NEW Visit our main university pathways application here Learn more
search Search

Professional Writing and Rhetoric

The English Department at SF State provides opportunities for students to study in a variety of subfields that make up the English major. Join us and become part of a racially, linguistically, and culturally diverse community of learners engaging in dialog between our histories and experiences, and new ideas and literacies.

Apply Now

Key Facts



(BA (Hons)) Professional Writing and Rhetoric


Degree Duration

4 years :

1 year pathway + 3 year degree


Pathways Available

International Year One


Start Dates

September 2022

Degree Overview

The Professional Writing and Rhetoric (PWR) concentration prepares students to be successful workplace writers in almost every field of industry and public life, including high-technology industries, business, government, and research and nonprofit organizations. Students in the Professional Writing and Rhetoric concentration begin by developing strong writing skills that they then learn to adapt for the workplace and for changing technologies and employment needs. The PWR concentration also provides students with an intellectual framework for continuing professional growth and responsibility throughout their careers.

The required courses in the PWR concentration expose students to foundational workplace writing forms, methods, and issues. Various elective courses help students develop specialized communication and writing skills. After completing the PWR concentration, students can begin their writing careers with a number of important accomplishments and advantages: an academic degree in the field, improved and focused skills, an understanding of professional expectations for writers, and a portfolio of relevant writing samples.

Additional Information
English majors are required to complete a 45-unit program consisting of 24 units of core requirements and 21 units in an area of concentration, including a 3-unit Culminating Experience capstone course. The four concentrations offered by the English Department are Literature, Linguistics, English Education, and Professional Writing and Rhetoric.

A maximum of 6 units of lower-division coursework may be accepted for credit in the English major upon the consent of an advisor. Advanced Placement (A.P.) credit in composition cannot be used to fulfill the 6-unit lower-division requirement in the major.

Completion of the ENG 480GW with a grade of C or better fulfills the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) for all English majors.

The Culminating Experience capstone course must be completed during either the final semester or one of the semesters of the student’s final (senior) year, depending on the concentration. For more information, please refer to the relevant major concentration section in this Bulletin.

Apply Now

You may incur additional costs in the course of your education at the University over and above tuition fees in an academic year such as laptops, Stationary and additional resources.

Why Study this Degree

Students will be able to differentiate how language use varies across the contexts and genres of professional writing and rhetoric, literature, and linguistics. (Disciplinary Knowledge) Students will be able to formulate and pursue methodologically sound lines of inquiry, effectively placing their ideas side by side the ideas of others, drawing persuasively on credible primary and secondary sources. (Research) Students will be able to produce rhetorically effective texts across a range of digital, print, and multimedia formats. (Written Communication)

Students will be able to carefully read and critically examine the ways in which culture and global context affect language, literature, and writing. (Global Perspective) Students will be able to analyze language and text in relation to the historical and social contexts in which they are situated. (Historical Thinking) Students will be able to apply critical thinking, close reading, and rhetorical persuasion to engage productively and ethically in scholarly, civic, and professional communities. (Application & Engagement)

Students in the Professional Writing and Rhetoric concentration will analyze workplace writing to understand and develop effective rhetorical strategies for a variety of professional writing contexts. (Analysis) Students in the Professional Writing and Rhetoric concentration will produce persuasive texts using a broad range of genres, methods, and conventions for professional writers, considering the unique purposes and audiences of workplace writing. (Production)

Your Pathways

The International Year One is the perfect pathway if you want a undergraduate degree from a UK, EU or US University but do not meet the requirements for direct entry.

The IY1 course provides an intensive combination of first year University subject modules with English language skills.

Following successful completion of the IY1 you will continue onto your second year degree study directly with the University of your choice.

Learn more about International Year One open_in_new

San Francisco State University

Founded in 1889, SF State offers world-class academics, a diverse campus and an incredible location for students.

With around 27,000 students from all over the globe, international students find SF State a truly welcoming community and diverse place to live in.

SF State has been included in the Top 20 colleges nationwide for best location. It was also rated one of the most diverse colleges in America, according to Wall Street Journal’s 2022 College Rankings.