A Flexible, Hands-on, Liberal Arts Education

Professional Writing and Rhetoric (PWR) is built around a common set of courses and individualized through a set of electives carefully selected by students in consultation with their PWR advisor. Additional flexibility is achieved through the pursuit of internships, undergraduate research, and outside electives.

The aim is to give students the flexibility to construct an educational experience that matches their interests while also ensuring a firm disciplinary foundation.

Just as PWR students are active in developing their studies, they are regularly engaged in hands-on work that challenges them to learn, implement, and reflect on course content, both inside the classroom and out. Many programmatic features support this hands-on, active-learning approach.

  • PWR courses are taught within CUPID, the Center for Undergraduate Publishing and Information Design, a computer classroom designed to place at one’s fingertips the tools of the trade, while also supporting hands-on, active, collaborative learning.
  • PWR courses include active, creative, problem-solving assignments and projects ranging from simulated case studies to real-world client and service-learning partner projects.
  • In addition to traditional “classroom courses,” students are highly encouraged to include multiple internships as part of their coursework (one is required, many students have two or more) as well as undergraduate research.

The Curriculum

44 sh


  • PWR 2100 Professional Writing and Technology Studio (fulfills the “Society” requirement)
  • PWR 2110 Professional Writing & Rhetoric (fulfills the “Society” requirement)
  • PWR 2170 Writing as Inquiry (fulfills the “Society” requirement)
  • PWR 3110 Understanding Rhetoric (fulfills the “Society” requirement )
  • PWR 4970 PWR Senior Seminar (PWR 217 and PWR 215 or PWR 304 prerequisite)


(select one, 4sh, any literacy-themed English elective can apply)

  • ENG 2040 Language in Society
  • ENG 2050 Grammar
  • ENG 2190 Writing Studies Survey
  • ENG 3010 Linguistics
  • ENG 3020 History of the English Language
  • ENG 3060 TESOL

ELECTIVES in PWR MAJOR (select 2, 8sh)

  • PWR 2120 Multimedia and Visual Rhetorics I (fulfills the “Society” requirement )
  • PWR 2130 Publishing and Editing I (fulfills the “Society” requirement )
  • PWR 3120 Multimedia and Visual Rhetorics II (fulfills the “Society” requirement )
  • PWR 3130 Publishing and Editing II (fulfills the “Society” requirement)
  • PWR 3190 Special Topics in PWR
  • PWR 3210 Writing Grants (fulfills the “Society” requirement )
  • PWR 3220 Writing Science (fulfills the “Society” requirement )
  • PWR 3230 Writing Civic Action (fulfills the “Society” requirement )
  • ENG 3985 Writing Center Workshop (ENG 110 prerequisite)


Students should consult with their advisor to choose two 4 sh courses in a discipline other than PWR, which can include courses in the Department of English as well as any other program in the university. These elective choices will be approved by the PWR program coordinator.

Students with a declared minor, double major, or dual degree automatically fulfill these outside elective credits.


Students will take:

  • At least one PWR 3985 2 sh internship; and
  • 2 sh of PWR 4999 research experience

Research hours can be taken at the same time or as 1 sh projects in two different semesters.

Research hours can double count with Elon College Fellows or Honors Fellows research hours only if the project is mentored by a PWR faculty member.


Students also are required to prepare a capstone portfolio, submitted for external review during fall semester of the senior year. Elements of the portfolio are scaffolded in courses throughout the degree program and students are asked to share drafts of portfolio items at each advising appointment for course registration.

Visit the Smart Catalog for complete course descriptions.