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Certificate in Professional Writing

Pictured | Allison Steele | English / Minors in Psychology and East Asian Studies | Edwardsburg, Michigan (hometown)
Allison is pictured with her “drum” used in Taiko, traditional Japanese drumming

Certificate in Professional Writing

Jackie Collins, Ph.D. | Committee Chair
(574) 520-5547 |

About the Certificate Program

The goal of the certificate program is to produce highly skilled professional writers who are valued for their skills throughout their professional lives. The high academic standards of the program are established in recognition of the fact that good writing is difficult to produce. The program requires students to advance beyond mere competence and strives to enable them to perform well in professional settings, where the ability to plan and execute work independently is sometimes crucial.

Approval of Substitute Courses

Students may petition to have an unlisted second-level writing course from another department applied to their certificate.

Academic Standards

A candidate for the certificate must earn a grade of B or higher in any course for which he or she seeks credit within the certificate program.

Enrollment Eligibility

For Undergraduate Students | A candidate for the certificate must earn a grade of B or higher in any course for which he or she seeks credit within the certificate program.

For Returning IU South Bend Graduates | Returning IU South Bend graduates seeking to enroll in the certificate program must submit to the chair of the English Department a brief formal declaration of intention no later than the end of the second week of classes in the semester or session in which the student is taking his or her first class in the program. Any returning IU South Bend graduate may count up to 6 credit hours of prior eligible coursework at IU South Bend (at a grade of B or higher) that was completed within the past two calendar years. Enrollment may be granted to such students when the declaration of intention is submitted. Further credit hours may be granted by the chair of the English Department through written appeal.

For Other Graduate Students | Students who have at least a bachelor's degree from another accredited university may enroll in the certificate program on a probationary basis. To qualify for probationary enrollment, the candidate must submit to the chair of the Department of English a brief formal declaration of intention. Enrollment is considered probationary until the student has successfully completed 6 credit hours within the program.

Certificate Requirements

All courses are 3 credit hours, unless otherwise designated.

Completion of the certificate program requires 12 credit hours of coursework. Students must select at least three (and up to four) core courses and, if needed to reach 12 credits, one elective from the following lists:

Core Courses

Select three (and up to four) core courses:

  • ENG-W 231 Professional Writing Skills
  • ENG-W 232 Introduction to Business Writing
  • ENG-W 250 Writing in Context (variable topics)
  • ENG-W 315 Writing for the Web
  • ENG-W 367 Writing for Multiple Media


Select (up to) one of the following:

  • ENG-W 260 Film Criticism
  • ENG-W 270 Argumentative Writing
  • ENG-W 301 Writing Fiction
  • ENG-W 350 Advanced Expository Writing
  • JOUR-J 341 Newspaper Reporting
  • JOUR-J 351 News Editing
  • JOUR-J 410 Media as Social Institutions
  • TEL-T 211 Writing for the Electronic Media

Practicum/Internship Option

Students may, with permission of the chair of the Department of English, enroll in one supervised writing internship (ENG-W 398 Internship in Writing) or practicum after they have completed 9 of their 12 hours of course work in the program. Approval of an internship or practicum is based on the strength of the proposal and the value of the proposed work experience.

Photo credit | Teresa Sheppard

Academic Bulletins

PDF Version

2017-2018 Campus Bulletin
2016-2017 Campus Bulletin
2015-2016 Campus Bulletin
2014-2015 Campus Bulletin

Please be aware that the PDF is formatted from the webpages; some pages may be out of order.