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Undergraduate | In-Person

Publishing, BA/BS

You love reading but aren't quite sure how that could translate into a job. If high school English teacher isn't your goal, maybe studying publishing might be for you.

Why Major in Publishing? 

Publishing has evolved from the earliest experimentation with typeset and printmaking to our modern usage of mobile web technology. When you study publishing at Belmont, you'll engage with historical elements of the publishing industry while learning philosophical and ethical modes of expressing thoughts through the written word.

Students studying publishing at Belmont have a choice of the editorial track or marketing and publicity track. We equip students with the literary knowledge, writing foundation and business acumen necessary to become experts in managing authors and their careers. You could also be a writer yourself with all of your "behind the curtain" insights gained in this major.

Nashville is the second-largest publishing market in the country, and the curriculum for this program was designed in consultation with leaders in the field of publishing through Belmont's relationship with the business community. Thus, students receive the kind of specialized training that will help launch their careers and equip them in ways entry-level job candidates do not typically experience.

Whether it is through our survey of all magazine and book publishing, or more specific courses designed to impart knowledge of more niche areas of the business, publishing students collaborate with one another and with the many industry professionals involved with this dynamic learning environment.

What You'll Learn 

  • How you can transform your reading habit into a dynamic career
  • The interconnectivity of industry publishing roles and how they function together
  • How to write well and communicate in a professional manner fit for working in literary publishing
  • How to copyedit with Chicago and AP style
  • How to work as an author and an editor in a successful work relationship
  • How emerging technologies integrate and transform the book world
  • How to work on a team by successfully collaborating to produce professional-caliber work
  • How to network to further your career

Career Possibilities

  • Book or Magazine Editor
  • Book or Magazine Designer
  • Copyeditor
  • Technical Editor
  • Literary Agent
  • Literary Publicist
  • Book or Magazine Marketing Associate
  • In-House Book Sales Representative
  • Librarian
  • Audiobook Coordinator
  • Production Associate
  • Intellectual Property Attorney

Program Details


The Publishing course of study for each student includes the BELL Core or Honors Core classes and 36 hours of major work.

Major specialization includes the Media Studies Core classes, the Publishing Core and a track in the Publishing major that draws from the classes listed below as well as additional rotating elective possibilities.

  • BELL core requirements: 55 hours
  • Publishing requirements: 40 hours
  • Minor requirements: 18 hours
  • General electives: 15 hours (minimum)

It is possible to double major or have a major and a double minor as a Publishing student.

See All Program Requirements

Courses You'll Take

Media & Entertainment Core :

  • MDS 1450 Media Production 1: This is a foundational course for creative digital media production and communication across multiple media platforms. The course will introduce students to the Mac OS and Adobe Creative cloud for Audio/Video production and post-production. It will help develop essential content creation and communication skills.
  • ETM 2400 Foundations of Intellectual Property for Creatives & Entrepreneurs: This course provides students with an overview of the different forms of intellectual property, with a focus on how to apply these concepts within the professional landscape occupied by creatives and entrepreneurs.
  • ETM 4110 Media Ethics: A study of the social ethic for mass communication, establishing a system of checks and balances to measure fair and truthful news and diversified entertainment. Course work involves case study analysis to help understand the roles of the communicator and the audience as individual and group

Publishing Professional Core:

  • PUB 1010. The Publishing Process: This is a foundations class required of all Publishing majors. This course will introduce students to the publishing industry and provide insight into the various workings and pathways including acquisitions, writing, editing, production, promotion and distribution. Additionally, this course will cover audio, digital and print media.
  • PUB 2100. Copyediting: This is a practical course about the process of editing and preparing manuscripts for publication. This course will focus on the relationship of the editor to the author, the various conditions of the publishing environment, as well as the nuances of the copyediting process.
  • PUB 3680 Belmont Story Review: This course course teaches students about literary magazines through study of contemporary journals as well as a practicum that produces Belmont Story Review, a national magazine of literary arts, faith and culture. Students work with the Publishing faculty to take and review submissions, prepare the magazine for publication in all facets and promote each issue. Students may repeat the course for up to a maximum of 6 hours, but no more than 3 credit hours will apply to the major or minor program.

Editorial Track

  • PUB 2200 Agents & Acquisitions: This course will provide students with knowledge about literary agents and acquisitions editors. Students will learn a working understanding of topics such as the query letter, book proposals, book auctions and the author/editor/agent relationship.
  • PUB 3010. Fiction Editing: This is a practical course about the process of fiction editing and preparing manuscripts for publication. This course will focus on the relationship of the editor to the author, the various conditions specific to fiction editing.
  • PUB 3020. Non-Fiction and Technical Editing: This practical course is about the process of non-fiction and technical editing and preparing manuscripts for publication. The course will focus on the relationship of the editor to the author, and the various conditions specific to non-fiction and technical editing.
  • PUB 3610 Advanced Book Editing Workshop: Thiscourse enables students to complete a predetermined large format work of writing (i.e. a collection of 5 or more personal essays, 5 or more short stories, or an outline and beginning of a draft of a novel). Each student will work in a partnership with other students to edit one another’s work, thus further exploring the author/editor relationship as introduced in prior course work.

Marketing & Publicity Track

  • PRL 2820 Public Relations Design & Production: This icourse equips students with the knowledge and technical skills to conceptualize, design, produce and manage various print and digital media that are commonly used in public relations programs and campaigns. A primer on Adobe In Design.
  • PUB 3310. Author Branding & Publicity: This ccourse focuses on media relations and branding of the published content. This includes promotion of products to outside media such as TV, radio, online, book signings, conferences, other events and promotional offers.
  • ETM 4200 Entertainment Marketing & Promotion: Through a mix of theoretical concepts and practical case studies, students will learn how to create effective marketing and promotional strategies for various types of entertainment products, including movies, television shows, music, live events, books and more.
  • PUB 3310. Author Branding & Publicity: This course focuses on media relations and branding of the published content. This includes promotion of products to outside media such as TV, radio, online, book signings, conferences, other events and promotional offers.
  • PUB 4400 Book Marketing & Sales: This course will provide students with knowledge about marketing and sales in the book publishing industry. Students will learn to apply marketing theory and sales strategies (e.g. market segments, market research, marketing information formats, marketing plans) to publishing industry case studies.

Publishing Electives (Students choose 9 hours from the following publishing courses as well as approved courses from other study disciplines):

  • JRN 1130 Journalistic News Writing: An introduction to the journalistic field focusing on the structure, purpose and function of news from story inception to completion.
  • BSA 2100 Managing. Business Systems: This course offers an overview of the manner in which information systems support business processes, managerial decision-making, and organizational strategy. Additionally, students will develop technical skills using productivity software like Excel to process and analyze data to support managerial decision making
  • MDS 2120 Podcasting: An introduction to the fundamentals of podcasting.  Students will focus on podcast production from research and interview techniques to producing a final product with original content.  
  • PUB 2200 Agents & Acquisitions Editors
  • PUB 2300 Publishing Technologies: This course will provide publishing students with knowledge about the various technologies used within the book and magazine publishing industry, as well as emerging technologies that may impact its future. Theoretical knowledge in growth sectors such as Ai and Blockchain will be discussed. Actionable skills will be developed, including but not limited to: media-pertinent database and CMS program usage, work flow management options and special editorial features in Microsoft Word.
  • COM 2340 Business and Professional Communication: This course enables students to improve their professional communication skills, including business writing, interviewing, and professional decorum.
  • PUB 2500. Publishing Law and Contracts: This course covers the foundations of copyright law and intellectual property. Specifically, it will focus on covers rights (copyright, trademark and right of publicity) that are important for publishers to understand in their business life; and outlines the exemptions and exceptions that publishers can rely on to avoid having to obtain these rights, with special emphasis on fair use. Additionally, it will cover issues with regard to print versus digital, US verses international and works that are public domain.
  • PRL 2820 Public Relations Design & Production
  • PUB 3010 Fiction Editing
  • PUB 3020 Non-Fiction and Technical Editing
  • JRN 3180 Feature Storytelling
  • PUB 3610 Advanced Book Editing Workshop
  • PUB 3680 Belmont Story Review
  • PUB 4200 Publishing Internship: This formal career education assignment enables students to intern at businesses where they can hone professional skills with publishing industry-relevant tasks for a select period of time. The internship can be undertaken only with the prior approval of faculty member in Publishing and can be from 1-6 credit hours.
  • PUB 4400 Book Marketing & Sales
  • Any level, ETM, JRN, MDS or PUB Course

Students wanting to gain experience outside of Nashville can take advantage of studying at Belmont East for a semester, Belmont University’s satellite campus in New York City, which is the number one market for the publishing industry. Study Abroad and Belmont West in Los Angeles offer additional opportunities for students looking to build a broad base of experience as they intern.

Students also have the opportunity to work for Belmont publications such as the Belmont Vision News Network, Belmont Story Review and The Belmont Literary Journal.

Alumni Testimonials

Sydney Mathieu

“Belmont focuses on coursework and internship opportunities that mirror the current publishing industry and set students up for success. At every point in my career, being a Publishing major has given me an edge.”

Sydney Mathieu

Senior Project Manager, Audio, HarperCollins Christian Publishing

Kathryn Notestine

"I learned as a PUB major that despite different backgrounds and passions, we all love to tell stories and to find that one detail that makes your story relate to my story, his story to hers.”

Kathryn Notestine

Associate Editor, Nelson Books

"The publishing program prepared me to jump straight into the industry seamlessly with connections that I built throughout my internships and classes. It's a unique experience that shows the bright future of book publishing and helped me to grow a career with my love of books."

Caroline Vaught

Book Publicist, Post Hill Press

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