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Degree Options and Requirements

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The MA in Publishing from Rosemont College is a 36-credit program
offering opportunities to specialize and intern in the publishing industry.

Seven core courses (21 credits) form the foundational business-focus of the program.
Students fulfill the other 15 credits in the components explained below.

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 Courses are offered by on the beautiful Rosemont campus, 11 miles West of Philadelphia and online.

Core Courses (21 credits)

Each Course is 3 Credits

This course offers a broad overview of the publishing industry, from its origins in the 15th century to the very latest trends and key indicators. In completing this course, students will acquire a foundational understanding of the industry’s major sectors and categories; the roles of relationships between a range of publishing professionals; and key business processes and practices, practical knowledge of which is essential for further, more specialized study (for example, in courses such as Developmental Editing, Acquisitions Editing, or Publishing Law).

This course examines the theoretical framework and practical concepts of financial principles and policies. Particular attention will be given to the understanding of financial statement analysis from a business decision-making perspective.

Learning components integrate standard accounting and financial analysis with emphasis on business activities of day-to-day operations. Students will learn to analyze cost flow and to construct cost flow statements.

This course will examine how publishing companies make money. Students will examine the financial, procedural, acquisition, etc. decisions publishers make on a daily basis. Students will study industry successes and failures to better understand how and why publishing companies succeed.

This class will examine both traditional approaches to marketing both the book and the magazine, such as developing an audience, and contemporary approaches such as social media, viral marketing, search engine optimization, mobile marketing, and other innovative ways using the internet to communicate effectively with customers.
With the popularity and widespread use of social media, branding has become easier and yet more complicated. In this class, students will focus on using various digital platforms to effectively build a brand in order to better understand the concepts behind branding, the components of a brand, and how publishers and others use contemporary digital platforms to construct, maintain, and adapt their brands. 

This course will explore the concepts and practices behind the use of digital video for marketing on websites and social media. The basics of video production such as concept development, storyboarding, interviewing techniques, branding, and audience targeting will be covered.

In addition, there will be some basic training in editing and post-production, as well as reviews of software commonly used in video production. Students will create their own videos in the course, and intelligently analyze the choices they and others made. 

Writers, editors, agents, and publishing professionals face legal issues such as copyrights, contracts, commercial, privacy and libel law as well as First Amendment questions involving freedom of speech/press and censorship.

This course is designed not only to inform students of the basic legal concepts involved in publishing but also to become competent by critically examining these matters as they arise and exploring how to resolve them.


Thesis or Capstone Project (3 Credits)

GPP 7500 Thesis / Capstone

  • All students are required to take the 3-credit course GPP 7500 Thesis/Capstone.
  • Students will have one year to research and complete either a Thesis or Capstone Project.
  • The Capstone allows students to create an artifact of the publishing world suitable for portfolios or presentations.
  • The Thesis project allows students to explore in writing a contemporary problem in the publishing industry.
  • Students are expected to use professional industry resources as they research and complete their project.

This course is designed as a culminating experience that allows students to undertake original work to reflect and extend the breadth of their graduate program experience. Eligible students choose a topic, secure a faculty thesis advisor, and submit, for review and approval by the program director, a written plan for their project. The Thesis is open only to matriculated students in good academic standing (GPA of 3.0 or higher) who are within 18 credit hours of graduation.


Elective (3 Credits)


Concentration Requirements (9 credits)

Students will choose three courses (each 3-credits) from one of three concentrations: Children's and YA Publishing, Design, and Editorial.

Children's and YA Courses

Each Course is 3 credits. Choose any three of the following.

In children’s books, the images and text must work together seamlessly to tell the whole story. In this class, students will develop a historical and artistic understanding of the illustrated book: how images enhance the story in terms of pacing, page-turning, anticipation, etc. Students will also learn more technical skills such as what it takes to succeed in the children’s book market, how to develop a character model sheet, and how to prepare a book-worthy dummy, among other skills.

Picture books are often a child’s first introduction to reading and literature. Despite the increase in ebook sales, children’s picture books are still mostly sold as print books due to their visual, auditory, and tactile experiences associated with them.

Through this class, students will look through two specific lenses: the quality of the literature and the subsequent publishing side: editorial, marketing, and distribution of this segment of the industry. Students will read a wide selection of current titles, classics, and relevant articles as they explore where this segment has been, where it is trending, and ultimately, where it is headed.

This course will introduce students to the role of marketing within the children’s book publishing house. Students will learn the principles of successful marketing strategies – both print and online – as well as the fundamentals of product development, branding, and advertising across multiple channels in trade and school/library markets. Students will study the latest trends in children’s publishing along with successful marketing campaigns.

