Professional Writing Honours BA

English & Professional Writing Specialized Honours BA

Professional Writing Minor


Professional Writing—Writing as a profession; writing in a profession.

The Professional Writing Program is specifically designed for students who contemplate a professional career in which writing plays a significant role.

We offer students a unique opportunity to study and to acquire practical expertise in a wide range of written expressions that inform and shape our culture. The combination of knowledge and expertise is highly sought after by employers who recognize the spiraling need for effective communications in today’s and tomorrow’s economy while at the same time enriching the writing experience on a more personal level.  Students in our program develop inventive approaches to writing that keep pace with cultural, social, and technological transformation in the contemporary world.

Why Professional Writing at York?

York’s Professional Writing Program is unique. As a program of the Liberal Arts & Professional Studies Faculty, we strive to connect and compliment the traditional strengths of a Liberal Arts degree with practical, professional experience. Our program core provides a firm grounding in the history, theory, and critical investigation of writing practices while providing hands-on experience in the creation, management, and presentation of dynamic, responsive writing.

Through our Honours BA (Professional Writing), Specialized Honours BA (English & Professional Writing),and Minor degree programs, we promote connectedness between our program and other programs at York, Seneca@York, and the greater York community.

York’s Professional Writing Program has a unique relationship with Seneca College. Our students take a series of courses through Seneca’s School of Media at the Seneca@York campus where they gain hands-on experience while working with faculty who are also current practitioners.

Experiential education is an inherent aspect of our programs. Building on the theoretical and critical knowledge and practical skills developed throughout the curriculum, students in our upper-year experiential courses design, manage and implement community projects or gain concrete experience planning and producing text-based and digital writing.  There are four experiential capstone courses that complete the program:: digital writing; institutional/business writing; periodical writing and publishing; and book publishing.  At the beginning of the third year students will choose to specialize in two of the four areas.

This Specialized Honours BA program blends English and Professional Writing into a single degree program that highlights and enhances the relationship between the two fields of study as opposed to a traditional double major or major/minor degree in which the two fields are treated as separate rather than complementary disciplines.

Specialized Honours BA: English & Professional Writing

English and Professional Writing is a “keeping doors open” program for students as devoted to reading and thinking critically about literature as they are to writing. The English side of the degree keeps open the possibility of graduate work in literary studies or a post-degree program in Education, while the Professional Writing side attends to practice and more immediate employability.

English and Professional Writing is, so far as we know, unique in Canada in offering this dual qualification, which produces graduates with a greater range of practical skills than graduates of English programs and greater theoretical sophistication and rhetorical flair than graduates of writing programs. It is not for every student but, for some medleys of aptitudes and aspirations, the combination of Professional Writing and English is a very good fit.

For the Professional Writing half of the program, students will fulfill the same requirements and benefit from the same experiential components as students in the Professional Writing Honours program.

Professional Writing allows for direct entry in the first year of university. You may transfer into the program from another program at any time, but note that there are requirements  that you must fulfill.