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Writing and Rhetoric Studies Major


Lisa M Shaw


3700 LNCO

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Writing Placement | Writing and Rhetoric MinorResources for Writers | Advising

Major in Writing and Rhetoric Studies


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.


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

Last Updated: 4/4/19