College of Arts and Letters2012-2013

Department of English

English - Professional Writing, Master of Arts

The M.A. in English, with Emphasis in Professional Writing, reflects the expertise of our faculty and the career ambitions of our students, who are either already working in, or desire to work in, professional positions that involve writing and documentation, in business, industry, and government.

The Professional Writing Emphasis focuses on students mastering procedures and techniques to create and publish reader-driven writing typical of the workplace, such as proposals, specifications, procedures, reports, formal correspondence, and white papers. With this degree and the skills acquired in getting it, our graduates are well prepared to succeed in securing high-paying jobs in a variety of corporate and government settings.


What Can I Do with a Master of Arts in English - Professional Writing?

If you are looking for a career in writing and editing in business, industry, or government, this is the degree for you. Students completing this program will develop skills in high demand sorts of writing, such as grants and proposals, reports, procedures, policy statements, and many other types of workplace writing. Students completing this program will be able to enter the workforce as writers, editors, and or team members, working closely with engineers, scientists, healthcare professionals, and finance experts to create professional documents.

University Requirements

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. (Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.)

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.
    The full policy can be viewed here.



In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 36
Research Individualized research may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.


Master's Requirements
  • Take the following 36 units:

    Select one of the following courses (3 units):Technical Editing
    Select one of the following courses (3 units):Workplace Environment
    Select one of the following courses (3 units):Research and Application Project
  • One directed-project course (3 units)
    • ENG 599, ENG 608, ENG 685. The directed project must be completed under the direction of a member of the Professional Writing faculty. The project is not a faculty-designed course, but a student-designed project in which the student identifies a problem, proposes a course of action to solve that problem, and designs a plan of study to research, develop, and support the solution to the problem. This is written up as a formal capstone project. The methods for designing, developing, and writing the capstone project are taught in ENG 526. The 15 units above comprise the Professional Writing core.
    Elective Courses (21 units)
    • The remaining 21 units to earn the M.A. are chosen with advisor approval and are based upon the professional goals of the student. A wide range of other ENG courses, as well as courses in Communication, Education, and a host of other disciplines can be used as electives in a coherent program of study, with the advisor's approval.
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

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