The WRTC Major

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

Courses focus on a variety of topics such as technical communication, scientific and medical writing, popular writing, digital and social media, inclusive design, 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.


Spring Course Offerings 2024 by Concentration

Spring Course Offerings 2024 by Track

Declare your WRTC major

Incoming freshmen and transfer students can declare a WRTC major during orientation. All other students can declare a WRTC major through MyMadison:

  • Log into MyMadison Student Center
  • Select Major/Minor Change from the "Other Academic..." dropdown menu
  • Select Add Major/Minor
  • Search for WRTC (make sure that Academic Plan Type is "major")
  • Submit Request

Applicants will be notified of program admission following a review of their request. Program admission is required to enroll in WRTC major core courses.


The 2023-2024 JMU Undergraduate Catalog WRTC entry is a gateway to a robust B.A./B.S. major with a set of foundational core courses; the opportunity to focus on tracks in Professional Writing and Publishing, Inclusive Design, Writing for Law and Society, Writing for Science and Health, and Writing the Self**; and crowning internship and capstone courses.


WRTC Fall 2023 - Spring 2024 Advising Checklist -- Tracks

Contact Cynthia Martin, WRTC's Director of Undergraduate Studies, with any questions and for more information: marti2cs@jmu.edu.

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.

For more information

If you are thinking about majoring in Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication, welcome!

  • Contact Cynthia Martin, WRTC's Director of Undergraduate Studies, with any questions and for more information: marti2cs@jmu.edu.

If you have already declared your WRTC major, congratulations!

  • Contact your WRTC major adviser, listed on the right side of your MyMadison Student Center homepage, for help in planning your WRTC schedule, understanding your WRTC concentration or track pathways, looking forward to your WRTC internship, and thinking about your career plans. Even if you don't have any questions, it's a good idea to check in with your WRTC adviser every semester.
2022 - 2023 Catalog and Earlier

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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