Writing & DigiComm Curriculum

No matter which graduate program you choose, you'll tailor your education to your unique interests and career goals with electives from other Agnes Scott graduate programs, including evaluation and assessment methods and technology leadership and management.

Each class connects once a week in the evening, Monday through Thursday from 6:30-9:15 p.m., or Saturday at either 9-11 a.m. or 1-3:45 p.m.

Graduate Certificate

Complete this program in one year, with a total of six classes (18-credit hours).

Students in this graduate certificate program will complete four core courses, two electives, and submit a required digital portfolio of original work during their last semester.

Core Courses (12 hours)

  • WDC-610 recommended first semester
  • Choice of:  WDC-630 or WDC-670

WDC-610: Content Strategy & Digital Portfolio Design (3.00)

CONTENT STRATEGY & DIGITAL PORTFOLIO DESIGN--This course covers principles of "content strategy"--the methodology used by digital communicators to craft content that reaches their intended audience on their chosen platforms in order to achieve organizational or creative goals. Students will learn the fundamentals of user-centered text and how to select optimal technical platforms as they plan and build websites to house their digital portfolios. They will learn to analyze web design and content, employ analytics to evaluate content, explore pathways of innovation, follow the law regarding intellectual property and fair use, and create effective web-based content. Along the way, they will consider the rhetoric and ethics of personal branding and representing the professional or creative self online. A completed, professional quality digital portfolio aligned with their stated goals is a requirement for the master's degree, to be submitted for evaluation in the final semester, following guidelines established by the program.

WDC-620: Developing Content for Web/Social Media (3.00)

This course covers principles of writing, editing, and developing multimedia content for the Internet and social media, as well as emerging media forms, and creates opportunities to put these principles into practice. Students explore media technologies and their impact on writing, communication, identity construction, and culture as they learn to anticipate, lead, and adapt as media change over time. This course also examines rhetorical conventions associated with media and digital citizenship. Students will develop and pitch measurable multiplatform content strategies to address a central communication challenge set by the instructor. A panel of industry experts will provide feedback.

WDC-640: Critical Communication (3.00)

How do communications theories and research apply to or evolve in a digital world? This course examines the multifaceted role of communication in the formation of social bonds, identities, and communities in digital spaces. The course draws on insights from rhetorical theory, visual rhetoric, performance studies, public memory studies, critical cultural studies, film studies, and audience analysis (demographics and psychographics) to understand how communication works in digital environments.

WDC-630: Visual Thinking & Web Design (3.00)

Students will learn to expand their digital design skills to resolve visual problems, implementing line, texture, color, spatial illusion, materiality, compositional frameworks and subject matter. Emphasis is on the design process and conceptual development relating to web and mobile platforms. This course equips students with a working knowledge of industry-standard creative software and Cascading Style Sheets and acquaints them with principles of accessibility and UX.

WDC-670: Digital Media Production (3.00)

DIGITAL MEDIA PRODUCTION. This course will provide an overview of the research, strategies, and methods that go into producing accessible audio and visual media for consumption via a variety of delivery technologies. Students will learn lighting, camera, and sound design techniques for video and audio production, including streaming content. Students will examine principles of digital filmmaking, film analysis, and sound design, along with how to use common sound and video-editing software, as they produce a multi-episode podcast around a common theme, as well as a short standalone video.

Electives (6 hours)

WDC-612: Creative Writing in the Digital Age (3.00)

This course explores traditional genres of creative writing-poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and dramatic writing-as well as cross genre, multigenre, and experimental forms-as they are embodied in or augmented by digital media. Students will seek an expanded understanding of text and of genre as they analyze and practice creative writing. The course emphasizes deep revision, line-editing, oral interpretation, and multimodal presentation of final work.

WDC-614: Grant and Proposal Writing (3.00)

This course covers the complete process of grant and proposal writing and the contexts and strategies of the philanthropic environment. Students will learn how to research funding opportunities, identify and plan successful projects, devise achievable goals and budgets, write proposals for public and private foundations, follow up on both successes and rejections, and incorporate digital technologies.

