MA in Publishing and Writing
1 - 3 year
Full time, Part time
USD 1,402 / per credit **
02 Mar 2024*
Earliest start date
21 May 2024
* Priority decision: February 1. Late application deadline: May 1.
** additional fees may apply. Scholarships are available
Whether you want to shape the prose of fresh voices as an editor, represent writers as a literary agent, or work with exciting online publications and new media formats, Emerson’s Publishing and Writing MA will help you succeed in the ever-vital, ever-changing field of publishing.
You’ll receive a comprehensive overview of the publishing industry with the flexibility to take classes in a variety of areas, including book, magazine, and digital publishing, customizing your program to meet your interests.
Emerson’s Publishing and Writing Program provides an overview of the publishing industry, from writing and editing to design, production, promotion, and distribution. Explore your interests in literature courses and writing workshops, teach college composition, or intern at a literary agency, magazine, or book publisher.
Program highlights include:
- A flexible curriculum with the option to choose from book, magazine, and digital publishing courses
- Building your skills in marketing, publicity, acquisition, copy editing, and writing
- Learning web design and publishing for tablets, e-readers, and mobile devices
- Writing for print, online, and other emergent media
- Exploring digital, book, and magazine design and production
- No GRE requirements to apply
- In-person and online course offerings available
- Study full-time or part-time with some classes offered in the evening to fit your schedule
Our Writing, Literature & Publishing Department is made up of accomplished publishing and writing professionals. They are editors, writers, designers, publishers, and consultants currently working in the field. They come from major industry sources such as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Addison-Wesley, Globe Pequot Press, Nation Books, Viking, MIT Technology Review, Penguin, Da Capo Press, Newsweek, Inc., Men’s Journal, Boston Magazine, and The Atlantic Monthly. Their expertise gives you a solid foundation in traditional publishing as well as exposure to current market trends, including innovations in electronic publishing.
Your Graduate Program Director, Bill Beuttler, will serve as your primary faculty advisor, guiding you on course selection to ensure that you will achieve your learning objectives and satisfy the program requirements. You will also receive program and department news from your program director along with any on- and off-campus opportunities that might be of interest to you.
Located in the heart of downtown Boston, Emerson College is located just blocks away from publishing industry giants including Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Beacon Press, Da Capo Press, MIT Press, Addison-Wesley, David R. Godine, Bedford/St. Martin’s, Allyn and Bacon, and Pearson. Several magazines and journals call Boston home as well, including Boston Magazine, The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, Harvard Business Review, Cook’s Illustrated, and Ploughshares.
Whatever your professional goals and interests might be, our Publishing and Writing program gives you exclusive access to internship opportunities, teaching positions, and more, including:
- Writing Studies Program
The Writing Studies Program provides you with opportunities to mentor, teach and train undergraduate Emerson writing students.
Ploughshares is an award-winning literary journal offering exclusive job opportunities to Emerson writing students in editorial, marketing, and design.
Redivider is an award-winning literary journal produced by graduate students in the Creative Writing and Writing and Publishing programs. You can gain editing experience, publish your own work, and collaborate with other writers.
emersonWRITES is a creative writing program offering free college-style workshops to students grades 8-12 enrolled in a Greater Boston public or charter school. Classes are taught by Emerson’s Creative Writing and Writing and Publishing graduate students.
Publishing and Writing alumni have gone on to become leaders in the Magazine and Newspaper industries, Book Publishing, and Business Publishing. Our alumni have worked for a variety of companies, including:
Magazines & Newspapers
The Publishing and Writing (MA) program is available full-time or part-time. This program follows a hybrid format with classes available both online and in-person, with most in-person classes offered in the evening to accommodate your schedule.
The 40-credit hour program includes:
- 24 credits of Publishing courses
- 3 required overview courses and the option to do a 4-credit Master’s Project or take an additional Publishing elective
- 16 credits of department elective courses from our Writing, Literature, and Publishing Department
Core Requirements (16 credits)
|PB 680||Magazine Publishing Overview||Online or In-person||4|
|PB 683||Book Publishing Overview||Online or In-person||4|
|PB 692||Electronic Publishing Overview||Online or In-person||4|
4-Credit Publishing Course
|Online or In-person||4|
*Master’s Project or Course Option
Sample Elective Course Offerings (choose 16 credits)
Electives may be chosen from the Literature, Publishing, and Writing departments. Note: Prerequisite courses may apply.
|WR 655||Writing the Nonfiction Book||In-Person||4|
|PB 693||Book Marketing & Sales||In-Person||4|
|LI 635||Travel Literature||In-Person||4|
|PB 676||Magazine Writing||In-Person||4|
Sample Curriculum Map
The sample curriculum map is intended to show the mix of course modalities available each semester. Students may choose to take between 4 to 12 credits each semester.
|Program Start (Fall)||Modality|
|First Fall Semester (8 credits)||2 Online Courses|
|First Spring Semester (8 credits)||2 Online Courses|
|First Summer Semester (4 credits)||1 In-Person Course|
|Second Fall Semester (12 credits)||2 In-Person Courses, 1 Online Course|
|Second Spring Semester (8 credits)||1 Online Course, 1 In-Person Course|
Your Master’s project can be a traditional thesis-type project that explores an editorial or publishing issue in depth by doing appropriate research and analysis. Alternatively, it can be a project such as a magazine prototype, a book design project, a website, a book translation, or any other publishing project in which the student exhibits expertise in at least two areas of the publishing industry.
To register, you must write a two-page prospectus in the preceding semester. The prospectus must be approved by the project committee chair.
Previous Master’s projects have included:
- A fixed layout illustrated e-book
- A memoir of life in London’s publishing business
- An editorial style guide researched with and written for MIT Press, Newsweek, Inc., Men’s Journal, Boston Magazine, and The Atlantic Monthly
Alternatively, you may complete a 4-credit Publishing (PB) course in place of the project.
Scholarships and Funding
Emerson College is proud to offer students and families financial aid options and resources. For a full list of our financial aid offerings, visit our Financial Aid page.
Upon applying to an Emerson Graduate Program, the Graduate Admission team automatically reviews every accepted student’s scholarship eligibility. For more information about scholarships, please visit our Scholarships & Grants page.
Students interested in a publishing career will enjoy a dynamic range of careers, including:
- Literary Agents
- Editorial Consultants
- Book and magazine editors
- Magazine writers
- Print and Production Specialists
- Marketing Coordinators
- Social Media Specialists
- Public Relations Managers