The interdisciplinary certificate in writing allows CU Boulder undergraduates to gain an understanding of and demonstrate expertise in writing studies, broadly defined. The certificate offers a curriculum that goes well beyond the writing courses that schools and colleges require of all students, thereby complementing a student's academic major, preparing students for professional life and enriching students' awareness of writing as a life-long tool for civic engagement. The certificate communicates the importance placed on writing well, and documents accomplishments of interest to graduate programs or workplaces emphasizing effective communication skills.
The certificate in writing is housed in the Program for Writing and Rhetoric (PWR), and the curriculum is intentionally interdisciplinary. Participating units beyond PWR include English, linguistics, communication, journalism, media studies and education. The certificate includes a practicum component, and culminates in a curated electronic portfolio that students can use as they pursue further professional interests.
Students must complete at least 18 credit hours, 9 of which must be upper division, and adhere to the following:
- At least 6 credit hours: WRTG courses within the PWR (not including 1000-level courses).
- At least 6 credit hours: courses from outside of the PWR.
- At least 1 credit hour: required portfolio curation pass/fail course, and practicum course(s) focusing on applied professional work.
No more than two courses (6 credit hours) can be counted from a student's major, and no more than 6 credit hours of transfer work from another institution may be applied to the certificate.
Overview of Required Courses
|Writing and Rhetoric Courses|
|Select at least two courses (6 credits) from the following:||6|
|Introduction to Creative Nonfiction|
|Electives in Writing|
|Writing in the Visual Arts|
|Topics in Writing|
|Writing on Science and Society|
|Technical Communication and Design|
|Writing on Business and Society|
|Open Topics in Writing: Advanced|
|Courses Outside Writing & Rhetoric|
|Select at least two courses (6 credits) outside of the PWR. See details below.||6|
|Portfolio Curation & Practicum Course(s)||1|
|Portfolio Curation in Writing and Rhetoric|
|Total Credit Hours||18|
About the Requirements
Courses from Outside the Program for Writing and Rhetoric
Select at least two courses (6 credits) outside the program from the following two categories, in any combination.
Courses that Fulfill the A&S Upper-Division Written Communication Requirement
|ARSC 3100||Multicultural Perspective and Academic Discourse||3|
|CHIN 3200||Adv Wrtg Topics on Chinese & Japanese Literature and Civilization||3|
|EBIO 3940||Written Communication in the Sciences||3|
|ENVS 3020||Advanced Writing in Environmental Studies||3|
|GEOL 3090||Developing Scientific Writing Skills||3|
|HIST 3020||Historical Thinking & Writing||3|
|HONR 3220||Advanced Honors Writing Workshop||3|
|IPHY 3700||Scientific Writing in Integrative Physiology||3|
|ITAL 3025||Advanced Composition 2: Introduction to Literary Writing||3|
|JPNS 3200||Adv Wrtg Topics on Chinese & Japanese Literature and Civilization||3|
|PHIL 3480||Critical Thinking/Writing in Philosophy||3|
|PHYS 3050||Writing in Physics: Problem-Solving and Rhetoric||3|
|RLST 3020||Advanced Writing in Religious Studies||3|
|SPAN 3010||Advanced Rhetoric and Composition||3|
|WGST 3800||Advanced Writing in Feminist Studies||3|
Courses that Treat Theories and Contexts Pertaining to Writing
Students in the following programs may count up to two of the listed courses in their major (6 credits) toward the certificate.
