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The English Department offers four letters of specialization and 1 certificate. 

  • These 5 areas of study are open to undergraduate students from any UMass major.
  • Students considering one the following specializations are encouraged to contact one of the directors or advisors associated with that letter, but no formal paperwork is needed to begin coursework.
  • Upon successful completion of the specialization or certificate, students receive a signed certificate. Students may also choose to include Letters of Specialization in their placement files.  

American Studies

The American Studies specialization enables students to shape an interdisciplinary course of study around unresolved social and intellectual issues in American Culture; for example, questions of race, class, gender, and ethnicity. Learn more about the specialization in American Studies »

Creative Writing

The Creative Writing specialization aims to provide inspiration and support for committed writers and to offer serious instruction in craft. Classes usually include readings in one or more literary genres and workshop review of students' writing. Learn more about the specialization in Creative Writing »

New Media and Digital Humanities

The New Media and Digital Humanities specialization aims to better prepare interested students for jobs that require both a familiarity with technology and sound communication skills. We believe this specialization will also help our students become better critically informed and productive digital citizens. As with all specializations in English, this specialization is open to students from any major. Learn more about the specialization in New Media and Digital Humanities »

Professional Writing and Technical Communication (PWTC) 

The Professional Writing and Technical Communication (PWTC) certificate prepares students for careers in technical writing and digital communication. PWTC students gain project-based experience in editing, grant writing, software documentation, report writing, and web design. They also develop a professional web portfolio for the job search and gain hands-on experience with software programs such as Adobe InDesign and MadCap Flare. The program enjoys a well-established network of more than 300 graduates and high placement rate. Learn more about the certificate in Professional Writing and Technical Communication »

The Study and Practice of Writing (SPOW)

The Study and Practice of Writing specialization can be a good fit for students who enjoy writing or who are planning to enter writing-intensive professions such as: writing for non-profits, science writing, medical writing, legal writing, nonfiction writing, commercial and academic publishing, new media development, editing, and others. Learn more about the specialization in the Study and Practice of Writing »