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College of Arts & Sciences

Writing, Rhetoric & Digital Studies

120

Semester Hours

39

Credit Hours

30

Core Hours

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Rhetoric is the study of written, oral, and digital communication. Rhetoric teaches you how to argue, persuade, inform, and express for a variety of professional and personal reasons. Rhetoric teaches you how to invent, organize, arrange, and produce knowledge. Rhetoric teaches you how to create and share meaning. Rhetoric is the basis of all writing we do.  Web pages are rhetorical. Technical documents are rhetorical. Movies are rhetorical. Video games are rhetorical. Ads are rhetorical. Medical documents are rhetorical. Legal briefs are rhetorical. Rhetoric is everywhere we engage with ideas and content! WRD is  dedicated to the study and teaching of writing practices, public rhetoric, and digital media. With 14 faculty and 2 staff members, we serve over 5,000 undergraduates each year. The WRD BA/BS major offers students three tracks: 

  • Professional Writing and Editing (for those who want careers in editing and publishing or writing for/within a nonprofit or business)
  • Rhetorical Theory and Practice (for those who want to get involved in public advocacy, government, or law)
  • Digital Studies (for those who want to write and produce content for electronic spaces and understand how those spaces are designed).
WRD also offers a minor in Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Studies as well as a minor in Profession and Technical Writing

Careers

Grow Your Future

Majoring or minoring in WRD allows you the oppertunity to pursue a number of career options

Career opportunities in Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies

  • Specific Industries as a content creator or writer
  • Media relations
  • Media relations
  • Documentation design
  • Government (technical documentation, lobbying, politics
  • Research specialists (think tanks, legal bodies, industry)
  • Creative content (video game development, entertainment)
  • Education (writing for education companies or agencies)
  • Social media
  • Website design
  • App creation
  • Technical writing
  • Health industry (documentation, medical information, app development)
  • Public advocacy (NGO work, non-profit)
  • Public policy (organizations that require analytical and research skills)
  • Grant writing
  • Speech writing
  • Science writing
  • Teaching

Current Curriculum Information

Access Major Template

source: myUK: GPS

  • Writing, Rhetoric, & Digital Stu (BA) 120 hours

Click to toggle each Academic Year. Click each course for more information.

Freshman Year

Fall Semester
  • UK Core - Comp. & Comm. I3
  • Foreign Language 1014
  • UK Core - Arts and Creativity3
  • UK Core - Social Sciences3
  • A&S Humanities (100+ level)3
    • Total16
Spring Semester
  • WRD 208 - MULTIMEDIA WRITING3

    This course develops a practical understanding of writing and rhetoric through multimedia platforms and artifacts. Students will produce and publish to the web in a range of media such as digital video and photography, blogs, wikis, podcasts, and comics.

  • UK Core - Comp. & Comm. II3
  • Foreign Language 1024
  • A&S Social Sciences (100+ level)3
  • UK Core - Humanities3
    • Total16
    • Total Freshman Hours32

Sophomore Year

Fall Semester
  • WRD 300 - INTRODUCTION TO WRITING, RHETORIC, AND DIGITAL STUDIES3

    This course introduces students to the theory of rhetoric and composition. Students may examine the theoretical, ethical, and stylistic issues connected to writing in various rhetorical situations, including digital environments. The course forms a theoretical foundation for all other WRD courses and is required for all WRD majors.

  • Foreign Language 2013
  • A&S Humanities (100+ level)3
  • UK Core - Natural, Physical and Math3
  • UK Core - Quantitative Foundations3
    • Total15
Spring Semester
  • WRD 320 - RHETORICAL THEORY AND HISTORY3

    This course introduces students to the scholarly study of rhetoric by exploring the interrelationship of theory, criticism, and practice within a particular historical context.

  • WRD 306 - INTRODUCTION TO PROFESSIONS IN WRITING3

    This course offers an introduction to and preparation for careers in the teaching of writing, professional writing, publishing, and editing.

  • Foreign Language 2023
  • Natural Science/Math Course (100+ level)3
  • UK Core - Statistical Inferential Reason3
    • Total15
    • Total Sophomore Hours30

Junior Year

Fall Semester
  • WRD 301 - STYLE FOR WRITERS3

    This course is designed for those who wish to improve their own writing style or the style of others. While the course may include some account of historical changes in prose style and require some stylistic analysis of literary texts, the emphasis is on editing contemporary prose, both in exercises and in the students' own writing. Students will learn and practice principles such as economy, coordination, subordination, precision, parallelism, balance, coherence, rhythm, clarity, and grace. Provides ENG Major Elective credit and ENG minor credit.

