Writing Minor

Undergraduate Program

Writing Minor

two PSU writing students working together

Writing Minor Overview

The minor in writing allows students to draw upon the extraordinary range and depth of Portland State University’s offerings in writing, with highly flexible requirements in creative writing, technical writing, publishing and rhetoric. We prepare students for careers in communications, marketing, writing, editing and teaching.

We offer:

  • Hands-on experience through an internship advising course
  • Online, flexible and evening classes
  • Courses that work with our in-house literary magazine, Portland Review, and our publishing imprint, Ooligan Press

A minor in writing prepares you to tackle critical and complex issues, deepen your understanding of diverse cultural issues, and improve your ability to analyze and produce complicated texts. We prepare our students for careers in writing and teaching, as well as professions requiring high levels of literacy and critical thought, including law and business.

The writing minor is highly flexible with an elective structure that allows you to pursue your interests in literary studies, film and digital media analysis, publishing, creative writing and technical writing. The department also offers a undergraduate degrees in English and creative writing, minors in English and film studies and a certificate in comics studies.

Degree Details

Location Definitions:

On campus:
100% on campus
Online:
100% online
Flexible:
Combination of online and on campus
  • m
    Minor
    Locations
    On campus
    Total Credits
    28
    Start Term
    Any

Writing Minor: Why PSU?

Portland is known throughout the country as a city of the arts—a place where students can add to a flourishing culture and work in thriving local creative industries. Our students have the added advantage of being able to take part in student-edited publications and student writing services:

  • Pathos Literary Magazine: A creative publication, staffed entirely by students, that exclusively publishes student work in three issues per year.
  • Portland Review: A literary journal produced by graduate students in the English department that promotes the works of emerging writers and artists alongside the works of well-established authors. Portland Review has been publishing exceptional prose, poetry, and art since 1956 and has been noted in the Best American series and honored by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Oregon Arts Commission.
  • Vanguard: A weekly print and digital newspaper distributed for free throughout the Portland State campus area. Entirely student-run, employing about 60 paid student reporters, multimedia contributors, photographers, graphic designers and editors, its publishing body is the Portland State Media Board, consisting of four students, four faculty members, and one community member. The newspaper and its staff have earned several collegiate journalism awards, including the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association General Excellence Award and the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Circle Award.
  • Ooligan Press: An award-winning nonprofit general trade press that publishes books honoring the cultural and natural diversity of the Pacific Northwest. Ooligan Press is a teaching press staffed by students pursuing master’s degrees in the Department of English.
  • The Writing Center: A service to help students improve their writing and understand strategies to gain critical thinking skills they can adapt to all their writing projects. Writing center staff support students by acting as consultants rather than copyeditors, guiding students through their work by asking questions rather than editing specific text, with the goal of ensuring that the student writer maintains agency over their writing.

Portland State offers many opportunities for students to engage in the broader creative community in the city through internships and jobs. Our students are able to work and carry out internships while they’re in school, allowing them to build relationships and add experience to their resumes.

What can I do with a minor in Writing?

Students who minor in writing go on to careers in many different fields, from politics to book-editing. Writing skills are valuable in every industry, and we prepare our students to be adaptable and thoughtful communicators. Graduates of Portland State’s writing program have gone on to careers in technical writing, website and digital writing, politics, public affairs, writing, advertising, communications, book publishing, journalism, education, science and technology.

Featured Courses

  • ENG 260 Introduction to Women’s Literature
  • ENG 301U Topics in Shakespearean Genre: Tragedy
  • ENG 332U History of Cinema and Narrative Media
  • ENG 397U Digital Literacy Studies
  • ENG 496 Comics Theory
  • WR 212 Introductory Poetry Writing
  • WR 398 Writing Comics
  • WR 426 Document Design
  • WR 416 Screenwriting
  • WR 465 Intellectual Property and Copyright

Electives

  • ENG 307U Science Fiction
  • ENG 310 Children’s Literature
  • ENG 422 African Fiction
  • WR 331 Publishing for Writers
  • WR 459 Memoir Writing

Accreditation

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