Graduate Program in Writing Studies: Professional Writing or Teaching of Writing

Our Master in Writing Studies degree at Eastern Michigan University offers flexibility. We have a 30-credit master's program where you can emphasize in professional writing or teaching of writing. We also have a 15-credit certificate option. 

To keep your career options open, you can combine courses from both the professional writing and teaching of writing emphases, along with graduate courses in other programs from around campus. This flexibility allows you to tailor a program of study to suit your needs.

New! Now online! 

In addition to on-campus offerings, our Masters in Writing Studies will now be available online! We have been working on this since September 2019, well before COVID-19, but now it seems more crucial than ever. It’s the perfect opportunity for people who want to retool their careers, build their portfolios, or gain more credentials as they wait for the economy to rebound.

  • Professional Writing Emphasis

    Focuses on the study and practice of professional and technical writing. Our Professional Writing graduates have gone to jobs such as technical writers, communication directors, content writers, and marketing strategists. You will learn about the nature of rhetoric and writing, develop skills with the tools professional writers use, and practice strategies for handling workplace projects successfully.

  • Teaching of Writing Emphasis

    Focuses on the study and practice of teaching writing, particularly at the college level. Our Teaching of Writing graduates have taught at community colleges with their MA, and several of them have continued on to prestigious PhD programs. You'll develop strategies for generating enthusiasm for writing and also consider the rhetorical, historical and ideological dimensions of those strategies.

Graduate Certificates

Our graduate certificates in technical writing and the teaching of writing are tailored to different students' needs:

  • Certificate in Technical Writing

    For students trained in other fields who want to become technical communicators and who want to learn more about the field. Many of our students in the certificate program already have or are currently enrolled in another graduate degree program, and some of our students go on from the certificate program to the master's program.
  • Certificate in the Teaching of Writing

    For students in other fields who want to learn more the teaching of writing at all levels, particularly in college classrooms. Many of our students are enrolled in other master's programs and are interested in adding coursework in writing pedagogy to their degree program. The program is also ideal for practicing elementary, secondary and college teachers who want to learn more about the teaching of writing.


  • How do the classes fit into your schedule? 

    The asynchronous classes must be completed during a regular semester (roughly 4 months), but you don't have to meet at any set day or time. Any synchronous meetings, which only happen in a few classes, are in the evenings, and we notify students of those meetings before the semester starts.

    For students who want an on-campus experience, we offer some on-campus courses that are scheduled in the late afternoon and evening. All of these are indicated on the schedule, so you know exactly what kind of course to plan for. 

  • How long does the program take to complete?
    It depends on your pace and goals. The program is ten classes total. Students who take a full schedule can finish in four semesters, which is slightly less than 2 years. Some students want to take longer than this in order to balance their life priorities. Taking longer also allows extra chances to obtain internships, many of which are only available to someone in school.
  • How much does the program cost?
    EMU is an affordable option for a master’s degree. Our tuition and fees change every year, so we recommend you look them up on our website: You can take those costs and compare them to other universities’ masters programs to see how affordable we are.
  • Does the program provide funding?
    We have a few Graduate Assistant positions every year, always starting in fall semester, where students can teach our first-year writing courses and work in EMU’s Writing Center. Those positions are competitive to obtain, and they’re best for students who want to teach. But they come with full tuition waivers and a small stipend. Whether this option is good for you is up to your priorities, and we recommend you talk to our Program Chair if you are curious about them.
  • What are the classes like?
    Our program blends theory with hands-on application. Some of the courses, like Rhetoric (WRTG 501), teach the theory behind how to craft messages that target audiences for a specific purpose. Teaching Writing (WRTG 514) applies theories of teaching to classroom situations. Other courses teach more hands-on skills. For example, Writing for the Web (WRTG 544) has students dabble in coding websites; and Usability (WRTG 523) has students create materials for a real client. For full course descriptions, see Eastern Michigan University's graduate catalog.
  • What are the application requirements and deadlines?
    Application requirements can be found on the Writing Studies link in the EMU Graduate Catalog. We accept applications on a rotating basis, meaning you can apply at any time, although you will want to allow at least a few weeks for review of your application materials. Graduate Assistant positions always start in the fall, so your application needs to be submitted by the previous January if you want to be in that applicant pool.
  • Where do you go with more questions?

    Our website can provide answers about the following:


    Once you’ve looked at our website, there are people who would be happy to answer any remaining questions you might have:

Additional Information

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Professional Writing

Eastern Michigan University also offers an undergraduate program in professional writing.

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Because writing, research, critical thinking, and design are skills for any industry, our alumni go into many different careers and academic paths.

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Graduate Assistantships

A graduate assistantship is an exceptional way for bright, exceptional scholars to enhance their graduate school experience. Learn more about available positions.