M.A. Admission Requirements

We accept applications to the Master of Arts in professional and technical writing (PTW) program year round, and our graduate faculty votes on applications at least once a month. Learn more about our M.A. in professional and technical writing.

Applying for Admission for Summer 2023 or Fall 2023

For summer start, applications need to be completed and submitted to the graduate school no later than April 21.

For fall start, applications need to be completed and submitted to the graduate school no later than July 28.

If you are not sure which deadline works best for you, please email the graduate coordinator, Dr. Heidi Harris, for advising.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the M.A. program in professional and technical writing must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally or internationally accredited institution. The program accepts applicants from a wide range of disciplines and professions; a prior degree in writing is not required.

Regular admission
Applicants will be considered for regular admission if they have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better on a previous baccalaureate or graduate degree, or if they have achieved a GPA of 3.0 or better on their last 60 hours of coursework. The quality of the applicant’s writing — including the statement of purpose, writing samples, and cover piece — is a major factor in the admissions decision, along with the applicant’s references.

Students must have regular admission status in order to be eligible for teaching, research, or administrative assistantship positions.

Conditional admission
To learn about conditional admission, please visit the catalog and view the admission requirements for the program you’re interested in.

Steps to Apply to the PTW Program

1. Submit the following materials to UA Little Rock Graduate School:

  • Apply online – View more information about the online application.
  • Request that the registrar of your previous university send official transcripts from all previous college coursework to:
    Graduate School
    University of Arkansas Little Rock
    2801 S. University
    Little Rock, AR 72204
  • MMR vaccination records as required by the state of Arkansas (for on-campus applicants only).

2. Submit the following materials to the graduate coordinator:

  • A cover letter/statement of purpose. Tell us why the PTW master’s program is the right place for you. Describe your expectations and the plans you have for your degree. Your letter should be about two pages long and include one or more paragraphs describing the writing samples you have chosen to send us. What are these documents? For what audience were they written? What was their purpose? What do you believe they demonstrate about your writing?
  • A current resume
  • Three or four samples of your best writing. Show us that you can write for a variety of purposes and circumstances. Include at least one researched, documented essay. Include published pieces if you have them. Please make sure no instructor’s comments or course grades are on any of the writing.

We strongly encourage you to submit your cover letter, resume, and writing samples in electronic form if at all possible (although we will accept paper copies if necessary).

Please email your documents to Dr. Heidi Harris at haharris@ualr.edu.

You are strongly encouraged to schedule an appointment to discuss your materials with Dr. Harris before submitting them to the graduate committee for evaluation.

Note: If you don’t have writing samples that you believe would be appropriate for this application, you may want to consider applying to UA Little Rock’s Graduate School as a non-degree-seeking graduate student. You could then take up to three graduate-level writing courses before applying for full admission to the program. This is also a good option if you need to work with professors who can provide strong letters of recommendation.

3. Have three people who know your work as a writer (such as a professor or employer) send recommendation letters DIRECTLY to:

Dr. Heidi Harris, Graduate Coordinator
Department of Rhetoric and Writing
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
2801 S. University Ave.
Little Rock, AR 72204-1099

Or email the letters to haharris@ualr.edu

We accept recommendations by email or as hard copy. When possible, they should be on official company or school letterhead and signed, then scanned and emailed as PDF attachments.

Ask you recommenders to discuss your background in one or more of these areas: writing ability, editing skills, research skills, critical thinking, ability to read and analyze complex books and articles, teaching or tutoring aptitude, technology proficiency, workplace communication, overall academic achievement, potential for success in a graduate program, and/or work ethic.

These letters are not character references. Please do not request references from family members, friends, coworkers, or religious authorities unless they have observed your writing, editing, or teaching skills in a professional or community setting and can evaluate your academic and professional potential objectively. We are seeking information to help determine whether you have the skills and attitude to succeed in a challenging master’s-level writing program.

(Current UA Little Rock Rhetoric and Writing Department faculty members may fill out the Rhetoric and Writing Faculty Recommendation Form.)