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Writing Studies B.A.

Writing Studies
College of Liberal Arts
  • Program Type: Baccalaureate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2015
  • Required credits to graduate with this degree: 120
  • Required credits within the major: 41
  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts
The major in writing studies, which offers emphases in journalism or professional writing, explores writing as a field of inquiry: its production, its circulation, its uses, and its role in the development of individuals, professional communities, and societies. The major begins with the history of writing practices, genres, systems of production and distribution, and related institutions. A major in writing studies draws from the resources of linguistics to understand the relationships between writing, cognition, and communication. It uses the tools of qualitative, quantitative, and humanistic research to advance those explorations. It culminates in a practical examination of writing in traditional and emerging technologies. In core and elective courses, students develop skills in the analysis of rhetorical situations, the selection of media, and the production of texts appropriate for a variety of discourse communities. They also think reflectively and critically about their role as writers for professional and civic life. Students select a journalism or professional writing sub-plan to complete their study.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Admission Requirements
For information about University of Minnesota admission requirements, visit the Office of Admissions website.
Required prerequisites
Introductory Requirement (1 cr)
Transfer students with 24 or more credits and current UMD students who change colleges to CLA are exempt from this requirement. New first-year students with 24 or more PSEO credits may request to be waived from this requirement.
UST 1000 - UMD Seminar (1.0-2.0 cr)
General Requirements
The Board of Regents, on recommendation of the faculty, grants degrees from the University of Minnesota. Requirements for an undergraduate degree from University of Minnesota Duluth include the following:
  1. Students must meet all course and credit requirements of the departments and colleges or schools in which they are enrolled including an advanced writing course. Students seeking two degrees must fulfill the requirements of both degrees. However, two degrees cannot be awarded for the same major.
  2. Students must complete all requirements of the Liberal Education Program.
  3. Students must complete a minimum of 120 semester credits.
  4. At least 30 of the last 60 degree credits earned immediately before graduation must be awarded by UMD.
  5. Students must complete at least half of their courses at the 3xxx-level and higher at UMD. Study-abroad credits earned through courses taught by UM faculty and at institutions with which UMD has international exchange programs may be used to fulfill this requirement.
  6. If a minor is required, students must take at least three upper division credits in their minor field from UMD.
  7. The minimum cumulative UM GPA required for graduation will be 2.00 and will include only University of Minnesota coursework. A minimum UM GPA of 2.00 is required in each UMD undergraduate major and minor. No academic unit may impose higher grade point standards to graduate.
  8. Diploma, transcripts, and certification will be withheld until all financial obligations to the University have been met.
Program Requirements
1. Students majoring in Writing Studies in either emphasis (Professional Writing or Journalism) must complete a minor or second major in a field other than Journalism, Professional Writing, or Information Design. 2. The journalism or professional writing emphasis must be declared through the CLA Advising and Academic Services office.
Required Core (15 cr)
Take 5 or more courses totaling at least 15 credits.
Take 15 or more credit(s) from the following:
· JOUR 2400 - Community and Journalism [GLOBAL PER] (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 2501 - History of American Journalism (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 3700 - Media Law and Ethics (3.0 cr)
· WRIT 1506 - Literacy, Technology and Society [LE CAT7, HUMANITIES] (3.0 cr)
· WRIT 2506 - Introduction to Writing Studies (3.0 cr)
· WRIT 4250 - New Media Writing (3.0 cr)
Required Capstone (1 cr)
WRIT 4506 - Capstone Course: Senior Portfolio Preparation (1.0 cr)
Program Sub-plans
Students are required to complete one of the following sub-plans. (Note for the Twin Cities and Morris campuses: The honors sub-plan does not meet this requirement. Honors students are required to complete one sub-plan plus the honors sub-plan. Please see an adviser if no honors sub-plan is listed for the program.)
Journalism
The journalism curriculum engages the study and practice of mass communication in a converged, multimedia environment. It prepares students for careers as reporters, editors, producers, and photographers in print, broadcast, and multimedia news. The program is built on a liberal arts foundation, including the history, traditions, routines, and practices of journalism. Students learn the skills they need to succeed in the profession, study its legal and ethical dimensions, and examine the sociology of news and the context in which journalism is practiced.
