Graduate Certificate in Professional Writing

Graduate Certificate in Professional Writing

Earn it Online, On Campus or Both

About Arcadia’s Graduate Certificate in Professional Writing

Students can develop the writing skills businesses and industries need.

  • Learn the dominant rhetorical styles of professional writing.
  • Use current examples to explore structures and forms of writing for professional arenas.
  • Design and write portfolio-quality samples of various types of professional writing.
  • Gain insight into writing for technical industries, businesses, the health industry, corporations, non-profit organizations, public relations and the Web.

The Arcadia University Graduate Certificate in Professional Writing provides the opportunity to learn about business writing in a comfortable academic setting. Courses are offered online, in hybrid formats with some class meetings and some online components, or in traditional on-campus classroom settings.

Instructors with professional experience highlight types of writing dominant in the business world today. Students learn writing strategies that serve as a foundation for a great variety of professional settings and for writing in new and traditional media. The faculty who teach in Arcadia’s professional writing program have decades of experience in writing for business, industry and news outlets, as well as teaching. Faculty bring this experience and knowledge to the classroom with job talks, guest speakers and focused insights into the field.

Students in Arcadia’s Professional Writing Graduate Certificate program complete a total of 15 graduate credits and focus on an area of professional interest by choosing from a number of electives. Students can matriculate easily into Arcadia’s Master of Arts in English program following the completion of the certificate.

In this program, students develop proficiencies in the rhetoric and structures of writing for industry and business. Students choose graduate-level courses that support their career and learning goals with the aid of an adviser, tailoring their class choices to reinforce and expand their own professional experience and to deepen their understanding of the styles and forms of writing in the workplace.

The Arcadia Graduate Certificate in Professional Writing provides individuals from local businesses and industries with opportunities to complete a graduate-level program in a field where demand is greatly increasing in the Philadelphia area. The program is designed either for those seeking advancement and promotion in their work places and for those seeking to begin careers in professional writing.

Who should apply? Professional writers work in a variety of industries, ranging from colleges and universities, newspaper and book publishers, advertising agencies, and technical firms. Arcadia’s Graduate Certificate in Professional Writing is an attractive credential for new writers who want to enter the field or for experienced writers who want to who want to better market their expertise. Administrative personnel, paralegals, supervisors and technical personnel who want to change careers also might benefit from advanced study in professional writing.

Credit toward a graduate degree in English: Students can matriculate easily into Arcadia’s Master of Arts in English program while completing the certificate. The 15 credits earned in this certificate program may be applied to a Master of Arts in English degree program with a grade point average of 3.0 and by appointment with the Director of the graduate English program. Students may matriculate from the certificate program into the M.A. in English program by submitting a change of status form to the Office of Graduate Studies and by approval from the Director of the Graduate English Program.

Academic Policies: Students in Arcadia University Graduate Certificate programs are subject to the academic policies of the College of Graduate Studies.

Transfer Credit: Transfer credit is not permitted in this program.

Admission to the Graduate Certificate in Professional Writing

In addition to the general admission requirements for graduate students, the following program-specific requirements must be met:

  • A part-time graduate application, including personal statements, to be completed online at
  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a recommended GPA of 3.0 of higher.
  • One official transcript from each college, university or professional school attended. Transcripts must be sent from the issuing school in a sealed envelope and contain the appropriate signatures and seals to be considered official.
  • One letter of recommendation. The letter must be of a professional not personal nature. If the student has been out of school five years or fewer, at least one letter must come from a professor.

Students may take two courses before formal application and matriculation into the program. Taking a course does not guarantee admission into the program.


  • Coordinator: Dr. Sandra Hordis, Assistant Professor of English
  • Instructors: Larry Atkins, Laura Fitzwater, Gretchen Haertsch, Susan Magee, Andrew McPhee, Steven Ryan, Brian Schiff

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of our students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our website at


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