Bachelor of Arts in Public and Professional Writing


The Public and Professional Writing (PPW) program is designed to help students learn to write, edit, and design electronic and paper documents for businesses, organizations, and institutions. Successful PPW majors demonstrate many kinds of knowledge and skills valued in the field. As a PPW major, students analyze existing works—from web sites, manuals, and policies to grant proposals, creative nonfiction essays, podcasts, and video essays—as well as produce their own original materials in these and other genres for their professional portfolio.

Specifically, successful PPW majors will:

•  produce clear, effective, well-edited writing that serves the needs and interests of various audiences and publics;

•  learn to adapt to working environments that are changing rapidly—especially in terms of information technology;

•  develop a robust understanding of visual rhetoric and the ability to use visual techniques to enhance the effectiveness of documents;

•  analyze and write meaningfully about data drawn from various fields and sources;

•  explore writing in both traditional and emergent genres;

•  develop a specialty in a specific field or type of working environment in which they plan to put PPW knowledge and skills to use.

Majors in PPW enjoy successful careers as professional and creative writers, editors, document developers, and educators. Our graduates work as professional and technical writers at Ohio companies like Radcom and Rockwell Automation; as grant writers at regional nonprofits like Beatitude House and Ohio Association of Foodbanks; as marketing and public relations specialists around the nation; as teachers at high schools and universities; and as trainers and consultants in the field. Many graduates have continued their studies in graduate programs in Rhetoric and Composition and Creative Writing as well.

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Public and Professional Writing requires 60 semester hours, distributed as follows:

YSU 1500Success Seminar1-2
or SS 1500 Strong Start Success Seminar
or HONR 1500 Intro to Honors
General Education Requirements
ENGL 1550Writing 13-4
or ENGL 1549 Writing 1 with Support
ENGL 1551Writing 23
CMST 1545Communication Foundations3
Any GER Math (MATH 2623 or 2623C preferred)3-5
Arts & Humanities (6 s.h.)6
Natural Sciences (2 courses, 1 with lab) (6-7 s.h.)7
Social Science (6 s.h.)6
Social and Personal Awareness (6 s.h.)6
Foreign Language Requirement
FNLG 1550Elementary Foreign Language (or FNLG 1505)4
FNLG 2600Intermediate Foreign Language (or FNLG 1506)4
ENGL 3744Writing with Data3
ENGL 3745Writing for Online Media3
ENGL 3743Introduction to Public, Professional and Technical Writing3
ENGL 3751Rhetoric and Argument3
ENGL 3752Ethnographic Writing3
ENGL 4845Grant Writing3
ENGL 4846Visual Rhetoric3
ENGL 4849Copyediting3
ENGL 4899Public and Professional Writing Senior Project3
15 s.h. of 3000- or 4000-level courses from those listed below, 3 hours of which must be PPW15
Nonfiction Narrative Writing
Writing in the Health Science Professions
Writing and the Public Sphere
Public and Professional Writing Internship
Magazine Publishing
Editorial and Opinion Writing
News Content Creation 1
News Reporting
American Media: History, Principles and Practices
News Reporting 2
Communication Law
Creative Writing
Fiction Writing Workshop
Poetry Writing Workshop
Principles of Linguistic Study
Advanced Linguistics
English Grammar
Selected Topics in Discourse
Communication Studies
Intro to Media Relations Campaigns
Gender Communication
Media Analysis
Take any available minor (12 s.h. minimum)12-19
IV. Electives to reach 120 hours 20
Total Semester Hours120-131
Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
YSU 1500
Success Seminar
or Strong Start Success Seminar
or Intro to Honors
ENGL 1550
Writing 1
or Writing 1 with Support
FNLG 1550 Elementary Foreign Language 4
Arts & Humanities 3
Any GER Math (MATH 2623 or MATH 2623C preferred) 3-5
Elective 15xx / 26xx 3
 Semester Hours17-21
ENGL 1551 Writing 2 3
CMST 1545 Communication Foundations 3
FNLG 2600 Intermediate Foreign Language 4
Social Sciences 3
Social & Personal Awareness 3
 Semester Hours16
Year 2
ENGL 3743 Introduction to Public, Professional and Technical Writing (Now: "Intro. to Public, Prof., and Tech Writing") 3
ENGL 3744 Writing with Data (Now: "Writing from Data") 3
Minor course (1 of 6) 3
Writing and Language Study (1 of 5) 3
Natural Science 3
 Semester Hours15
ENGL 3745 Writing for Online Media (Now: "Writing for Online Media") 3
ENGL 3751 Rhetoric and Argument (Now: "Rhetoric and Argument") 3
Minor course (2 of 6) 3
Natural Science (Lab) 4
Elective 15xx/26xx 3
 Semester Hours16
Year 3
ENGL 4846 Visual Rhetoric 3
Writing and Language Study (2 of 5) 3
Minor course (3 of 6) 3
Arts & Humanities 3
Social & Personal Awareness
 Semester Hours12
ENGL 3752 Ethnographic Writing 3
ENGL 4849 Copyediting (Now: "Copyediting") 3
Writing and Language Study (3 of 5) 3
Minor course (4 of 6) 3
Elective 15xx/26xx 3
 Semester Hours15
Year 4
ENGL 4845 Grant Writing 3
Writing and Language Study (4 of 5) 3
Minor Course (5 of 6) 3
Elective (15xx/26xx) 3
Elective (37xx/48xx) 3
 Semester Hours15
ENGL 4899 Public and Professional Writing Senior Project (Now: "Public and Professional Writing Senior Project") 3
Writing and Language Study (5 of 5) 3
Minor course (6 of 6) 3
Elective 15xx/26xx 3
Elective 37xx/48xx 3
 Semester Hours15
 Total Semester Hours121-125

Upper-division hours = 48

Learning Outcomes

The English Department has established the following learning outcomes for students completing the professional and technical writing major:

  •  PPW majors will WRITE documents to meet the demands, purpose, and interests of a specific client and audience.
  •  PPW majors will DESIGN documents to meet the demands, purpose, and interests of a specific client and audience.
  •  PPW majors will REFLECT on and REVISE their documents’ writing and design using concrete criteria set by a specific client and audience.
  •  PPW majors will DELIVER ORAL PRESENTATIONS of their documents’ writing and design using professionally designed visual aid.