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Writing Certificates

Writing Certificates

Pair with any bachelor’s degree

Writing is a timeless and critical skill for all fields, occupations and sectors. Honing your ability to write clearly and concisely for technical, creative or scientific platforms will open doors to a variety of rewarding careers.

Program Overview

Acquire one of the most valuable professional skills.

Western Colorado University’s Writing Certificates will provide you with versatile skills in writing and analysis alongside more specialized forms of technical and professional writing. A complement to any major, a certificate in professional writing will serve as a competitive advantage when applying for jobs and graduate programs.

The 12-credit Writing Certificate offers foundational courses in English where you’ll learn to write clear prose that conveys complex ideas. The Writing Certificate also allows you to take courses in creative, argumentative, media or scientific writing, depending on your interest.

The 15-credit Professional Writing Certificate builds on the Writing Certificate by focusing more intensely on technical and professional writing, while offering you a range of written rhetorical skills. The Professional Writing Certificate establishes your ability to write well in professional settings and beyond.

Supplement your degree

Students learn to write creatively, technically and professionally through Western’s Writing Certificates, providing them with marketable and highly sought skills applicable to any industry.

Program Requirements

At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

Writing Certificate

The Writing Certificate enhances students’ skills in writing and analysis.  A complement to any major, the curriculum builds expertise in written communication and enables students to demonstrate credentials to employers and graduate programs.

To earn a Writing Certificate, students must earn a “B” or better in each course and complete the exit assessment survey.  Students taking ENG 475 must earn a "satisfactory." The Writing Certificate does not meet graduation requirements for an academic minor.

A minimum of 12 credits is required, including:

One of the following:3
ENG 161
Introduction to Creative Writing
ENG 250
Critical Approaches to Literature
Nine credits from the following, three of which must be from upper division English courses:9
CHEM 302
Chemical Information Literacy and Communication
COM 241
Media Writing
COM 306
ENG 151
Borderlands: Representing Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality
ENG 152
Women and Literature
ENG 153
Literary Culture of the American West
ENG 154
Popular Genre Fiction: Topic Variable
ENG 161
Introduction to Creative Writing
ENG 220
Grammar and the English Language
ENG 230
Environmental Literature (GT-AH2)
ENG 250
Critical Approaches to Literature
ENG 255
Ancient World Literature (GT-AH2)
ENG 270
ENG 300
Creative Writing: Fiction
ENG 301
Creative Writing: Poetry
ENG 302
Technical Writing
ENG 303
Creative Writing
ENG 305
Creative Writing: Creative Nonfiction
ENG 331
Literature and Ethnicity: Studies in:
ENG 334
Poetry: Studies in:
ENG 335
Drama: Studies in:
ENG 336
Prose: Studies in:
ENG 337
Women Writers
ENG 358
Global Literatures: Studies In: Topic Variable
ENG 370
Myth and Culture
ENG 372
British Literature: Medieval and Renaissance Texts
ENG 373
British Literature: Milton through the Romantics
ENG 374
British Literature: The Victorians to the Present Day
ENG 384
American Literature Early to Civil War
ENG 385
American Literature-Civil War to Present
ENG 445
Literary Magazine Submission and Production
ENG 463
Major British Authors: Cont. Lit. & Film
ENG 464
Major American Authors:
ENG 475
Theories of Reading and Writing Discourse
ENVS 200
Writing the Environment
GEOL 302
Geoscience Writing
Total Credits12


Take the first steps toward your dream career.

Career preparation is the primary focus of every academic program at Western. Our professors and Office of Career Services will help you identify your strengths, hone your skills, define your goals, and prepare for a fulfilling role in hundreds of professional fields after graduation.

Ready to apply or learn more about Western today?

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Blackbaud Award Management (BAM) Academic Works

Blackbaud Award Management (BAM) Academic Works is Western’s tool for searching for, applying for and managing over 300 scholarship opportunities available to both new and returning students. Through BAM Academic Works, students may identify scholarship opportunities based on academic programs, campus involvement, academic standing, specific keywords and more. Students may click below to begin learning about what scholarship opportunities are available to them.

