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The WRTC major (39 credits) 

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
  • Rhetoric
  • Writing and tutoring pedagogy
  • Editing
  • Web theory and design
  • Publications management
  • Content and information management
  • Professional Writing

In addition to offering students the rhetorical tools with which to excel as professional communicators, the Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) programs also prepare graduates for academic studies in Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication at the master's level.

WRTC Course Descriptions

Core requirements for all majors (18 credits)

WRTC 200: Introduction to Studies in Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication
WRTC 201: Theory and Methods in Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication
WRTC 300: Professional Editing
WRTC 301: Language, Law and Ethics
WRTC 495: Internship in Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication
WRTC 496: Capstone in Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication


All students must choose one of the following concentrations: 

Technical and Scientific Communication (TSC) 

Writing and Rhetoric (WR)

WRTC Electives (21 credits)

In addition to the 18 credit hours of core requirements, students must take an additional 21 credit hours of WRTC electives, 12 of which are concentration-specific.

The list of scheduled elective courses offered each term is typically available two weeks prior to registration. Elective course offerings may include the following:

Program Admission

New freshmen and transfer students may declare the WRTC major during orientation. No application is required.

All other currently enrolled students may declare the WRTC major by selecting Major/Minor Change from the "Other Academic..." dropdown menu in their MyMadison Student Center.

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

For more information on program admission, please see the JMU Catalog or contact: 

Kristin Knapp | | 540.568.7360

Click here for WRTC Major-At-A-Glance


  • WRTC 310: Semiotics
  • WRTC 312: Studies in Literacy
  • WRTC 314: Writing in the Public Sphere
  • WRTC 316: Research Methodologies in WRTC
  • WRTC 318: Intercultural Professional Communication
  • WRTC 326/SCOM 354: Environmental Communication and Advocacy
  • WRTC 328: Practicum
  • WRTC 330: Rhetorical Analysis and Criticism
  • WRTC 332: Creative Approaches to Digital Storytelling
  • WRTC 334: Introduction to Popular Writing
  • WRTC 336: Writing Consultation
  • WRTC 338: Genre Theory
  • WRTC 340: Writing as Leading
  • WRTC 342: Writing Place
  • WRTC 350: Foundations of Technical Communication
  • WRTC 352: Online Design I 
  • WRTC 354: Document Design
  • WRTC 356: Web Theory and Design
  • WRTC 358: Writing About Science and Technology
  • WRTC 412: Content Strategy
  • WRTC 416/SCOM 465: Rhetoric of Environmental Science and Technology
  • WRTC/WGS/SCOM 420: Feminist Rhetorics
  • WRTC 426: Special Topics in Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication
  • WRTC 430/SCOM 343: Contemporary Rhetorical Theory and Practice
  • WRTC 432: Rhetoric of the Personal Narrative
  • WRTC 434: Advanced Popular Writing
  • WRTC 436: Teaching Writing
  • WRTC 450: Digital Rhetoric
  • WRTC 452: Online Design II
  • WRTC 454: Publication Management
  • WRTC 456: Usability Testing
  • WRTC 458: Scientific and Medical Communication
  • WRTC 460: Legal Writing
  • WRTC 462: Government Writing
  • WRTC 480: Writing for Business and Industry
  • WRTC 484: Writing for Nonprofits
  • WRTC 486: Writing in the Community
  • WRTC 488: Writing in the Health Sciences

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