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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 study of writing, rhetoric and technical communication includes two concentrations in the undergraduate major: technical and scientific communication and writing and rhetoric. The WRTC major emphasizes scholarly, humanistic and social scientific perspectives on the function and application of communication technologies, with instruction in areas such as:

  • literacy studies
  • rhetorical traditions
  • writing pedagogy
  • editing
  • website theory and design
  • publications management
  • knowledge and information management
  • writing for professional communities such as government, medical, scientific and academic

In addition to offering students the rhetorical tools with which to excel as professional communicators, the B.A. and B.S. programs also prepare graduates for academic studies in writing, rhetoric and technical communication at the master's level as well as for professional programs such as law school.

The B.A. and B.S. programs in WRTC unite three disciplines into a flexible yet historically and theoretically grounded degree program. The WRTC degree teaches students to think in ways that cross disciplinary lines and to demonstrate accomplishment in multiple genres of writing, rhetoric and technical communication.

Students work with their WRTC advisers to design a program that fits their unique educational needs and career aspirations.

Course requirements differ between the B.A. and B.S. programs and students are advised to maintain regular contact with their WRTC adviser to ensure timely graduation. Requirements and eligible courses for the B.A. and B.S. in each of the two concentrations are outlined below.

Degrees Offered




Technical and Scientific Communication

Writing and Rhetoric


Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication

Declaring the Major

New Freshmen and Transfer Students
Students may declare the WRTC major during orinetation. No application is required.

Currently Enrolled Major Changers 
All currently enrolled students may declare the WRTC major by selecting Major/Minor Change in their MyMadison Student Center. 

Options include:
     WRTC - BA
     WRTC - BS
     WRTC (Declare this if WRTC will be your second major and your degree is attached to another

Applicants will be notified of program admission following a review of their request.

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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