McMicken College of Arts & SciencesMcMicken College of Arts & SciencesUniversity of Cincinnati

McMicken College of Arts & Sciences


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English Literature - Rhetoric & Professional Writi

Responding to an increasingly interdisciplinary, multicultural and media-rich age, the English Department offers not only a strong core of literature courses, but also opportunities to pursue different specializations in the study and production of texts. Whether your interest is in American or British literature, multicultural literatures, cultural studies, creative writing, rhetoric and professional writing or journalism, you’ll find a wide array of courses and options to choose from. Whatever your path, you’ll become a more empowered and responsible reader and writer, prepared to make a contribution to your field of knowledge, profession, community and the world at large.


Quick Info

Program Code


Real-World Learning Components

Optional internship(s)


4 years

Admission Criteria



Main Campus


English & Comparative Literature
McMicken College of Arts and Sciences


248 McMicken Hall
PO Box 210069
Cincinnati,OH  45221-0069
Phone: 513-556-5924

Student Success Factors

English majors pride themselves on being able to think, read and write critically. They engage in the careful study, and sometimes the production, of novels, poems, theoretical works, multimedia documents and other texts. They also become adept at synthesizing knowledge from diverse fields (politics, history, sociology, economics, media studies). While their aspirations vary, students majoring in English will become more nimble thinkers and writers, gaining a sophisticated understanding of the many uses and effects of language.

Career Possibilities

While an interest in English can lead to careers in areas such as journalism, publishing, technical writing and secondary school teaching, the reading, writing and critical thinking skills that a student majoring in English acquires are highly valued in a wide range of positions in business and industry. English is also an excellent base for professional studies in law, business and medicine. There isn’t much you can’t do with an English degree. English majors have gone on to become:

  • Actors
  • Authors
  • CEOs
  • Coaches
  • Columnists
  • Comedians
  • Directors of non-profits
  • Editors
  • Educators
  • Film critics
  • Grant writers
  • Librarians
  • Marketers
  • Medical writers
  • Science writers
  • Poets
  • Politicians
  • Social policy makers
  • Technical writers
  • Television producers
  • Training specialists

Additional career options are listed on the Center for Exploratory Studies website.

Major Details

Students majoring in English at McMicken College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) choose one of three specialized tracks, each culminating with a capstone course:

  • Literary and cultural studies (ENGL-LC)
  • Creative writing track: poetry focus (ENGL-CW)
  • Creative writing track: fiction focus (ENGL-CW)
  • Rhetoric and professional writing (ENGL-RP)

English electives can come from any field of study represented in the department’s course offerings: literature, cultural studies, creative writing, journalism, rhetoric/professional writing, linguistics, women’s studies, ethnic literatures and so forth.

A&S offers flexible degree requirements allowing for multiple areas of study. Free electives allow for enough credits for students to pursue a minor, certificate program or even complete a second major. Some of the most common pairings are listed below.

  • Anthropology
  • Arabic studies
  • Asian studies
  • Business French
  • Business majors
  • Classical civilization
  • Classics
  • Communication
  • Deaf studies
  • Education
  • Geology
  • German studies
  • Journalism
  • Organizational leadership
  • Political science
  • Women's, gender, and sexuality studies

Minor Details

The minor in English is available to students who major in other disciplines. It combines the major’s core strengths with a degree of latitude regarding specialization.

Course Requirements (21 credit hours):

  • Introduction to English Studies, ENGL 3000 (3 hours)
  • Electives (18 hours): Any courses at the 2000 level and above in these disciplines: ENGB, ENGC, or ENGL.  At least three of the courses must be at the 3000 level or above.

Students may use their electives to sample a wide variety of courses in reading and writing or to focus in one particular area. Those interested in more in-depth study of an area may want to consider completing one of the department’s certificate programs.

The department offers four undergraduate certificates in journalism, creative writing, professional writing and American ethnic studies. While these programs of study are pursued mostly by non-majors, English majors may consider completing one of these certificates to complement their chosen track.

Click here to declare the minor online


These tools assist students to identify course requirements and individual progress toward completion of academic programs. It is important to utilize these resources with personalized guidance from a UC academic advisor regularly to ensure timely graduation..

