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Major and Minor

Major in Writing and Rhetoric Studies

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

The Department of Writing and Rhetoric has designed the major in writing and rhetoric to meet the needs of the University of Utah’s diverse student body, preparing students who are strong analytical thinkers and proficient writers. Because employers consistently rank strong writing skills as among the most important capabilities in their employees, a degree in writing will prepare students for many careers and a variety of graduate school options. Students who major in Writing and Rhetoric will learn the rhetorical skills and behaviors that make a strong writer, while learning the ways that literacy is a social practice saturated with the values of the culture in which it is developed. Students who major in writing and rhetoric thus become better writers while also learning that texts are rhetorical and powerful cultural products.

The undergraduate degree in Writing and Rhetoric is developed to meet the changing needs of students in the 21st Century. The faculty have a broad and interesting range of research and pedagogical projects—ranging from first-year writing, English as a second-language, and writing in the sciences to analysis of the texts and discourses of institutions such as the university and the law. Most of our courses are taught by full-time faculty members, and they are small enough that students and professors develop strong working relationships

The degree in Writing and Rhetoric is ideal for a double major, working well with courses of study in a range of disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Writing is a key component in nearly every career, after all.

A major in Writing and Rhetoric can lead to many career opportunities. The rhetorical and writing competencies, work behaviors, and analytical skills students learn with us are applicable in a variety of fields, from publishing and editing to advertising and public relations to politics and public service. The major in Writing and Rhetoric also sets up students for graduate school success in professional degrees such as law and graduate degrees in rhetoric and composition, political science and more.

Major Requirements

Courses in the major are diverse, small, with most enrolling fewer than 30 students. Students receive individual attention and are encouraged to develop as writers

36 credit hours toward the major (12 courses)

1 Introductory Course in Rhetoric

1 Introductory Course in Writing as Social Practice

1 Senior Seminar

1 Professional or Academic Writing Course

5 Elective Courses in Writing and Rhetoric

3 Additional Courses from Across Campus

Minor in Writing and Rhetoric Studies 

The Rhetoric and Writing Minor is for students interested in improving their writing and students interested in understanding how and why writing works. Writing is fundamentally important in a number of workplace settings such as business, law, medicine, government jobs, non-profits, engineering and the sciences. Some might even choose writing as a career in publishing, technical writing and editing, or copy writing in an advertising agency. Knowledge about writing and skill as a writer will also help anybody interested in attending graduate school.

Minor Requirements

This minor offers maximum flexibility, while helping you fulfill many of your General Education requirements.

Required Courses

To complete the Rhetoric and Writing Minor, you will take seven total courses (18 credit hours), and of those, two are required.

WRTG 3860: Introduction to Rhetoric (HF)

WRTG 3870: Writing and Social Practice (HF)

Elective Courses

The Department of Writing and Rhetoric offers a selection of courses that you can choose from, based on your academic interests and your future career path. You will select four elective courses to complete the minor. Click here for a full list of required and elective courses.

To give you an idea of the course of study you might follow for this minor, we have put together a few class combinations that would fulfill the requirements of the minor, while also working to fulfill the General Education requirements. But remember that you have a lot of flexibility and can choose courses that best suit your interests.

Student A is a science major who selected these electives:

WRTG 3014: Writing in the Sciences (CW)

WRTG 3705: Rhetoric, Science and Technology Studies (BF; HF)

WRTG 4010: Writing for International Audiences (IR)

WRTG 4030: Visual Rhetoric (QB)

Student B is planning to go to law school and selected these electives:

WRTG 3510: Grammar & Stylistics (CW)

WRTG 3890: Writing & Social Justice (DV)

WRTG 4010: Writing for International Audiences (IR)

WRTG 4905: Studies in Professional Discourses: Discourses of Law 

Last Updated: 7/31/17