Department of English

Certificate in Public and Professional Writing

The undergraduate certificate in public and professional writing prepares students to become competent and confident writers in a wide range of fields, such as business, sports management, health sciences, engineering, technology, legal practice and jurisprudence, print and broadcast journalism, academic and trade publishing, and technical and grant writing. Through this program's interdisciplinary curriculum, internships, and guest lecture series, students develop the speaking, writing, and social media skills to communicate effectively and responsibly in diverse public and professional environments. The two foundation courses give students valuable training in grammar, syntax, and style and introduce some of the range of forms and contexts for professional writing, while advanced electives offer more specialized training in specific fields. By providing valuable practice in speaking and writing in business and non-profit sectors, this program significantly expands their career and vocational opportunities.

The minimum number of credits (exclusive of the University's Core curriculum) required for the Public and Professional Writing certificate: 9 credit hours. 

No more than six credits from the certificate in Public and Professional Writing can be used to fulfill the requirements for the English major. A grade of "C-" or better is required.

Required Courses (6 credits):

  • ENG 204 Professional Writing (3 credit hours)
  • ENG 205 Sentence Style (3 credit hours)

Electives (3 credits):
Choose 1 course from the following list (some courses may have prerequisites):

  • ENG 305 Rhetoric, Syntax, and Style
  • ENG 307 Topics in Professional Writing
  • ENG 309 Newswriting
  • ENG 337 Studies in Rhetoric: Writing, Rhetoric, and Emerging Technologies
  • ENG 409 Internship in Professional Writing
  • CMS 201 Introduction to Public Relations
  • CMS 202 Writing for Popular Media
  • CMS 215 Journalism Reporting and Writing
  • CMS 242 Communication and Social Media
  • CMS 274 Writing for the Media
  • CMS 302 Writing the Feature Story
  • CMS 305 Writing Opinion: Editorials and Columns
  • CMS 315 Broadcast Newswriting
  • EGN 210 Technical Writing
  • ITP 210 Technical Writing
  • LIN 313 Syntax
  • Other courses may be accepted by the Chair or the Director of Writing Programs (200-400 level).

Candidates for admission must submit:

  • Online application for Certificate Program;
  • Official transcripts or copies of official transcripts from secondary school and/or all colleges and universities from which you received a degree;
  • Additional or other special admission requirements specified by program.

The application for certificate programs is available online at http://usm.maine.edu/apply. Please note, students who are enrolled solely in an undergraduate certificate program are not eligible for Federal financial aid.