What is the writing certificate?

  • The writing certificate is an academic credential that allows students to increase their writing skills by focusing on the written word. It requires the completion of eight courses.
  • Certificate in writing awarded by the University of Iowa, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

    Why should I pursue the writing certificate?

    • You'll develop a range of highly prized writing skills, including the ability to write clearly and concisely, correctly use mechanics and style, communicate with particular audiences for specific purposes, and overcome obstacles that occur during the writing process.
    • You can tailor the certificate to your own goals and interests. Some students focus on writing for specific fields, such as business, journalism, the arts, or science; some pursue an interest in creative or technical writing; and others do a little of everything—it's up to you!
    • You'll join an internationally-renowned community of writers, with instructors from Iowa's flagship writing programs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences—including the Writers' Workshop, Nonfiction Writing Program, and School of Journalism and Mass Communication—and participate in the dynamic literary culture of Iowa City, a UNESCO City of Literature.

    Do I need to submit a writing sample as part of my UI application?

    • No, the certificate does not require a writing sample.

    Can I get the writing certificate online?

    • Designed with the intention of reaching students who are not able to attend courses on campus, the Magid Center's online certificate in writing allows nondegree-seeking, professional, or distance education participants the opportunity to take advantage of the University of Iowa’s impressive culture of writing from anywhere in the world.
    • Online courses taught by engaging faculty, including graduates of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the Nonfiction Writing Program.
    • Accessible academic advising with available phone appointments and detailed email correspondence.
    • Students taking only online courses pay standard College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in-state tuition, plus a technology fee.

    Will the certificate transcript indicate that I was in an online program?

    • No. Students who graduate by taking online courses earn the same credential as those in the on-campus program.

    When can I start?

    • You may apply to be admitted to the University of Iowa at any time. Enrollment for fall begins in April, for spring in November, and for summer in March. Fall classes begin the third week of August, spring classes begin the third week of January, and summer classes begin at various times from mid-May through mid-June. Though most online classes for the certificate are asynchronous, meaning you don't have a specific "meeting time" for your class each week, they do follow the academic calendar of the University of Iowa, with set dates for class start, midterms, and finals that correspond with the semester. Our courses are also governed by all same rules and deadlines for registration changes as on-campus courses. Learn more at https://registrar.uiowa.edu.

    What jobs can I get with a certificate in writing?

    • Recent certificate in writing graduates have gone on to work in various fields that are wide-ranging in scope and background. Our graduates have found work as teachers, copywriters, editors and publishers, government administrators, free-lance journalists, magazine writers, and more. Additionally, our graduates often go on to graduate and professional programs such as MFA programs, Teach For America, and law school. Finally, many of our recent graduates have found internships during and after their time in the program with publishing companies and magazines from across the country.