The Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication major teaches students the skills they need to excel as professional communicators in a fast-changing world.

Students have the opportunity to pursue one of five tracks in the major:

  • Professional Writing and Publishing
  • Inclusive Design
  • Writing for Law and Society
  • Science and Health Writing
  • Design your own career

Courses across tracks focus on a variety of topics such as technical communication, environmental and medical writing, legal writing, popular writing, digital and social media, UX, publication management, and more.

WRTC majors often pursue careers in publishing houses, communication and consulting firms, government agencies and contractors, learning and development companies, non-profits, and tech companies.

WRTC's B.A. and B.S. programs also prepare graduates for further academic studies at the master’s level and for professional programs such as law school. Visit the 2023-2024 JMU Undergraduate Catalog WRTC entry for specific information on the major requirements. 

For more information, contact Cynthia Martin, Director of Undergraduate Studies at, 540-568-8138.

Professional Writing and Publishing track

Writing persuasively in traditional, visual, and digital environments for a targeted audience and purpose is a skill that transcends industry borders. Whether you want to pursue a career in business, publishing, the nonprofit sector, or freelance environments, this suite of courses will provide the skills necessary to succeed. Students gain advanced practice in editing, digital storytelling, proposal writing, and writing with sound. At the same time, they gain hands-on experience in project management, publication cycles, and writing consultancy, which prepares them for a variety of internships and jobs.

Inclusive Design track

Digital technologies offer writers opportunities to design for audiences who may have difficulties accessing or reading print-based material. Courses in this track will provide you with a grounding in disability studies, inclusive design, and usability testing, all of which will empower you to design for diverse readers and viewers. Theory is paired with industry-focused courses in content strategy and web design. This track is for students invested in inclusive approaches to communication and the technical aspects of web design.

Writing for Law and Society track

Language frames our understanding of society, forges the laws that govern it, and constructs power relationships within it. Courses in this track provide you with opportunities to explore the interactions between language, the law, and societal and cultural processes. Courses encourage students to consider the ethical dimensions of leadership and citizenry while introducing genres common to legal professions, government jobs, and nonprofit roles. This track will be of particular interest to students who plan to attend law school or pursue careers in public service.

Writing for Science and Health track:

Scientific and technological innovations abound in our society, yet we often fail to understand the significance and implication of such developments. This group of courses will provide you with a foundation in science and health writing, which will enable you to write to a mainstream audience about these and related topics (environmental change, public health crises,  mental health). This track will appeal to those interested in communicating the complexities of our world.

Design Your Career track:

This track provides students with the freedom to forge their own path in the major by selecting courses that fit their interests without being confined to a single pathway. This track is best for students who want to take a variety of classes to prepare for their dream career, whatever that may be.

image of student writer looking up from their computer.
Pre 2023 - 2024 Concentrations

In the 2023-2024 academic year, WRTC adopted a revised set of requirements for incoming and newly declared majors. 

Students who declared their WRTC major before 2023-2024 need not worry: JMU and WRTC will honor the catalog of record you entered under and the major and concentration requirements.

Links below are for the 2022 - 2023 catalog:

WRTC Advising Checklist: W & R Concentration

WRTC Advising Checklist: TSC Concentration

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