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English Minors

An English minor complements a variety of degrees and solidifies practical skills including creative thinking, written and verbal communication and logical argumentation.

We offer rigorous 15-credit minors in Creative Writing, Professional Writing, and Rhetoric, as detailed below. Interested students should also consider whether our 36-credit English major, with its specialized tracks in similar skill areas, would better maximize their academic and career goals.

Creative Writing Minor

About the Minor

The minor in creative writing offers students the opportunity to engage deeply with their own writing and that of their peers in a graduated series of workshops led by professional writers of poetry and prose. Participants in the program take four workshops sequentially during their undergraduate careers, plus one upper-level English course of their choice focused on literary studies.

Eligibility for the Creative Writing minor requires either successful completion of the appropriate 200-level creative writing workshop with a grade of A+, A, or A-, or submission of an acceptable portfolio of work to the creative writing faculty.

15 credit hours consist of the following:

  • 3 credits at the 200-level (ENGL271 or ENGL272 or ENGL273 or ENGL274)
  • 3 credits at the 300-level (ENGL352 or ENGL353)
  • 6 credits at the 400-level (two sections of ENGL498 or of ENGL499)
  • 3 credits in any upper-level ENGL course focused on literary studies.

After admission to the minor, students choose to specialize in either prose (352, 498) or poetry (353, 499). Students admitted directly to a 300-level workshop must take 3 workshops (9 credits) at the 400 level.

Contact the English Undergraduate Studies Office for more information about the minor.

Minor Course Restrictions

  1. A grade of C- or better is required in each of the courses making up the 15 credits of the minor.
  2. No more than 6 of the 15 semester hours may be taken at an institution other than the University of Maryland, College Park.
  3. No more than 6 of the 15 semester hours may count toward the student’s major or toward college requirements.
  4. No course used to satisfy the requirements of another minor may count toward the Creative Writing minor.

Writers’ House Students

Students in the Jiménez-Porter Writers’ House program who also wish to complete the Creative Writing minor should note the following:

  • Students in the Jiménez-Porter Writers’ House program may substitute ARHU319 for 1 of the 400-level creative writing workshops (ENGL498 or ENGL 499).
  • Students in the Jiménez-Porter Writers’ House program may also count their 3-credit supporting class toward the minor, provided that the supporting class is a 300- or 400-level English course focused on literary study.
  • Students in the Jiménez-Porter Writers’ House program who are also English majors, and who wish to complete the Creative Writing minor may double count credits as explained above. They may not, however, “triple-count” credits; that is, they may not use any of the same credits to satisfy both the Jiménez-Porter Writers’ House program and the English major.

Admission and Advising

Participants in the Creative Writing minor will be advised in the English Undergraduate Studies Office, 1128 Tawes Hall (301-405-3825).

Students who wish to apply to the Creative Writing minor should go to the ARHU minors page to complete a contact form. The completed form will be sent to the Creative Writing minor advisor in the English Undergraduate Studies Office who will contact you to schedule an advising appointment. Please note that you can only be admitted to the minor if you have fulfilled the prerequisites: either successful completion of the appropriate 200-level creative writing workshop with a grade of A or A- or submission of an acceptable portfolio of work to the creative writing faculty.

All minors in ARHU are open only to a limited number of students. Students will be enrolled in the Creative Writing minor as space permits according to the original time of submission of their contact form and completion of prerequisites.

Enrolling in Intermediate Workshops

There are currently two methods to gain permission to enroll in ENGL352 or 353, intermediate workshops:

Option 1: Grade of A or A- in a 200-level workshop

Students who have completed a 200-level workshop (ENGL271, 272, 273, 274) and received a grade of A or A- are now eligible to enroll in a 300-level workshop without submitting a portfolio, space permitting. A grade of A or A- must already be posted to a student's academic record before permission can be granted for enrollment. To gain permission to enroll, please contact the English Undergraduate Studies office at (301) 405-3825 or english@umd.edu.

Option 2: Portfolio Application

Students may apply for permission to enroll in 300-level workshops through a portfolio application. These portfolios are due just before the start of registration for the semester when you intend to take the courses.

Deadlines to apply:

For the Spring semester: October 1
For the Fall semester: March 1

CW Admission Application

Portfolio Guidelines:

  • The portfolio should contain work in one genre. If you are applying to both the fiction workshop and poetry workshops, you must submit two separate portfolios.
  • The portfolio should include 10-20 pages of fiction (one story must be at least 8 pages) or 5-10 pages of poetry (at least 4 poems).
  • The work submitted will not be returned, so please submit copies, not originals.
  • Complete and submit the application form along with the portfolio materials to the English Undergraduate Studies Office, 1128 Tawes Hall.

If you have any questions, please contact the English Undergraduate Studies Office at 301-405-3825, english@umd.edu.

 

Professional Writing Minor

About the Minor

The Professional Writing minor offers students opportunities to engage deeply with the theory and practice of writing, editing and designing print and digital documents for professional workplaces, civic organizations and community deliberations.

This minor provides undergraduates who have an interest in pursuing a writing career with a clear path for their coursework. The minor also benefits students across the entire campus who wish to enhance their marketable skills and broaden their post-graduate employment opportunities. In particular, students in STEM disciplines and public health will find that the Professional Writing minor complements their major course of study with theoretically grounded, project-based coursework that helps them learn how to communicate their disciplines to a range of audiences through writing.

