Professional & Technical Writing program

Undergrad minor Undergrad certificate

Learn to write professionally.

In the modern world, communication is constant in the workplace. Internal documents, blogs, emails and press releases are just a few of the places where organizations share information. Professionals who can write accurately and compellingly across diverse platforms are valued members of the team.

UWL’s Professional & Technical Writing minor and certificate program prepare students to write in an understandable, accessible, and ethical way for a wide range of audiences. Students learn to write both internal and external communications such as a memo between divisions of an organization or a press release to be shared more widely.

Professional writing careers

This minor complements a wide variety of majors. Typically, students will follow their major program of study to guide their career path and use professional and technical writing minor to broaden their skillset within that path.

Professional & Technical Writing is not just for those pursuing communications or marketing related work. For instance, science majors often choose to learn professional writing because of the need to take complex research findings and make them relevant and useful to diverse audiences.

What distinguishes UWL’s Professional & Technical Writing minor?

Learn to write across diverse platforms

Students will gain practice writing in diverse platforms and for different stakeholders. They’ll gain experience with workplace communication tools such as Microsoft Teams, as well as emails, press releases and internal documents.

Engage in client service projects

Community stakeholders and campus clients provide real-world writing projects for students to oversee from beginning to end. In the past students have worked with local food pantries, libraries, foundations, neighborhood associations, and more.

Focus on professionalization

Instructors focus on professionalization in their classes. They keep up with trends to help students understand and apply these new skills to their coursework. Students are prepared to market themselves post-graduation based on the skills they’ve learned.

Network with alumni and professionals

Alumni visit classes to talk to students about their professional trajectories in writing.

Write and receive regular feedback

Students can expect to write during every class in the writing minor. Most classes involve hands-on projects that help students problem solve in the work setting. Students will receive regular feedback on writing from instructors and peers.

Gain teamwork experience

Students will have opportunities to work in a team setting as they will experience in their jobs. They will learn to combine their work with others and reach out for help throughout the process.

Participate in an internship

Students will have help setting up the internship with an organization that is aligned with the type of writing they want to do. Examples of past organizations to offer internships include Downtown Mainstreet Inc., Mississippi Valley Conservancy, Children’s Museum of La Crosse and more.

Sample courses

ENG 307 Writing for Management, Public Relations and the Professions An advanced writing course designed to introduce students to theories and practices of workplace writing through genres such as personal brand statements, application materials, correspondence, memos, proposals, reports, press releases, and others. Students will work independently, collaboratively, and ethically to address the needs of internal and external audiences. Through this work, students will also learn project management strategies and be able to respond successfully to rapidly-changing workplace contexts and stakeholders. Prerequisite: ENG 110 or ENG 112; sophomore standing. Offered Fall, Spring.

ENG 309 Writing in the Sciences An advanced writing course for students in the sciences. The course will focus both on the role writing plays in the conduct of scientific work and on the rhetorical and stylistic conventions of the various scientific disciplines: in short, on the relationship between writing and scientific knowledge. Taught through an inquiry process, students will be led to develop their composition skills and understanding as they discover the procedures and conventions of their individual disciplines. Not open for credit in the English education major or minors except for credit in the professional writing minor. Prerequisite: ENG 110 or ENG 112; sophomore standing. Offered Annually.

ENG 310 Digital Content Writing, Strategy, and Experience Design This course is designed to develop rhetorical knowledge of and practice in digital content strategy, written content creation, and user experience design for professional organizations across multiple platforms, including websites, social media, blogs, and other professional digital spaces. Students will develop skills in content strategy and user experience/user interface design for professional digital ecologies/networks, including those within mobile and desktop interfaces. The course will also introduce students to tracking and measuring data analytics, integrating search engine optimization, and developing content strategies to optimize professional and technical writing across digital platforms and situations. Prerequisite: ENG 110 or ENG 112; sophomore standing. Offered Fall, Spring.