Graduate Certificate in Writing Theory and Practice

Blackboard with the words "theory practice" on a seesaw

What is the Graduate Certificate in Writing Theory and Practice?

The certificate program is designed to help you write more effectively in your field, and to share what you learn with other graduate students. To reach this goal, you will develop rhetorical awareness of your field’s writing practices and audiences. The required tasks should also help you develop work for publication, and deepen your knowledge of writing theory and pedagogy.

The certificate requires no coursework and can be completed on a flexible schedule throughout a single academic year. It is open to students pursuing a PhD, EdD, MA, MS, MFA, MPH, or MHS. GradPathways supports the program, which is offered and managed by the University Writing Program’s Writing Across the Curriculum team and the Graduate Writing Fellows.  

If you choose to pursue the certificate, you will join an ambitious, supportive, inspiring community of graduate student writers through our offerings of writing workshops, retreats, and consultations.

Certificate Requirements

We recognize that graduate students are very busy. You may complete the required tasks at your own pace in any sequence (aside from the Reflective Essay, which must be completed last), as long as all requirements are met within the same academic year, culminating in a social event for all certificate recipients in June.

  1. Attend 3 writing-related GradPathways workshops.
  2. Attend 2 Writing Consultations with a Graduate Writing Fellow.
  3. Attend 1 themed Writing Retreat led by a Graduate Writing Fellow.
  4. Attend an office hour appointment with the Associate Director of Writing Across the Curriculum – Graduate level, Dr. Marit MacArthur, and/or with a Graduate Writing Fellow, to discuss your overall goals for your writing, and your choices for activities 5 and 6.
  5. Read and write a brief Review (500 words) of a book from our curated list on writing in your field, or writing studies research or theory, or get approval of a different book. Then create a brief handout or give a brief presentation to fellow graduate students (this could be within your Graduate Group, Program or Department) based on the most useful advice or insights from the book. The handout or presentation should relate to writing practice and/or writing pedagogy.
  6. Write a Rhetorical Analysis (1000 words) of a call for proposals for a conference or for a journal in your field.
  7. Write a Reflective Essay (1000 words) after you have completed all above requirements.


Click here to enroll in the 2022-2023 certificate cohort!