Department of English

Shirley Mathews' Intro to Journalism class, ENG 202, asks campus police questions furing a press conference.-Photo by Jeff Janowski
Lecturer Shirley Mathews' Intro to Journalism class, ENG 202, ask campus police questions during a press conference. - Photo by Jeff Janowski

Certificate in Professional Writing


Skill with written communication is crucial to career advancement in business, technology fields, the sciences, and other professional environments. A graduate in any discipline who is credentialed as a professional writer has greatly increased employability. The Certificate in Professional Writing advances writing skills by providing foundational education in rhetoric, design, and editing, and offering courses in areas including:

  • Business Writing
  • Science Writing
  • Multimedia Writing
  • Journalism
  • Publishing

The certificate's Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) shape the overall program of study.

The Certificate of Professional Writing is a separate credential that does not replace a student's major or minor. Any UNCW undergraduate may earn the certificate by completing 21 hours of coursework, including a writing internship (which requires a 3.0 major GPA). The student's transcript will list the certificate along with other degrees earned.


The Certificate in Professional Writing appears in UNCW's catalog as a certificate degree option. See below for simple steps to register for the certificate.

  1. Login to UNCWSeaPort.
  2. Under the "Student Services" tab, click on "Major declaration/Curricular updates."
  3. Select "Add new degree."
  4. Under "Add new degree," select the following four drop-down options:
    • Valid Catalogs: current semester
    • Valid Colleges: College of Arts & Sciences
    • Valid Degrees: Certificate
    • Valid Majors: Certificate-Prof Writing
  5. Click "Add Degree."
Registering for the Certificate in Professional Writing


Twenty-one hours are required to earn the certificate. See the printable worksheet for a checklist of requirements.

Mandatory courses (12 hours)

  • ENG 204: Introduction to Professional Writing
  • ENG 309: Technical Editing or ENG 310: Theory and Practice of Editing
  • ENG 314: Writing and Technology or ENG 319: Document Design
  • ENG 498: Internship in Writing (requires a 3.0 major GPA)

Remaining hours (9 hours)

Remaining hours are taken in writing courses, including the following:

  • ENG 202: Introduction to Journalism
  • ENG 302: Journalism Workshop
  • ENG 303: Reading and Writing Arguments
  • ENG 304: Writing for Teachers
  • ENG 305: Professional Review Writing
  • ENG 306: Essay Writing
  • ENG 307: Advanced Composition Studies
  • ENG 309: Technical Editing
  • ENG 310: Theory and Practice of Editing
  • ENG 311: Professional Magazine Writing
  • ENG 312: Writing for Business
  • ENG 313: Writing for the Sciences
  • ENG 314: Writing and Technology
  • ENG 315: Topics in Writing and Rhetoric
  • ENG 316: Analyzing Style
  • ENG 317: Writing About Film
  • ENG 318: Writing and Activism
  • ENG 319: Document Design
  • ENG 388: Rhetorical Theory to 1900
  • ENG 389: Rhetorical Theory Since 1900
  • ENG 496: Senior Seminar in Writing and Rhetoric
  • Approved writing courses in other departments also may be counted toward the 21 hours.