Professional Writing

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Champlain's Bachelor of Science program in Professional Writing is one of the few undergraduate writing programs that's keeping pace with and advancing this ever-morphing field.

If you want a career as a writer, you'll need a solid foundation in the mechanics of good writing and editing, a storyteller's gift for narrative, a poet's eye for detail, and a desire to take your talents to places you've always believed they can travel and some you've yet to discover. The Professional Writing program offers multiple levels of courses in fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry, as do traditional degrees in English. What's different about the Professional Writing degree at Champlain?

You'll be introduced to a range of forms and styles of writing that will expand your writing abilities and your marketability: Choose electives from Reading and Writing in Genre; Transmedia Storytelling to Writing Children's Literature; Songwriting; Playwriting; Reading and Writing in the Wilderness; Magazine Publishing and many others. 

You can also take career-focused courses in grant writing, technical writing, copy editing and publishing. No matter what type of writing you want to pursue, the Professional Writing program will prepare you to thrive as a writer with skills, abilities and perspectives applicable in a multitude of careers.

Professional Writing Major Required Specializations

As a Professional Writing major, you will choose to specialize your degree in one of three required, eight-course specializations:

  • Editing/Publishing The courses in this specialization reflect an ever-present market demand for writers who know how to use language to target a specific audience and edit other writers' work for publication. You'll gain diverse publishing skills in digital and print mediums, design, illustration, marketing, social media and event planning.  
  • Creative Writing/Literature Writers who are drawn to pursue publication of their creative work will need a marketable set of skills to earn a living while building their publication credibility. In this specialization, you'll read and write across multiple genres to broaden your scope and perspective while acquiring the tools to become a working writer.
  • Journalism This field is changing as rapidly as most media is today—which opens up staff and freelance opportunities for rising journalists. In addition to writing stories in multiple journalistic forms, courses branch into broadcast media production to give you marketable skills in video and audio. You'll be taught by working and former journalists who know the field inside-out.

Whichever specialization you choose, you'll be able to supplement your learning and increase your skill set by taking courses from all three specializations and from electives across the Professional Writing Curriculum and other Champlain College programs.

Professional Writing Major Optional Specialization

In addition to the required specializations, students in the Professional Writing major can further customize their degree with an optional specialization.

  • Screenwriting  You'll take classes with professors experienced in narrative, documentary and experimental forms of filmmaking, who have written for TV and feature film; written video game scripts for production companies; and who have produced, written, shot, directed and edited award winning short films. They'll teach you the fundamentals of story ideas for film, character development, conflict, dialogue, dramatic structure and script formatting.

Student Academic Experience

Through Champlain's Upside-Down Curriculum, you'll take program-specific courses in your first year. In addition to your required specialization, you'll be able to customize your degree by taking courses outside the program in graphic design or web development, and you can choose to pursue a minor in multiple fields. 

You'll take professional practices courses that will enhance your digital presence on numerous social media platforms; prepare your cover letter, résumé and portfolio for the job market; strategize your career plans and develop professional contacts; take courses in marketing and public relations so you can promote yourself; and navigate ethical and legal issues in the profession. You'll work closely with your academic advisor to ensure that you get the most from your time at Champlain.

Faculty

Professional Writing faculty members aren't just professors—they're dedicated writers, published authors, poets, bloggers and journalists who gained their expertise by working in the fields they're now teaching. Meet our Professional Writing faculty.

Center for Publishing

The Center for Publishing (CFP) offers you the opportunity to work on creative, innovative projects in traditional and indie print and digital publishing. CFP also blogs regularly about the publishing industry, offers training and workshops that cover multiple aspects of literary life, and produces a variety of books, magazines and digital projects. CFP offers many internship opportunities, too.  Learn more about CFP.

Publish or Perform

Almost all Professional Writing students have had work published or performed by graduation. In addition to the Center for Publishing, you can get involved and take internships in student-run writing and publishing ventures on campus, such as Willard & Maple literary magazine; The Weathervane, the Division of Communication & Creative Media's academic magazine; and The Crossover news and arts zine, the publishing arm of the Journalism specialization.

Internships

Professional Writing students take multiple, for-credit internships. You'll gain hands-on, professional experience in fields as divergent as electronic media writing, marketing, business, web writing, press releases and profile writing, journalism, politics and many others. Explore past internships.

Study Abroad

In addition to studying at Champlain's campuses in Montreal, Canada and Dublin, Ireland, Professional Writing students have spent semesters in Argentina, Tibet, Nepal, New Zealand, Israel, Italy, France, England, Spain, Australia, Portugal, Bosnia and India. Learn about study abroad options.

Career Outlook

Professional Writing graduates are now managing editors, freelance journalists, magazine editors/publishers, technical writers, production assistants, content developers, copywriters, marketers, bloggers, social media writers and freelance writers, among many more fields across the country and around the world.