Students are encouraged to participate in UMD-sponsored internships at news, publishing, and broadcast organizations, both locally and across the country. Additionally, students have the opportunity to do extracurricular work at the student newspaper and the public radio and television stations on campus.
Required Courses (15 cr)
JOUR 2001 - Reporting and Writing I (3.0 cr)
JOUR 2101 - Editing I: Copy Editing and Layout (3.0 cr)
JOUR 3001 - Reporting and Writing II (3.0 cr)
JOUR 3401 - Digital Storytelling (3.0 cr)
JOUR 4102 - Editing II: Newsroom Practicum (3.0 cr)
Journalism Electives (9 cr)
To fulfill this requirement students must take at least three 3 credit courses with the WRIT or JOUR subject/designator (except WRIT 1120). Students must take at least one WRIT and one JOUR course. JOUR 4197-Internship may be repeated for a total of 6 credits. Selected COMM, ENGL, FMIS, LING, TH or relevant course work, as appropriate to the plan of study for the student, may be substituted with departmental approval.
Journalism (3 cr)
Take at least one course from the following.
JOUR 2xxx
or JOUR 3xxx
or JOUR 4xxx
Writing (3 cr)
Take at least one course from the following. (This excludes WRIT 1120.)
WRIT 1xxx
or WRIT 2xxx
or WRIT 3xxx
or WRIT 4xxx
Professional Writing
The professional writing curriculum synthesizes 1) knowledge and experience with writing technologies from a liberal arts, as well as a technical, perspective; 2) practice in applying principles of rhetoric, design, cultural theory, and creative thinking to the production of professional writing projects; and 3) experience in developing successful relationships with writing/design communities and other audiences. Students develop writing skills relevant to professional situations (document design and delivery, the development of varied writing techniques, and persuasive argument) with an understanding of writing's ethical and social implications.
Students are encouraged to participate in UMD-sponsored internships in professional writing, corporate communication, editing, and publishing.
Required Courses (9 cr)
WRIT 4200 - Writing and Cultures (3.0 cr)
WRIT 4260 - Visual Rhetoric and Culture (3.0 cr)
WRIT 4300 - Research Methods for the Study of Writing (3.0 cr)
Advanced Writing Requirement (3 cr)
WRIT 31xx - Adv Writing (3 cr)
Professional Writing Electives (12 cr)
To fulfill this requirement students must take at least four 3 credit courses with the WRIT and JOUR designator/subject (except WRIT 1120). Students must take at least one WRIT and one JOUR course. WRIT 4197-Internship may be repeated for a total of 6 credits. Selected COMM, ENGL, FMIS, LING, TH, or other relevant course work, as appropriate to the plan of study for the student, may be substituted with departmental approval.
Writing (3 cr)
Take at least one course from the following. (This excludes WRIT 1120.)
WRIT 1xxx
or WRIT 2xxx
or WRIT 3xxx
or WRIT 4xxx
Journalism (3 cr)
Take at least one course from the following.
JOUR 2xxx
or JOUR 3xxx
or JOUR 4xxx
 
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UST 1000 - UMD Seminar
Credits: 1.0 -2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Facilitates the successful transition into college learning and student life at UMD.
JOUR 2400 - Community and Journalism (GLOBAL PER)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Examines the role of journalism in defining communities. Exposure to various concepts of community and the role journalism has in defining these communities on both a local and global scale. Analyze a specific case study of one community journalism entity, and explore the ramifications of technology on the transformation of community. prereq: Credit will not be granted if already received for 3400.
JOUR 2501 - History of American Journalism
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Explores the social and cultural history of journalism in the United States. Read pieces of journalism and critiques of journalism from various time periods and study key moments in journalism history. Examines the practice of journalism, its core values, and how these have changed over time. Explores how technological, social and economic change shape journalism.
