The art and science of writing
While the study of rhetoric has been central to liberal arts education since antiquity, in the Writing and Rhetoric major at St. Edward’s, we also see it as both creative and ultimately practical. In its broadest sense, rhetoric is the study of how humans interact and communicate. Rhetoric helps us become more effective readers, writers, and communicators.
The WRIT major offers specializations in Creative Writing, Professional Writing, and Journalism. We also offer a General Writing Studies concentration, which is a particularly good path for students who want to pursue graduate studies in rhetoric.
Our faculty has a broad range of specialties from theory to the practice of writing. We are committed to students’ success as thinkers, writers, researchers, and citizens of the world. We mentor and support our students throughout their undergraduate careers and beyond, helping them to identify their long-term goals and preparing them for employment and graduate school with internships, service learning, and a dedicated Career Preparation course.
Our graduates go on to careers in journalism, technical writing and editing, publishing, politics and political communication, law, teaching, and many more fields. We count among our alumni poets, sports writers, novelists, travel writers, fashion bloggers, grant writers, and White House communications specialists.
English Writing and Rhetoric offers courses of study or “tracks.” Students can choose from among the more focused tracks in Creative Writing, Professional Writing, and Journalism, or the General track, which offers a broad range of genres and writing situations.
Students will select courses from traditional genres such as poetry, fiction, nonfiction, playwriting, and writing for stage and screen as well as emerging and hybrid genres. Our Creative Writing faculty is led by award-winning working artists. In addition to traditional workshop-based writing courses, this specialization includes courses in literature and professional writing to create customized writing experiences.
The professional writing specialization provides students with timely coursework that they can apply in the job market. The professional writing faculty, whose experience ranges from the courtroom to the conference room, provide students with an array of skills and problem-solving strategies. Students can choose coursework in editing, magazine writing, advertising and public relations, technical and business writing, and document design as well as courses in journalism and creative writing.
Students in this specialization take courses in interactive media and design, online journalism, copy editing and media standards. They select additional courses in various areas of journalism, including magazine writing, opinion writing, broadcast journalism, documentary, entertainment writing and writing for sports.
For students who would like to develop their versatility as writers and scholars, the general track provides a specialization with a wide variety of options. With a solid foundation in grammar, style, and rhetorical theory, students can choose to customize a course of study that may include classes Legal Writing, Entertainment Journalism, or Humor Writing, just to name a few.
In the ENGW major, students have the opportunity for hands-on experience writing, editing, and publishing in a variety of media and genres. Participating in student publications is the ultimate way to build a portfolio.
Hilltop Views is our award-winning student-run newspaper. In both print and electronic formats, student journalists, editors, photographers, designers, and writers constantly report news and develop content that informs, entertains, and reflects the St. Edward’s community.
The Sorin Oak Review is our creative writing and expression journal. Sorin Oak publishes poetry, prose, scripts, visual art, and hybrid genres for this annual publication. Students produce this journal from concept to design to production.
Fool’s Gold is ENGW’s newest publication. This student humor magazine began as an online journal, but after its initial success will soon join the other publications with an annual “Best Of” print issue.
Arete is our award-winning academic journal. Published annually, Arete is a showcase for outstanding academic work by students across disciplines. Students jury, select, and edit submissions and collaborate to design and produce the journal.
New Literati, like Sorin Oak, is a creative expression publication that was originally produced by New College, the university’s adult education branch. It is now published in collaboration with the traditional undergraduate program.
In the popular imagination, writers (and English majors in general) are often depicted as teachers and novelists. While our graduates do occasionally go into these fields, those alumni are not in the majority. According to the US Department of Labor Statistics, professional writing is a growing field. Thanks to the Information Age, the English Writing and Rhetoric degree is practical, versatile, and in demand in a wide variety of professions. Here are some of the things our graduates are doing.
Reporting for The Austin-American Statesman, The Dallas Morning News, The Houston Chronicle, and other news outlets.
Sports writing for the Tampa Bay Rays
Lyricist/Performing Artist (rap, jazz, and pop music)
Political campaign management and White House communications
Social media and digital content management
Technical writing and editing
Graduate School: Law School, MFA, Rhetoric and Composition Studies, Technical Writing, Publishing,
Fellowships: Multiple Fulbright Scholars
Library and information science
Magazine and freelance writing
Book publishing and bookselling
ENGW graduates often choose to go on to graduate studies in a broad range of disciplines. Our alumni have been accepted, often with generous scholarships, to programs in
Creative Writing (MFA)
Rhetoric and Composition Studies (MA and PhD)
Library and Information Sciences (MLIS)
Technical Writing (MA)
Journalism and Magazine Writing (MA)
Law School (JD)
Here are just a few of the prestigious graduate schools that have accepted our alumni:
Sarah Lawrence College
New York University
The University of Denver
Syracuse University, S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communication
Texas Tech University
The University of Colorado (Boulder)
The University of Texas
The University of Texas Law School
The University of Washington
Texas Christian University
Texas A&M University
Texas State University
Looking for a versatile, rewarding degree? Get it in Writing at St. Edward’s University.
All students majoring in English Writing and Rhetoric are required to participate in a one-semester internship, which can be either a teaching or a professional writing internship. Students are encouraged to do more than one internship and are allowed to count two internships for credit in the major. Participation in an internship not only gives students an inside look at potential careers, but also provides important networking opportunities.
See Dr. Amy Clements’s Everything You Need to Know About the ENGW Internship for more information.
The English Writing and Rhetoric faculty are experienced, passionate and invested in each individual student's success. All are published writers. Their work has appeared in professional journals, short story collections, books, newspapers and more. Collectively, their interests cover a multitude of areas, providing students with a diversity of expertise and inspiration to draw from.
“When we enhance a student’s literacy skills, we score a victory for truth.”
— Amy Clements
“Journalism matters to me because it is both the practice and study of the stories we tell to understand ourselves and others.”
— Jena Heath
“Increasing the world's supply of mindful, adept, ethical, employable writers and thinkers is one good way to help design the future.”
— Drew Loewe
“Even if my students never enroll in a PhD program, I want them to embrace their roles as writers, readers and researchers throughout their undergraduate education.”
— Moriah McCracken