WDC-615: The Craft of Analytical Writing (3.00)

In this workshop-style course, students will hone the writing and speaking skills necessary for success in their academic and professional careers. Reading assignments will focus on developing sophisticated critical analysis and argumentation skills adaptable for different purposes and audiences. Writing assignments will focus on developing clear, persuasive prose at the sentence, paragraph, and essay levels, culminating in drafting and revising an original research paper, which students will adapt for a 10-15 minute oral presentation.

WDC-618: Technologies of Social Change (3.00)

Students will learn to analyze the impact of digital technology on the formation and effectiveness of social movements and on social change. Focusing on both historical and current events, this course examines the roles of rhetoric and technology in collective action whether in the form of social movements or as embodied and enacted by individuals. We will also study the role of digital communication in promoting behavioral change, such as in the fields of public health or politics.

WDC-624: Transmedia Storytelling (3.00)

This course explores transmedia storytelling as a form of communicating ideas across a range of digital delivery platforms. Students learn to produce single stories that can be translated for diverse audiences and for multiple purposes, including entertainment, marketing, and social change. Students identify and analyze the ways in which the stories or narratives acquire a new aesthetic and social significance as they migrate to different media.

WDC-628: Persuasive Writing & Speaking (3.00)

Through case studies of communication practices spanning public health, political, and crisis communication, advertising, public relations, and propaganda, this course illuminates major theoretical perspectives and concepts related to persuasion in the digital age. Students will become familiar with qualitative and quantitative approaches to persuasion and will explore the opportunities, limitations, and ethical implications of persuasive communication by developing original content for a digital media campaign.

WDC-630: Visual Thinking & Web Design (3.00)

Students will learn to expand their digital design skills to resolve visual problems, implementing line, texture, color, spatial illusion, materiality, compositional frameworks and subject matter. Emphasis is on the design process and conceptual development relating to web and mobile platforms. This course equips students with a working knowledge of industry-standard creative software and Cascading Style Sheets and acquaints them with principles of accessibility and UX.

WDC-650: Internship (3.00)

On-the-job training in writing and digital communication through approved field work sites. Interns complete related course work with a faculty supervisor. See program application process. May be repeated for a maximum of six credits for the master of arts degree and a maximum of three credits for the graduate certificate. Prerequisite: two WDC core courses and approved internship application.

Course requisites: Prereqs: 2 WDC courses & approved internship application.

WDC-670: Digital Media Production (3.00)

DIGITAL MEDIA PRODUCTION. This course will provide an overview of the research, strategies, and methods that go into producing accessible audio and visual media for consumption via a variety of delivery technologies. Students will learn lighting, camera, and sound design techniques for video and audio production, including streaming content. Students will examine principles of digital filmmaking, film analysis, and sound design, along with how to use common sound and video-editing software, as they produce a multi-episode podcast around a common theme, as well as a short standalone video.

WDC-695: Topics in Writing and Digital Communicat (3.00)

TOPICS IN WRITING AND DIGITAL COMMUNICATION--This special topics course allows faculty to develop unique courses that reflect their individual research and interests and that represent important current directions in the field of writing and digital communication. The course topic, requirements, and learning outcomes will be determined by the instructor.

Description for "SOLUTIONS JOURNALISM"--This writing intensive course explores "Solutions Journalism," a news discipline focused on exposing societal problems and highlighting successful citizen or institutional responses to them at the global, national, state, or local level. Students will develop advanced skills in field research and reporting while producing a professional quality story suitable for digital publication.

APT-615: Ethical Use of Technology and Data (3.00)

ETHICAL USE OF TECHNOLOGY AND DATA--In this course students will research, identify, formulate perspectives, and discuss ethical challenges in the use of technology and data. Ethical challenges investigated may include, but are not limited to: environmental impacts, privacy considerations, public safety, workplace exposure, data gathering and sharing, and intellectual property. Students analyze a range of case studies related to ethical issues in emerging technologies and data collection and use.

EAM-640: Project Management (3.00)

Successful interventions and evaluations depend on strong planning and project management skills. This course covers skills and strategies related to budgets, planning, stakeholder engagement, staff supervision, and fundraising. Additionally, students will learn about different leadership styles and will work to develop leadership skills.

Master of Arts

Our master of arts program requires 11 classes (33-credit hours) to complete. Students enrolled in 2-3 classes a semester can complete their degree within 18 months.

Students pursuing a Master of Arts in Writing and Digital Communication will complete five core courses, six electives, and submit a required digital porfolio of original work during their last semester.

Course Course (15 hours)

  • WDC-610 recommended first semester

WDC-610: Content Strategy & Digital Portfolio Design (3.00)

CONTENT STRATEGY & DIGITAL PORTFOLIO DESIGN--This course covers principles of "content strategy"--the methodology used by digital communicators to craft content that reaches their intended audience on their chosen platforms in order to achieve organizational or creative goals. Students will learn the fundamentals of user-centered text and how to select optimal technical platforms as they plan and build websites to house their digital portfolios. They will learn to analyze web design and content, employ analytics to evaluate content, explore pathways of innovation, follow the law regarding intellectual property and fair use, and create effective web-based content. Along the way, they will consider the rhetoric and ethics of personal branding and representing the professional or creative self online. A completed, professional quality digital portfolio aligned with their stated goals is a requirement for the master's degree, to be submitted for evaluation in the final semester, following guidelines established by the program.

WDC-620: Developing Content for Web/Social Media (3.00)

This course covers principles of writing, editing, and developing multimedia content for the Internet and social media, as well as emerging media forms, and creates opportunities to put these principles into practice. Students explore media technologies and their impact on writing, communication, identity construction, and culture as they learn to anticipate, lead, and adapt as media change over time. This course also examines rhetorical conventions associated with media and digital citizenship. Students will develop and pitch measurable multiplatform content strategies to address a central communication challenge set by the instructor. A panel of industry experts will provide feedback.

WDC-630: Visual Thinking & Web Design (3.00)

Students will learn to expand their digital design skills to resolve visual problems, implementing line, texture, color, spatial illusion, materiality, compositional frameworks and subject matter. Emphasis is on the design process and conceptual development relating to web and mobile platforms. This course equips students with a working knowledge of industry-standard creative software and Cascading Style Sheets and acquaints them with principles of accessibility and UX.

WDC-640: Critical Communication (3.00)

How do communications theories and research apply to or evolve in a digital world? This course examines the multifaceted role of communication in the formation of social bonds, identities, and communities in digital spaces. The course draws on insights from rhetorical theory, visual rhetoric, performance studies, public memory studies, critical cultural studies, film studies, and audience analysis (demographics and psychographics) to understand how communication works in digital environments.

WDC-670: Digital Media Production (3.00)

DIGITAL MEDIA PRODUCTION. This course will provide an overview of the research, strategies, and methods that go into producing accessible audio and visual media for consumption via a variety of delivery technologies. Students will learn lighting, camera, and sound design techniques for video and audio production, including streaming content. Students will examine principles of digital filmmaking, film analysis, and sound design, along with how to use common sound and video-editing software, as they produce a multi-episode podcast around a common theme, as well as a short standalone video.

Electives (18 hours)

WDC-612: Creative Writing in the Digital Age (3.00)

This course explores traditional genres of creative writing-poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and dramatic writing-as well as cross genre, multigenre, and experimental forms-as they are embodied in or augmented by digital media. Students will seek an expanded understanding of text and of genre as they analyze and practice creative writing. The course emphasizes deep revision, line-editing, oral interpretation, and multimodal presentation of final work.

WDC-614: Grant and Proposal Writing (3.00)

This course covers the complete process of grant and proposal writing and the contexts and strategies of the philanthropic environment. Students will learn how to research funding opportunities, identify and plan successful projects, devise achievable goals and budgets, write proposals for public and private foundations, follow up on both successes and rejections, and incorporate digital technologies.