In this course, we will survey past and present American literature for children and adolescents. We will study genres of children's books and learn about various trends in publishing books for children and teens including reading levels, censorship, race and cultural diversity, marketing, and how publishers are (or are not) dealing with digital pressures. Students should be prepared to read a large number of children's books over the course of the semester.

Library and school markets have shifted and changed over the years. The current market is not only looking to drive and improve literacy, but to involve the common core standards in virtually all books purchased and used in the classroom/libraries.

In this class, students will learn how children learn to read, the concepts behind common core standards, leveling, Hi/Lo readers, supplemental materials, as well as what content, themes, etc. are deemed both acceptable and necessary by this market.

This course provides craft exercises and research strategies specific to the writers of young adult fiction. Narrative and prose theory along with hands-on exercises provide the basis for instruction.

Reading young adult texts as a writer and reading critical writings about young adult fiction supplement the craft coursework. To develop a knowledge of and facility with the craft of young adult writing, the course relies more on exercises and excerpts rather than on the workshopping of completed, "whole" works.

As young adult fiction tackles more contemporary and difficult topics, and readers become more  sophisticated, there is a greater need to ensure that appropriate topics are available to the middle grade reader (ages 8-12).

In this class, students will explore the range of middle grade fiction, compare it to lower young adult, and discuss the decisions that are necessary to determine in which category titles belong. Students will also look at writing styles, authors, themes, topics, content, etc. to better understand this segment of the children’s industry. 

As the YA (young adult) market grows, it continues to push at the historical boundaries by exploring controversial and edgy topics such as divorce, ethnicity, gender roles, suicide, and much more. It is also comprised of action-adventure, fantasy, historical, mystery, sci-fi, and speculative fiction. As a result, this has made it difficult to define YA fiction.

This class, through exploration of many YA titles, will seek to define YA fiction. Is it a genre or sub-genre? Are there different levels of YA fiction, or should there be? And why do adults love some YA titles and not others? Students will lead this industry discussion by developing a set of standards and criteria to define the genre through class discussions and projects.

This is an on-the-job experience in a commercial publishing environment that offers training in a variety of editorial, production, or marketing areas. Participation is supervised by a publishing professional from the host publishing organization and by a faculty advisor.

Students may obtain internships at any point during their academic career; however, only those students who have successfully completed 18 credits with a 3.0 GPA or higher are eligible to receive academic credit for an internship. Students may only receive a total of 3 credits for an internship.

Design Courses 

Each Course is 3 credits. Choose any three of the following.

This course is an introduction to the electronic tools necessary to function in the graphic design field. Industry standard software will be taught to create page layouts that incorporate scanning and illustration. Emphasis will be placed on work created as well as the mechanics of software.

Students will be capable of understanding the uses as well as the mechanics of Adobe Illustrator, Adobe PhotoShop and Adobe InDesign. Students will be given a test which consists of recreating a layout that will utilize all the functions of each piece of software taught so students will have a full understanding before moving on to the next software.

In children’s books, the images and text must work together seamlessly to tell the whole story. In this class, students will develop a historical and artistic understanding of the illustrated book – how images enhance the story in terms of pacing, page-turning, anticipation, etc. Students will also learn more technical skills such as what it takes to succeed in the children’s book market, how to develop a character model sheet, and how to prepare a book worthy dummy.

This course will focus on basic principles of typography, color, and design for the use of print materials. Students will study the history of communication and typography, and learn the classifications of typography and usage including the study of a selection of proper type for specific purposes.

Students will study color, how to use the color wheel, the psychology of color, and the proper use of color for print. This course will also focus on developing a student’s awareness of design elements using type including the principles of emphasis, contrast, balance, alignment, repetition, and flow.

Students will learn and enhance their knowledge of the Adobe Design Suite (Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe In-Design) with the focus of preparing digital files for the publishing industry. Introductory students will learn about electronic illustration, page layout, and photo composting, while more advanced students will further enhance their skills.

Students will gain hands on experience by creating press-ready images. Students will take a skill-level based test that simulates what a studio would give a perspective employee to ensure competency.  

Students will learn and enhance their knowledge of HTML, XML, and JavaScript. The features of Web editing software will also be covered. All skill levels will create a Web page (more advanced students will create “real world” Web projects), paying strict attention to designing error-free, well-executed code. More advanced students will further their skill base by working on DHTML.

