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Major and Minor

Major in Writing and Rhetoric Studies

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

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 or about 12 courses

WRTG 3011: Writing in the Arts & Humanities (CW)

WRTG 3012: Writing in the Social Sciences (CW)

WRTG 3014: Writing in the Sciences (CW)

WRTG 3015: Professional Writing (CW)

WRTG 3016: Business Writing (CW)

WRTG 2040: Intro to Writing Studies

WRTG 2310: Digital Writing

WRTG 2905: Special Topics

WRTG 3010: Critical Thinking and Writing (HF; CW)

WRTG 3018: Writing about Popular Culture (HF)

WRTG 3019: Writing about War (HF; CW)

WRTG 3020: Write 4 U (HF; CW)

WRTG 3030: Writing across Locations

WRTG 3040: Digital Storytelling (HF)

WRTG 3420: Environmental & Sustainability Studies (HF; CW)

WRTG 3430: Language of the Law

WRTG 3440: Digital Research Methods

WRTG 3510: Grammar and Stylistics (LING 3510) (CW)

WRTG 3610: Internship

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

WRTG 3830: Research in Professional Communication (CW)

WRTG 3890: Under-Represented Rhetorics (DV)

WRTG 3900: Advanced Literacy Studies (ENGL 3690) (HF)

WRTG 4000: Writing for Scholarly Publication

WRTG 4001: Business Plans and Proposals

WRTG 4010: Writing Across Borders (IR)

WRTG 4020: Writing Center Colloquium: Theory and Practice

WRTG 4030: Visual Rhetoric: Word/Image/Argument (CW; QB)

WRTG 4040: Digital Rhetoric

WRTG 4050: Cultural Rhetorics (DV)

WRTG 4060: Writing in the Public Sphere

WRTG 4070: Rhetorics of Gender

WRTG 4090: Materiality of the Book

WRTG 4200: Writing Popular Non Fiction (CW)

WRTG 4830: Designing for Usability (CW)

WRTG 4850: Technical Editing

WRTG 4890: Writing, Persuasion, and Power

WRTG 4905: Studies in Professional Discourse (Law, Med) (CW)

WRTG 5010: Medical and Health Science Discourses

WRTG 5770: Research in Rhetoric and Writing

WRTG 5830: Digital Publishing

WRTG 5905: Special Topics in Writing & Rhetoric

ENGL 5970: Discourse Analysis

You must select these in consultation with your advisor.

Minor in Writing and Rhetoric Studies

Writing is fundamentally important in a number of workplace settings such as business, law, medicine, government jobs, non-profits, engineering and the sciences. Students who minor will improve their writing and gain and understanding of how and why writing works.

18 credit hours or 6 courses

1 Introductory Course in Rhetoric:
WRTG 3875 - Rhetorics and Theories

1 Introductory Course in Writing:
WRTG 3870 - Writing as Social Practice

1 Professional or Academic Writing Course: See approved list in flyer

3 Elective Courses in Writing & Rhetoric: See approved list in flyer 

Advising Flyer Minor

How the WRS Major Works for Transfer Students

If you have already earned an associate’s degree, which is typically 60 credit hours, and want to complete a WRS major, which is 36 credit hours, that totals 96 credit hours. This means that you would need 26 more credit hours to complete the 122 semester hour graduation requirement for a bachelor’s degree. Remember, 40 of those 122 credits must be upper-division (3000-level or higher).

Transfer Student Info

This flexibility makes WRS an ideal double major or a good major to combine with other minor(s), pre-professional concentrations, or participating in the honors program. WRS pairs well with disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, sciences, and professional programs. All WRS majors graduate with an e-portfolio that showcases their writing experiences and abilities for employers and graduate admissions committees.

The Office of Admissions determines the acceptability of transfer credit toward the 122 semester hour graduation requirement as well as awarding credit general education requirements. Academic departments determine if courses are considered equivalent to courses offered at the University of Utah and their applicability towards a bachelor's degree.

Designed for 21st Century Learners 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.

Strong Relationships with Faculty  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

Powerful Double Major  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.

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.

Choosing Rhetoric and Writing 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.

To give you an idea of the course of study you might follow have put together a few class combinations that would fulfill the requirements of the program, 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 3705: Rhetoric, Science and Technology Studies (BF; HF)

WRTG 4010: Writing for International Audiences (IR)

WRTG 4030: Visual Rhetoric (QB)

WRTG 4850: Technical Editing

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

WRTG 3510: Grammar & Stylistics (CW)

WRTG 3890: Under-Represented Rhetorics (DV)

WRTG 4010: Writing Across Borders (IR)

WRTG 4905: Studies in Professional Discourses: Discourses of Law (CW) 

Last Updated: 10/23/19