Professional and Technical Writing Major

Professional and Technical Writing

In our major you will learn to create user guides, online documentation, website content, scientific reports, content strategies, and other professional documents. You will study the principles of technical and professional writing and use the latest technologies to create a vast portfolio of writing samples.










Total Credit Hours: 120

Professional and Technical Writing Courses (15 hours)

English Core Requirements (23 hours)

General Education (up to 45 hours)

Electives (46 hours)

What You'll Study

  • 120 credit hours for a bachelor of arts degree, including Virginia Tech's Pathways or Curriculum for Liberal Education (CLE)
  • 23 credits of English core courses, including:
    • Introduction to Critical Reading
    • Introduction to Critical Writing
    • Literary History
    • Acts of Interpretation
    • Writing and Digital Media
    • Capstone Experience 
  • 15 credits of required professional and technical writing courses, including:
    • Creating User Documentation 
    • Intercultural Issues in Professional Writing
    • Designing Documents for Print
    • Developing Online Content
    • Science Writing
    • Technical Editing and Style
    • Grant Proposals
  • 46 credits of free elective courses

Curious about adding a minor or additional major? Visit our office at 329 Shanks Hall or email Laura Ferguson at

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What is a Professional and Technical Writing Degree?

You will combine coursework on the methods, forms, technologies, and issues of workplace writing with practical experience. The professional and technical writing major emphasizes the role of online writing skills and electronic content strategy in 21st century professional and technical communication.

Why Study Professional and Technical Writing Here?

Our wide-ranging curriculum emphasizes electronic communication. You complete our Professional and Technical Writing degree with an understanding of international technical content standards and computing applications. You will perfect  skills in writing and rhetoric, and a create a portfolio of multimodal writing samples.

Beyond the Classroom


Talk to a professor about designing your own research project to take a deeper look at a topic of your interest. You'll work closely with a faculty advisor to plan a course of action and discuss your findings. You can also participate in a collaborative project where you help a faculty member with their research.



Get Experience

Engage in your profession by writing, researching, editing, and making connections with employers across the country. Apply the knowledge and skills you learn in the classroom to the workplace. Internships earn academic credit and provide valuable real-world experience. 



Study Away

We host a faculty-led trip to London, an exchange program with Loughborough University, and a Wintermester Experience that visits different locations each year. These experiences enrich your understanding of the history and culture with the English language and its literature.




Strong Community

You will join an active and welcoming community. Our student organizations include the English Club, Linguistics Club, Creative Writing Club, and Sigma Tau Delta. We hold an annual literary festival, Glossolalia, that features original works including readings and performances by students and visiting writers.



What Our Students Are Saying

Careers and Further Study


What do I do with a professional and technical writing major?

Our graduates are prepared for careers in technical and scientific writing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statisitics expects the number of technical writers to increase by 15% (4% faster than average) between 2012 and 2022.

Careers in technical or scientific writing can be found in a number of industries.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, industries with the highest employment level for technical writers include:

  • Computer systems design
  • Management, scientific, and technical consulting services
  • Architecture and engineering
  • Software publishers
  • Scientific research
  • Aerospace product and parts manufacturing
  • Newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers