Bachelor of Arts (BA): Professional Writing Degree Overview

A Bachelor of Arts program in professional writing combines liberal arts studies with courses in rhetoric, language use, and writing. Learn more about the curriculum and the career possibilities for graduates.

Essential Information

A Bachelor of Arts (BA) program in professional writing combines liberal arts studies with rhetorical studies, writing courses and language skills. Students can also develop computer and design skills through electives. They are often required to build a professional portfolio, which documents their writing progress throughout the program. Students may also have the opportunity to publish work both in and outside of their schools. Some programs offer students the opportunity to participate in internships related to professional writing. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED.


Bachelor of Arts Degree in Professional Writing

BA in Professional Writing programs are usually offered through English departments. Coursework can help students gain proficiency in areas such as online information, journalism, communications and writing for multimedia. Students can develop their skills in a variety of topics, including:

  • Linguistics
  • Grammar
  • Rhetoric
  • Journalism
  • Text design
  • Communication

Career Options

Individuals who obtain a BA in Professional Writing may find work in business, education, government or publishing. More specifically, they can find themselves working as:

  • Writers
  • Editors
  • Public relations specialists
  • Technical writers
  • Web designers
  • News analysts
  • Reporters
  • Correspondents

Career Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of editing jobs was expected to decrease by about five percent in the decade spanning 2014-2024, while writers and authors could anticipate an increase of two percent in job openings (www.bls.gov). The median annual salary for editors was $56,010 in 2015, with the top ten percent earning over $109,760, while writers and authors earned a median annual income of $60,250, with the highest paid ten percent earning more than $114,530 per year.

Continuing Education

Some individuals may choose to continue their education by pursuing a master's degree in professional writing. Graduate programs in professional writing can develop students' knowledge in writing theory and enhance their skills in editing, writing and communication. Students generally can focus more on their professional goals during a master's program in this field.

Aspiring writers can benefit from a BA in Professional Writing program. Through writing-related coursework and real-world writing experience, these programs prepare students for a variety of professional writing jobs, as well as graduate studies in the field.


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