Undergraduate and Graduate Professional Writing Certificate

Professional Writing Certificate

The English department offers an undergraduate and graduate certificate in professional writing. The undergraduate certificate is open to students enrolled in undergraduate degree programs at NDSU and the graduate certificate is open to students enrolled in NDSU graduate degree programs as well as professionals who are not currently pursuing a masters or doctorate. The certificate in professional writing offers students the opportunity to develop their written, oral, and digital communication skills in workplace, public, and/or online contexts.

The professional writing certificate promotes competencies such as written communication, visual communication, project planning, interpersonal communication, teamwork, content development and management, and reviewing and editing that can be tailored to students’ academic majors and professional goals.

As a professional credential, the undergraduate certificate is suited for those interested in distinguishing themselves through developing their writing skills across a variety of careers, from professional writers to professionals who write, including technical writing, publishing and editing, grant writing, business and management, healthcare, marketing, education, and research.

The graduate certificate is a flexible professional credential that is suited for those interested in distinguishing themselves through developing their writing skills in their current or future industry positions as well as those interested in technical and professional communication research and pedagogy.

Each student enrolled in the certificate program will be asked to submit a professional development and reflection essay upon completion of the 9 credits (for the undergraduate certificate) and 8-9 credits (for the graduate certificate) in which they must be able to list the goals established for the program beforehand and, after completion, how those goals were met.

Undergraduate Certificate Curriculum

The undergraduate certificate in professional writing requires 9 credit hours. A grade of "C" or better in each course is required. Some courses may have prerequisites.

Choose at least 1 of the following options:

ENGL 320 Business and Professional Writing (3 credits)

ENGL 321 Writing in the Technical Professions (3 credits)

ENGL 324 Writing in the Sciences (3 credits)

ENGL 325 Writing in the Health Professions (3 credits)

ENGL 326 Writing in the Design Professions (3 credits)

PHRM 324: Writing and Professionalization in Pharmacy (3 credits)


Choose at least 1 of the following options:

ENGL 449 Usability and User Experience (3 credits)

ENGL 455 International Technical Writing (3 credits)

ENGL 459 Researching and Writing Grants and Proposals (3 credits)


Choose at least 1 of the following options:

AHSS 472 Introduction to Publishing (3 credits)

CHP 460 Scientific Writing for Health Professionals (2 credits)

COMM 200 Introduction to Media Writing (3 credits)

COMM 261 Introduction to Web Development (3 credits)

COMM 310 Advanced Media Writing (3 credits)

COMM 313 Editorial Processes (3 credits)

COMM 362 Principles of Design for Media (3 credits)

COMM 425 Specialty Writing (3 credits)

EDUC 482 Classroom Practice/Methods of Teaching II (2-3 credits)

ENGL 229 Introduction to Creative Writing (3 credits)

ENGL 275 Introduction to Writing Studies (3 credits)

ENGL 313 Literary Publications (3 credits)

ENGL 322 Writing and the Creative Process (3 credits)

ENGL 357 Visual Culture and Language (3 credits)

ENGL 358 Writing in the Humanities and Social Sciences (3 credits)

ENGL 413 Literary Publications (3 credits)

ENGL 456 Literacy, Culture, and Identity (3 credits)

ENGL 458 Advanced Writing Workshop (3 credits)

ENGL 449 Usability and User Experience (3 credits)

ENGL 455 International Technical Writing (3 credits)

ENGL 459 Researching and Writing Grants and Proposals (3 credits)

ENGL 496 English Internships (3 credits)

MRKT 465 Digital Marketing (3 credits)

A course not on this list may be allowed, subject to the professional writing certificate program director approval and relevancy to the certificate and its aims.

COMM 310, 313, 362, and 425 require admission into the Communication program; however, if space is available, non-majors may be permitted into these classes.

Graduate Certificate Curriculum

The graduate certificate in professional writing requires 8-9 credit hours. A grade of "B" or better in each course is required.

Choose at least 1 of the following options:

ENGL 649 Usability and User Experience (3 credits)

ENGL 655 International Technical Writing (3 credits)

ENGL 659 Researching and Writing Grants and Proposals (3 credits)


Choose at least 1 of the following options:

AHSS 672 Introduction to Publishing (3 credits)

COMM 735 Theories of Media, Technology, and Society (3 credits)

CHP 660 Scientific Writing for Health Professionals (2 credits)

COMM 750 Advanced Issues in Communication (3 credits) with certificate program director approval

EDUC 682 Classroom Practice/Methods of Teaching II (2-3 credits)

ENGL 656 Literacy, Culture, and Identity (3 credits)

ENGL 754 Rhetorics of Science and Technology (3 credits)

ENGL 758 Topics in Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture (3 credits) with certificate program director approval

ENGL 794/894 Internship (3 credits) with certificate program director approval

ENGL 795/895 Field Experience (3 credits) with certificate program director approval

ENGL 765 Upper Division Writing Pedagogy, Practice, and Technology (3 credits)

MBA 723 Digital Marketing (2 credits)

Graduate students will need to choose a second option from either list to complete the 8-9 total required credits.

A course not on this list may be allowed, subject to the professional writing certificate program director approval and relevancy to the certificate and its aims.

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