Bachelor in Writing: Professional Writing


Program Description

Why major in writing?

Writing majors at Northwest learn skills and techniques in composing content that inspires, communicates, solves problems and seeks the truth. Students in Northwest’s writing majors work across the spectrum of writing studies—from writing professional reports to writing poems. Northwest students are not canalized strictly into writing for news media like in a journalism program, to courses in fiction and poetry like in creative writing programs or to vocationally focused genres like technical writing programs. Rather, we’ve designed a major to help and challenge students to grow into flexible, effective, communicative writers.

When employers make hiring decisions, they seek smart people who write well. Northwest’s writing major is like cross-training for today’s job market. You will receive professional training without an expiration date—a liberal arts degree that prepares you for your first job after college and every job you decide to do after. We think studying writing is excellent preparation for life as an artist, scholar, citizen and professional—all the things that you should be when you finish a rigorous undergraduate education at a supportive university, and all the things you need to succeed in contemporary life.

Students may choose to earn a bachelor's degree in writing with an emphasis in professional writing or creative writing and publishing.

Minor in Writing

A minor in writing compliments any major. Students learn about the foundations of mass communications and advanced study in creative writing, technical writing, popular media, and language. The minor requires the completion of 24 credit hours.

Career opportunities

Job titles related to this major include:

  • Writer
  • Editor
  • Journalist
  • Lawyer
  • Project manager
  • Technical writer

Profession-based learning experiences

GreenTower Press is a small press supported by the department and managed by two faculty members. GreenTower Press publishes a highly lauded literary magazine, The Laurel Review. Each term, student interns gain professional publishing experience with GreenTower Press and The Laurel Review. Students work as editors-in-training at The Laurel Review, where they read, judge and edit manuscripts for publication.

Medium Weight Forks is an arts and literary magazine published by students in the Publications Skills course every spring term.

The Writing Center provides tutoring and other services to all Northwest students, and many students from the department gain valuable experience as writing tutors and as student managers. Students also have the opportunity to work as writing fellows with faculty in classrooms.

Students in professional writing complete practicum-based exercises in genres of the workplace, including occasional real-world projects for regional businesses and organizations.

Students travel with faculty to conferences such as the Annual Conference of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, the Comparative Drama Conference, and the Conference on College Composition and Communication.

Student Organizations

Scribblers, Northwest’s creative writing club, meets weekly to share creative work and write together.

Sigma Tau Delta, an English honorary society, annually sends students to a national conference to present critical and creative work. Sigma Tau Delta was established at Northwest in 1931.

Career ready. Day one.

Northwest ensures students are career ready, day one through internships, field experiences and networking opportunities.


Although internships are not required with the English major, they are highly encouraged. Interns have worked with the following organizations:

  • GreenTower Press (Northwest campus)
  • KZLX radio station (Northwest campus)
  • Grant coordinator (Northwest campus)
  • Northwest Missourian (student newspaper)
  • Tower Yearbook
  • Better Homes and Gardens
  • Nodaway County Historical Society
  • A to Z Communications

The Northwest difference

Founded in 1905, Northwest is a traditional campus with more than 7,200 undergraduate and graduate students. Located in the middle of everywhere, Maryville is two hours from Omaha, Nebraska and Kansas City, Missouri and
2 ½ hours from Des Moines, Iowa.

  • The textbooks and laptop rental programs save students nearly $7,300 over four years.
  • Ranked as the top moderately selective regional university in the "25 Best Colleges" by U.S. News and World Report for the third time in four years.
  • The Bearcat Advantage provides out-of-state students the opportunity to earn in-state tuition rates that can save more than $6,000. With the average undergraduate financial aid award of $5,467 for in-state students and $8,286 for out-of-state students, Northwest offers a quality education at an affordable price.
  • At Northwest, the American Dream Grant covers 100% of the tuition and fees for Pell-eligible students.
  • Students organizations, internships, and profession-based learning experiences ensure students are Career Ready, Day One.
Last updated Sep 2018

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About the School

Originally established in 1905, Northwest Missouri State University is a state-assisted, four-year regional university that also offers graduate degree programs. Northwest Missouri State University fo ... Read More

Originally established in 1905, Northwest Missouri State University is a state-assisted, four-year regional university that also offers graduate degree programs. Northwest Missouri State University focuses on student success - every student, every day. It will be THE university of choice for a comprehensive, exceptional student experience. Read less