Professional Writing Minor

Department of English
1128 Tawes Hall
Phone: 301-405-3825

Director of Undergraduate Studies: Scott Trudell, Ph.D.

For students who wish to specialize in public and professional writing as an area of expertise or who wish to communicate their discipline through writing, the Professional Writing minor offers opportunities to engage deeply with the theory and practice of writing, editing, and designing both print and digital documents for professional workplaces, civic organizations, and community deliberations. Students develop electronic portfolios throughout their minor coursework as a means to showcase their professional writing knowledge and skills. Writing-focused internships are encouraged, although not required, in the later stages of coursework.

Students must be accepted into the minor no later than the start of the semester before the semester in which they plan to graduate. To make an appointment to explore or declare a minor, go to and complete a minor contact form, or contact the English Undergraduate Studies Office at You may also contact for additional information.

Successful completion of the Professional Writing minor requires the following:

Course Title Credits
ENGL297Research and Writing in the Workplace3
Approved courses (at least nine credits at the 3xx- or 4xx-level and three credits at the 4xx-level) 112
Professional Writing Portfolio
Submission of an electronic professional writing portfolio is required 2
Total Credits15

See for an up-to-date list of approved courses.


Successful completion of the Professional Writing minor also requires the submission of a writing portfolio during a student's final semester. This portfolio must be submitted electronically to the minor advisor at by November 1 for fall semester graduation, April 1 for spring semester graduation, or August 1 for summer graduation. The electronic portfolio must contain, at a minimum, the following material:

  1. A welcome page
  2. Six finished, polished texts written by the student in Professional Writing minor courses; and
  3. A reflective essay that analyzes how these documents demonstrate the student's achievement of the minor's learning outcomes.

The minor advisor will confirm that each portfolio meets these minimum requirements.


  1. Credit toward the minor will be granted for only one of these two courses: ENGL281 or ENGL384. 

  2. Students cannot count toward the Professional Writing minor the PWP course that they take to fulfill the Fundamental Studies Professional Writing requirement for the University of Maryland General Education Program. Only a second PWP course can be used to fulfill the Professional Writing minor requirement. Advisors will encourage students to select a second PWP course only if it complements the students' academic or professional goals. 

  3. Students may satisfy up to three credits of the nine-credit 3xx- or 4xx-level coursework requirement through documented writing-intensive internship experience. The internship must be approved by the Professional Writing minor advisor in order to have these three credits count toward their minor. 

  4. Following university policy, English majors may count two Professional Writing minor courses toward both the requirements for the English major and the Professional Writing minor.

  5. Students must be accepted into the minor no later than the start of the semester before the semester in which they plan to graduate. 

  6. All courses presented for the minor must be passed with a grade of "C-" or better. 

  7. An overall GPA of 2.0 in the minor is required for graduation.