Professional Writing M.S.

Degree: Master of Science
https://www.towson.edu/cla/departments/english/gradwriting/

Program Director: Michael Downs
Phone: 410-704-3695
Email: mdowns@towson.edu

The program provides advanced study in the theory of writing, writing techniques and style, principles/techniques of editing, and the functions of written communication within the professional/occupational setting. Courses aim to develop the communication skills of people seeking to enter or to advance in occupations requiring extensive writing and/or the analysis and reporting of data. Students choose from tracks in writing for the public and private sectors, technical writing and information design, teaching writing, journalistic writing, scientific writing and creative writing.

Accelerated Bachelor’s-Master’s Program

Students may also earn an M.S. in Professional Writing through the Department of English's accelerated bachelor’s to master’s program. This program allows students to complete their undergraduate and graduate degrees in a shorter time frame. Prospective applicants should contact the program director for details.

Please see the Undergraduate Catalog for information on the accelerated bachelor's-master's program.

Admission Requirements

  • A 3.00 is required for full admission and 2.75 for conditional admission. All GPA calculations for admission are based upon the last 60 units of undergraduate and post-baccalaureate study.
  • Based upon the applicant’s undergraduate transcript and the writing sample, the department reserves the right to require two specified preparatory undergraduate writing courses, passed with the grade of “B” or higher in each course, for admission.

Please complete the online application, including the following:

  • Two letters of recommendation, preferably letters that speak to writing experience and capability.
  • Personal essay of 750-1000 words in which you tell us about yourself and about your reasons for wishing to pursue this degree.  You may include an additional example of your writing if you wish (10 pages or fewer), but this is not required.

NOTE: Upon admission to the program, the student must meet with the assigned adviser to plan a program of study.

Non-immigrant International Students

Program Enrollment: F-1 and J-1 students are required to be enrolled full-time. The majority of their classes must be in-person and on campus. See the list of programs that satisfy these requirements, and contact the International Student and Scholars Office with questions.

Admission Procedures: See additional information regarding Graduate Admission policies and International Graduate Application online.

**See Exceptions to Policy in Graduate Admissions.

Degree Requirements

Required Courses
PRWR 611RHETORIC 13
PRWR 612RHETORICAL GRAMMAR3
PRWR 613THEORY OF EXPOSITION3
PRWR 615STYLE3
PRWR 617EDITING3
PRWR 797INTERNSHIP IN PROFESSIONAL WRITING3
Select 9 units of PRWR 600/700 courses, chosen with advisor, appropriate to track (electives may include 6 units of Thesis)9
Select one of the six tracks listed below. 9
Total Units36

Tracks

Writing for the Public and Private Sectors

Select three of the following:9
GRANT AND COMMUNITY WRITING
BUSINESS WRITING
TECHNICAL WRITING AND INFORMATION DESIGN
CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS CONSULTING
Total Units9

Technical Writing and Information Design

PRWR 623TECHNICAL WRITING AND INFORMATION DESIGN3
PRWR 628DESIGNING CONTENT FOR THE WEB3
PRWR 625DESIGN LAYOUT AND PRODUCTION3
Total Units9

Teaching Writing

PRWR 621BUSINESS WRITING3
PRWR 627MODERN RHETORIC3
PRWR 633TEACHING COLLEGE COMPOSITION3
Total Units9

Journalistic Writing

Select three of the following:9
LITERARY JOURNALISM
CRITICISM IN MASS MEDIA
MASS MEDIA LAW AND REGULATIONS
MEDIA AND POLITICS
WRITING CREATIVE NON-FICTION
FREELANCE WRITING
WRITING REVIEWS
SCIENCE AND ITS PUBLIC AUDIENCE
Total Units9

Scientific Writing

PRWR 623TECHNICAL WRITING AND INFORMATION DESIGN3
PRWR 691METHODS AND RESEARCH FOR PROFESSIONAL WRITING3
PRWR 731SCIENCE AND ITS PUBLIC AUDIENCE3
Total Units9

Creative Writing

Select 9 units from the following:9
WRITING POETRY (3-6 units)
WRITING SHORT FICTION (3-6 units)
WRITING THE NOVEL (3-6 units)
WRITING CREATIVE NON-FICTION (3-6 units)
Total Units9

Portfolio

All students in Professional Writing are required to complete a written master’s degree portfolio as a qualifying exam. The portfolio must be submitted between completion of 12 to 18 units of degree work. If deemed unsatisfactory, the portfolio may be resubmitted once. A second failure results in dismissal from the program.

Accelerated Bachelor's Degree in English and M.S. in Professional Writing

The accelerated Bachelor’s-Master’s degree program in English and Professional Writing is designed to allow students to complete the accelerated undergraduate and graduate degrees in a shorter time frame, including 6 units taken during summer terms. This program is open only to undergraduates pursuing the Writing track in English. For admission to this track on the undergraduate level, the student must apply to the Director of the Professional Writing Program before the second term of the junior year and meet the following criteria:

  • Completion of or current enrollment in 60 units (may include transfer credits)

  • Declaration of an English major in the undergraduate Writing track

  • Completion of (or current enrollment in) at least 12 units of the English major (3 of these units should fulfill the University’s Gen Ed. 1D requirement with a class from the English Department, ENGL 313ENGL 315 or ENGL 316)

  • Achievement of an overall GPA of 3.3 or better and a GPA in English of 3.3 or better

  • Demonstration of a high degree of proficiency in writing, to be determined by the Director of the Professional Writing Program from the student’s PRWR Master’s program admissions materials

9 units taken at the 600-level after completion of the junior year will be double-counted toward fulfilling the 120 units required for the BS and the 36 units required for the M.S. See Undergraduate Catalog for stipulations pertaining to the completion of the bachelor’s degree.

  1. Demonstrate ability to focus on a topic, deliver sound, reasonable evidence to support or develop that topic; clearly and logically organize the work and show evidence of craft.
  2. Demonstrate flexibility in a range of writing styles as well as sentence and paragraph-level command of language.
  3. Demonstrate line-level competence with grammar, punctuation and vocabulary.