BA in English - Professional Writing
Earn a Bachelor of Arts in English Professional Writing at GCU – Online & On-Campus
GCU’s Bachelor of Arts in English with an Emphasis in Professional Writing degree program prepares students for successful writing careers in the 21st century. In addition to professional writing, students will study the core competencies of literature and informational texts, as well as rhetoric and composition. Exploration in these areas will allow students to develop advanced writing skills, enrich their critical thinking and analysis skills and enhance their understanding of the English language as a whole.
The BA program is designed to help graduates reflect on ethical dilemmas in professional and non-professional situations, relating to human dignity and value. Students will see the the power and ramifications of language choice and communication styles, as well as explore how artistic and literary expression influences and reflects society. Additionally, students will apply principles and perspectives of the Christian worldview within professional and creative writing, in order to express a personal worldview within their writing. A bachelor’s degree in professional writing allows students to develop the array of skills necessary to be successful in the professional world.
Gain Hands-On Experience with a BA in Professional Writing Degree
While completing their degree, students explore multicultural literature and creative writing in the professional world, while enhancing foundational knowledge in the study of English. Courses cover writing in both business and media contexts. Students also have out-of-class opportunities such as creative writing and other workshops. The student-driven journal StartleBloom allow students to practice what is being taught in classes and get their own work published.
Students in the professional writing BA program learn to adapt to a multitude of writing contexts and audiences within different genres and will learn how to improve communication among people of diverse backgrounds. Students in the program will gain experience in communicating abstract ideas, such as science writing, to the general public. Collaborative work within classes allow students to evaluate and provide constructive criticism of other’s work, giving them hands-on experience with both editing and adjusting their own work in response to feedback.
This writing-intensive program leads students to proficiency in diverse styles of writing and course topics cover a wide range of themes. These include analyzing both American and multicultural texts from various genres, emphasizing 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
Pursue Your Purpose in Professional Writing
A bachelor of arts degree in English with an emphasis in professional writing will equip students to move their career forward. Coursework prepares students to write for specific business and organizational settings in the modern workplace. The program culminates in an overarching capstone class during which students will develop a diverse portfolio showcasing their writing to use as a tool for entering the job marketplace. Portfolios and skills allow graduates to move into the fields of communication and writing. Students will go through the process of text composition and preparation for professional publication, becoming prepared to do the same in the professional world. Students will be able to pursue careers in:
- Publishing and editing
- Technical writing
- Nonprofit and grant writing
- Social media
- Broadcast (for TV, radio and podcast)
- Science writing for the general public
- Public relations
- Advertisement and marketing
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.
- UNV-103, University Success: 4
- UNV-303, University Success: 4
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.
- ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
- UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
- ENG-106, English Composition II: 4
- COM-263, Elements of Intercultural Communication: 4
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.
- CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
- CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4
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.
- MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4
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.
- PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
- INT-244, World Religions: 4
- SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4
Program Core Courses
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.
This course examines the processes, purposes, and practicalities of grant writing with an emphasis on communication between funding sources and grant seekers. Students learn about funding sponsors and their concerns, the parts of grant proposals, and techniques for successful grant research and writing. The course culminates in the students’ completion of a grant proposal.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. This capstone course needs to be completed at the end of program. Prerequisites: ENG-381, ENG-365, and ENG-466.