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.

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.

Admission Requirements

Students must meet requirements for admission to the College of General Studies. A certificate application must be completed and returned to the College of General Studies via our online portal.

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 course or its equivalent before registering for any ENGCMP courses.

Course Format

Many CGS programs offer a blend of face-to-face and flexible online class formats, all designed to meet our students' needs and schedule constraints.

Online courses are marked with an (●). Courses offered in both face-to-face and online formats are marked with an (#). Courses with no indicator are offered face-to-face only.

Visit CGS Courses to learn more about our flexible offerings and how to search for classes in the course catalog.

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
Poetry ENGWRT 0530 Introduction to Poetry Writing 3
  ENGWRT 1210 Poetry Workshop 3
Fiction ENGWRT 1010 Intermediate Fiction 3
  ENGWRT 1090 Mastering Point of View 3
  ENGWRT 1091 Autobiography and Creative Impulse 3
  ENGWRT 1092 Writer’s Journals 3
  ENGWRT 1094 Readings in Contemporary Fiction 3
  ENGWRT 1095 Topics in Fiction 3
  ENGWRT 1710 Senior Seminar in Fiction 3
Nonfiction ENGCMP 1103 Public Relations Writing 3
  ENGCMP 1104 Corporate Storytelling 3
  ENGWRT 1330 Intermediate Nonfiction: Scene and Point-of-View 3
  ENGWRT 1377 Media Literacy: Writing and Reading Your Way Through the Digital Landscape 3
  ENGWRT 1390 Readings in Contemporary Non-fiction 3
  ENGWRT 1391 Writing the Review 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 3
  ENGWRT 1900 Internship: Writing 3

Tip: Download our handy planning checklist to track your progress towards your CGS program requirements.

Important: 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.