Skip to content

Public and Professional Writing Certificate

A group of 3 students reviews a writing project in a classroom.

Clear, thoughtful writing is a crucial skill required in many professional contexts. The public and professional writing certificate offers you a focused curriculum that prepares you for those contexts, developing your written, oral, and visual composition skills. In this program, you will refine your writing abilities through courses that feature experiential writing opportunities such as community-engaged learning and an internship. The program culminates in a portfolio of polished written work.

If you are a student considering a career that depends heavily on written communication, or if you're interested in working with community partners or simply want to hone your composition skills, this is a certificate worth pursuing.

Course Catalog Information

Certificate Requirements

Students pursuing the certificate in public and professional writing must complete 16 credits, distributed as shown below.

Writing Electives – 12 credits

Choose FOUR courses from the list below (including two at the 300 level).

  • COMM 219 – Design I (3)
  • COMM 253 – Business Communications (3)
  • COMM 319 – Design II (3)
  • ENGL 259 – Argument and Persuasion (3)
  • ENGL 266 – Writing as Social Practice (3)
  • ENGL 271 – Legal Writing (3)
  • ENGL 284 – P5 Global Business Writing (3)
  • ENGL 2190 – Science Writing for Public (3)
  • ENGL 355 – Professional Writing: Topics (3)
  • ENGL 356 – Editing and Publishing (3)
  • ENGL 361 – Writing with New Media (3)

Note: English majors and minors may pursue the certificate program but may not apply any specific major course requirements toward the certificate. This includes ENGL 259 for all English majors and minors.

Internship – 3 credits

  • DEPT 490 – Internship (3)*

Seminar – 1 credit

  • ENGL 307 – Writing Portfolio Seminar (1)**

Total: 16 credits

*The internship may be taken through the student's major or minor department, or through the English department. The internship must involve a substantial written component, allow the student to generate at least one significant portfolio piece, and be approved in advance by the program director during the semester before the internship is taken, regardless of other requirements for the department in which it is listed. Students enrolling in an independent research experience that contains both a substantial formal written component and a substantial experiential learning component may, with permission of the program director, count this toward their internship requirements.

**All students should enroll in ENGL 307 – Writing Portfolio Seminar during the final spring semester in the program. Students select and workshop three writing samples, and submit a portfolio composed of work that has been completed in their certificate classes and internship (courses/internship may be taken concurrently).