It is the responsibility of the University to ensure that their graduates communicate effectively and write proficiently. A minor in writing explicitly engages students in the writing process and fosters their development as writers in academic and pre-professional contexts.
Writing courses for the minor train students in academic discourse and provide them with extensive opportunities for professional development within and across disciplines. Emphasizing writing as a process, writing minor courses offer challenging curricula that develop students’ abilities to research, synthesize, and innovate. Within these courses, students demonstrate individual and collaborative responsibility, applying their studies from other courses. The analytical approaches they practice in writing courses are applicable to any course that they take at the University.
The writing minor enhances students’ understanding of the theoretical, interdisciplinary and professional aspects of writing, and helps them develop the vocabulary, syntax, style and voice appropriate to the practice of composition in diverse fields. By using the writing process to strengthen their ideas, students develop strategies for participating in research, policy-making, professional advancement, and creative expression. The writing minor fosters respect for language, for the contributions of peers, and for the value of effective communication.
The minor in writing is open to—and appropriate for—students majoring in any field, and prepares those proceeding on to graduate work for the challenges of advanced academic writing. By representing the student’s intensive work in writing, the minor also signals to prospective employers the student’s distinguished preparation for the demands of the professional workplace.
Minimum Requirements *
Within the minimum requirements students can choose to follow one of two specializations in the minor, focusing either on Professional Writing or Creative Writing. Students seeking to specialize should take WRI 090 .
Lower Division Minor Requirements [4 units]
Complete one of the following courses:
Upper Division Minor Requirements [16 units]
Complete four upper division courses from the following:
Students are encouraged to choose one of the following two specializations, each requiring two lower division courses and four upper division courses.
Students may repeat WRI 125 and WRI 130 as their specific topics change.
Consult a SSHA advisor or the SSHA Advising website ssha-advising.ucmerced.edu for additional information and updates.
* If approved by an MWP Co-Director, one writing-intensive course may be substituted for any of the required minor program courses. A Co-Director may also allow applying one lower division writing course completed elsewhere for WRI 025 , WRI 030 , WRI 040 , or WRI 090 .
Writing Minor Program Learning Outcomes
After completing the Writing Minor curriculum, students will be able to:
- Demonstrate engagement with the multi-stage processes of critical reading, formal writing, and public speaking.
- Select and apply the appropriate conventions of personal, academic, or professional forms of expression.
- Synthesize diverse perspectives through collaboration in academic discourse communities.
- Craft language that reveals aesthetic awareness.
- Apply professional ethical standards to the research process and its public representation.
The following guidelines pertain to all SSHA minors:
- To complete any SSHA minor, students must complete a minimum of five courses, at least four of which must be upper division.
- All courses must be taken for a letter grade.
- All minor course requirements must be completed with a C- or better.
- A minimum overall grade point average of 2.0 (C) in upper division courses is required. The only exception is a minor in Arts, for which the minimum GPA in upper division courses is 2.7 (B-).
- At least three of the five required courses must be taken at UC Merced.
- Only one course may be used simultaneously to satisfy requirements for two minors.
- Only one course may be used to satisfy both a minor and a major requirement.
- Students must consult the UC Merced General Catalog for prerequisites to required courses.