  • WRD 312 - INTRODUCTION TO DOCUMENTARY3

    This course is dedicated to critical examination of approaches to the documentary, and the construction of a documentary of one's own. Students will examine different strategies, structures, and topics, with an eye to production.

  • WRD 320 - RHETORICAL THEORY AND HISTORY3

    This course introduces students to the scholarly study of rhetoric by exploring the interrelationship of theory, criticism, and practice within a particular historical context.

  • WRD 324 - WRITING CENTER PEER TUTORING3

    An undergraduate seminar that prepares qualified undergraduate students to become engaged and effective peer consultants in the UK Writing Center. Students in the course are actively involved in reading, writing, listening, observing, speaking, researching, and presenting as they become immersed in the theory and practice of Writing Center consulting.

  • A&S Approved Elective (100+ level)3
    • Total15
Spring Semester
  • WRD 308 - VISUAL RHETORIC3

    This course introduces visual rhetoric, covering its history, current practice, and possible futures. Utilizing the disciplinary tools of rhetoric, students will compose in textual and visual modes, learning a variety of methods with which to create and critique visuals.

  • WRD 401 - SPECIAL TOPICS IN WRITING (SUBTITLE REQUIRED)3

    Studies of special topics in writing, in areas such as literary nonfiction (essays), responding to literature, cultural critique, and composing law and justice. Topics announced the preceding semester. May be repeated under different subtitles to a maximum of six credits. Does not fulfill ENG major 400-level course requirement. Provides ENG Major Elective credit and ENG minor credit.

  • WRD 406 - TOPICS IN PROFESSIONAL WRITING: SUBTITLE REQUIRED3

    This course addresses contemporary genres of professional writing, including professional correspondence, reports, and social media most often found in business, technical, and scientific communities. The course also addresses the common tools and technologies of professional writing production and practice.

  • A&S Natural Sciences Course (100+ level)3
  • Courses Outside WRD (200+)3
    • Total15
    • Total Junior Hours30

Senior Year

Fall Semester
  • WRD 405 - EDITING ENGLISH PROSE3

    This course is designed for students interested in the basics of editing and publishing and offers instruction and extensive practice in editing and revising both the student's own writing and the prose works of others. In addition to learning techniques of revision, verification of sources, and preparation of manuscripts, students will be expected to learn about the editing profession generally and to follow trends in editing and publishing. Not for students with writing deficiencies. Does not fulfill ENG Major 400-level course requirement. Provides ENG Major Elective credit and ENG Minor credit.

  • WRD 408 - DIGITAL COMPOSING3

    This course provides grounding in the analysis and theory of digital composition, which will inform personal, professional, or community- based projects. Projects will encourage students to work flexibly across various digital platforms.

  • WRD 430 - ADVANCED WORKSHOP (SUBTITLE REQUIRED)3

    Flexible course hours that supplement an existing course or provide advanced training in a particular area of writing, rhetoric, or digital studies. This course is a Graduation Composition and Communication Requirement (GCCR) course in certain programs, and hence is not likely to be eligible for automatic transfer credit to UK.

  • A&S Lab or Field Work1
  • A&S Social Sciences (100+ level)3
    • Total15
Spring Semester
  • WRD 302 - THE ESSAY3

    Intensive writing and reading in the genre of the essay. The course will explore the conventions of the essay and may analyze historical changes in the genre or survey well-known essayists such as Montaigne and Woolf. Students will write essays and analyze the stylistic choices of professional essayists in order to inform their own writing in the genre.

  • ENG 407 - INTERMEDIATE WORKSHOP IN IMAGINATIVE WRITING (SUBTITLE REQUIRED)3

    Continued studies in the writer’s craft, focusing on student work but with increased emphasis on outside reading. Areas of workshop practice include Poetry, Fiction, and Creative Non-Fiction. Prerequisite ENG 207 or consent of instructor. May be repeated to a maximum of 9 credits. Provides ENG Major Elective credit and ENG minor credit. Can count only once for ENG Major 400-level course requirement. Required for ENG Imaginative Writing Option.

  • Courses Outside WRD (300+)3
  • UK Core - Global Dynamics3
  • A&S Approved Elective (100+ level)3
    • Total15
    • Total Senior Hours30
  • Writing, Rhetoric, & Digital Stu (BS) 120 hours

Click to toggle each Academic Year. Click each course for more information.

