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Graduate Certificate in Composition Studies

Graduate Certificate in Composition Studies

Collaborative Online Degree

This 100 percent online, consortialprogram is taught by IU South Bend, IU Bloomington, IUPUI, IU East, IU Kokomo, IU Northwest, , and IU Southeast. This consortial model allows you to take coursework from several campuses and learn from a wide range of faculty.

This program is authorized, exempt, or not subject to state regulatory compliance and may enroll students from all 50 states

As a student in the IU Online Graduate Certificate in Composition Studies, you explore the core principles of writing and literature. You learn to teach students to craft sound arguments using close attention to logic, context, and audience. You also develop a fluency with the current debates, schools, and theories of writing instruction.

Areas of focus include:

  • Contemporary theory on the pedagogy of composition and literature
  • Linguistic structures and history of the English language
  • Reading strategies and literary analysis, with attention to close reading, style, form, genre, and rhetorical practices
  • Approaches to composition and writing instruction, including the identification and evaluation of sources, use of evidence, generation of ideas, and the development and organization of argument
  • Developing archival research skills and facility with electronic resources
  • Developments, trends, and frontiers in the digital humanities

Your IU Online Graduate Certificate in Composition Studies prepares you for such careers as:

  • Composition dual-credit teacher (high school)
  • Composition instructor (community college)

Of Special Interest for Dual-Credit and Community College Instructors Needing to Meet HLC Standards

The Graduate Certificate in Composition Studies is ideal for those who want to teach dual-credit courses and who need to meet Higher Learning Commission dual-credit qualification standards. These standards require teachers wanting to teach dual-credit courses to hold either a master's degree in their area of instruction or a master's degree in another discipline (such as education), plus at least 18 credit hours of discipline-specific graduate coursework.

  • If you hold a master's degree in another discipline, you can meet HLC standards by completing the 20 credit hour Graduate Certificate in Composition Studies.
  • If you plan to pursue theIU Online MA in English, you may apply the 20 credit hours from the Graduate Certificate in Composition Studies toward the master's degree.


Admissions requirements vary by campus.

Certificate Requirements (20 cr.)

To enroll in this program, you must possess either a Bachelor of Arts in English (or related bachelor's degree in education with an English specialization, concentration, or outside area) or two years of secondary teaching experience in literature or composition classes. To earn the Graduate Certificate in Composition Studies, you must complete a total of 20 credit hours.

If you choose to pursue the IU Online MA in English, these certificate courses may apply to ("stack into") your degree requirements. Admission to the Certificate in Composition Studies does not constitute admission into any of the face-to-face graduate programs in English at the participating campuses.

Certificate Requirements (20 cr.)
Introductory Course in Graduate Composition Studies (4 cr.)

Select one from the following:

  • ENG-W 500 Teaching Composition: Issues and Approaches (4 cr.)
  • ENG-W 509 Introduction to Writing and Literacy Studies (4 cr.)

Stylistics (4 cr.)

Select one from the following:

  • ENG-G 660 Stylistics (4 cr.)
  • ENG-L 646 Readings in Media, Literature, and Culture (4 cr.)

Applied Writing Pedagogy (4 cr.)

Select one from the following:

  • ENG-W 510 Computers in Composition (4 cr.)
  • ENG-W 590 Teaching Composition: Theories and Application (4 cr.)
  • ENG-W 620 Advanced Argumentative Writing (4 cr.)

Writing Pedagogy for College Instructors (4 cr.)

Select one from the following:

  • ENG-W 501 Practicum on the Teaching of Composition in College (4 cr.)
  • ENG-W 600 Topics in Rhetoric and Composition (4 cr.) 

Rhetoric Seminar or Capstone (4 cr.)

Select one from the following:

  • ENG-R 546 Rhetoric and Public Culture (4 cr.)
  • ENG-W 600 Topics in Rhetoric and Composition (4 cr.)
  • ENG-W 682 Special Topics: Rhetoric and Composition (4 cr.)

    Academic Bulletins

    PDF Version

    2023-2024 Campus Bulletin
    2022-2023 Campus Bulletin
    2021-2022 Campus Bulletin
    2020-2021 Campus Bulletin
    2019-2020 Campus Bulletin
    2018-2019 Campus Bulletin
    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.