Why study Writing Communication at MC?

Psychology Program Overview

This major develops skills in creative and professional writing. Majors study trends in creative writing and the dynamic evolution of contemporary writing. They learn the distinctions between literary and popular forms of writing, as well as between accessible and experimental modes of writing. The honing of analytical skills is matched with an emphasis on the writing process.

In both creative and professional writing classes, editing, critiquing and providing constructive feedback on manuscripts is emphasized. Students also master methodologies of different rhetorical situations, different modes of writing in journalism, public relations and business and technical writing. Best practices, ethical and professional issues, and industry standards that are introduced in major classes are reinforced and developed through internships.

Maryville College Works is a comprehensive career preparation program that is integrated into the College’s four-year liberal arts curriculum. Key components include assessment, advising, networking and professional experiences.

External Relationships

The American Red Cross
The Daily Times
East Tennessee Historical Society
Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center
Knoxville News Sentinel
Knoxville Zoo
Mary Beth West Communications
New Hope Children’s Advocacy Center
Scripps Networks
United Way of Blount County

On campus opportunities

Student staff members of The Highland Echo publish a 10-page campus newspaper every other week during the semester. Impressions, an annual publication and bimonthly online literary magazine, features artwork, creative writing and poetry submitted by MC students.

Meet a current student

Candace Whitman ’17
Hometown: Mount Juliet, Tenn.

Candace, secretary of the College’s Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, is preparing for a career in communications or public relations in the non-profit sector. She spent last summer as the Bio-Med Marketing and Communications Intern at the Nashville area Red Cross, where she wrote news releases, public service announcements and other communications materials; managed the Twitter account for the Tennessee Valley region; and interviewed and photographed blood and platelet donors. “The written and verbal communication skills that I developed in the classroom gave me the tools I needed to succeed in my internship,” she said. “The coursework and practical experiences I have had in this major have prepared me for a variety of career paths.”

Outcomes of Recent Grads

Featured Graduate

Garrett Painter ’14
Currently: Trade and Event Marketing Coordinator at Scripps Networks

As a student at MC, Garrett took advantage of the Writing Communication internship program by interning in digital communications at Pyxl and in distribution and marketing with Scripps Networks. It was his experience at this final internship that led to his successful career in event marketing. “I wouldn’t have this job if I hadn’t put myself  out there with those internships,” he said. “The major is one you can take in many directions. You don’t just have to be a novelist or a journalist. You can do marketing or public relations, and there are lots of opportunities in those fields.”

Course Offerings

The Major in Writing Communication consists of 47 hours, including 42 hours in English and 5 hours in Humanities. Transfer students bringing 45 or more credit hours in transfer are exempt from HUM 299, with the result that the major requirement is reduced to 46 hours. Required courses include:

ENG 162: Interpreting Literature (3 hrs.)
ENG 216: Publications (1 hr.) (3 hrs. required)
ENG 217: Journalism (3 hrs.)
ENG 311: History of the English Language (3 hrs.)

Either of the following courses:
ENG 337: Internship (9 hrs.)
ENG 337: Internship (3 hrs.)

ENG 351-352: Senior Thesis (6 hrs.)
HUM 201: Perspectives in the Humanities (3 hrs.)
HUM 299: Issues in Professional Development (1 hr.)
HUM 347: Research in the Humanities (1 hr.)


Two courses from the following list:
ENG 213: Creative Writing: Poetry (3 hrs.)
ENG 214: Creative Writing: Fiction (3 hrs.)
ENG 219: Advanced Rhetoric and Grammar (3 hrs.)

Two courses from the following list:
ENG 314: Creative Nonfiction (3 hrs.)
ENG 315: Business and Technical Writing (3 hrs.)
ENG 317: Public Relations Writing and Practice (3 hrs.)

Students pursuing the 9 credit hour internship option take an additional 3 hours in English courses in literature while students pursuing the 3 credit hour internship option take an additional 9 hours in English courses in literature.

All writing/communication majors are strongly encouraged to minor in an area that will give them a degree of expertise in a field other than English.

The Minor in Writing/Communication requires 15 hours in writing courses. Required courses include:

ENG 216: Publications (1 hr.) (3 hrs. required

Four courses chosen from the following list:
ENG 213: Creative Writing: Poetry (3 hrs.)
ENG 214: Creative Writing: Fiction (3 hrs.)
ENG 217: Journalism (3 hrs.)
ENG 219: Advanced Rhetoric and Grammar (3 hrs.)
ENG 314: Creative Nonfiction (3 hrs.)
ENG 315: Business and Technical Writing (3 hrs.)
ENG 317: Public Relations Writing and Practice (3 hrs.)

Core Curriculum

The Maryville Curriculum, often called the “core” curriculum, consists of 51 credit hours. Some general education requirements are waived by virtue of the student’s major; others may be met by demonstration of competence. List of Core Courses:

Core Domain
Approved Existing Classes for New Core
(Other Courses to be added)
First Year Seminar FYS110
Composition & Speech ENG110 & ENG120
Quantitative Literacy MTH110
Religion, Spirituality and Critical Thought BIB130 or BIB140
Literary Studies LIT270 or LIT290
Historical Reasoning WCV180 or WCV190
Empirical Study of Person and Society PSY101, SOC101, PLS211, ECN221, ECN201
Culture and Intercultural Dynamics WRC370
Scientific Reasoning
[Students must complete 2 courses: 1 life science and 1 physical science. One of the 2 must include a lab]
SCI150, SCI350, BIO113, BIO115, BIO217, CHM111, CHM121, PHY101, PHY201
Mathematical Reasoning STA120, CSC111, MTH125
Second Language Completion of a 120 course in second language (e.g., SPN120, etc.)
Creative Arts FNA140, ART102, ART121, THT101, THT204,
3 HRS in any one of:
MUSE12, MUSE13, MUSE14, MUSE15, MUSE16, ART124, ART125, ART126
Ethical Citizenship in the World ETH490
U.S. Pluralism Designated Courses TBD


Learning Outcomes

Students successfully completing the program of study will have achieved:


  • Familiarity with major authors and works from all the major periods of Western literature
  • Knowledge of Western literary history and the continuity of its traditions
  • Familiarity with historical, cultural, political, and philosophical events and movements which have had a bearing on the development of those literatures and their interpretations
  • Knowledge of various schools of literary criticism
  • Knowledge of literary terminology
  • Knowledge of the history of the English language and of basic linguistic principles
  • Awareness of literary style and its development in various periods
  • Writing or editing work experience gained through internships or practica


  • Ability to read with discernment—to analyze and interpret form, structure and style in expository writing and in various genres of literature
  • Ability to write with clarity, conciseness, appropriate organization, and a level of usage and style suitable for the intended audience
  • Ability to carry on independent research
  • Ability to show confident and articulate oral expression and to listen with discernment
  • Proficiency in the use of layout and design software
  • Proficiency in copy editing and proofreading of work other than one’s own, including knowledge of various style guides and the distinction between grammar and style (AP style, Chicago Manuel, MLA, APA, etc.)
  • Ability to work efficiently and cooperatively within small groups or teams and within larger organizational structures
  • Understanding of forms and expectations of business and technical writing

Career Options

Journalism (print and web based newspapers/magazines), public relations, writing for non-profit organizations, grant writing, television and radio broadcasting, editing and publishing, film and television production. This major also prepares the student for graduate study in communications and for law school.