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The Certificate in Nonfiction Writing and Publishing is a program aimed at improving nonfiction writing of all varieties and genres. It can be taken as part of a degree program or as a stand-alone pursuit.
Good writing — which includes the ability to read, analyze, synthesize information and concepts, and express them with words — is a universal need. Every student should have this ability. Writing is an especially important professional skill that can help transcend disciplines and equip you for life within and beyond the academy.
Some academic studies are text-based, for which reading and writing nonfiction are essential crafts; the humanities are especially good examples. But science and technology, too, require the capacity to communicate, particularly if their findings are to enter general society or influence policy.
This certificate addresses these needs. It features writing-intensive courses that require weekly submissions, as well as writing-involved courses that feature writing within the context of disciplinary-based research and publishing.
The certificate is linked with schools and programs across ASU's campuses, as well as with the Virginia Piper Center for Creative Writing.
The certificate requires 15 graduate credit hours. You may earn the certificate as a stand-alone program, or as part of a degree-granting program.
The one required course is HPS 591/HSD 598 Masters of Nonfiction (3). This course is offered each year and is team-taught by a rotating group of professors.
The certificate also requires two courses (6) from the "Writing Intensive" selections and two courses (6) from the "Writing Involved" selections. The latter selection reflects the genres and publication outlets from a variety of disciplines.
Also, credits are available for participating in specific workshops and projects sponsored by the Virginia G. Piper Writing Center. If you are interested in a stand-alone certificate, additional writing-intensive courses may be substituted for writing-involved.
When can I apply?
Applications can be submitted any time. However, we recommend you use the following dates to ensure admission for the correct semester:
Fall - apply by the previous April
Spring - apply by the previous September
Summer - apply by the previous February
Is there an enrollment fee?
Yes, there is a $70 fee. This applies to all applicants, regardless of whether you are already in enrolled in ASU’s graduate school.
Do I have to be enrolled in a degree-granting program to apply for the certificate
No. You may earn the certificate as a stand-alone program. Official program language will reflect this fact beginning in fall semester, 2015.
Is it possible to re-take a course for credit?You may take those courses listed as "repeatable for credit" more than once. If you are unclear whether a course qualifies, ask the instructor.
May I substitute a writing-intensive course for a writing-involved course?
Yes, but you cannot substitute a writing-involved course for a writing-intensive one.
Are other courses possible beyond those listed as approved?
Possibly. You will need to petition the program coordinator. We recommend you do this well in advance of taking the course.
Can I be admitted if my GPA is below 3.0?
A provisional admission is possible. Your GPA must be 2.8 or higher, you must submit a resume or biographical statement and furnish three writing samples.
Are any courses mandatory?
Yes. HPS/HDS 520 Masters of Nonfiction is required of all certificate students. It's offered every year.
Can I pursue the certificate online?
Some courses are offered online, though not Masters of Nonfiction. It is not possible to complete the certificate wholly online.
Do I have to be admitted to graduate school to take the certificate?
Yes. If you are already in a graduate program, you can enroll in the certificate in addition to your disciplinary program. If you are not in graduate school, then you must be admitted to graduate school and enroll in the certificate program.
Nonfiction Writing and Publishing (Grad Certificate)
Liberal Arts & Sciences, College of
The Plan of Study is the required curriculum to complete the program.
Applications are accepted any time, but we recommend applying at least three months before the semester you wish to begin.