My Degree Audit - for confirmed and current students

My Transfer Course Equivalencies - for students considering transfer to UC

UC Schedule of Classes - search course availability and descriptions

Curriculum Guide Versions:

ENGL-RP: English Literature-Rhetoric & Professional Writing (BA) Curriculum Guide

Predominant Program

    English Core Requirements
    • ENGL3000, Introduction to Literature and Cultural Studies, 3
    • ENGB3006, Introduction to Shakespeare, 3
    • ENGL3059, Introduction to Rhetoric and Professional Writing, HU, 3
    • ENGL5095, Rhetoric and Professional Writing Capstone, 3
    A&S College Core Requirements
    • ENGL1001, English Composition, EC, 3
    • ENGL2089, Intermediate Composition, EC, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Freshman Seminar (if admitted freshman year), 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Quantitative Reasoning (QR) Course, QR, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, MATH or STAT Course, QR, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Natural Sciences (NS) Courses, NS, 6
    • XXXXxxxx, Social Sciences (SS) Courses, SS, 6
    • XXXXxxxx, Humanities (HU) Course, HU, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Historical Perspectives (HP) Course, HP, 3
    • HISTxxxx, HIST Course, HP, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Interdisciplinary Requirement, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Social & Ethical Issues (SI) or Technology & Innovation (TI) Course -- may double count, SE, TI, 3
    • XXXXxxxx, Foreign Language Sequence, 10 - 12
    Free Electives
    • XXXXxxxx, Elective or Minor Related Courses, 27 - 29
    Bus Writ / Tech Writing
    • ENGL4091, Writing for Business, 3
    • ENGL4092, Technical and Scientific Writing, 3
    • ENGL4093, Environmental Writing, 3
    • ENGL4094, Biomedical Writing, 3
    Professional Writing Track Electives
    • ENGL2073, Rhetoric and Public Engagement, DC, SE, 3
    • ENGL3060, Language and Knowledge in Public Discourse, 3
    • ENGL3066, Alternative Rhetorics, 3
    • ENGL3067, Research Methods in Rhetoric and Professional Writing, 3
    • ENGL3068, Topics in Rhetoric and Professional Writing, 3
    • ENGL3069, Introduction to Web Authoring, 3
    • ENGL3070, Desktop Publishing, 3
    • ENGL3071, Technical Writing, 3
    • ENGL3072, Multimedia Writing, 3
    • ENGL3074, Rhetoric of Social Media, 3
    • ENGL3075, Professional Writing and Publication, 3
    • ENGL3076, Writing With Style, HU, 3
    • ENGL3077, Visual Rhetoric, 3
    • ENGL4095, Theory in Rhetoric and Professional Writing, 3
    • ENGL4098, Professional Writing Portfolio Development, 1
    • ENGL4099, Internship in Rhetoric and Professional Writing, 1 - 3
    • ENGL5080, Writing Cincinnati, 3
    • ENGL6021, Instructional Design, 3
    • ENGL6022, Promotional Writing, 3
    • ENGL6023, Reports and Proposals, 3
    • ENGL6024, Editing Professional Documents, 3
    • ENGL6025, Information Graphics and Document Design , 3
    • ENGL6026, Usability Testing and User Experience, 3
    • ENGL6027, Advanced Current Topics in Professional Writing, 3
    • ENGL6028, Publishing and New Media, 3
    American Lit Survey
    • ENGL2007, American Literature Survey I, HU, 3
    • ENGL2008, American Literature Survey II, HU, 3
    English Lit Survey
    • ENGB2034, Survey of English Literature I, HU, 3
    • ENGB2035, Survey of English Literature II, HU, 3
    Ethnic/Minority Lit
    • ENGC3010, Introduction to Folklore, 3
    • ENGC3011, The Folktale, 3
    • ENGC3060, Literature of the African Diaspora, 3
    • ENGC3063, African Literature, 3
    • ENGC3066, Caribbean Literature, DC, HU, 3
    • ENGC4010, "Third World" Women's Literature, Culture, and History, 3
    • ENGC4011, African Women's Literature, Culture, and History, 3
    • ENGC4021, Female Bildungsroman, 3
    • ENGL3041, Introduction to American Ethnic Literature, DC, HU, 3
    • ENGL3042, Topics in American Ethnic Literature, 3
    • ENGL3043, Race in African American Literature, 3
    • ENGL3044, Interracialism, 3
    • ENGL4008, Native American Women's Literature, Culture, and History, 3
    • ENGL4009, Ethnic Women's Literature, Culture, and History, 3
    • ENGL4035, Lesbian Literature and Psychology, 3

UC Advantages and Special Opportunities

University of Cincinnati 3 + 3 Law School Admissions

This major welcomes eligible students who would like to earn a bachelor’s degree and a UC law degree in just six years, saving a year of tuition and time over the traditional path to becoming a lawyer. Students will receive careful advising to complete their major and A&S core degree requirements in 3 years. More information is available here.