This is an on-the-job experience in a commercial publishing environment that offers training in a variety of editorial, production, or marketing areas. Participation is supervised by a publishing professional from the host publishing organization and by a faculty advisor.

Students may obtain internships at any point during their academic career; however, only those students who have successfully completed 18 credits with a 3.0 GPA or higher are eligible to receive academic credit for an internship. Students may only receive a total of 3 credits for an internship.

Editorial Courses

This course will explore the various forms of editing, while paying particular attention to what editing professionals do as well as where their skills can be applied in the editing profession.

Students will learn and enhance editing skills such as proofreading, copyediting, fact-checking, indexing, and the use of style guides and other resources. Students will also learn about the day-to-day responsibilities and the challenges of working both “in-house” and as a freelancer.

Students working on the Rosemont Literary Magazine, Rathalla Review, are eligible to register for three credits of independent study once during their course of study. Students will work together to create the editorial and managerial processes involved in publishing a literary journal both online and in print.

Students will work with the directors of the MFA and Publishing programs and will solicit, evaluate, and select submissions for publication, communicate with contributors about editorial decisions, determine the layout and design of the journal, and make decisions about distribution. Students will also be responsible for assisting in fundraising and will work within the constraints of a budget.

In this course, students will learn to edit novel-length fiction on a developmental level providing detailed comments and recommendations on flow, structure, character development, plot, voice, themes, setting, and genre-specific issues, as well as copyediting to address sentence structure, typographical errors, etc. Students will work on novel-length student manuscripts to give them the opportunity to develop the necessary skills to foster a productive editor/author relationship. Course is limited to 8 students.

This fast-paced and immersive course introduces students to the responsibilities and key competencies of acquisitions or “commissioning” editors – management-level publishing professionals who “sign” (i.e. identify and contract) new books and other intellectual properties for their firm to publish and who oversee teams of colleagues in order to see book projects through from initial contract to publication.

Acquisitions editors serve a hybrid role that combines editing and writing with functions generally associated with marketing and sales. AEs must be skilled researchers, capable analysts, confident negotiators, agile relationship managers, results-oriented team-leaders, and more. 

Working collaboratively with the instructor and classmates, each student will develop her/his own “list” for our class publishing company. Through short weekly assignments and presentations, students will learn how to identify publishing opportunities, perform market research and market sizing, complete competitive analyses, write marketing and sales support materials, and create complete, polished acquisitions proposals that meet industry standards and present solid business cases for the acquisition of new titles.

Prerequisite: GPP 7206 Developmental Editing or consent from the Program Director. Limit 10 students.

This course offers students a fast-paced, practical and immersive experience in editorial content development. We will first look at the traditional role of the developmental editor in non-fiction and reference publishing and discuss how the DE’s role (and title/job description) is evolving. We’ll look at the path manuscripts follow from acquisition to publication and how emerging trends in publishing are impacting the professional practice of development.

Students will gain experience evaluating and developing content at the various stages of its life cycle, from concept/initial outline stage to completed manuscript to published books that are candidates for revision. The second half of the course will deal substantially with developing content for publication online.

We will define “digital content” and look at principles and practice of web content development. Further, students will see how concepts from traditional developmental editing are directly relevant to the creation/enhancement of online publications. This course will help students acquire essential competencies such as:

1) evaluating content and proposals for published content
2) improving content via addition, subtraction, better organization, improved tone, etc.
3) researching and producing a competitive analysis
4) conducting basic market research and market-led development
5) developing content to include visual and other media
6) working with a client-author and/or publisher
7) creating a comprehensive development plan for a book or other publication
8) creating a comprehensive revision plan
9) creating, curating, and organizing content for publication online

Students will gain practical experience developing a range of content with clearly-defined objectives in mind. Uniquely, this class will enable students to work with an author or publisher client who has “hired” our class to develop his manuscript/publication.

Prerequisite: GPP 7200 Publishing Overview or consent of the Program Director. Limit 10 students.

The Literary Agent plays a crucial role in the book publishing industry as the liaison between the author and the publishing house. A successful literary agent must have the ability to seek out and recognize good quality and marketable book content, and a judicious editorial eye to help authors craft successful proposals and manuscripts.

The agent must also build and maintain a strong network with editors in various publishing categories, and serve as an advocate and sales agent on behalf of their author clients. Agents conduct sales, negotiate contracts, and then mentor the fulfillment of contractual negotiations, including handling financial issues and subsidiary rights. In this changing era of book publishing, authors rely heavily on literary agents to shepherd them through the publishing process.

