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The major is a part of the School of Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication, an academic unit within the College of Arts and Letters.

The major in writing, rhetoric and technical communication (WRTC) equips students for academic and professional success as communicators in print and electronic media. It develops students into accomplished writers and editors, able to evaluate the effectiveness of communication based upon the principles of rhetoric. Students will also cultivate proficiencies in critical and analytical thinking as well as in technology and digital literacies. Ultimately, this major will prepare the student for a career as a professional communicator in a wide range of fields.

WRTC graduates can expect career opportunities in writing, editing, or production positions with a variety of business, educational, or industry employers, including the computer hardware and software industry, law firms, journalism, health care providers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, education, engineering companies, publishing houses, environmental agencies, not-for-profit or political organizations, and technical translation groups of multinational corporations.

Degrees Offered




Technical and Scientific Communication

Writing and Rhetoric


Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication

Declaring the Major

New Freshmen and Transfer Students
Students should declare the WRTC major when they register for orientation.

Currently Enrolled Major Changers 

New Transfer Students and Currently Enrolled Students
Any student coming into JMU as a first year student without previous college experience may declare WRTC as a major. However, any student who has completed one semester at JMU or another university must apply to WRTC. To be admitted into the WRTC B.A. or B.S. program, students must first satisfy all university general admission requirements. In addition, applicants to the program must submit to the WRTC director an application dossier that contains the following material:

  • A completed WRTC Undergraduate Application form
  • A copy of the student's Degree Progress Report
  • A background and goals statement of no more than 500 words that explains how the B.A. or B.S. program would prepare the student for his or her anticipated career.

Progressing in the Major

Students must be declared majors or minors to take core classes in the major. WRTC 200 and WRTC 201 are the prerequisites for most of the courses in the major and minor. 

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