Graduate Program Book Publishing

Student looking at books

Book Publishing Master's Degree Overview

Train for a career in doing what you love and apply to receive your master’s in Book Publishing from PSU. The graduate program in Book Publishing at Portland State University provides its students with a comprehensive view of the publishing industry through general, specialized, and experiential learning that immerses students in the work that it takes to publish a book from acquisition to launch.

Founded in 2001 with the intent to combine traditional academic study and hands-on experiential learning, ours is the only graduate program in book publishing in the western United States and the only program in the US that has a trade publishing house staffed by students, Ooligan Press.

From your first day of class, you'll jump right into the publishing industry as you begin working at the student-run Ooligan Press, a publishing house staffed by students in the graduate program.

It is possible for a student to undertake two Master’s degrees at the same time, combining a Master’s in Writing with a specialization in Book Publishing with other master’s degrees such as M.A. in English M.F.A. in Creative Writing M.A. in Technical and Professional Communication Comics Studies Certificate. A dual degree allows for an overlap of the credits required for two Master’s degrees. The specific credits to be accepted for both degrees must be approved by the departments involved and may not exceed one-third of the required credits for a degree.

For questions about the program, contact the Director of Publishing, Dr. Rachel Noorda:

Degree Details

  • M
    Delivery Method
    On campus
    Total Credits
    Start Term
    Fall, Winter, Spring

Learn more about PSU’s academic program delivery methods.

Book Publishing Master's Degree: Why PSU?

The graduate program in Book Publishing at Portland State University is at the forefront of publishing education nationally. In fact, Publishers Weekly described the program as a place where “publishing education gets innovative.”

Ooligan Press, the heart of the book publishing program, honors the cultural and natural diversity of the Pacific Northwest. The press produces several books a year, each providing a uniquely compelling portrait of the place where our work is rooted.

As far as locations go, there's no better place to begin your immersion in publishing than in the city of Portland, whose thriving literary community is home to indie book publishers like Tin House, Dark Horse Comics, beloved independent bookstore, Powell's, and the city's growing Portland Book Festival. And as a part of your coursework, you can jump right into the scene by taking advantage of the program's exciting internships in publishing.

What can I do with a Masters's degree in Book Publishing?

Our program boasts strong connections to the publishing industry both in and outside of Portland, and alumni of the graduate program in Book Publishing find employment across the country and around the world.

Many graduates go on to find employment in the publishing industry, freelance work, or found their own publishing houses. Your publishing skills can also take you in an array of directions. Our graduates often find that the program’s immersion in the publishing process translates extremely well to industries where their positions require project management, editing, marketing, design, and sales, which all students are familiarized within the program.

Here are just some of the houses where our alumni have been employed:

  • Alfred A. Knopf
  • Ashgate Berghahn
  • Books Beyond Words
  • Bitch Media
  • Chronicle Books
  • Dark Horse Comics
  • Henry Holt
  • Hawthorne Books
  • Image Comics
  • Macmillan
  • Oni Press
  • Overlook Press
  • Penguin Random House
  • Pomegranate Communications
  • Quarto Publishing Group USA
  • Routledge
  • Simon & Schuster
  • Timber Press
  • Tin House
  • Trial Guides
  • Unbound Worlds (formerly Del Ray/Spectra)

Featured Courses

  • WR 560 Introduction to Book Publishing
  • WR 561 Book Editing
  • WR 562 Book Design Software
  • WR 563 Book Marketing
  • WR 564 Business of Book Publishing
  • WR 566 Digital Skills
  • WR 572 Copyediting
  • WR 573 Developmental Editing

Featured Electives

  • WR 571 Typography, Layout, and Production
  • WR 578 Digital Marketing for Book Publishers
  • WR 576 Publishing for Young Adults
  • WR 577 Children’s Book Publishing
  • WR 510 Ebook Production
  • WR 510 Advanced Book Design
  • WR 510 Literary Agents and Acquisitions


Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).