Welcome to the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures

The Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures (WRAC) stands against state-sponsored anti-Black violence and racism, and in solidarity with protesters around the world who seek justice. We also call for action against systemic and structural racism in the U.S. broadly and in our local communities. As teachers, researchers, and writers, we are committed to educating ourselves and others about anti-racist pedagogy and self-work, and to providing resources for students, faculty, staff, and the larger community to engage in a movement for change. Such change seeks to recognize and celebrate the personhood of each and every member of our local and global communities. 

READ MORE >

The Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures (WRAC) offers:

  • the first-year writing experience for most MSU students, which prepares students to leverage their experiences as writers and learners as assets for informing their ongoing development as writers
  • an undergraduate major in Professional and Public Writing, which provides students experience in the writing and communication strategies crucial for academic, professional, and personal success in today’s digital world
  • an interdisciplinary undergraduate major in Experience Architecture, which provides students experience in developing strategies for UX research, design, development of digital applications, project management, coding, writing, and digital rhetoric for success in digital and professional spaces
  • a graduate program in Rhetoric and Writing, offering MA programs and a PhD, helping graduate students develop the intellectual, pedagogical, and professional skills to be activists and leaders in academic and beyond-academic careers

why wrac?

Individualized Attention

Small classes taught by award-winning faculty and academic advisors who care about student experiences in the program and at MSU.

Writing Strengths

Classroom and co-curricular experiences that hone writing and communication skills for other MSU classes, internships, and beyond.

Career Preparation

Professional development opportunities including connecting with alums and guest speakers, networking at events, and fostering relationships beyond MSU.

we offer

Person writing at a computer

First year writing experience

Our First-Year Writing courses are the core composition experience for most MSU students, which prepares students to leverage their experiences as writers and learners as assets for their ongoing development as writers.

Person writing with right hand, left hand is at a computer

Undergrad major in professional and public writing

The BA in Professional and Public Writing (P2W) provides students experience in the writing and communication strategies crucial for academic, professional, and personal success in today’s digital world.

People using post it notes and a white board to develop wireframes for an app

undergrad major in Experience Architecture

The BA in Experience Architecture (XA) provides students experience in developing strategies for UX research, design, development of digital applications, project management, coding, and writing for success in digital and professional spaces.

A group of people working at a desk filled with papers and post it notes

graduate program in Rhetoric and Writing

Our MA programs and our PhD program support graduate students develop the intellectual, pedagogical, and professional skills to be activists and leaders in academic and beyond-academic careers.

Play Video

2019 Professional Writing Student of the Year

Emily Jenkins

2018 Professional and Public Writing

Play Video

2018 Experience Architecture Student of the Year

Ashton Keys

2019 Experience Architecture

man smiling against brick wall

“I think you just have to do it. You really just have to throw yourself into it—and see what happens, and eventually you adjust and it kind of fits into a groove, and you grow used to the program and you kind of find your own way.”

John Castro

Professional and Public Writing Major

The Student Experience: Professional AND Public Writing Major

A quick look at the Bachelor of Arts in Professional and Pubic Writing (P2W) degree at Michigan State University, featuring P2W students, faculty, and alumni.

Watch now >
Play Video
Play Video

Spartan Strong: The Strength to Overcome Cancer

Justin Alexander (Experience Architecture ’20) was the picture of health. A baseball player and quarterback of his high school football team, there was no reason to be overly concerned when he developed a persistent cough. So it came as a shock when he first heard he had Hodgkin’s lymphoma, life as he knew it was placed on hold.

Watch now >

featured stories

a girl in a green gown with short dark hair

A P2W Major’s Bittersweet Goodbye to the College That Gave Her So Much

When I came to MSU, I was a Business-preference student with high ambition but little direction. I was in Writing as Inquiry (WRA 101) during my first semester here, when my professor, Margaret Morris, showed us the Professional and Public Writing (P2W) video — you know the one — and I changed my major. Oh, the power of digital storytelling.

a photo of a person in a yellow shirt with water in the background

PW and Citizen Scholar Graduate Reflects on Her Time at MSU

During her time at Michigan State University, Kai Benson, who is graduating this May with a B.A. in Professional Writing, worked with a number of organizations to gain copyediting and publishing skills. Some of these experiences include working as a Reader for the Red Cedar Review, an Editor for the Offbeat Literary Journal, a Copy Editor. . .

Casey-McArdle_news

Meet Casey McArdle

Dr. Casey McArdle is an Assistant Professor and Academic Specialist in the WRAC department. In addition, he serves an administrative role as program liaison for the new Experience Architecture (XA) major. In all of these roles, Dr. McArdle draws on both his experience in industry and his academic training.

Connect With Us