Become a wordsmith. You'll do that here.

A degree in Professional Writing allows you to gain knowledge about professional writing, practical and professional communication, stylistics, rhetorical theory, publishing, and text production.

What You’ll Do

As a Professional Writing major at Southeast, you’ll gain incredible real-world learning experience including many opportunities outside the classroom.

  • Work closely with highly qualified, published and award-winning faculty in small class settings.
  • Gain skills necessary for a wide array of career paths, and work in publishing, communication, journalism, and advertising fields.
  • Learn to write in many formats including professional reviews, creative writing, critical analysis, and report writing.
  • Become part of a thriving writing community that holds regular readings of student work and readings by nationally known writers.
  • Gain professional experience with the Department’s literary journals, the Writing Center, or the University Press. 

Outcomes & Careers

  • 96%

    Successful Outcomes Rate

    Students graduating with degrees from the Department of English report being employed or furthering their education six months after graduation.

  • $61k 


    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for an editor is $61,370.

  • $84k

    Technical Writer

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a technical writer is $84,210.

  • $69k


    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a historian is $68,690.

What You'll Study

As a professional writing major, you’ll increase your knowledge of professional and practical communication, writing styles, creative writing, publishing, and rhetorical theory. You’ll complete a minimum of 120 credit hours to complete this degree, including the general education requirements and at least 39 senior division hours. A minor is required.

A minimum 2.0 GPA in the major and overall are required to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts.

Required Courses: 

  • AR180 Introduction to Design Software (3) 
  • EN275 Introduction to Creative Writing (3)
  • EN311 Practicum in Editing (3 
  • EN376 Advanced Composition (3) 
  • EN470 Advanced Creative Writing: Poetry (3) 
  • EN478 Advanced Creative Writing: Fiction (3)  
  • EN550 Style in Writing (3)  
  • EN572 Creative Non-Fiction Essay (3) 
  • EN302 Small Press Publishing (3) 
  • EN303 Content Copywriting (3)  
  • EN305 Writing for the Professions (3) 
  • EN307 Writing for New Media (3) 
  • EN325 Topics in Writing (3)  
  • EN378 Grammars in English (3) 
  • EN435 Internship in English (3)

Upper Level Literature – Choose 6 Hours From:  

  • LI305 Film Studies: Theories, Genres, and Periods (3)
  • LI307 Studies in Television and Popular Culture (3)
  • LI309 Studies in World Literature (3)
  • LI317 Multicultural Visions in Literature (3)
  • LI421 Cross-Cultural American Voices (3)
  • LI425 Focus on the Author (3)
  • LI523 Studies in American Literature (3)
  • LI542 Literature for the Young Adult (3)
  • LI565 Southern Literature (3)
  • LI570 Modern/Contemporary American Novel (3)
  • LI571 Contemporary American Poetry (3)
  • LI576 American Fiction of the 21st Century (3)

Some requirements may be fulfilled by coursework in major.  

  • Social and Behavioral Sciences –6 hours 
  • Constitution Requirement –3 hours 
  • Written Communication –6 hours 
  • Oral Communication –3 hours 
  • Natural Sciences –7 hours (from two disciplines, one to include a lab) 
  • Mathematics –3 hours 
  • Humanities & Fine Arts –9 hours (from at least two disciplines) 
  • Additional requirements –5 hours (to include UI100 for native students) 
  • Civics examination  

Freshman Year 

Fall Semester (16 Hours) 

  • UI100 (1) 
  • EN100 (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 

 Spring Semester (15 Hours) 

  • EN140 (3) 
  • LI220 (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 

Sophomore Year 

Fall Semester (15 Hours) 

  • AR180 (3)
  • EN275 (3) 
  • EN302 (3)
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 

 Spring Semester (15 Hours) 

  • EN303 (3) 
  • EN311 (3) 
  • Literature Elective (3) 
  • General Education (3) 
  • General Education (3) 

Junior Year 

Fall Semester (15 Hours) 

  • EN307 (3) 
  • EN478 (3) 
  • EN572 (3) 
  • Minor Course (3) 
  • Elective (3) 

Spring Semester (15 Hours) 

  • EN305 (3) 
  • EN376 (3) 
  • EN378 (3) 
  • Minor Course (3) 
  • Elective (3) 

Senior Year 

Fall Semester (15 Hours) 

  • EN325 (3) 
  • EN435 (3) 
  • Literature Elective (3) 
  • Minor Course (3) 
  • Minor Course (3) 

 Spring Semester (15 Hours) 

  • EN470 (3) 
  • EN550 (3) 
  • Elective (3) 
  • Elective (3) 
  • Elective (3)

Become a Redhawk.

Do more than dream about the future. Take the first steps to make it all happen.

Getting the Job

Your education is just one piece to launching an extraordinary career. Once you’ve mastered the material, you still have to find the job you want, make the right connections, sell your knowledge and experience—and if all this is giving you anxiety, don’t panic. SEMO’s Career Services office is here to help you with the next step. They’ll provide the expertise and support you need, so you’re landing your dream job in no time.

Experiential Learning

  • Center for Faulkner Studies

    The Center for Faulkner Studies is devoted to the study of William Faulkner, sole owner and proprietor of Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi.
  • University Press

    Southeast Missouri State University Press serves as a first-rate publisher in our region and as a working laboratory for students interested in learning the art and skills of literary publishing.
  • The Cape Rock

    The Cape Rock is one of the oldest literary journals in the nation. It provides a forum for new and established poets and photographers.
  • Big Muddy

    Big Muddy is an 8.5 x 5.5 perfect bound, color-cover, semi-annual publication that explores multidisciplinary issues and events concerning the 10-state area that borders the Mississippi River, from the United States/Canadian border to Louisiana's Gulf Coast.

Writing: Professional Writing (BA) Degree Map

Explore the courses you'll need to complete your degree.

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