The state of Maryland and the greater Washington, D.C. metro region are particularly fertile ground for professional writing-related internships and careers. The Professional Writing minor exposes students to a wide variety of these opportunities through:

  • an introductory course that surveys the field in terms of its international, national, regional and local scope
  • networking opportunities with alumni
  • cultivating and facilitating students’ placement in professional writing internships in Washington, D.C. and throughout Maryland
  • support in developing professional writing portfolios that showcase students’ writing, research, design and technological skills.

Course Requirements

  • A total of 15 credits from a select list of English department writing courses, as well as submission of an electronic writing portfolio, are required. 
  • The 15 credit hours breakdown as follows:
    • 3 credits from ENGL297: “Introduction to Professional Writing”
    • 12 credits from the following courses, including at least 9 credits at the 300 or 400 levels (and of those 9 credits, at least 3 must be at the 400 level):

200-level courses:

  • ENGL281: “Standard English Grammar, Usage, and Diction” (3 credits)
  • ENGL282: “How Rhetoric Works: Persuasive Power and Strategies” (3 credits)
  • ENGL289C: “Introduction to Health, Medicine, and the Humanities” (3 credits)
  • ENGL291: “Writing, Revising, Persuading” (3 credits)
  • ENGL292: “Writing for Change” (3 credits) [Also offered as ENGL388C; credit is only granted for either ENGL292 or ENGL388C]
  • ENGL293: “Writing in the Wireless World” (3 credits)
  • ENGL294: “Persuasion and Cleverness in Social Media” (3 credits)

300-level courses:

  • ENGL381: “MGA Legislative Seminar” (3 credits)
  • ENGL384: “Concepts of Grammar” (3 credits)
  • ENGL378A: “Medical Humanities: Science, Rhetoric, and Literature”
  • ENGL388C: “Writing for Change” (3 credits) [Also offered as ENGL292; credit is only granted for ENGL292 or ENGL388C]
  • ENGL388M: “Writing Internship: Maryland General Assembly Pre-Professional Writing Internship” (6 credits)
  • ENGL388P: “Writing Internship: Pre-Professional Writing Skills Internship” (1-6 credits)
  • ENGL388V: “Writing Internship: Undergraduate Teaching Assistants in Writing Programs” (1-6 credits)
  • ENGL388W: “Writing Internship: Writing Center Internship” (1-6 credits)
  • ENGL390-395, 398: “Professional Writing Program Courses” (3 credits)

400-level courses:

  • ENGL 461: “Qualitative Research Methods” (3 credits)
  • ENGL487: “Principles and Practices of Rhetoric” (3 credits) (Note: Credit only granted for ENGL487 or COMM 401.)
  • ENGL488: “Topics in Advanced Writing” (3 credits)
  • ENGL489T: “Analyzing Conversation” (3 credits)
  • ENGL 491: “Digital Rhetoric” (3 credits)
  • ENGL492: “Graphic Design and Rhetoric” (3 credits)
  • ENGL493: “Writing in Context” (3 credits)
  • ENGL494: “Editing and Document Design” (3 credits)
     

Additional Notes on the Professional Writing Minor Requirements

  • All courses presented for the minor must be passed with a grade of C- or better.
  • Credit toward the minor will be granted for only 1 of these 2 courses: ENGL281 or ENGL384.
  • A student cannot count toward the Professional Writing minor the course taken to fulfill the Fundamental Studies Professional Writing requirement.
  • Students may satisfy up to 3 credits of the 9-credit 300- or 400-level coursework requirement through documented writing-intensive professional or internship experience.

During a student’s final semester, the student must submit a professional writing portfolio to the minor advisor. Minimum requirements for the portfolio are outlined in a section below.

Admission

To declare the Professional Writing minor, please visit the ARHU Minors page and submit the appropriate online form.

Professional Writing Portfolios

To earn the Professional Writing minor, a student must submit a professional writing portfolio to the minor advisor during the student’s final semester. The portfolio must contain, at minimum, the following materials:

  • A welcome page
  • 6 finished, polished texts written by the student in Professional Writing minor courses; 
  • A reflective essay that analyzes how these documents demonstrate the student’s achievement of the Professional Writing minor learning outcomes.

Portfolio submission deadlines are November 1 for fall semester graduation, April 1 for spring semester graduation and August 1 for summer graduation. Students submit portfolios by emailing the URL to the Professional Writing minor advisor: pwminor@umd.edu.

Advising

The academic advisor for the Professional Writing minor is also a faculty member in the Professional Writing Program. Send an email with Professional Writing minor questions to pwminor@umd.edu. If you would like to schedule an appointment to meet with the Professional Writing minor advisor, call (301) 405-3825. 

Rhetoric Minor

About the Minor

The Rhetoric minor is an interdisciplinary program supported jointly by the Department of Communication and the Department of English and is open to undergraduates entering any discipline, field or career.

The minor educates students to understand and analyze the history, theory and criticism of civic discourse and cultural practices. Course offerings feature both applied and theoretical approaches. Knowledge and skills acquired through the minor empower graduates to engage with important social issues and take active leadership roles in their communities and careers.

Courses in the minor provide opportunities to practice applied skills in composing across media and to study rhetorical theory and methods of analysis across time periods. Students who minor in rhetoric acquire the knowledge and skills to take on a broad range of leadership roles in which they advocate for and communicate with others to address issues of social and political importance.

The Rhetoric minor may be especially valuable for those who plan careers in fields like business, education, government, law, nonprofits and others where persuasive writing and speaking skills are prized. The minor requires just 15 credits in a wide range of courses offered in both Communication and English.

Students wishing to pursue the minor should check the ARHU minors page. When enrollment in the minor is open, students can submit the online contact form to initiate the process of meeting with an advisor and officially declaring the minor.