Information for Prospective PTW Graduate Certificate Students

Comprised of the core courses of the PWR-MA, the PTW graduate certificate enables training in skills relevant to workplace uses of language and nurtures rhetorical awareness of workplace contexts.

To apply to the PTW certificate program, applicants must be currently admitted to graduate study or approved for enrollment through Extended Studies (non-degree). Because only 6 credits earned before admission can be applied toward the PTW certificate, we recommend that Extended Studies students and students in other degree programs apply for admission before completing 6 credits of coursework. Completion of coursework is not in itself a guarantee of admission to the PTW certificate program.

Applicants must submit the following documents:

  • current, professional resume
  • goals statement
  • analytical writing sample of at least 1,000 words
  • two letters of recommendation
  • portfolio of professional writing or editing (optional but recommended)
  • two official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended
  • any other materials required by Graduate Admissions

Focus the goals statement on how you see this program fitting into your larger goals, and show that you understand what kinds of outcomes our program supports. If you relate information about your history, focus on recent endeavors in education or work experience directly related to writing studies. We assume that all of our students are passionate about reading and writing, so you do not need to make that explicit statement.

We prefer but do not require academic recommendations. We find that the most persuasive letters of recommendation come from former professors rather than employers.

We scan writing samples, so you do not need to elegantly bound or present them. However, we do recommend that applicants write a brief introduction to each professional sample, outlining the audience, purpose, and any particular challenges of the writing task.

We do not require GRE scores.

Students can pursue the PTW certificate concurrently with any of several degree programs in English and elsewhere in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Part of the work toward the certificate can apply to these degrees.

Moving Between NonDegree, Certificate, and MA

If you decide to transfer into the PWR-MA program from the PTW certificate program, more than half of your course credits must be earned after admittance to the PWR-MA program. Because only 12 credits of coursework taken as a PTW certificate student can count toward the PWR-MA degree, we recommend that you make this decision early. If you have taken courses as a non-degree student, know that if you decide to switch from the PTW certificate to the PWR-MA, you can lose credit for any courses that exceed the 12-credit transfer limit. Similarly, only 6 credits of non-degree coursework will count toward the PTW certificate, so be sure to apply to the PTW certificate program before taking a third course.