Words have power. Learn how to harness it — to express yourself and make a positive impact on your community — with a major in Writing and Rhetoric.

Major Roadmap

Explore your options — classes, internships, research and study abroad. Find what interests you, discover what you love, and create a major experience that jumpstarts your future. 

Writing and Rhetoric — General Concentration Major Guide

Professional Writing Concentration Guide

Journalism & Digital Media Concentration Guide

Creative Writing Concentration Guide

Develop your ability to persuade your audience as a campaign speechwriter, an advocate for policy changes, or a marketing copywriter. Learn digital techniques and skills that will prepare you for work in newsrooms and other media outlets.  Train your editor’s eye to notice mistakes and improve a piece of writing. Use your skills to make the world a better place, by writing copy for nonprofits or winning grants that let them expand their mission.

Austin is packed with opportunities for strong writers. Intern with an award-winning advertising agency, a policy research organization that’s analyzing bills during the Texas legislative session, or one of the many publications that cover news and profile the capital city’s incredible characters.

What do our graduates do?

Writing and Rhetoric majors go on to a variety of careers and graduate schools from St. Edward’s. Here’s a sample.

  • Technical writer at Amazon Publisher Services
  • Communication chief in the Dallas Mayor’s Office
  • Content strategist for IBM
  • Information specialist for the American Cancer Society
  • Graduate student at the Newhouse School of Journalism at Syracuse University
  • Assistant Editor at Better Homes & Garden
  • Editor for the Texas Legislative Council
  • Reporter at the Houston Chronicle

For more information about the Writing and Rhetoric major, please contact Professor of Writing and Rhetoric Mary Rist, chair of the Department of Literature, Writing and Rhetoric

From Writing and Rhetoric to Fulbright Winners

Writing and Rhetoric majors Lilli Hime and Logan Stallings were winners of Fulbright awards, a highly selective scholarship and grant program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. Read about how they are going full on — successfully.

The Classroom and Beyond

To become a better writer, you’ll need to practice your craft as much as possible and in many different settings. The St. Edward’s and Austin communities offer ample opportunities to develop your skills in journalism, editing, creative writing, technical writing, marketing, legal writing and more.

Experiential Education 

Your classes will help you refine your craft and help you practice writing in real-world settings.

In Grant Proposal Writing, you’ll choose an Austin area nonprofit to help with applications for grant funding. Your class will visit the foundations library to search for funders, choose a foundation that matches the mission of your nonprofit, and write a grant proposal. Many students have successfully won funding for their cause in amounts of up to $75,000.

Technical Writing will help you communicate complex ideas clearly in any professional context. In this course you’ll conduct usability testing and learn about the principles of universal design that improve accessibility for users with physical and neurological differences and for English language learners. You’ll leave the course with professional writing samples you can use to apply for scholarships, internships and employment opportunities. Technical writing internships are abundant in Austin, and National Instruments, which has hosted an on-campus technical writing training, offers a paid summer internship that has led to full-time employment offers for several students. 

In Career Preparation, you’ll learn about personal branding and e-portfolio curation, network with alumni from across the country, learn about graduate school (including MFA programs) and freelancing, and participate in “deep dives” with employers from different professional writing sectors. These guest speakers are in a position to hire, and they explain the history and mission of their organization, what the workplace culture is like, and what a strong application looks like. Past speakers have included staff from National Instruments and the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

SEU to You

Listen as professors in the Department of Literature, Writing and Rhetoric share information about their courses in our mini-podcast series.

Student Organizations

Hilltop Views, the weekly student newspaper, is published both in print and online. Student journalists report news from the campus and greater Austin community. You can get involved as early as your freshman year as a writer, editor, photographer or designer. 

Sorin Oak Review is a literary magazine that showcases the poetry, prose and artwork of St. Edward’s students. Working on the editorial staff is a great way to gain experience in project management and the practical details of putting together a publication.

Arete is a student-produced academic journal that publishes student-written research, nonfiction essays and commentary. Editors choose from among the dozens of submissions to create a cohesive journal that represents a variety of perspectives. 

New Literati is a student-produced journal of both academic and creative work.

B. Hooved is the student humor journal, inspired by our Hilltopper goat mascot. 

The Marcia Kinsey Visiting Writers Series brings poets, novelists, playwrights and essayists to campus to read from their work and talk with students about the process of writing. Previous visiting writers include Jericho Brown, Jonathan Safran Foer, Naomi Shihab Nye and Mindy Kaling. 

The Book Jackets Literary Club is a fully student-run organization in which students gather to share conversations about books and writing ideas.  Students also gather to read and perform each other’s work and invite speakers to discuss internship and job opportunities for literature and writing majors.  They also share information about upcoming literary events on campus and at local bookstores.