Information for Prospective PWR-MA Students

The PWR-MA is oriented to workplace uses of language. In addition to training in pragmatic skills, this graduate program is characterized by a self-reflexive attention to workplaces as institutions and sites for rhetorical action. Courses on research in nonfiction writing complement instruction in rhetoric, editing, technical communication, digital publication, and ethnography to prepare students for roles as writers and communicators in private and public sectors. By completing capstone projects or theses, students apply the research methods introduced in coursework to uncover and contribute new knowledge about a particular area of professional writing and rhetoric. Graduates of the PWR-MA program go on to execute writing-related projects in a variety of industries or proceed to doctoral programs, such as Technical Communication PhDs or Rhetoric and Composition PhDs.

To apply to the PWR-MA program, applicants must submit the following documents:

  • current, professional resume
  • goals statement
  • analytical writing sample of at least 1,000 words
  • two letters of recommendation
  • portfolio of professional writing or editing (optional but recommended)
  • two official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended
  • any other materials required by Graduate Admissions

Focus the goals statement on how you see this program fitting into your larger goals, and show that you understand what kinds of outcomes our program supports. If you relate information about your history, focus on recent endeavors in education or work experience directly related to writing studies. We assume that all of our students are passionate about reading and writing, so you do not need to make that explicit statement.

The PWR-MA does not include coursework in literature, creative writing, or journalism. If your goals relate to those fields, consider applying to programs in those areas.

We prefer but do not require academic recommendations. We find that the most persuasive letters of recommendation come from former professors rather than employers.

We scan writing samples, so you do not need to elegantly bound or present them. However, we do recommend that applicants write a brief introduction to each professional sample, outlining the audience, purpose, and any particular challenges of the writing task.

We do not require GRE scores.

Moving Between NonDegree, Certificate, and MA

If you decide to transfer into the PWR-MA program from the PTW certificate program, more than half of your course credits must be earned after admittance to the PWR-MA program. Because only 12 credits of coursework taken as a PTW certificate student can count toward the PWR-MA degree, we recommend that you make this decision early. If you have taken courses as a non-degree student, know that if you decide to switch from the PTW certificate to the PWR-MA, you can lose credit for any courses that exceed the 12-credit transfer limit. Similarly, only 6 credits of non-degree coursework will count toward the PTW certificate, so be sure to apply to the PTW certificate program before taking a third course.

The Foreign Language Requirement

The PWR-MA concentration is exempt from the foreign language requirement.