form. Prerequisite: ENG-105.

Course Description

In this course, students explore creative writing through an examination of craft and strategies, readings and discussion, writing across the major genres (poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction), and the editorial process, which includes critiquing and revision. In addition, students consider the application of creative writing techniques to arenas in the professional writing world.

Course Description

This course exposes students to the various types of writing tasks utilized by PR and advertising professionals. In addition to enabling students to write with clarity and skill for various media and contexts, this course encourages students to use strategy, creativity, and critical thinking in composing advertising and public relations material.

Course Description

In this course, students learn to identify news, develop story ideas, conduct research on stories, write in a journalistic style, and report information in a variety of media.

Course Description

This course introduces students to the relationship between argumentation and advocacy as well as the role of worldviews in shaping the arguments surrounding relevant social issues. This course presents the concepts and skills related to the study of argumentation. Students are introduced to the principles and elements of argumentation in everyday communication across contexts, as well as the skills necessary in constructing and evaluating written and oral arguments.

Course Description

This writing-intensive course provides an overview of technical writing and focuses on the production of informative practical texts such as instructions, manuals, and process descriptions. Prerequisite: ENG-105.

Course Description

This writing intensive course prepares students to interpret scientific ideas for lay audiences. Drawing from best practices of writers from popular sources such as magazines, news articles, blogs, and other forms of popular writing designed for wide consumption, students learn to convey scientific ideas through various genres for various purposes and audiences. Prerequisite: ENG-105.

Course Description

This course critically surveys the broad competencies and understandings covered in the major, critically analyzes ethical issues in the writing professions, considers intersections between worldviews (particularly Christian worldviews) and the rhetorical and communications professions, and facilitates the creation of student portfolios of material and résumés/curriculum vitae. Prerequisites: ENG-381, ENG-365, and ENG-466.

Program Locations



Join Grand Canyon University’s vibrant and growing campus community, with daytime classes designed for traditional students. Immerse yourself in a full undergraduate experience, complete with curriculum designed within the context of our Christian worldview. New modern classrooms, suite-style residence halls, popular dining options, resort-style swimming pools and a focus on creating a dynamic student life make GCU a top choice for high school graduates and transfer students. Exciting events, well-known guest speakers and Division I athletics round out the traditional student experience. Our welcoming campus community is the perfect place to find your purpose.


Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere. GCU offers the most experienced leadership in delivering online degree programs. Full-time faculty members and fully trained adjunct instructors, equipped with strong academic backgrounds and practical experience in their fields, support you every step of the way. Designed with the career-oriented professional in mind, our online classes provide an intimate environment that stimulates engaging and challenging discussions. Choose from programs across our distinct colleges, in high-demand employment areas. Classes begin frequently.


Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom. Night classes are designed for a specific number of students, providing a warm and nurturing environment that supports an engaging experience. In an evening cohort, you will progress through your degree program with the same career-minded classmates, providing an opportunity to network and forge relationships that go beyond the classroom. Classes begin frequently at various locations, including our main campus.

* Please note that this list may contain programs that are not presently offered as program availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability of the program.

* The Department of Education defines how an institution must calculate a program's On-Time Completion rate for federal disclosure purposes. The On-Time Completion rate is based on a program's published required number of months to complete all degree requirements as provided in the institution's catalog. Completion statistics are updated every January and are based on the cohort of students who started the program in the same year and then graduated within the published program length.

On-campus program disclosures (48 months) Online and Evening program disclosures (48 months)

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.