Professional Writing


Why study Professional Writing?

The Master of Arts in Professional Writing offers coursework in many forms of specialized writing, including technical, business, and health. Careers in writing are rapidly changing. Most writing jobs require the authoring of texts and graphics in multiple media, incorporating new technologies. In this program, students develop cross-genre skills in information and instructional design, web content development and design, project management, and user-testing. Students write and edit articles, promotional material, grant proposals, and reports; create digital and social media; interact with various specializations and research methods; and develop competencies in appropriate software.

The curriculum emphasizes the theory and practice of communication processes bridging disciplines and industries. An innovative approach to service-learning in the classes stresses students’ roles as professional consultants and collaborative team-members. The internship requirement affords students the chance to put classroom work into practice. Individualized attention to students’ interests and changes in related fields ensures students’ success in a variety of careers. 

The program is designed for full and part-time students, including

  • recent graduates of BA or BS programs in English, communication, graphics, the sciences, and other fields,
  • working professionals turning to part-time graduate study to enhance their careers, improve their chances for promotion, or become credentialed in a different field.  (Students have included recent college graduates to recent retirees.)

Admission Requirements

The program prepares graduates for an array of possible professional routes. Most program graduates have accepted nonacademic positions though some have gone on to doctoral work in composition, rhetoric, and technical communication. Job titles for recent graduates include

  • distance learning coordinator
  • health communicator
  • proposal writer
  • project manager
  • technical writer
  • editor
  • content specialist
  • instructional designer
  • digital marketing specialist

Our recent graduates have accepted jobs in technical writing, medical writing, advertising, marketing/corporate communications, e-learning development, website design, and content management.


Mary Beth Debs
Associate Professor
Director, MA in Professional Writing Program
(513) 556-0940

Courses are taught by award winning full-time faculty who have experience outside the classroom as well. Job placement of graduates typically reaches 100% within three months after graduation.  Students are not expected to have extensive computer experience before entering the program, but may need to spend extra time to develop comptencies. Two computer labs with high-end software for web authoring, document design, production of online tutorials, and other major professional-writing tasks are maintained by the college.

Application Deadlines

Individuals Seeking Admission and Departmental Financial Aid January 15
Individuals Not Seeking Departmental Financial Aid July 31 for Fall semester

Applications for the MA in Professional Writing will be considered throughout the year up to 6 weeks before the start of each semester. In some cases, departmental financial aid may be awarded to late applicants. Departmental aid is not available to part-time students.

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Contact Information

Lora Arduser
Department of English
Cincinnati, OH 45221
(513) 556-1896

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Program Code: 15MAS-PWRT-MA