Professional Writing Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS)

The Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) in Professional Writing is for individuals interested in becoming more expressive, powerful writers of nonfiction prose. Working professionals and advanced students in any field are encouraged to apply.

General Admission Requirements

General admission requirements for enrollment in the certificate program include the following:

  • a letter of intent for studying in this program;
  • documented completion of a bachelor’s degree in any field from an accredited institution;
  • one letter of recommendation addressing the applicant’s aptitude for success in a post-baccalaureate writing program;
  • either an official recent transcript (i.e., within 10 years of the application date) or a second letter of recommendation addressing the applicant’s potential for success in a post-baccalaureate program; and
  • a portfolio demonstrating the equivalent of 10 pages of written work* (see NOTE below).

International Students: Please refer to the Fredonia Graduate Studies website for an additional requirement at http://home.fredonia.edu/gradstudies.

Current and Prospective M.A./M.S. Candidates: You may be eligible for a modified application process. Please refer to the Fredonia Graduate Studies website for further information at http://home.fredonia.edu/gradstudies.

NOTE: * The portfolio may include digital writing and/or media projects, press releases, advertising copy, etc. For example, a portfolio might include 7-8 pages of written work and 1 podcast or digital video. Or it might include 3-4 pages of written work and 2 electronic works. At least 3 pages should demonstrate your proficiency with print text. Please note that non-print texts must be sent via email or DropBox to the current Graduate Program Coordinator; they cannot be uploaded with the application.

Application Process, Deadlines, and Fees

Applicants should apply online. PLEASE NOTE: All graduate programs at Fredonia require a $75 application fee. Applications are accepted until the first week of the semester; however, there is an additional $25 late fee for applications received after the deadline of November 1 for spring semester and April 1 for summer and fall semesters.

Students should be registered for the certificate program when they begin taking courses for credit.

A student’s acceptance is valid for one academic year. Students who need to seek deferral should contact Wendy Dunst in Graduate Studies to prepare paperwork; the English Department’s Graduate Program Coordinator should also be notified.

Transferring in Credit

Students may transfer up to 3 credits earned in a graduate-level writing course from an accredited graduate-degree granting institution toward the certificate following review by the Graduate Program Coordinator in English. The transfer credit course approval form must be obtained from the Registrar’s office and signed by the English department Chairperson in order for the course credit to be applied to the student’s program.

Taking Courses as a Non-matriculated Student

Individuals may take one or several courses as non-matriculated students; please see the guidelines for registering as an auditor or as a non-degree student.

Meeting TOEFL or IELTS Levels of Proficiency (International Applicants Only)

In addition to the general application criteria, international applicants must meet currently accepted levels of proficiency at the post-baccalaureate level for students seeking entry to the M.A. program in English (minimum TOEFL score of 79 or an IELTS score of  6.5, with no subsection score below 6.0) because of the writing-intensiveness of this program. See the Graduate Studies website for further application details for international students.

Modified Pathways for Current and Prospective M.A. Candidates

The CAS in Professional Writing actively encourages current and prospective candidates in a range of M.A. and M.S. programs to apply. Please find below the pathway information pertinent to your situation:

  • Students already accepted to the M.A. in English need only submit a new letter of intent briefly explaining why they seek the CAS in Professional Writing in addition to the M.A. in English. Please address the letter to the English department’s Graduate Program Coordinator and upload during the online application process. Students should plan to take the required seminars and internship (15 credit hours) for the CAS as electives in their M.A. programs; ENGL 591, E-portfolio, will be a 1-hour additional credit needed for the certificate specifically.

  • Students applying to the M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies should submit a letter of intent addressing how the CAS in Professional Writing supports their broader work in the M.A. Interdisciplinary Studies program; this letter should be addressed to the English Department's Graduate Program Coordinator and uploaded during the online application process. Applicants should ensure they have met the admission criteria above in addition to the admission criteria for the M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies. They should plan to take the required 16 credits in English writing courses (including the internship and E-portfolio) as part of their program.

  • Students already accepted to the M.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies who have taken advanced writing coursework should send a letter of intent addressing how the CAS in Professional Writing supports their broader work in the M.A. program; this letter should indicate the courses they have already taken that support the certificate program. Please address the letter to the English department’s Graduate Program Coordinator and upload during the online application process.

  • Students already accepted to other M.A./M.S. programs should submit a letter of intent for the CAS, one letter of recommendation addressing their potential for success in a post-baccalaureate professional writing program, and a writing sample to the English department’s Graduate Program Coordinator (upload during application process).

Modified Pathways for Auditors, Non-degree Students, and Advanced Undergraduates

The CAS in Professional Writing also invites individuals who have previously completed a course as an auditor, a non-degree student, or an advanced undergraduate to enroll formally in the program. Please find below the pathway information pertinent to your situation:

  • Prospective applicants who audit one of the advanced writing courses and then wish to apply to the program should submit materials according to the general admission criteria outlined above. Work produced in the audited course may be used for the writing sample, but since auditors do not receive credit or a transcript demonstrating successful course completion, audited courses may not be applied to matriculation in the program. Such courses may be retaken for credit after the student has been accepted as a matriculated student in the CAS program.

  • Prospective applicants who have taken one of the advanced writing courses as a non-degree student should submit materials according to the general admission criteria outlined above. Work produced in the course may be used for the writing sample. Non-degree students are allowed a maximum of nine credit hours (three courses); these may be applied to matriculation in the program once the student has been successfully admitted to the CAS.
  • Undergraduate students who have taken one or more of the advanced writing courses as an undergraduate should, upon completion of the B.A./B.S. degree, follow the general admission criteria outlined above. As long as the course or courses have not counted toward the 120 credits for the B.A./B.S. and the student earned a B- or better in the course(s), such applicants may petition to convert the completed course(s) for graduate credit in the CAS program, with payment of the appropriate tuition differential. The form for requesting this conversion is available on the Graduate Studies website. See the Graduate Studies website for specifics.

NOTE:

Admission criteria for taking a single course in the program:

  1. Register as an auditor: no application fee, $50 audit fee, paper application through the office of Extended Learning.
  2. Register as a non-degree student: $25 application fee, statement of intent/résumé/recommendation letters not required, course registration (~$1,500 for NYS residents), online application through Graduate Studies. Nine hours max allowed.
  3. Register as a matriculated degree student: $75 application fee, full application materials, online application through Graduate Studies. Only matriculated students may earn the certificate as an official credential.

Requirements for the Certificate

Course Requirements (16 credit hours):

Students are required to complete both an internship and an E-portfolio.

ENGL 591E-portfolio

1

ENGL 694English Graduate Internship

1-3

Total Credit Hours:4

NOTE:

  • ENGL 694 is a variable 1-3 credit hour internship/course. Students must successfully complete the internship/course with 3 credit hours to satisfy the degree requirement.

Students will take 12 credit hours of writing-focused graduate courses from the following group, including, for example:
ENGL 521Ethics of Writing

3

ENGL 522Writing for Digital Media

3

ENGL 523Grant Writing

3

ENGL 524Art of Grammar

3

ENGL 525Foundations of Editing

3

ENED 554Teaching Writing in the Secondary School

3

Total Credit Hours:12

NOTE:

  • Additionally, students may take ENGL 520 Graduate Seminar in Literature and Culture so long as there is a writing-intensive or writing-oriented focus. See semesterly course call-outs and consult your advisor.

Total Credit Hours: 16