University of Michigan-Dearborn students will be awarded a Certificate in Writing after they have completed three writing courses (9 credits) beyond the 200 level and a writing practicum of at least 30 hours.

To be eligible for the certificate students will have to earn B or better in the writing courses they use to complete the required nine hours. At least one of the three courses must be a Composition course and carry the COMP prefix.

Students pursuing the certificate will have several options for fulfilling the practicum component of the Certificate which might include: Composing a substantial creative work in an independent study with a faculty member; completing an internship with the Humanities Internship Program that includes a substantial writing or editing component; serving as a peer consultant in the Writing Center or engaging in community service that involves substantial writing or editing.

Get more information about the certificate program or contact any of the following faculty members:

I feel confident in my writing skills and have been recognized for it by several employers. I also greatly enjoyed the writing classes at the time and continue to enjoy writing both for my occupation and my daily life.

Learning Outcomes for the Certificate in Writing

The Composition and Rhetoric discipline at the University of Michigan-Dearborn does not administrate a major concentration. However, it does sponsor the Certificate in Writing which can be completed with three upper level writing courses and a practicum. 

Learning Outcomes for the Certificate in Writing

Upon completion of the Certificate students will be able to:

  • Understand the relationship between writing and thinking.
  • Understand that good writing is shaped by a directed purpose and shaped for a specific audience or multiple audiences.
  • Understand the connection between concrete and abstract expression and be able to execute this knowledge in writing or related media.
  • Read material as a training ground for developing ideas and thinking critically.
  • Effectively organize and structure a piece of writing with relevant support and evidence and express ideas with control and unity.
  • Value precise language and discriminate among shades of meaning vis a vis diction and syntax.
  • Learn, understand and apply the conventions of academic writing and understand how conventions work similarly in contexts outside of academe, for example the workplace.
  • Realize the importance of “voice” and “tone” in conveying a writer’s attitude in any piece of writing.
  • Reflect upon their own practices as writers and the relationship between various contexts for writing and related media, as well as upon the use of various genres given particular contexts or audiences.
  • Use concepts from the field of Composition and Rhetoric, and related fields, as tools for analyzing others’ texts and shaping their own, such as the distinction between higher order concerns (expression of ideas) and lower concerns (grammar and punctuation).
  • Revise their own work, and thoughtfully critique the work of others, at macro and micro levels.
  • Articulate how writing processes differ and are similar among academic contexts, and between school classroom contexts and other contexts as experienced in the practicum.
  • Are prepared for challenges outside of college classrooms requiring proficiencies such as collaborative and project-based work and communication in digital environments.
Sample courses fulfilling the 9-credit requirement
  • COMP 310: Narrative Journalism
  • COMP 327: Advanced Expositon
  • COMP 364: Writing for Civic Literacy
  • COMP 390: Special Topics
  • COMP 462: Transnational Rhetorics
  • COMP 464: Contemporary Rhetorical Theory
  • COMP 466: Arguing Feminism
  • COMP 468: Writing Young Adult Fiction
  • COMP 475: Supporting Literacies
  • COMP 485: Theories of Writing
  • ART 390a: Creating Graphic Novels
  • COMM 317: Case Studies in Tech Writing
  • COMM 340: Professional Communication
  • COMM 436: Memoir and Travel Writing
  • FREN 302: Advanced Conversation and Comp
  • GER 301: Advanced Conversation and Comp
  • ENG 323: Advanced Creative Writing
  • JASS 307: Copy Editing
  • JASS 315: Writing and Producing Electronic Media
  • JASS 330: Feature Writing
  • JASS 467: Script Writing Workshop
  • SPAN 301: Advanced Conversation and Comp
Hypothetical Certificate Students

1.  The “tutor”

Major: language arts education
Courses: Advanced Exposition, Theories of Writing, Contemporary Rhetorical Theory
Practicum: Writing Center Consultant Position

2.  The “creative writer”

Major: English
Courses: Advanced Creative Writing, Memoir and Travel Writing, Narrative Journalism
Practicum: Working on a lengthy manuscript in an Independent Study

3.  The “community activist”

Major: political science
Courses: Writing for Civic Literacy, Theories of Writing, Professional Communication
Practicum: Completing an internship with a non-profit agency

4.  The “gaming engineer”

Major: electrical engineering
Courses: Case Studies in Technical Writing, Writing and Producing Electronic Media, Young Adult Fiction
Practicum: Internship at a gaming software company

Writing Certificate Testimonials

UM-Dearborn students who complete the writing certificate have gone on to work in the communication fields. Some have become teachers and some pursued graduate work.

Here are some comments from our alumni about the value of the certificate.

“I highly recommend it to all university students despite the field they are in!”

“I feel confident in my writing skills and have been recognized for it by several employers. I also greatly enjoyed the writing classes at the time and continue to enjoy writing both for my occupation and my daily life.”

“My writing courses helped me to think critically when writing. I became more efficient in my writing process, and I started to enjoy writing more than I thought was possible. As a reporter, I am able to write interesting and effective pieces. I feel my personal life benefits from my writing experiences in that I am able to communicate well with others. I encourage current students to do at least one or two internships.”

“When I was in college, I basically took every writing class UM-Dearborn had to offer. They, at the time, did not offer a writing degree or minor and had just started the writing certificate. There were a lot of valuable classes. Some of the business / technical writing is useful in my current job.”

Over the past few years, several Writing Certificate alumni have come back to campus to share their experiences and talk about what earning a Writing Certificate meant to them:


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