Master of Professional Writing Degree Overview

Master of Professional Writing programs focus on a variety of areas of writing, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry and scriptwriting for screen or stage. Earning a Master of Professional Writing can lead to careers in education, writing or editing.

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Essential Information

A Master of Professional Writing (MPW) program commonly prepares students to evaluate and critique each others' work while gaining skills in technical and organizational writing techniques. Through the study of theory and perspectives, programs frequently encourage students to develop their skills in communication, identification and analysis, collaboration and critique.

Occasionally, programs may offer participants the option of pursuing a concentration area, such as content development for websites. Many programs offer opportunities to participate in internships. Students may construct manuscripts or write commercial media works. Necessary prerequisites generally include a bachelor's degree, GRE scores, and writing samples.


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Master of Professional Writing

Programs offer students coursework in writing, genres, criticism, audience and literacy. Professional writing students may study topics such as the following:

  • Technical or business writing
  • Digital media writing or web development
  • Novel writing
  • Commercial nonfiction
  • Mass communication
  • Playwriting

Popular Career Options

Graduates from a Master of Professional Writing program are prepared to work for publications, as self-employed freelance writers or in entertainment, media or education. Individuals can find positions such as screenwriters, columnists, ghostwriters or writing workshop leaders.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Writers and authors, according to 2014-2024 employment projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), should have a slower-than-average increase of two percent (www.bls.gov). Growth is particularly expected for writers of online publications. The BLS reported in May 2015 that writers and authors working for newspaper, periodical, book and directory publishers earned an average wage of $59,860. Those who worked in advertising and public relations earned a mean wage of $77,450.

Continuing Education

Graduates from an MPW program may choose to continue their education by pursuing a doctoral degree in writing or a related field, such as journalism. These programs typically encourage participants to explore individual interests while providing them with perspectives in the field.

A master's degree in professional writing is a good way for aspiring writers and authors to transition into a variety of writing careers. Some programs offer students different concentrations for specific writing specializations that they may be interested in.

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