In this class, students will examine the various types and responsibilities of each of the editorial positions within the magazine industry: contributing, copy, associate, managing, and editor-in-chief.

Students will also closely examine how each of these editors work on a daily basis to ensure that each article and story written, printed, and/or uploaded directly speaks to the magazine’s editorial vision.

In addition to understanding the role of each of these types of editors, students will look at the role of the editor in ensuring the overall success of the magazine.

In this course, we will survey past and present American literature for children and adolescents. We will study genres of children's books and learn about various trends in publishing books for children and teens including reading levels, censorship, race and cultural diversity, marketing, and how publishers are (or are not) dealing with digital pressures. Students should be prepared to read a large number of children's books over the course of the semester. 

Since the 1960s, comics have always had a special place in the college community, mainly in the form of Stan Lee touring college campuses and talking to fans of Marvel’s superheroes. However, in the last decade, comic book classes--now with the more prestigious name of “graphic novel studies”--are finding more and more places in the academic arena.

For both the MFA and MA students, this genre offers several benefits. From a publishing point of view, it is one of the biggest and yet unstable markets in literature. For MFA students, the graphic novel structure offers a new means of craft that can greatly benefit a writer regardless of the medium they prefer.

And for the literature student, graphic novels offer an untapped potential for literary criticism where the literary student can quickly become an authoritative voice in the field. This course will cater to all three fields of study--the business, the creative, and the critical as students explore the graphic novel genre.

A consideration of the strategies and game plans at work in the mass magazine marketplace today. The course will detail the issues, theories, techniques, and financial realities that determine the success or failure of magazines.

This is an on-the-job experience in a commercial publishing environment that offers training in a variety of editorial, production, or marketing areas. Participation is supervised by a publishing professional from the host publishing organization and by a faculty advisor.

Students may obtain internships at any point during their academic career; however, only those students who have successfully completed 18 credits with a 3.0 GPA or higher are eligible to receive academic credit for an internship. Students may only receive a total of 3 credits for an internship.

Publishing Internship (3 Credits)

Students are guided to apply for internships while in the program. An internship is registered for as a course, and it fulfills 3 Elective or Concentration credits (depending on the position).


Electives (3 Credits)

As students consider their own publishing enterprises or improving the publisher for which they work, the following courses may offer a strategic advantage. Students are required to take one elective from GPP, CRW, EDU, or MBA course offerings. 

Elective Courses in the Publishing Progam

Publishing Internship offers students hands-on experience in the publishing industry for graduate credit. Students are encouraged to intern during their studies, but only students who enroll in GPP 7275 can earn credit for an internship. If a student is considering this, the student must discuss a specific internship with the Program Director to determine it the internship meets criteria in the internship agreement form in the course syllabus.

If it does, and the student is hired as an intern, the student will manually enroll for this course via the Program Director who serves as the course instructor. The Graduate Publishing Program assists students in finding and applying for internships but cannot guarantee placement. Prerequisites: Students must have completed 18 credits, have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, and have completed GPP 7200 Publishing Overview with a grade of “B” or higher.

Philadelphia and its surrounding region are home to many public and private research institutions in medicine and other fields, and this reality positions the city as a hub for academic and research journal publishers. The publishing of journals differs from magazine and book publishing in several ways, and this course provides an overview of journal publishing to explain those differences and prepare students to work in this sector of the publishing industry. Various administrative roles key to journal publishing are also explained: editorial, production, marketing, sales, and the positions within these roles. This course also looks at recent sector changes and how those changes suggest the industry’s future.


Courses in the Programs of Business and Leadership*

  • MSL 6600 Leadership Fundamentals
  • MSL 6610 Information Systems & Strategies
  • MBA 6620 Decision Making Methods
  • MBA 6631 Managerial Accounting
  • MBA 6653 Economics of the Workplace

    Courses in the Education Program*

  • EDU 4568 Multicultural and Diverse Classrooms
  • EDU 4561 Writing in the 21st Century
  • EDU 4575 Children and Adolescent Literature
  • EDU 4565 Multicultural Literature
  • EDU 4510 Identity & Development of the Young Child
  • EDU 4500 Child Development Learning Theories

Courses in the Creative Writing Program*

  • CRW 7134 Constructing the Novel
  • LIT 7061 Gothic Literature
  • CRW 7435 Novel Craft
  • CRW 7450 Writing for Young Adults
  • CRW 7218 Exploring the Middle Grade Novel
  • CRW 7120 Poetry Workshop
  • LIT 7002 Seminar in the Short Story

* These are a few of the many courses students may take in other programs. Visit other program pages to see more.