Professional Writing Certificate

In both corporate and community organizations, the demand for versatile writing skills is higher than ever. To assist in that demand, the Professional Writing Certificate offers students the opportunity to learn how to communicate effectively and apply their rhetorical skills to a variety of professional audiences, such as business, industry, government, non-profit, health care and technology. Courses are offered both in the classroom and online.

Why Complete the Professional Writing Certificate?

Business leaders cite strong written communication skills as one of the top qualities they seek in prospective employees. Furthermore, there is a growing demand for writers who can support the needs of community organizations on a variety of projects. The Professional Writing Certificate is designed for those entering the workplace and for experienced professionals looking to improve their writing skills; both will learn and implement effective strategies in print and digital media in a wide range of rhetorical situations in order to meet the needs of a variety of readers.

Course Descriptions

Professional Writing Certificate Curriculum

To complete the 18-credit Professional Writing Certificate, students must:

  • Meet the Reading Category I requirement
  • Meet the Writing Category I requirement (for English 1101 and English 1105)
  • Complete both classes in the First Year Writing Program (English 1101 and English 1102, or equivalent)
  • Complete two classes in Category A
  • Complete two classes in Category B

Complete the First Year Writing Program (6 credits):

  • English 1101 Composition I (or equivalent)*
  • English 1102 Composition II (or equivalent)*

Category A: Complete two of three (6 credit hours):

  • English 1105 Workplace Writing
  • English 1110 Technical Writing
  • English 1115 Digital Writing

Category B: Complete two of three (6 credit hours):

  • English 2105 Writing in the Professions
  • English 2110 Professional Editing
  • English 2115 Writing in the Community


*Students can demonstrate that they have satisfied this requirement by submitting transcripts from another institution indicating successful completion of these courses (with a grade of C or better).

For more details on the certificate, contact:

If you are unable to contact a faculty member, messages may be left with the Liberal Arts Division, Berg Instructional Center (BIC), Room 2E06, (630) 942-2047. 

Gainful Employment Information

View information about this program, including estimated cost and employment opportunities.

Faculty Spotlight

  • Faculty Spotlight: Steven Accardi

    Steven AccardiProfessional Writing

    “I hope that students come away from my classes knowing how to read and respond to any rhetorical situation. Whether it be a writing assignment or job interview or responding to an act of misogyny or racism, I hope students would be able to read those rhetorical situations, locate the available means of persuasion and respond to them in such a way that their arguments have an effect.”

    Read Spotlight
  • Faculty Spotlight: Jim Allen

    Jim AllenProfessional Writing

    I would like them to walk away understanding a little more how this process works, how you understand an argument, how you create an argument, how you know when somebody is arguing in a way that is not exactly ethical or well thought out. I think of my classes as an introduction to rhetoric. I'm always after the stuff that takes more brain work – hard work.

    Read Spotlight
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