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Nonfiction writing and publishing (graduate certificate)

The graduate certificate program in nonfiction writing and publishing is based on the belief that the work done within the university is most impactful when it can be shared — in a clear and compelling way — with audiences beyond chosen fields of research.

In this interdisciplinary certificate program, graduate students read, study and write narrative nonfiction, from literary journalism to op-eds and from explanatory essays to memoirs. Students learn how to analyze the craft and stylistic decisions of professional and literary nonfiction writers and utilize these skills in their own writing. They learn how to write effectively for specific audiences outside of academia and how to get their work published.

This program’s faculty teaches scholars and students to produce vivid writing that connects with a larger public and the most effective ways to get their writing out into the world, be it through blogs, online or print publications, trade books, or film and television.

The certificate program is open to graduate students with a background in the humanities and those in biomedicine, the techno-sciences and other fields who want to write eloquently, persuasively and memorably about their research or professional experiences.

At a glance

Nonfiction writing and publishing (graduate certificate) 

Plan of study

The Plan of study is the required curriculum to complete the program.

View plan of study

Degree requirements

15 credit hours

Required core (6 credit hours)

HSD/HPS/HST 520 Masters of Nonfiction (3)

HSD 521 Writing True Stories that Matter (3)

Electives (12 credit hours)

Certificate Requirements

The program requires 15 credits of coursework including one required core course and a required capstone course:

The 15 credits include:

  • 6 credits of required core courses:
    • HSD 520 – Masters of Nonfiction (3 credits)
    • HSD 521 – Writing True Stories that Matter (3 credits)
  • 9 credits of elective courses from a list of suggestions provided by and/or approved by the Program Chair (If there are specific classes you wish to take for electives that are not on the list, you can request approval through the Program Chair).

Some examples are:

  • ENG 509 Studies in Narrative Writing
  • ENG 503 History of Narrative
  • ENG 509 Decolonizing Dominant U.S. Narratives
  • ENG 516 Literary Publishing
  • ENG 584 Publishing for Social Impact
  • ENG 598 Biography Writing
  • ENG 598 Writing for Scholarly Publication
  • HDA 594 Shaping Climate Narratives
  • HPS 591 Topic: Embryo Project Seminar
  • JHR 506 Grant Writing
  • LAW 791 Creative Writing
  • MAS 598 Topic: Hate Speech, Manifestos, & Radical Writing
  • MLS 501 Writing about Social Issues
  • MLS 503 Ethics, Science, and Culture
  • MLS 598 Food Writing
  • MLS 598 Humor Writing
  • MLS 598 Memoir and Personal Essay
  • MLS 598 Writing the Journey: Travel Narratives
  • PSY Communicating Science to the Public
  • SOS 577 Topic: Interdisciplinary Writing
  • SOC 598 Communicating About Sustainability
  • TWC 543 Grant and Proposal Writing
  • TWC 598 Writing for Educators