Freshman Year

Fall Semester
  • UK Core - Comp. & Comm. I3
  • Foreign Language 1014
  • UK Core - Arts and Creativity3
  • UK Core - Quantitative Foundations3
  • Natural Science/Math Course (100+ level)3
    • Total16
Spring Semester
  • UK Core - Comp. & Comm. II3
  • Foreign Language 1024
  • UK Core - Humanities3
  • UK Core - Statistical Inferential Reason3
  • Natural Science/Math Course (100+ level)3
    • Total16
    • Total Freshman Hours32

Sophomore Year

Fall Semester
  • WRD 208 - MULTIMEDIA WRITING3

    This course develops a practical understanding of writing and rhetoric through multimedia platforms and artifacts. Students will produce and publish to the web in a range of media such as digital video and photography, blogs, wikis, podcasts, and comics.

  • WRD 300 - INTRODUCTION TO WRITING, RHETORIC, AND DIGITAL STUDIES3

    This course introduces students to the theory of rhetoric and composition. Students may examine the theoretical, ethical, and stylistic issues connected to writing in various rhetorical situations, including digital environments. The course forms a theoretical foundation for all other WRD courses and is required for all WRD majors.

  • Foreign Language 2013
  • UK Core - Natural, Physical and Math3
  • Natural Science/Math Course (100+ level)3
    • Total18
Spring Semester
  • WRD 306 - INTRODUCTION TO PROFESSIONS IN WRITING3

    This course offers an introduction to and preparation for careers in the teaching of writing, professional writing, publishing, and editing.

  • WRD 320 - RHETORICAL THEORY AND HISTORY3

    This course introduces students to the scholarly study of rhetoric by exploring the interrelationship of theory, criticism, and practice within a particular historical context.

  • WRD 422 - PUBLIC ADVOCACY: (SUBT REQ)3

    This course examines the work that writing does in the world by connecting the study of persuasion in specific social movements, campaigns, and genres with opportunities for students to create texts and campaigns. This course may offer a historical or contemporary focus, and may examine local, regional, national, or transnational movements.

  • Foreign Language 2023
  • Courses Outside WRD (300+)3
  • Natural Science/Math Course (100+ level)3
    • Total18
    • Total Sophomore Hours36

Junior Year

Fall Semester
  • WRD 301 - STYLE FOR WRITERS3

    This course is designed for those who wish to improve their own writing style or the style of others. While the course may include some account of historical changes in prose style and require some stylistic analysis of literary texts, the emphasis is on editing contemporary prose, both in exercises and in the students' own writing. Students will learn and practice principles such as economy, coordination, subordination, precision, parallelism, balance, coherence, rhythm, clarity, and grace. Provides ENG Major Elective credit and ENG minor credit.

  • WRD 308 - VISUAL RHETORIC3

    This course introduces visual rhetoric, covering its history, current practice, and possible futures. Utilizing the disciplinary tools of rhetoric, students will compose in textual and visual modes, learning a variety of methods with which to create and critique visuals.

  • A&S Humanities (100+ level)3
  • Natural Science/Math Course (100+ level)3
  • Natural Science/Math Course (100+ level)3
  • Natural Science/Math Course (100+ level)3
    • Total18
Spring Semester
  • WRD 405 - EDITING ENGLISH PROSE3

    This course is designed for students interested in the basics of editing and publishing and offers instruction and extensive practice in editing and revising both the student's own writing and the prose works of others. In addition to learning techniques of revision, verification of sources, and preparation of manuscripts, students will be expected to learn about the editing profession generally and to follow trends in editing and publishing. Not for students with writing deficiencies. Does not fulfill ENG Major 400-level course requirement. Provides ENG Major Elective credit and ENG Minor credit.

  • WRD 420 - RHETORICAL TRADITIONS (SUBTITLE REQUIRED)3

    This course offers a detailed examination of the history and theory of a specific rhetorical tradition or group of traditions. Students will gain familiarity with key concepts and terms in a rhetorical tradition, compare and contrast culturally situated definitions of rhetoric, and better understand the way rhetorical historiography influences how rhetorical traditions are defined and taught. Repeatable up to 6 hours under different subtitles.