WDC-615: The Craft of Analytical Writing (3.00)

In this workshop-style course, students will hone the writing and speaking skills necessary for success in their academic and professional careers. Reading assignments will focus on developing sophisticated critical analysis and argumentation skills adaptable for different purposes and audiences. Writing assignments will focus on developing clear, persuasive prose at the sentence, paragraph, and essay levels, culminating in drafting and revising an original research paper, which students will adapt for a 10-15 minute oral presentation.

WDC-618: Technologies of Social Change (3.00)

Students will learn to analyze the impact of digital technology on the formation and effectiveness of social movements and on social change. Focusing on both historical and current events, this course examines the roles of rhetoric and technology in collective action whether in the form of social movements or as embodied and enacted by individuals. We will also study the role of digital communication in promoting behavioral change, such as in the fields of public health or politics.

WDC-622: Digital Storytelling (3.00)

Drawing on narrative theory, journalism, and film production, students learn to identify, create, and curate different kinds of stories using selected productivity tools. The course also examines the legal and ethical issues pertaining to digital storytelling.

WDC-624: Transmedia Storytelling (3.00)

This course explores transmedia storytelling as a form of communicating ideas across a range of digital delivery platforms. Students learn to produce single stories that can be translated for diverse audiences and for multiple purposes, including entertainment, marketing, and social change. Students identify and analyze the ways in which the stories or narratives acquire a new aesthetic and social significance as they migrate to different media.

WDC-628: Persuasive Writing & Speaking (3.00)

Through case studies of communication practices spanning public health, political, and crisis communication, advertising, public relations, and propaganda, this course illuminates major theoretical perspectives and concepts related to persuasion in the digital age. Students will become familiar with qualitative and quantitative approaches to persuasion and will explore the opportunities, limitations, and ethical implications of persuasive communication by developing original content for a digital media campaign.

WDC-636: Solutions Journalism (3.00)

WDC-650: Internship (3.00)

On-the-job training in writing and digital communication through approved field work sites. Interns complete related course work with a faculty supervisor. See program application process. May be repeated for a maximum of six credits for the master of arts degree and a maximum of three credits for the graduate certificate. Prerequisite: two WDC core courses and approved internship application.

Course requisites: Prereqs: 2 WDC courses & approved internship application.

WDC-690: Directed Research (3.00)

The directed research course is open to students enrolled in the master of arts program who have demonstrated a level of mastery that prepares them for research. In this course, a student and a faculty instructor work together to determine the topic, direction, and requirements of the research and an independent final project. Prerequisite: Complete all core courses, at least 18 credit hours, and receive permission of the WDC faculty program director and permission of the faculty member who will advise the research.

Course requisites: Must have completed 18 cr. & permission required.

WDC-695: Topics in Writing and Digital Communicat (3.00)

TOPICS IN WRITING AND DIGITAL COMMUNICATION--This special topics course allows faculty to develop unique courses that reflect their individual research and interests and that represent important current directions in the field of writing and digital communication. The course topic, requirements, and learning outcomes will be determined by the instructor.

Description for "SOLUTIONS JOURNALISM"--This writing intensive course explores "Solutions Journalism," a news discipline focused on exposing societal problems and highlighting successful citizen or institutional responses to them at the global, national, state, or local level. Students will develop advanced skills in field research and reporting while producing a professional quality story suitable for digital publication.

APT-615: Ethical Use of Technology and Data (3.00)

ETHICAL USE OF TECHNOLOGY AND DATA--In this course students will research, identify, formulate perspectives, and discuss ethical challenges in the use of technology and data. Ethical challenges investigated may include, but are not limited to: environmental impacts, privacy considerations, public safety, workplace exposure, data gathering and sharing, and intellectual property. Students analyze a range of case studies related to ethical issues in emerging technologies and data collection and use.

EAM-640: Project Management (3.00)

Successful interventions and evaluations depend on strong planning and project management skills. This course covers skills and strategies related to budgets, planning, stakeholder engagement, staff supervision, and fundraising. Additionally, students will learn about different leadership styles and will work to develop leadership skills.

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