|COMM 1210||Perspectives on Human Communication||3|
|COMM 1300||Public Speaking||3|
|COMM 2400||Discourse, Culture and Identities||3|
|COMM 3300||Rhetorical Foundations of Communication||3|
|COMM 3320||Persuasion in Society||3|
|COMM 3340||Political Communication||3|
|COMM 3410||Intercultural Communication||3|
|COMM 3420||Gender and Communication||3|
|COMM 3610||Communication, Technology, and Society||3|
|COMM 3630||Organizational Communication||3|
|COMM 4100||Seminar in Honors Thesis Writing and Research||3|
|Education Licensure Students 1|
|EDUC 3013||School and Society||3|
|EDUC 4135||Story and Memoir||3|
|English Majors 2|
|ENGL 1191||Introduction to Creative Writing||3|
|ENGL 2036||Introduction to Media Studies in the Humanities||3|
|ENGL 4026||Special Topics in Genre, Media, and Advanced Writing||3|
|ENGL 4116||Advanced Topics in Media Studies||3|
|ENGL 4830||Honors Thesis||3|
|JRNL 2401||Media Coverage of Diverse Populations||3|
|JRNL 3112||Concepts in Visual Culture||3|
|JRNL 3201||Critical Perspectives on Journalism||3|
|JRNL 3202||Covering Political Campaigns||3|
|JRNL 3401||Sociology of News||3|
|JRNL 4311||Literary Journalism||3|
|JRNL 4401||News and Public Perception||3|
|JRNL 4411||International Media and Global Crises||3|
|JRNL 4872||Special Topics: Print||1-3|
|LING 1000||Language in U.S. Society||3|
|LING 1010||The Study of Words||3|
|LING 2400||Language, Gender and Sexuality||3|
|LING 3220||American Indian Languages in their Social and Cultural Context||3|
|LING 3545||World Language Policies||3|
|LING 4800||Language and Culture||3|
|LING 4830||Honors Thesis||3|
|Media Studies Majors|
|MDST 3002||Digital Culture and Politics||3|
|MDST 3201||Media, Culture and Globalization||3|
|MDST 3321||Media Industries and Economics||3|
|MDST 3401||Media, Food and Culture||3|
|MDST 3711||Media and Popular Culture||3|
|MDST 3791||Media and the Public||3|
|MDST 4111||Crime, Media and Contemporary Culture||3|
|MDST 4211||Asian Media and Culture||3|
|MDST 4331||Gender, Race, Class, and Sexuality in Popular Culture||3|
|MDST 4371||Media and Religion||3|
Upper-division EDUC courses in Literacy Studies count toward the certificate. Consult the School of Education for offerings in any given semester.
Just as 1000-level PWR expository writing courses do not count toward the certificate, neither is ENGL 1001 eligible.
Students must complete a 1-credit, pass/fail course for portfolio curation (WRTG 4910), along with one of the three practicum options below. Students may select the option that best suits their interest and career goals.
Of interest to students intending to work in business, industry or nonprofits:
- Complete a 3000/4000-level internship, often sponsored by the major department (e.g., ENGL 3930 or JRNL 4931), with a significant writing component. For an internship to count toward the certificate, it must be pre-approved by the certificate coordinator. Following the internship, the student must submit a brief (2–3 page) report describing the writing activities and how the internship contributed to learning outcomes.
Writing Center Consultancy or School-Based Literacy Practicum
Of interest to students intending to work in education and related fields:
- WRTG 2090 Electives in Writing (3) (Writing Center Theory and Practice)
- EDUC 4321 Writing Instruction for Elementary Schools (3) (for students already accepted into the teacher licensure program)
- EDUC 4345 Secondary English Methods I (3) (for students already accepted into the teacher licensure program)
Graduate Study in Writing Pedagogy
Of interest to students intending to conduct graduate work in rhetoric and composition:
- WRTG 5050 Graduate Studies in Writing and Rhetoric (3) (various topics, with permission).
The Certificate in Writing has at its core a set of aspirational learning outcomes, which are met over the course of the certificate:
- Ability to compose effectively in a variety of genres, ranging from academic genres to professional workplace genres and civic genres.
- Ability to address a range of audiences effectively, and to understand how to accommodate secondary or multiple audiences.
- Ability to analyze and/or argue effectively, and to call on available means of persuasion and apply appropriately a range of rhetorical strategies.
- Ability to draw on a range of styles as appropriate to the purpose, audience, and rhetorical situation, and to meet professional standards of correctness.
- Ability to apply disciplinary expertise to engage a range of readers, in a variety of rhetorical contexts.
- Ability to compose with digital and multi-modal tools in evolving, hybrid genres.
- Ability to understand and practice writing as an act of composing in the broader media landscape.
- Ability to seek, access, evaluate, and apply a range of information literacy resources, and to appreciate the complex, evolving role of information in disciplinary and social contexts.
- Ability to use composition skills effectively in broader contexts of communication, including public speaking.
- Ability to apply compositional skills in professional contexts and organizations, ranging from advanced academic work to business settings, and in genres ranging from PowerPoint presentations to scientific posters.
- Ability to appreciate and use composing tools in civic contexts and in life-long learning.
The student will have the opportunity to demonstrate how these aspirational learning goals have been met by creating and curating an electronic portfolio of work completed during the certificate experience. This portfolio asks students to synthesize their learning and articulate how it advances their academic and professional goals.