About the Professional Writing Program

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Welcome to the Professional Writing program at Purdue University.

If you are considering a major in Professional Writing or are interested in learning more information about the program, please contact the director, Jennifer Bay, at jbay@purdue.edu or call (765) 494-3730.

For over 25 years, the program has been dedicated to providing students with the training needed to enter the fields of editing and publishing, and technical writing. The program integrates Purdue’s reputation as a scientific and technologically driven university by maintaining a core focus on the areas of ethics, research, rhetoric and technology.

Purdue University’s Professional Writing program was established with the development of the Rhetoric and Composition graduate program in 1980. An undergraduate program was developed by Patricia Sullivan when she designed the curriculum for the PW major.

The goal was to create a production-oriented English major that took advantage of Purdue’s strength in science and technology by integrating digital technology, publishing and rhetoric communication. In addition, a core focus on hands-on experience and research through internships was implemented into the curriculum, thereby giving students a well-rounded resume making them highly competitive on the job market.

As the demand for web-based content has grown throughout the last 30 years, digital publishing became an increasing focus of the program. Revisions to the program were made in 1989, and again in 1995, to accommodate technological advancement in the field.

With over 90 undergraduate and 50 graduate students, the program manages to retain small classroom sizes that offer the opportunity for individual interaction with faculty as well as encourage group interaction with peers. The department also has a developing nationwide alumni network to aid students in making professional contacts and networking opportunities that go beyond the scope of the classroom.