Time Commitment

The Graduate Certificate in Technical Writing and Public Rhetorics is designed to be completed in slightly over a year's time currently, but starting in Fall of 2023 we aim to have the program of study done after one calendar year of study by leveraging one course in fall, one in spring, and two writing-focused courses in the summer 10-week session. 

Your graduation in the last semester of your coursework, and you may start during any given semester, so long as you meet the Graduate School's application deadlines for a given term.  All courses are designed to be stand-alone offerings, so you don't need to take courses in any particular order. 

Semester Workload

Each semester you'll take one or two courses in the program. The goal of this workload is to allow steady progression towards your certificate without taxing you too much with coursework if you're also working full-time or have other commitments. The heaviest workloads for most students come in the spring and fall semesters when we cover document design skills and web writing skills. Because of the learning curve of tackling design software and web languages such as HTML and CSS alongside content management systems and social media, these courses are solo offerings. The summer courses, offering concurrently, focus on writing primarily and exist in conversation with each other as students build their skills in content and genre writing. Because the summer offerings don't have a heavy focus on new tech skills, taking two concurrently is more manageable. 

Each course is asynchronous, so you'll never be required to log onto your computer a specific time to receive course materials or participate in assignments. With that said, the required readings for each course will usually fall around at least 100 pages per week, with a few exceptions here or there. You'll also be expected to complete a writing assignment in response to your readings with the content of the assignment shifting depending on the course you're in. Finally, you'll have a few major assignments staggered throughout the semester, often broken up into smaller chunks to allow for easier completion. Major deadlines almost always fall at midnight on Sunday night, allowing the entire weekend for work if necessary.