Fall 2021 Guidance/COVID-19 Information

Professional Writing Major

Open the doors to a range of exciting careers with a professional writing degree. You’ll be prepared with a strong technical foundation and communication skills, while also realizing your creative potential. As a confident and well-trained communicator, you’ll have an edge over your peers in the job market.

Careers in Professional Writing

  • Editor
  • Journalist
  • Web Designer
  • Communications Manager
  • Marketer
  • Grant Writer
  • Technical Writer
  • Scientific Writer
  • Medical Writer
  • Creative Writer

What Will I Learn?

Professional writing offers a well-rounded liberal arts education with courses in rhetoric, revising and editing, technical writing, creative writing, and writing with new media. By choosing Professional Writing as a major, you will:

  • Develop an awareness of the principles of rhetorical analysis and rhetorical composition.
  • Produce, assess, and attune your own writing for different audiences and genres.
  • Prepare and synthesize information for both experts and the general public in a variety of contexts, mediums, and technologies.
  • Gain the ability to use writing ethically—to ask questions, find answers, and create meaningful change for both local and global communities.
  • Think critically about what “writing” means and consider the historical, present, and future roles of writing in both the traditional classroom and outside of the academy.

Special Features

A professional writing degree provides a balance of wide-ranging writing experiences with the professional skills that will give you an edge in starting a career.

  • Gain experience and make connections through program internships.
  • Become a contributing editor to our national literary magazine.
  • Attend writing retreats at SUNY Cortland's outdoor center.
  • Perform at open mic readings.
  • Engage in innovating technical and digital projects with local businesses and nonprofits.

Get Involved

College is more than a classroom. There are many ways to get involved: join a club, participate in the honors program or intern in a career field that interests you.

Student Clubs

Honor Societies

Sigma Tau Delta, International English Honor Society

Next Steps

Contact Us

Chair: Andrea R. Harbin
Office: Old Main, Room 112
Phone: 607-753- 4307/4308
Fax: 607-753-5978

Fast Facts

  • Professional Writing graduates have gone on to jobs at tech companies, radio and television stations, publishing houses, nonprofits, businesses, as well as graduate schools.

Type of Degree

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Credit Hours: 124


We recognize excellence in our students with awards and scholarships.

  • Del Ivan Janik Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Shakespeare Studies
  • Timothy Chung ’76 Award for Excellence in American Literature
  • Robert E. Rhodes ’53 Scholarship
  • Robert E. Rhodes ’53 Award
  • Edward J. O’Heron Scholarship
  • Van Akin Burd Prize
  • Marion C. Thompson Memorial Scholarship
  • Van Akin Burd Scholarship in English


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