What is the Technical and Professional Writing Certificate?

The certificate in Technical and Professional Writing (TPW) offers students the opportunity to focus and sharpen their expertise in workplace and technical communication.

As technical writers, students will analyze audiences, visualize data, manage content, write reports, design user interfaces, compose web pages, and communicate science to the public. The TPW certificate prepares students to become innovative, collaborative, and technically proficient writers who can work across a range of fields, including business, health, nonprofits, technology, science, publishing, environment, and law. 

The TPW certificate can be completed through online, in-person, or hybrid courses.

TPW Certificate at a Glance

  • Officially available Fall 2021
  • Can be completed online or face-to-face
  • 12 credits
  • 3.0 GPA minimum in TPW courses

What will certificate students learn?

Students who complete the certificate will be able to:

  • Identify contexts & audiences to make more human-centered, accessible, and innovative texts 
  • Assess and engage project management and collaboration tools and strategies to write in teams and coordinate complex writing projects
  • Write and design content for professional and technical contexts 
  • Identify and write across a range of TPW genres
  • Analyze ethical issues in writing, science, and technology and identify cultural and social impacts of writing

What are the requirements to complete the certificate?

  • A minimum of 12 hours of approved credits in the certificate’s course clusters (listed below)
  • An internship or an approved, upper-level course (at least 3 credits) taken outside of the English department (included in the 12 credits)
  • A 3.0 GPA average in all approved TPW Certificate courses
  • Credits applied to the certificate must be earned at CU Denver.
  • Career-focus requirement: Students must attend at least 3 Career Center activities, which can include events, workshops, or 1-on-1 appointments.

How do I enroll?

CU Denver students in any discipline can enroll in the program at any point in their undergraduate studies.

Interested students can download the application form here and email it to Kari Campeau at kari.campeau@ucdenver.edu/

What are the course requirements?

Students should select one (1) 3-credit course from each of the following course clusters: 

  • Technical & Scientific Writing
  • Professional Writing
  • Rhetorical Approaches
  • Interdisciplinary Learning

Cluster: Technical & Scientific Writing

These foundational courses introduce students to technical or scientific writing. Students can expect to gain an academic grounding as well as hands-on experience in technical or scientific writing.

Potential courses: ENGL 3154: Technical Writing, ENGL 4175: Writing in the Sciences

Cluster: Professional Writing

These courses offer students an opportunity to develop their TPW skills in a specific field or industry. Courses focus on the unique TPW skills and situations called for when writing for business, nonprofit, community, journalistic, or grant-writing contexts.

Potential courses: ENGL 3170: Business Writing, ENGL 4280: Proposal and Grant Writing, ENGL 4701: Multimedia in the Community

Cluster: Rhetorical Approaches

These courses ground students’ TPW skills in rhetorical approaches to writing. Rhetorical approaches are anchored to audience, context, purpose and are attuned to the social and cultural contexts of communication.

Potential courses: ENGL 2060: Intro to Writing & Digital Studies, ENGL 2070: Grammar, Rhetoric, and Style, ENGL 4190: Advanced Topics in Writing & Digital Studies (in approved topics)

Cluster: Interdisciplinary Learning

Technical and professional communicators often collaborate with experts and contributors from a range of fields and backgrounds. This outside course requirement situates students to gain subject-matter expertise in a related field or internship.

Recommended and potential courses: Any upper-division course or internship deemed to be central to the student's writing goals in consultation with the certificate Director. Biology 3763: Biostatistics, Comm 4282: Environmental Communication, Comm 3660: Social Media for Social Change, English 3939: Internship, InWorks 3620: Mobile App Development, InWorks 3200: Data Science for Innovators, Public Health 3030: Health Policy

Who can I contact for more information?

If you want to learn more about the Undergraduate Certificate in Technical & Professional Writing, please reach out to the program director, Dr. Kari Campeau at kari.campeau@ucdenver.edu.

TPW Student Project Gallery 

This gallery features recent work completed by students in TPW courses.