The Professional Writing and Communication Graduate Certificate is designed for post-baccalaureate students seeking professional training and education to advance their careers.
The Certificate is a joint offering by the Professional Writing Program in the Department of English and the Department of Communication. It is a popular option for anyone seeking academic credentials and will qualify graduates to compete for jobs involving writing or communication or for advancement opportunities at their current places of employment.
There is no single “typical” certificate student, but many of our students are:
- BA/BS graduates in a major other than English or Communication with little or no related work experience in writing who are seeking a change in their job or career.
- Happy with their current employer, but hoping to qualify for more writing and communication responsibilities or for promotional opportunities that might involve project management, assessment, training, and other activities that require writing or communications experience.
- \Seeking specialized and current instruction in writing or communication to qualify for more jobs or assist their employer in keeping up with current technologies, concepts, and standards in professional writing or communication.
It’s possible to complete all the Certificate courses online, but many students also choose to take both online and face-to-face courses to complete their Certificate.
Eligibility and Admission
Students must have completed a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 2.75.
- Students wishing to obtain this certificate must declare their intention by applying to the program office or director.
- All graduate certificate applicants—even those already enrolled in a UWM graduate program—must apply to the Graduate School through the Panthera Admission Application.
- Graduate degree and previously admitted graduate non-degree students who decide to pursue a certificate program must submit the Panthera application before completing 6 credits in the certificate sequence.
- Applicants must possess a baccalaureate degree and have a minimum 2.75 cumulative undergraduate grade point average to be admitted in to a certificate program.
- In addition, send the following items directly to the Department of English1:
- A portfolio of writing samples.
- Two letters of recommendation from persons knowledgeable about applicants’ recent academic or work experience.
- A statement of purpose that identifies the applicants’ knowledge of workplace communication practices and business operations, their professional experience, or basic undergraduate coursework in business writing, technical writing, and communication.
- A statement describing the applicants’ access to and operational knowledge of online communication technology, including a PC or equivalent computer system with Internet access and other applications sufficient to participate in the program’s online learning activities.
- An unofficial transcript from each undergraduate and graduate institution attended.
Mailing Address: Department of English, Attn: Certificate Program, UWM, P.O. Box 413, Milwaukee, WI 53201-0413
Credits and Courses
Students must complete 15 credits of coursework as outlined below. The Certificate will be awarded when students achieve the following:
|Select three of the following: 1||9|
|Topics in Advanced Communications: (subtitle)|
|Rhetoric and Professional Writing,Professional and Technical Communications|
or ENGLISH 708
|Advanced Professional Writing|
|Project Management for Professional Writers|
|Advanced Professional Writing|
|Rhetoric, Writing, and Information Technology|
|Advanced Project Management for Professional Writers|
|Topics in Professional Writing:,Topics in Public and Professional Writing: (Subtitle)|
|Theories in Public Rhetorics and Community Engagement,Professional Writing Theory|
|Qualitative Research in Writing and Literacy,Research Methods in Rhetorics, Literacies, and Community Engagement|
|Select two of the following:||6|
|International and Global Communication|
|Introduction to Mediation|
|Argumentation in Theory and Practice|
|Rhetorical Leadership and Ethics|
|Studies of Communication in Organizations|
|Seminar in Mediated Communication|
|Communication Technologies in Organizations|
|Communication in Customer Service Settings|
|Seminar in Small Group Communication|
|Seminar in Instructional Communication|
|Theory and Practice of Mediation|
|The Digital Mirror|
|Rhetoric of/and the Internet|
Students who within the past five years have successfully completed courses equivalent to these required English courses may, with the approval of the Certificate Coordinator, substitute alternate English graduate courses.
No more than 20% of the required credits may be taken at an institution other than UWM. These courses are subject to Graduate School transfer policy and must be approved by the director of the certificate program.
Grade Point Average Requirement
A minimum cumulative 3.00 grade point average in certificate courses taken at UWM is required.
Articulation with Degree Programs
- Credits and courses required for a certificate may double count toward meeting UWM graduate degree requirements subject to the following restrictions:
- Degree programs must approve the courses from certificates that can double count toward the degree.
- All credits taken in completion of certificate requirements may count towards a UWM graduate degree as long as they do not contribute more than 90% of the total credits needed to obtain the degree. (Note: Students in Ph.D. programs must still complete the minimum residency requirements)
- Certificate courses used toward meeting degree requirements must be completed within the time limit for transfer credit.
- Courses completed for a degree may be counted toward a subsequent certificate, subject to all certificate policy requirements.
- A course may count toward no more than one certificate and one degree.
- Students may not earn a certificate subsequent to a concentration in the same area.
Certificate program time limits shall be established as follows:
- 18 or fewer credits/Three years from initial enrollment in the certificate sequence.
- 19 or more credits/Four years from initial enrollment in the certificate sequence.
For certificates that are designed as add-ons to degree programs and are awarded concurrent with the degree, the time limit shall be the same as that of the degree program.