  • UK Core - Community, Culture and Citizen3
  • Natural Science/Math Course (100+ level)3
  • Natural Science/Math Course (100+ level)3
  • Natural Science/Math Course (100+ level)3
    • Total18
    • Total Junior Hours36

Senior Year

Fall Semester
  • WRD 430 - ADVANCED WORKSHOP (SUBTITLE REQUIRED)3

    Flexible course hours that supplement an existing course or provide advanced training in a particular area of writing, rhetoric, or digital studies. This course is a Graduation Composition and Communication Requirement (GCCR) course in certain programs, and hence is not likely to be eligible for automatic transfer credit to UK.

  • A&S Social Sciences (100+ level)3
  • Courses Outside WRD (200+)3
  • Natural Science/Math Course (100+ level)3
  • Natural Science/Math Course (100+ level)3
  • Natural Science/Math Course (100+ level)3
    • Total18
Spring Semester
  • WRD 408 - DIGITAL COMPOSING3

    This course provides grounding in the analysis and theory of digital composition, which will inform personal, professional, or community- based projects. Projects will encourage students to work flexibly across various digital platforms.

  • A&S Lab or Field Work1
  • Natural Science/Math Course (100+ level)3
  • Natural Science/Math Course (100+ level)3
  • Natural Science/Math Course (100+ level)3
  • Natural Science/Math Course (100+ level)3
    • Total18
    • Total Senior Hours36

Classes & Requirements

What You'll Study

The major in Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies (WRD) prepares you for a career in writing. Every industry includes writing. Every industry supports the writing of internal and external documents (memos, reports, technical documents, research studies, social media usage, website development). Every industry sponsors trade writing (magazines, journals, newsletters, other publications). As a WRD, you will learn rhetorical skills, argumentative/persuasive skills, organizational skills, media skills, web skills, research skills, storytelling skills, informational skills.

 

Graduation Requirements

Any student earning a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree must complete a minimum of 39 hours at the 300+ level. These hours are generally completed by the major requirements. However, keep this hour requirement in mind as you choose your course work for the requirements in the major. Students interested in earning a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree must complete a minimum of 60 hours in biological, physical, mathematical and/or computer sciences. See the complete description of College requirements for a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Sciences degrees in the Arts and Sciences section of the 2015-2016 Undergraduate Bulletin.

UK Core Requirements

  • The Nature of Inquiry in Arts and Creativity (3 hours)
  • The Nature of Inquiry in the Humanities (3 hours)
  • The Nature of Inquiry in the Social Sciences (3 hours)
  • The nature of Inquiry in the Natural, Physical and Mathematical Sciences (3 hours)
  • Composition and Communication I (3 hours)
  • Composition and Communication II (3 hours)
  • Quantitative Foundations (3 hours)
  • Statistical and Inferential Reasoning (3 hours)
  • Community, Culture and Citizenship in the USA (3 hours)
  • Global Dynamics (3 hours)

Total Credit Hours - 30


Major Requirements 

Core Courses

  • WRD 300 - Introduction to Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies [3 hours]
  • WRD 430 - Advanced Workshop [3 hours]

Other Coursework Required by the Major

  • WRD courses at 200 level or above [3 hours]
  • WRD courses at 300 level (excluding WRD 300) [12 hours]
  • WRD courses at the 400-500 level (excluding WRD 430) [12 hours]

Approved Coursework From Outside the Department 

  • Choose from approved courses outside of WRD [6 hours]

Total Major Hours – 39

WRD B.A. Four Year Plan WRD B.S. Four Year Plan

Not Sure What You Want to Study?

Are you new to Undergraduate Studies and not sure where to begin? If so, we recommend starting with the Advising Syllabus. Need assistance "bouncing back" from academic probation? Visit our Rebound Page. Want to speak with an advisor about course registration, to find out about available resources for classes and major exploration, or just to check in? Schedule an Advising Appointment. How to Determine Academic Status


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A&S Undecided/Exploratory Studies

Understanding that over 70 percent of university students will change their declared major at least once during their college careers, the College of Arts and Sciences has developed an Exploratory Studies program for students who have yet to decide the specific field of study that most closely aligns both their personal interests and their professional career goals and objectives. The Exploratory Studies Program provides students with an extraordinarily diverse educational environment that includes coursework spanning Math and Natural Sciences, Humanities, and Social Sciences and provides students with the unique opportunity to explore multiple areas of interest during their first several semesters on campus. For more information please contact a recruiting representative at asrecruting@uky.edu. 


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