BAM Scholarship Applications Opens Dec. 5 and close April 1

Please check individual scholarship opportunity start dates and deadlines as there are exceptions

Find your scholarships!

Blackbaud Award Management (BAM) Academic Works

Blackbaud Award Management (BAM) Academic Works is Western’s tool for searching for, applying for and managing scholarship opportunities available to both new and returning students. Through BAM Academic Works, students may identify institutional scholarship opportunities that all Western students may apply for regardless of academic program or department, academic standing, campus involvement, and more. Students may click below to learn more about applying for these campus-wide opportunities.

BAM Scholarship Applications Opens Dec. 5 and close April 1

Please check individual scholarship opportunity start dates and deadlines as there are exceptions.

Find your scholarships!

Alumni Association Future Alumni Scholarship

The Alumni Association Scholarship is a one-time scholarship of $1,000 and is applicable for the student’s junior or senior year at Western.

Any child or grandchild of an alumni is eligible to receive the Future Alumni Scholarship.

  • This is a one-time non-renewable scholarship of $1,000.
  • Only one Future Alumni Scholarship will be awarded per academic year.
  • GPA must be 3.2 or above (college).

Due date has been extended to April 1 for 2022. An Alumni selection committee, appointed by the Alumni Advisory Council, will review applicants and select awardee by June 1.


Alumni Legacy Scholarship

The Alumni Legacy Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western (incoming freshman or new transfer students are eligible).

Do you have a son or daughter looking at college? Have they considered attending Western? As an alumni, your son, daughter and/or grandchildren are eligible for certain benefits distributed through this scholarship, as follows:

  • This is a one-time scholarship of $1,000.
  • Nominee must be an incoming first-year student or new transfer.
  • The cost of orientation is reduced by half (a $45 value).
  • The admission application fee is waived (a $30 value).
  • GPA must be 2.5 or above (high school or college of transfer).

The applicant must fill out the application form found below. Application forms are accepted year-round. If the applicant meets the GPA guidelines, the scholarship will be awarded.


Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.

Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).

  • Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
  • The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
  • The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.

The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.


The Western Presidential Honors Scholarships, established by the Jack and Marilyn MacAllister Foundation shall be an elite class of scholarships awarded to Western’s highest achieving and most deserving students, celebrating the ideals of academic excellence and service to the campus and community. Recipients of the Scholarships will be members of the Western Colorado University Honors Program.

There are eight Presidential Honors Scholarships of $2500 each. Each year two new Presidential Honors Scholarships will be awarded to two incoming first-year students.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student’s GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

Get Involved

Apply your education to the real-world.

Take your education outside of the classroom—build your professional network, gain practical experience and jump-start your career.

  • Contemporary Writer Series: Emerging and established literary artists visit campus and community venues.
  • Playwriting: Script plays for the Theatre program.
  • Sigma Tau Delta: Join the international English honor society.
  • Teaching Assistantships: Students help fellow students in challenging writing courses.
  • Wordhorde: This group hosts slam poetry and fiction at open-mic nights.
  • Writing Center: Work as a writing consultant for the greater campus community.

Delve into your passions

The Writing Certificate provides foundational courses in English and is flexible so students may take courses in their areas of interest—whether that be creative, argumentative, media or scientific writing.

News & Research

hybrid summer residency

Creative Writing Summer Residency to Offer Hybrid Experience

Read More about Creative Writing Summer Residency to Offer Hybrid Experience
Award-winning author Helen Thorpe to speak on campus

Award-winning author Helen Thorpe to speak on campus

Read More about Award-winning author Helen Thorpe to speak on campus

Department Chairperson

Jack Lucido, MFA

Professor of Communication Arts, Director of Film Studies, Chair of CALL Department

Administrative Assistant

Cindy Petito

Administrative Assistant II

Contact Information



Campus Location

Western Colorado University
Taylor Hall 216
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231

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