JOUR 3700 - Media Law and Ethics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall, Spring & Summer
Examines laws, regulations and major court decisions that affect journalists and news organizations. Topics include First Amendment principles of press freedom, libel, invasion of privacy, prior restraint, access to information, and the regulation of electronic media content. prereq: Writ 1120
WRIT 1506 - Literacy, Technology and Society (LE CAT7, HUMANITIES)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Historical survey of cultures without writing systems and cultures with writing systems and then later with printing, telegraph, radio, telephone, television, computers as well as other forms of technology. Survey of attitudes toward technology from Thoreau to Gandhi and beyond. prereq: Credit will not be granted if already received for Comp 1506.
WRIT 2506 - Introduction to Writing Studies
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Considers writing itself as both a practice and an object of study. Drawing on composition, journalism, linguistics, literary studies, and rhetoric, the course offers a survey of historical, critical, and theoretical issues in writing studies. Writing assignments ask students to apply a writing studies framework to produce and analyze specific texts. prereq: 1120
WRIT 4250 - New Media Writing
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01657 - Writ 4250/5250
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Combines the theory and production of new media writing--digital, verbal practices in converged media--through the application of readings and discussion to five projects that progress from written, print-based genres to new-media presentation. prereq: minimum 60 cr, no grad credit
WRIT 4506 - Capstone Course: Senior Portfolio Preparation
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Required capstone course for all writing studies majors. Portfolios for multiple purposes will be prepared under the guidance of the student's adviser. prereq: Min 90 cr, writing studies major
JOUR 2001 - Reporting and Writing I
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 9V3V
Skill-based course in reporting and writing that introduces the fundamentals used by all jounalists; information gathering; writing basic news stories; professional news style; structure and readability; and interviewing techniques. Examples of professional journalism will be read and discussed. prereq: WRIT 1120
JOUR 2101 - Editing I: Copy Editing and Layout
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 9T3T
Develops the essential skills for editing print and online publications, including copy and picture editing, selecting stories, exercising sound news judgment, developing the writer-reporter relationship, writing headlines, designing and laying out basic pages, using graphics, and understanding fundamental legal and ethical issues that affect publications. prereq: 2001, WRIT 1120; credit will not be granted if already received for 3101
JOUR 3001 - Reporting and Writing II
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 9T3T
Skills-based that builds on JOUR 2001. Write publishable news stories based on field work and interviews. Emphasis on fully-developed, multi-source news stories that are fair and complete. Expand interview and research skills, and become familiar with the wide range of information available in public documents. prereq: 2001
JOUR 3401 - Digital Storytelling
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 9T3T
Report and write various forms of electronic news stories commonly produced for television, radio and the Internet. Learn the stylistic differences between writing electronic news scripts and writing for print. Learn basic field recording techniques and production skills for audio and video. prereq: 2001
JOUR 4102 - Editing II: Newsroom Practicum
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01662 - Jour 4102/5102
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 9T3T
Experience in a working newsroom. Apply skills from other journalism classes to plan, produce and manage an online news publication. Basic principles as well as practical skills with advanced computer programs. Includes editing, managing and reporting, as well as the discussion of both journalism and leadership issues. Advance theory and practice in news selection, preparation, and display for newspaper, magazine, broadcast and photojournalism media. Emphasis on the ethical and professional responsibility of the journalist. prereq: 2001, 2101, 3001; no grad credit
WRIT 4200 - Writing and Cultures
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: 3O
Through historical, theoretical and applied lenses, examines the dialectic between writing and culture, that is, how writing shapes culture and, conversely, how culture shapes writing. Specific concepts (access, agency, community, identity and power) relevant to understanding how cultures and the social relations that constitute them are constructed and maintained will be examined in detail. prereq: 1120, minimum 60 cr
WRIT 4260 - Visual Rhetoric and Culture
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01573 - Writ 4260/5260
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: 9V
In addition to teaching the mechanics of graphic production, this class draws widely on the disciplines of digital design, statistics, narrative literature, engineering, and technical writing to enable students to conceive, produce, and write about visual texts critically and effectively. prereq: minimum 60 cr, no grad credit
WRIT 4300 - Research Methods for the Study of Writing
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01659 - Writ 4300/5300
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: 9T3T
Provides students with instruction and practice in critiquing research, generating research questions, designing research projects, and reporting research results in the study of writing. prereq: 1120, min 60 cr, no grad credit