UCSB Professional Writing Minor Overview

The Professional Writing Minor is an opportunity for undergraduates to expand their communication skills through two capstone courses and a writing internship during their senior year. Students considering the minor should think of it as an apprenticeship in the world of professional writing, not simply as a set of courses in which someone will tell you what to do.

The Professional Writing Minor is separated into distinct tracks: Professional Editing, Multimedia Communication, Business Communication, Writing and Civic Engagement, and Science Communication. Each track includes two capstone courses and an intership. Students applying to the minor will indicate a first, second, and third choice and explain the reasons for their first choice selection.

Professional Writing Minors must be more than good students. They must be excellent writers and editors. They must be able and willing to function in a professional internship environment, to accept responsibility, to demonstrate initiative, to complete assignments, to meet deadlines, and to work collegially in group projects.

Please read this one-page information sheet about the Professional Writing Minor. 

What are the tracks of the Professional Writing Minor?

Professional Editing (Writing 151 A-B):

Conceptual and technical editing of a wide range of documents for diverse audiences, with attention to genre, tone, and style. Students will learn the responsibilities of the professional editor, including interaction with authors, revision strategies, and the grammatical and mechanical requirements of The Chicago Manual of Style. The final portfolio will include the resume, edited assignments from the course, notes to the author, and edited documents from the internship. 

More information about the Professional Editing track.

Writing and Civic Engagement (Writing 153A-B):

Focuses on study of and practice with writing related to governance, citizenship, and civil society.  Students study and practice communication that aims to influence public understanding of civic issues, such as op-ed pieces, policy briefs, and political campaigns and functions within a civic organization to meet its mission, such as grants, educational brochures, and marketing documents. Learn more at the Writing and Civic Engagement website

More information about the Writing and Civic Engagement track.

Multimedia Communication (Writing 155 A-B):

Evaluation, design, and production of effective multimedia content for professional audiences. Advanced computer skills are not required, but willingness to learn new software is essential. The final portfolio will include individual and collaborative multimedia projects as well as traditional documents such as memos, proposals, progress reports, and a résumé. Check out the Multimedia Communication website for more information.

More information about the Multimedia Communication track.

Business Communication (Writing 157A-B):

Development of written, visual, oral, and collaborative skills for the workplace (business, government, non-profit, or other organizations), with a focus on design, development, and re-purposing of hardcopy and new media documents. A final portfolio will include examples of a variety of professional genres--such as letters, e-mails, status reports, proposals, press releases, feasibility reports, policies and procedures, brochures--presented in both print and digital form.

More information about the Business Communication track.

Science Communication (Writing 159A-B)Focuses on study of and practice with writing related to science communication in STEM fields and in other professions that engage with scientific information. All majors are welcome. Students will develop proficiency in reading and creating documents typical of scientific professions, as well as materials for nonspecialists and public audiences. Both traditional (e.g., scientific articles, proposals, news or feature articles) and digital (e.g., video; social media) forms of science communication will be showcased in a final portfolio.

More information about the Science Communication track.

Professional Writing Minor Mailing List

Receive updates on information sessions, deadlines, and requirements by subscribing to the Professional Writing Minor Mailing List. Email our Undergraduate Advisor, Demitra Good, at demitragood@hfa.ucsb.edu to be added to the list.


Email Demitra Good at demitragood@hfa.ucsb.edu or call (805) 893.2613.