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Writing schools and universities prepare students to write for a variety of mediums, including newspapers, magazines, television, radio, books and technical documents. Aspiring editors may also attend writing schools to hone their skills and move up through the profession into an editor position.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, authors, writers and editors generally must have a college degree. Certificate, undergraduate, graduate and Ph.D. degree programs are available in writing.
To select a writing school or university, a person should consider the curriculum first. Major concentration should be placed on the study of English, communications or journalism. Also, the school should have opportunities for experience in areas such as a school newspaper, magazine and website. Writing contests, writing clubs, workshops and associations are offered on many campuses.
Classes in web design, production, graphics and publishing are also beneficial in a writing program. These skills are especially necessary to enter the work force and perform effectively as a technical writer in a business environment.
Certificate programs are available at some schools in the English or liberal arts department. Requirements for admission into a certificate program may include a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA), a minimum GPA in specific English courses, a completed application and certain prerequisite classes or university credits. Aspiring writers should keep in mind that although many certificate programs are advantageous, a degree is generally required for employment.
Bachelor's degree-seeking students have many choices in majors such as English with a concentration in creative writing, literature or linguistics, communications or journalism.
For admission to a 4-year program, a student must usually provide a writing sample or essay and have a background in English courses with a GPA of 3.0 or above, or 3.5 or above for honors programs. Some schools also require a portfolio and personal statement. Common courses include reading and writing about literature, professional technical writing, composition studies, literacy theory, communication methods and editing.
For those wishing to pursue their graduate or post-graduate degree in writing, a Master's or Ph.D. in English are desirable choices. A student must have a bachelor's degree for entry, preferably in English, communications or journalism. These programs offer the writer stimulating courses in areas such as methods and skills in research, adult learning theory and education, children's literature and writing theory, as well as topics specific to the interests of the student. Most graduate and post-graduate degree programs require a thesis or dissertation, and assist their students with the process in classes and workshops.
Some universities help students build up their resume and gain exposure to agents or publishers. Schools might also offer assistance, such as guidance on converting a dissertation into a book and getting it published.
|College/University||Student Population||Institution Type|
|Arizona State University||67,082||4-year, Public|
|University of Florida||51,474||4-year, Public|
|University of Minnesota-Twin Cities||51,140||4-year, Public|
|University of Central Florida||50,121||4-year, Public|
|The University of Texas at Austin||49,984||4-year, Public|
|Michigan State University||46,510||4-year, Public|
|Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus||44,406||4-year, Public|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign||43,246||4-year, Public|
|New York University||42,189||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
|University of Wisconsin-Madison||41,620||4-year, Public|
|University of Michigan-Ann Arbor||41,028||4-year, Public|
|Indiana University-Bloomington||40,354||4-year, Public|
|University of Washington-Seattle Campus||39,675||4-year, Public|
|Florida International University||38,682||4-year, Public|
|Florida State University||38,682||4-year, Public|
|University of Arizona||38,057||4-year, Public|
|University of Maryland-College Park||37,000||4-year, Public|
|University of Houston||36,104||4-year, Public|
|Temple University||35,490||4-year, Public|
|San Diego State University||34,889||4-year, Public|
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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics