To help you with course planning, the PWR faculty have created two advising documents for you:

  • Sample Four Year Plan: This document offers suggestions on when to take core and elective courses and demonstrates how you might integrate internships, study abroad, and undergraduate research.
  • Your Personalized Plan: This document is an editable document to help you connect your course planning to your personal short-term and long-term goals.

You should bring these documents to every advising appointment.

Developing Your Own Identity

You are encouraged to develop your individual identity as a writer and rhetor through three means:

  • Required electives Through careful selection of PWR electives, you are able to develop a specialized "track" within PWR leading to a focus in, for instance, "editing and publishing" or "writing and digital design" or "teaching English as a second language."
  • Internships Internships are a powerful way to develop your identity. PWR students have interned for law offices, newspapers, magazines, advertising agencies, book publishers, marketing departments, museums, art galleries, development offices, public relations offices, and web development departments, to name a few.
  • Cognates A cognate is a specialized area of study that complements one's primary area of study. Though not required, students are highly encouraged to develop their unique identity through the pursuit of a cognate. This might be done through careful selection of courses in departments outside of English or through the selection of a minor. Sample cognates have included multimedia authoring, digital art, marketing, pre-law, communications, foreign language, psychology, photography, theater, biology, environmental studies, and human services.

Just as strongly as PWR faculty believe in the importance of a firm foundation in rhetoric and professional writing, we believe in the significance of developing one's unique identity as a writer/rhetor.

This emphasis reflects PWR's basis in the liberal arts. Because PWR is not a pre-professional program, it is not designed to "train" you in prescriptive ways. Instead, you are encouraged to build from a strong foundation in rhetoric and professional writing a unique identity that reflects your individual passions, strengths, and aspirations.

A quick look at PWR student internships and PWR alumni information illustrates this emphasis on flexibility and the development of individual identities. It also reflects the broad applicability of a practical liberal art like rhetoric and writing.