May 21, 2024  
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog 
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Professional Writing, MAPW

Contact: Dr. Jim Elledge, Program Director
Office: (470) 578-2039
Fax: (470) 578-6524
Web address:

MAPW Program Description

The Master of Arts in Professional Writing (MAPW) degree is a professional graduate degree program that prepares candidates for a wide variety of writing‑related positions in business, education, publishing, and the arts. Course work in three concentrations-applied writing, composition and rhetoric, and creative writing-allows students to gain theoretical and practical knowledge in various fields of professional writing. As students become experienced in producing and analyzing the business, technical, journalistic, and creative texts in these three concentrations, they develop a sophisticated understanding of style, structure, and audience. MAPW students will become writing professionals who can move in many directions during their careers; they will become flexible writers who can tune in to the writing conventions of a given genre,  adapting their writing style to the requirements of various rhetorical contexts in today’s print and electronic environments.

Additional resources of special importance to the program faculty and students are the Kennesaw State University Writing Center and the Kennesaw Mountain National Writing Project.

General Requirements for Admissions to the MAPW Program

To be considered for MAPW admission, applicants must submit the following credentials to the KSU Admission Office:

  1. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale;
  2. A minimum total score of 520 (verbal) and a minimum 4.5 (analytic writing) on the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). The GRE requirement is waived for applicants who have earned an advanced degree.

The following items should be submitted to:
MAPW Graduate Director, English Department,
Mailbox Drop 2701, Kennesaw State University,
1000 Chastain Road, Kennesaw, GA 30144-5591.

  1. An application letter that states the applicant’s goals for the MAPW program and a rationale for the choice of concentration and support areas;
  2. One copy of representative writing samples from both the concentration and the support area, not to exceed 25 pages;
  3. A letter of recommendation is optional.

*International applicants have additional requirements. See Graduate Admission section of this catalog.

Transfer Credit

Up to nine hours of graduate work from other accredited institutions may be transferred. To be transferred, course work from other institutions must correspond to Kennesaw State’s MAPW curriculum. Students will need to provide course descriptions and syllabi wherever possible, and the amount of credit granted will be at the discretion of the program director. A minimum grade of “B” is required for any course transferred. Such course work may be no more than five years old.


Students must earn a grade of “C” or better in every graduate‑level course. They must also achieve a GPA of at least 3.0 before they can advance to candidacy.

Petition to Graduate

MAPW candidates must petition to graduate at least one semester prior to completion of program requirements. Before MAPW students can petition to graduate, they must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0. The student should print the form located on the MAPW web site at:

The student must obtain the MAPW graduate director’s signature before submitting the petition to the business office and registrar.


Program of Study

The Master of Arts in Professional Writing Degree Program consists of 36 hours of course work. The MAPW Program is organized in three distinct parts:

Core Course (3 Credit Hours)

The core course gives MAPW students the necessary tools to acquire both practical and theoretical knowledge about writing, writers, and graduate-level study skills. Students must complete the core course within their first semester in the MAPW program:

Major Concentration and Support Area (24 Credit Hours)

  1. The Major Concentration and Support Area (24 hours) allows candidates to concentrate on two areas of interest. In the Major (15 hours), each student selects one concentration from the three offered below and takes five courses from this concentration, and in the Support Area (9 hours), each student also selects one of the remaining two concentrations as the support area. The student must take three courses from this second concentration to satisfy the support area requirement.

    In addition, the student will take one elective (3 hours)

  2. Major concentration (15 hours) and two courses from each of the other two concentrations (12 hours) allow students to study all three areas of professional writing offered in the MAPW program.

MAPW Capstone Project (6 Credit Hours)

The MAPW Capstone project is designated as a thesis, portfolio, or practicum, accompanied by a rationale for its purpose and design that involves electronic and/or print media and is relevant to the student’s concentration in professional writing. After submitting an approved capstone proposal, the candidate works under the direction and advice of two faculty members to produce the project. The candidate must submit the capstone project at least two weeks before either 1) a discussion about the project with the faculty committee, or 2) a public presentation about the project or a reading from the project for an audience of faculty and peers. The candidate will consult with the capstone committee about which option to choose.

Program Total (36 Credit Hours)