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Editing and Publishing BA

The discipline of editing is both a science and an art; editors use principles of grammar, English usage, composition, and design as they work with authors to improve manuscripts. By completing the editing major, students show potential employers that they have followed a well-thought-out curriculum that has given them a theoretical base for editing plus substantial mentoring and practice in editing skills. The curriculum also provides students with considerable knowledge of the publishing industry.

Goals of the Editing Program

Students are expected to do the following:

  • Identify the principles of linguistic form, meaning, and context governing effective editing decisions.
  • Improve manuscripts through effective copyediting and substantive editing methods.
  • Use standard editing/publishing software tools.
  • Acquire, edit, and publish articles, stories, books, webpages, or other communication, in a manner consistent with approved publishing practices and ethical principles, grounded in an awareness of the history and the current state of the publishing industry.


BYU editing students find work in a variety of enterprises, including freelance work, publishing houses, businesses and corporations, and nonprofit organizations, such as government agencies, libraries, museums, schools, and universities. Editing graduates also edit and publish content in a variety of genres, such as books, magazines, scholarly works, web content, advertising and marketing materials, technical materials, and personal and family histories. Students also leverage their editing training to pursue graduate school in a variety of disciplines.


Technology plays an important role in editing and publishing. You will learn a variety of software in your editing and publishing courses. To supplement your course instruction, consider investigating these additional resources:

  • BYU Software Training: Free for full-time students, take short courses on Adobe products, setting up a website, podcasting, photography, and more.
  • Kami: This app enables you to easily annotate PDFs.
  • LinkedIn Learning: View extensive online instruction on Adobe products, Microsoft products, eBook publishing, indexing, layout and design, XML, website development, business-related topics, social media, copy writing, writing, and more.

Course Sequencing and Prerequisites

Either ELang 223 (preferred) or Ling 201 (allowed) is prerequisite for ELang 322 and 325. Both 322 and 325 are prerequisites for ELang 350 and ELang 410R. Students must formally enroll in the editing program before they can enroll in these 2 classes. They may be taken concurrently, but we recommend taking 350 before 410R. DigHT 230 may be taken any semester prior to taking ELang 320R, but we recommend taking it shortly before taking ELang 430R, unless you plan to regularly use the software programs taught in DigHT 230 during the interim. This sequence of courses can be completed in 4 semesters by taking ELang 223 (or Ling 201) the 1st semester, ELang 322 and 325 the 2nd semester, ELang 350 and 410R in the 3rd semester, DigHT 230 in one of semesters 1–3, and ELang 430R the 4th semester.

Faculty Advisors

Last Name Advisor Office Contact
A-G Matt Baker 4045 JFSB 801-422-1253
H-O Alan Manning 4053 JFSB 801-422-2974
P-Z Jacob Rawlins 4051 JFSB 801-422-2144

These faculty members serve as academic advisors for editing students and are available to offer advice regarding academic matters and the process of finding a job. When you fill out an application for the editing program, you will print out the email confirming your application and bring the printout to your meeting with your faculty advisor to secure a signature.