Professional Writing Major

Open the doors to a range of exciting careers with a professional writing degree. You’ll be prepared with a strong foundation of communication skills, while also realizing your creative potential.

Careers in professional writing

  • Editor
  • Journalist
  • Web designer
  • Communications manager
  • Marketer
  • Grant writer
  • Technical writer
  • Scientific writer
  • Medical writer
  • Creative writer

Special features

Our program provides a blend of writing experiences, professional skills and several opportunities unique to SUNY Cortland:

  • Gain experience and make work connections through required program internships.
  • Travel to New York City to explore the evolution of writing, visiting locations including the New York Public Library, the Morgan Library and Museum, Strand Bookstore and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • Contribute to Hoxie Gorge ReviewSUNY Cortland's national journal.
  • Join the Cortland Writers’ Association, a community of passionate student writers.
  • Attend writing retreats at SUNY Cortland's outdoor campus in the Adirondack Mountains.

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.

Meet your professors

Our teaching emphasizes hands-on practice, where students discover opportunities to work with faculty on research and other projects: writing grants, editing and designing publications and websites.

Learn more about our faculty

Next Steps

Contact us

Office: Old Main, Room 115-F
Phone: 607-753-5945

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: 120


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

See all scholarship opportunities

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