Professional Writing


The Master of Arts in Professional Writing program (MAPW) is a professional graduate degree program that prepares candidates for a wide variety of writing-related positions in business, education, publishing, and the arts. Coursework in three concentrations—applied writing, composition and rhetoric, and creative writing—allows students to gain theoretical and practical knowledge in various fields of professional writing. As students become experienced in producing and analyzing business, technical, journalistic, and creative texts, they develop a sophisticated understanding of style, structure, and audience. MAPW students will become writing professionals who can move in many directions during their careers. They will become flexible writers who can tune in to the writing conventions of a given genre, adapting their writing style to the requirements of various rhetorical contexts.

To earn an MA in Professional Writing degree, students complete at least 36 hours of course work. Students enroll in the following:

  • The Writing Core (3 hrs) - PRWR 6000: Issues and Research in Professional Writing
      • Students must complete this core course in their first semester in the MAPW program.
  • The Concentration (15 hrs) - All students concentrate in one of the three genres of writing. To graduate, students must successfully complete 5 courses (15 hrs) in their concentration.
      • Applied Writing
      • Composition/Rhetoric
      • Creative Writing
  • The Support Area (9 hrs) - All students select one of the remaining genres as the support area.  To graduate, students must successfully complete 3 courses (9 hrs)
  • The Elective (3 hrs) - In addition to the above requirements, students take an elective, a single course (3 hrs) from any of the MAPW courses of their choice.
  • The Capstone (6 hrs minimum) - After completing a minimum of 27 hours, students may enroll in capstone (i.e., thesis) hours, which allows students to explore more fully an area of interest by producing a thesis or other substantial project.
  • To graduate, students must complete at least 6 hours, but some may need to enroll in more hours, and complete their capstone work successfully.

Classes are only held in the evening, Monday through Thursday from 6:30 pm to 9:15 pm.


This program accepts applications for the Fall and Spring.  Deadlines are:

Fall:  February 1 Priority and June 1 Final;

Spring:  October 1

See the list of available start terms and document deadlines here. Please note that completed applications and all required credentials must be submitted by the posted deadline.


  • Transcripts - Official transcripts from EACH College and/or University you have attended.  Must be in a sealed envelope from the institution or sent electronically from the institution directly to
  • GRE Score Report -  Applicants who opt to take the test must show a total score of  520 (verbal) and a minimum of 4.5 (analytic writing). Request that your scores be sent electronically to KSU (school code 5359).  No department code is necessary.

GRE Alternative

Applicants who opt not to take the GRE must show evidence in the Letter of Application of one of the following (make your selection in the online application):

1. Having substantially published or produced with an established professional or non-profit venue; or having substantially participated in writing a significant document with an established business, non-profit or government agency.

2. Having had entry-level experiences in the professional fields as a writer, editor, script coordinator, writing teacher, or the like.

3. Having received a recommendation after either a face to face, telephone or tele-conference interview with a panel of three outside reviewers who are MAPW alumni or MAPW Community Board members or a combination of these selected by the program director.

  • Letter of Application (Can be uploaded into the online application) - Should address your preparation for and goals for the MAPW program and a rationale for the choice of concentration and support areas. 
  • Writing Sample (Can be uploaded into the online application) - One copy of representative writing samples from both the concentration and the support areas, not to exceed 25 pages.
  • Resume (Can be uploaded into the online application)
  • Letter of Recommendation (optional) - Strongly recommended by department and must be from either a undergraduate or graduate faculty member. Applicants may submit up to 3 optional letters. 


Program Director: Dr. Tony Grooms
Program Office:  470-578-3335;
Program Website: