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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.

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Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business

Natalie Peterson
Admissions Coordinator
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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

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

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: 53 hours
  • Publishing requirements: 30 hours
  • Minor requirements: 18 hours
  • General electives: 27 hours (minimum) 

See All Program Requirements

Courses You'll Take

Media Studies Core (choose 3 courses out of 4)

  • MDS 1130 Writing for New Media: An introduction to the journalistic field focusing on the structure, purpose and function of news from story inception to completion. Students will also be exposed to storytelling for print, the web and broadcast. Ethics and legal limitations and rights of the journalist will also be introduced. Typing skills required.
  • MDS 1450 Survey of Digital Production: 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.
  • MDS 2300 Entrepreneurial Media: A study of the business of media, startups, mobile application development and marketing. Students will present revenue models focusing on entrepreneurship and the media and develop mobile applications. Legal and ethical issues in the new media world will be addressed.
  • MDS 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 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 2500. Copyright and Publishing Law: 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.
  • PUB 3680 Belmont Story Review: This 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 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 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 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.
  • MDS 2130 Media Writing 2: This course is an in depth writing course focusing on advance storytelling techniques including interviewing, writing and photography. Students will further their own writing voice in this course by reading, analyzing and writing long-form feature stories. Students are also taught how to freelance out. Fieldwork is required.

Marketing & Publicity Track

  • 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 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 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.
  • 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 3400 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.
  • MDS 2110 Digital Content Creation: An introduction to the fundamentals of digital content creation from the required skills of building and maintaining a website, blog and vlog to the development of a personal brand on multiple social media platforms. Basic SEO techniques are studies to understand how brands succeed.

Publishing Electives

  • 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.
  • 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.

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.

Request Information

Contact Us

Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business

Natalie Peterson
Admissions Coordinator
Email Natalie