All Writing Is Creative

The Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric and Writing at St. Edward's University explores the art and science of writing. 

While the study of rhetoric is central to liberal arts education, in the Writing and Rhetoric (WRIT) major at St. Edward’s, we also see it as creative and ultimately practical. In its broadest sense, rhetoric is the study of how humans write, argue, express themselves, and communicate. In this major, students will...

  • Study the way in which language gives form and meaning to experiences 
  • Analyze how language is used to communicate and achieve real-world changes
  • Collaborate and connect with other writers and readers
  • Prepare for a career involving writing, editing and other communication skills
  • Write for a variety of audiences, situations and purposes
  • Apply the craft of writing to experiential settings through an internship

Students who complete the major are expected to have the skills necessary to enter graduate/professional schools or pursue careers with a heavy writing and/ or editing component. 

4 Writing & Rhetoric Tracks and Degree Requirements

The recently updated Writing and Rhetoric (WRIT) major offers four courses of study or "concentrations." Students can choose a structured Creative Writing, Professional Writing, or Journalism and Digital Media concentration, or opt for the flexible General concentration, which offers a broad range of genres and writing situations.

Creative Writing

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 concentration includes courses in literature and professional writing to create customized writing experiences.

Professional Writing

The professional writing concentration 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.

Journalism and Digital Media

Students in this concentration take courses in interactive media and design, online journalism, copy editing, and media standards. They select additional courses in various areas of journalism and digital media, including magazine writing, opinion writing, broadcast journalism, documentary, entertainment writing, and sportswriting. Students interested in a range of careers receive highly marketable instruction designed to prepare them for the workplace. Those pursuing careers in journalism and digital media, whether covering politics, science, the arts, or other areas, need strong writing and research skills. Public relations and business professionals benefit from learning clear communication for branding, marketing, and pitching new ideas. Almost every student can benefit from learning effective, clear, and concise communication because employers value strong writing, reporting, and multimedia skills. 

General

For students who would like to develop their versatility as writers and scholars, the general track provides a concentration 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 in Legal Writing, Entertainment Journalism, or Humor Writing, just to name a few.

Our Faculty and Student Support Services

The 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. 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, a dedicated Career Preparation course, and a Senior Project.

“When we enhance a student’s literacy skills, we score a victory for truth.”

– Amy Clements, Associate Professor of English

“Journalism matters to me because it is both the practice and study of the stories we tell to understand ourselves and others.”

– Jenna Heath, Associate Professor of Journalism

“Increasing the world's supply of mindful, adept, ethical, employable writers and thinkers is one good way to help design the future.”

Drew Loewe, Associate Professor of English

Faculty interests include:
  • American publishing in the early 20th century
  • The rhetoric of advertising
  • Editing for trade, literary and scholarly audiences
  • Creative writing
  • Digital technology in the newsroom
  • Newsroom innovation
  • Narrative storytelling
  • New online forms for long-form journalism
  • Citizen journalism
  • Rhetorical theory and criticism
  • Composition theory and pedagogy
  • Argumentation
  • Legal writing

View all faculty in the department.

 

Student Support Services

Along with personal attention and mentorship from their professors, our students have access to offices and programs outside of the classroom that support their success. We encourage students to take advantage these resources that help them thrive and excel:

  • Academic counseling and advising
  • Supplemental instruction and tutoring
  • Career preparation and advising 
  • Writing Center consultation
  • Health and wellness counseling
  • Student disability support

 

 

Learn more about these services.

Outside of the Classroom

Student Publications

In the WRIT 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.

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.

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 the university’s adult education branch. It is now published in collaboration with the traditional undergraduate program.

Internships

Our location in Austin opens doors to real-world application of writing skills learned in the classroom, an inside look at potential careers and provides important networking opportunities. All WRIT majors are required to complete at least one internship for course credit. For more information, contact Dr. Amy Clements at amyrc [at] stedwards.edu. Our students have interned at a wide variety of employers, ranging from local nonprofits to regional publishers and global corporations including:

  • The Writing Barn
  • Feeding Texas
  • Latinitas
  • The Austin American-Statesman
  • Texas Monthly Custom Publishing
  • The Walt Disney Company
  • National Instruments

The Marcia Kinsey Visiting Writers Series

The Marcia Kinsey Visiting Writers Series brings working writers to campus to read from their work, talk about their writing, and interact with students. As a student, you'll have the opportunity to meet award-winning novelists, poets, and playwrights during our many events over the course of the semester. Past visiting writers include Eula Biss, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Mindy Kaling, among others.

Alumni Outcomes

In the popular imagination, writers 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 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.

Our graduates go on to careers in journalism, technical writing and editing, publishing, politics and political communication, law, teaching, and many more fields. Our alumni include poets, sportswriters, novelists, travel writers, attorneys, fashion and beer bloggers, grant writers, and White House communications specialists. Here are some of the things are graduates are up to...

  • 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 Artists in the rap, jazz, and pop music genres
  • Political campaign management and White House communications
  • Social media and digital content management
  • Travel writing
  • Entrereneurship
  • Technical writing and editing
  • Creative writing
  • Humor writing
  • Nonprofit communications
  • Marketing copywriting
  • Magazine and freelance writing
  • Book publishing and bookselling
  • Videogame writing
  • Script writing

WRIT 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...

  • Dartmouth University
  • Carnegie-Mellon University
  • Sarah Lawrence College
  • New York University
  • Columbia University
  • Boston University
  • The University of Texas at Austin

Our alumni have earned degrees in...

  • JD in Law school 
  • MFA in Creative Writing
  • Master's in Library and Information Sciences (MLIS)
  • MA in Technical Writing
  • MA in Journalism and Magazine Writing
  • Certification in Publishing

Read about more of our successful alumni. See what they have to say about life after St. Edward’s.

About the Minor

Students interested in learning more about the study of how humans write, argue, express themselves, and communicate are encouraged to pursue a minor in Writing and Rhetoric, which requires 24 hours of coursework.

Required Courses:

  • Writing in the Digital World
  • Grammar and Style
  • Analyzing Rhetoric
  • Intro to Professional Writing or Intro to Creative Writing
  • Digital Media Production and Design or The Craft of Editing
  • 9 hours of upper-division coursework from select courses in WRIT and JOUR

Are you a current student? Contact your advisor for next steps on declaring your major or minor.