English Writing and Rhetoric
The Bachelor of Arts in English Writing and Rhetoric at St. Edward’s explores the nuances of the written word and visual rhetoric. Through your mastery of language and basic design principles, you’ll learn to captivate your audience — whether you seek to educate, persuade or entertain. You’ll develop the vocabulary, fluency, style and voice to thrive in a world shaped by words and images and mediated by changing technologies.
One of only a few undergraduate rhetoric programs in the nation, this degree takes a practical approach, teaching you to write and design texts that communicate clearly and effectively in print and electronic media to suit professional, academic or creative career settings. It is also excellent preparation for many graduate programs or for law school. Students may also interact with award-winning writers through our Visiting Writers Series, in which writers read from their works and conduct workshops in creative writing.
Bachelor of Arts in English Writing and Rhetoric
As a BA in English Writing and Rhetoric major, you’ll focus on the field of writing that interests you most. In faculty-led critique sessions with classmates, you’ll analyze the nuances of effective communication and learn to give and receive feedback. You’ll use these skills to refine a body of professional-level work. When you graduate, you’ll have a portfolio that proves to employers or graduate schools that you can deliver polished, cogent material.
Many students select this degree to prepare for entry into law school or graduate studies in a variety of fields, where their articulate writing and rhetorical skills come to bear. Close interaction with faculty at St. Edward’s — and time spent in classes, advising sessions, an internship and program events — allows you to learn more about career options and the choice of doing graduate work.
Graduates with a BA in English Writing and Rhetoric use their exceptional command of language to enter many careers. Some publish novels, craft books of poetry or develop screenplays. Others enter politics, become speech writers or investigate the truth as journalists. Others utilize their persuasive writing talents as marketing or advertising writers or document the world around them as bloggers. Some go on to teach at the secondary school level, while others pursue advanced degrees for college-level teaching positions.
In addition to the general education courses required of all majors, and elective courses, BA in English Writing and Rhetoric majors take courses from these groups:
Students who major in English writing and rhetoric complete core courses, which include American Grammar, Revising and Editing, Technical and Business Communication, and Theories of Rhetoric and Composition.
BA in English Writing and Rhetoric majors complete supporting courses, which could include Online Writing, Magazine Writing, Grant Writing, Fiction Workshop, Playwriting Workshop, Journalism, Entertainment Journalism or Legal Writing, depending on the student’s chosen specialization.
Students complete a required internship at a publishing house, local publication, law office, or other business or nonprofit, where they apply their writing skills from the classroom to the workplace.
Students can choose to pursue one of four specializations:
- Professional writing prepares you to enter a career with practical training in editing and writing for the field (s) of your choice — such as legal writing, advertising and online writing.
- Creative writing immerses you in workshops that allow you to focus on one form (fiction, poetry, playwriting or nonfiction) while exploring others and honing your writing and revision skills.
- General writing develops your overall writing ability with a well-rounded, versatile education that can be applied to creative, professional or academic environments.
- Journalism focuses on the reporting and writing skills necessary to work as a reporter, to write and edit for newspapers, magazines and online publications, and to maintain journalistic integrity.
Graduating students prepare a portfolio that includes examples of their best work, revised and polished in a senior-level writing class. The portfolios contain examples of creative and professional writing, as well as academic essays and research papers. These pieces are ready to be submitted as writing samples with graduate school applications or presented at job interviews to showcase writing and editing skills.
Students write grant proposals with area arts organizations and nonprofits in Grant Writing. Many students also choose to complete professional writing internships with local nonprofit organizations.
View the Degree Plan (PDF) for sample course information for the Bachelor of Arts in English Writing and Rhetoric.
In addition to the required internship, English writing and rhetoric students may earn credit for completing other internships. These are excellent opportunities to learn new skills, explore your passions, and collaborate and network with professionals. Internship experiences are an outstanding addition to your résumé and provide a distinct advantage in the business world and for graduate school.
Some of our graduates have pursued internships with organizations such as these:
- Austin Bat Cave
- Austin Board of Realtors
- Badgerdog Press
- Book Pros
- Celebrate Austin
- El Buen Samaritano Episcopal Mission
- Front Steps
- Prufrock Press
- Texas Monthly
- Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine
- WomenBloom Press
- Writers’ League of Texas
Research and Creative Expression
BA in English Writing and Rhetoric students work alongside professors to conduct academic research. These experiences build confidence and skills and prepare you for graduate studies and your career.
In addition, our students have opportunities to do the following:
- Present their work at the Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE) at St. Edward’s University
- Edit and write for a number of campus publications: Hilltop Views newspaper (in print and online), the award-winning Sorin Oak Review literary journal and the student academic journal Arete
- Attend the St. Edward’s Visiting Writers Series in which award-winning writers read from their works and conduct creative writing workshops
- Participate in annual contests for one-act plays and for short films — such as the Sorin Reel Contest — held each year on campus
- Read and/or perform their original works of poetry and plays during Open Mic Nights on campus, as part of the Penniless Poetry series and with the Transit Theatre Group