Students in UC's McMicken College of Arts and Sciences enjoy many benefits afforded through study at a research-intensive institution ranked among the nation's top 25 public research universities. UC's urban, Tristate location offers exciting opportunities for global education, research and service learning, while its student-centered focus includes an 11:1 student-faculty ratio, a nationally recognized Center for Exploratory Studies and a highly successful First Year Experience program that teaches critical skills for first-year students and provides connections with important campus resources.


Special Programs

Study tours of other countries, for which you will receive course credit, are offered to let you experience cultures you previously only read about in a traditional classroom. The Institute for Global Studies and Affairs (IGSA) and the Department of English will even help you pay for it. All UC students are eligible to apply for a grant from IGSA of up to $500. In addition, students majoring in an A&S Taft department are eligible to apply for graduate or undergraduate Taft Enrichment Awards of up to $2,000.

Some of the exciting study tours you could embark on are:

  • Chaucer Study Tour
  • Gothic Paris Study Tour
  • Venice Study Tour
  • Victorian to Virtual Study Tour

Internships and service-learning opportunities enable English majors, minors and certificate students to gain real-world experience putting their reading and writing abilities to work. Whether individually or as part of a class, English students have worked with many non-profits, community groups, schools, businesses and other kinds of organizations. An English adviser can help you decide the best way to incorporate such learning experiences into your chosen program of study.

The George Elliston Poetry Fund has fostered the development of promising young poets and honored the achievements of established poets since 1951. Each year, through the Poet-in-Residence program, a distinguished poet is brought to campus to give public lectures and readings and to conduct poetry seminars and workshops.


Admission Requirements

Freshmen applicants, please visit the Admission Requirements page for more information.

Transferring to UC Requirements

Students who were not admissible directly from high school must have:

  • 24 semester (36 quarter) hours earned
  • at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA and a 2.0 at most recent institution
  • successfully completed one semester of English composition or its equivalent
  • successfully completed one semester of math with a grade of C- or higher that minimally meets on of the following:
    • Mathematical Literacy (MATH 0029)
    • Intermediate Algebra (MATH 0034)
    • Algebra for College (MATH 0039)
    • Students may also take the UC Math Placement exam, but must score an MPT of 420 or higher

University transfer scholarships are available to those who meet specific requirements and ANY admitted A&S transfer student might qualify for an A&S transfer scholarship. Deadlines and eligibility criteria are online via the previous links.

Changing Majors Within UC

Admission to A&S is generally available for University of Cincinnati students enrolled in other colleges if they were admissible directly from high school, have a cumulative 2.0 GPA and a 2.0 in their most recent UC college.

Students who were not admissible directly from high school must have:

  • at least a 2.0 GPA in all college-level courses (both at UC and at other institutions)
  • successfully completed one semester of English composition or its equivalent
  • successfully completed one semester of math with a grade of C- or higher that minimally meets on of the following:
    • Mathematical Literacy (MATH 0029)
    • Intermediate Algebra (MATH 0034)
    • Algebra for College (MATH 0039)
    • Students may also take the UC Math Placement exam, but must score an MPT of 420 or higher

Graduation Requirements

To graduate from the UC McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, students must:


  • Earn at least 120 credits. This can include transfer credit, AP credit and free electives, but does not include preparatory coursework. Students who have met all other degree requirements must continue earning credit until the total number of their earned hours comes to at least 120.
  • Attain a 2.0 grade point average for all courses taken at the University of Cincinnati.
  • Be in good academic standing, that is, not on either academic probation or disciplinary probation or suspension.
  • Complete the residency requirement by earning at least 30 credits after matriculating into the college.
  • Complete all of the requirements of at least one major (see major requirements above).
  • Complete the College Core Requirements.
  • Submit an application for graduation to the registrar's office by their posted deadline.

Application Deadlines

While midyear admission is possible, fall semester is generally the best time to enter the college, since many course sequences begin in that semester. Applicants to the UC McMicken College of Arts and Sciences who are enrolled or who were previously enrolled as degree-seeking students in A&S or in other UC colleges should apply for admission directly to A&S (in French West, 2nd Floor). All other applicants who wish to earn an undergraduate degree from A&S should apply through the Office of Admissions (3rd Floor, University Pavilion).


The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.