Writing Certificate

Whether you’re looking to improve your professional writing skills or want to delve into the craft of fiction or nonfiction, this 21 credit Writing certificate might be ideal for you.

Offered in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh’s English department, this certificate program offers a variety of courses from contemporary fiction and autobiography to science writing and electronic media. Hone your writing skills while customizing the program to fit your literary and professional interests.

The CGS Difference

This flexible certificate program can be a standalone professional development opportunity or completed in preparation for a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a writing-related field.

Program Expectations

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  • Write clearly and accurately
  • Apply writing skills to fiction and nonfiction
  • Understand different writing forms and techniques

Credit Requirements

  • The Writing certificate requires 21 credits (7 courses), including two (2) core English writing courses and 15 elective credits.
  • Five (5) of the courses (or 15 credits) must be completed at Pitt.
  • Students must achieve a minimum grade of C (2.0) or better for all courses required for the program.
  • Students must have completed a Seminar in Composition or its equivalent before registering for any ENGCMP courses.
  • Many upper-level courses have prerequisites, these are indicated in parenthesis after each course. Students are advised to plan their coursework accordingly

Required Courses (6 credits):

Catalog Number Title Credits
ENGWRT 0520 Introduction to Fiction Writing 3
ENGWRT 0610 Introduction to Journalism and Nonfiction 3


Electives (15 credits):

Courses offered vary by term. Choose five additional courses from any combinations of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. A sampling of courses that can be used to fulfill the certificate requirements include:

Catalog Number Title Credits
ENGCMP 1103 Public Relations Writing (PREQ:ENGCMP 0200 or ENGFLM 0210) 3
ENGCMP 1104 Corporate Storytelling (PREQ:ENGCMP 0200 or ENGFLM 0210) 3
ENGWRT 0530 Introduction to Poetry Writing 3
ENGWRT 1010 Intermediate Fiction (PREQ:ENGWRT 0520) 3
ENGWRT 1090 Mastering Point of View (PREQ:ENGWRT 0520 or 0530 or 0550 or 0610) 3
ENGWRT 1091 Autobiography and Creative Impulse (PREQ:ENGWRT 0520 or 0530 or 0550 or 0610) 3
ENGWRT 1092 Writer’s Journals (PREQ:ENGWRT 0520 or 0530 or 0550 or 0610) 3
ENGWRT 1094 Readings in Contemporary Fiction (PREQ: ENGWRT) 3
ENGWRT 1095 Topics in Fiction (PREQ: ENGWRT 0410 or 0411 or 0520 or 0530) 3
ENGWRT 1210 Poetry Workshop (PREQ:ENGWRT 0530) 3
ENGWRT 1330 Intermediate Nonfiction: Scene and Point-of-View (PREQ: ENGWRT 0550 or 0610) 3
ENGWRT 1377 Media Literacy: Writing and Reading Your Way Through the Digital Landscape 3
ENGWRT 1390 Readings in Contemporary Non-fiction (PREQ: ENGWRT 0550 or 0610) 3
ENGWRT 1391 Writing the Review (PREQ: ENGWRT 0200) 3
ENGWRT 1393 Sports Writing 3
ENGWRT 1394 Science Writing 3
ENGWRT 1399 Topics in Nonfiction: Newspaper  3
ENGWRT 1403 Topics in Nonfiction: Electronic Media (PREQ: ENGWRT 0550 or 0610) 3
ENGWRT 1710 Senior Seminar in Fiction  
ENGWRT 1900 Internship: Writing 3


As you plan your certificate coursework, please make sure to review the CGS Course Overlap policy for information on how many courses can be double-counted if a student elects to pursue a CGS certificate in combination with other CGS and non-CGS majors, minors, and certificates. If you have questions, please contact your CGS advisor or CGS Advising at CGSAdv@pitt.edu.

Requirements subject to change. Check with an academic advisor before registering.