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Professional Writing and Communication

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Welcome to the Professional Writing and Communication (PWC) major webpage!
The PWC major teaches students to become flexible and ethical writers and communicators who can be successful in a variety of contexts.

About the Program

Students become flexible and ethical writers and communicators through the Professional Writing and Communication (PWC) major. Faculty in the Professional Writing and Communication Program are committed to working together to provide students with a liberal arts education that is enhanced with practical experiences such as internships and service learning opportunities that prepare students to earn a living as writers. The major is cross-disciplinary in order to give students the tools to communicate in writing, through graphics, and orally.

A PWC Major should...

  • have taken high school prep classes such as advanced writing and reading classes;
  • have been involved in high school activities such as the newspaper, drama, forensics, or the yearbook;
  • possess strong grammar and writing skills;
  • have strong reading skills.

Clubs & Organizations

Visit Catalog

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  • The Spur (SMSU student newspaper): a chance for students to practice writing for the campus audience
  • Writing Center: upper-class students are eligible to become tutors
  • Scholarship/Mentorship: allows students to work one-on-one with SMSU faculty while receiving tuition reimbursement
  • Perceptions: a literary and arts journal for students to have their works published
  • The English Club: students attend regional and national writing conferences, as well as plan writing-related events
  • Readings and Open Mic Events: students may read their own writing or hear the writing of nationally-known writers
  • Marshall Festival: opportunities to see numerous readings, panels, and discussions with regional and nationally-known authors, as well as volunteer to work in various aspects behind-the-scenes
  • Creating Spaces: students serve as the first-tier judges for an annual creative writing contest for 3rd to 12th grade students in the 18-county region

Placement Opportunities

Our graduates have found jobs throughout the country and world (e.g., Germany, Sweden, and Iceland). Their job titles are listed below.

  • Journalism
  • Advertising
  • Grant Writing
  • Technical Writing
  • Software Publishing
  • Periodic and Book publishing
  • Computer Systems Design
  • Corporate Communications
  • Corporate Training
  • And many more!

Continuing Education Opportunities

  • Law School
  • Medical School
  • M.A. in Creative Writing or Technical Writing
  • M.A. in Medical Writing
  • M.A. in Education with English Emphasis
  • MBA
  • Post-baccalaureate Certificates in Various Fields

SMSU English

SMSU English

Contact Information

English Program - Office

BA 221, Southwest Minnesota State University
1501 State St.
Marshall, MN 56258

"Having worked in three completely different industries (engineering, philanthropy, and health care), I truly believe the PWC major has been a major contributor to my success in each. The exposure to a variety of professional documents and disciplines while in school made me adaptable when switching industries, job titles, or learning new technology. I would highly recommend the PWC major to anyone interested in writing or communication in a professional setting."

Janna Dorman '12, Professional Writing & Communication,
Graduate School: MA from Iowa State University in Rhetoric, Composition, & Professional Communication completed in 2014
Employed: Senior Web-based Training Developer at Allina Health


  • Complete Application
  • $20 Non-refundable Application Fee
  • Official High School Transcript(s)
  • ACT or SAT Test Scores

Schedule Your Visit Today!


  • Rank in the upper half of graduating class
  • or
  • Score a composite of 21 or above on the ACT or 990 on the SAT

Last Modified: 8/30/22 11:56 AM | Website Feedback