Graduate Certificate in Creative & Professional Writing

Oct 30, 2019

A graduate certificate in writing could help students advance in both creative and professional writing abilities. This type of certificate typically requires about 18 credit-hours of coursework to complete. Programs often explore many different genres, and you can learn more details in the following article.

Post-baccalaureate certificate writing programs can give students the opportunity to study at the graduate level without having to complete a master's program. These certificates could help students build their resumes and knowledge in both creative and non-fiction writing.

What is Required for Admissions to Graduate Writing Certificate Programs?

An undergraduate degree from a four-year accredited college may be required or recommended, although there might be no specific degree needed for acceptance. Some certificate options are designed for completion as part of a master's degree program, while others are offered simply as extension courses of study. These certificate programs sometimes require a minimum undergraduate GPA and submission of several writing samples. However, GRE scores are not usually required.

Common Courses in Graduate Writing Certificate Programs

These programs are geared towards both creative and business writing. Courses such as the following will explore non-fiction writing, genres of literature and various writing styles.

Professional Writing

This type of course might discuss topics on writing forms and may require students to learn about gathering data and using sources to help advance their arguments. Classes might focus on business writing techniques and also include a study of ethics. Students have the opportunity to become more aware of tone and style in academic writing.

Creative Writing

Creative writing courses could focus on various genres and styles. Drafting and revision might be key points of study in this kind of course. Furthermore, creative writing study could be audience-driven so a student will begin to think about the effects of their writing on the reader.

Rhetoric and Writing

This sort of course could cover the history of written discourse and show students how written discourse has shaped and changed the world. This professional type of writing could cover business, educational, and governmental type writing or the ethics of writing in these areas. Students might explore rhetorical analysis to find how non-fiction writing can drive desired outcomes.


Typically these programs have a certain number of literature credits the college wants fulfilled. These courses can range in topic because they are often listed as electives for the programs. Some of the course topics might be Shakespeare, fiction/non-fiction literature, or poetry. A student will have many other options to choose from as well, such as literature from certain time periods or originating from specific parts of the world.

Writing Capstone

Capstone projects often focus on a creative aspect of writing. Students could complete assignments that reflect back on the program and what they have learned, so are typically completed as the last course of the program. Capstone requirements might help students make new connections within their field of study and understand how this program has shaped their ideas throughout.

An 18-credit graduate certificate in writing can vary depending on the school and program. While some schools focus on technical/professional writing, others might gear their programs more towards a creative mind-set in writing.

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