What is the Proposal and Grant Writing Certificate?

The certificate in Proposal and Grant Writing (PGW) offers students to pursue formal study of grant development and proposal writing and to gain professional experience writing proposals and managing grants.

In this program, you will  learn about and gain experience in all stages of the grant development process, including prospecting funding opportunities, building relationships with funders, managing complex grant proposals and teams, writing and designing proposals, and managing grant funds, work plans, outcomes assessments, and relationships.

Grant writing professionals are in demand and possess a specific set of skills–these factors make proposal and grant writing particularly amenable to certificate programming. Students who earn this certificate will develop their writing and project management capacities and will gain a set of hands-on skills that translate into a range of workplace roles.

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

PGW Certificate at a Glance

  • Can be completed online or face-to-face
  • 12 credits
  • 3.0 GPA minimum in PGW courses

Certificate Perks and Career Advancement

  • Connect with CU Denver’s English Careers Advisory Board of TPW professionals  - all certificate students are invited to networking events, panels, and workshops (virtual and in-person) with our network of TPW professionals
  • Receive one-on-one mentorship with faculty and TPW industry professionals
  • Get connected with internship opportunities
  • Gain hands-on practice by taking high impact client-partnered grant writing courses
  • Work with faculty, career advisors, and mentors to focus your job searches, build your TPW portfolio, optimize your resume, and practice interviews

Program Delivery 

  • This is an online and/or in-person program

Declaring This Certificate

For CU Denver Students:
  • Students should declare interest in completing the Undergraduate Certificate in Technical and Professional Writing by emailing Dr. Kari Campeau at kari.campeau@ucdenver.edu.
  • Before the end of their final semester, students must send a completed certificate application to Dr. Kari Campeau at kari.campeau@ucdenver.edu.
  • The approved certificate will be mailed to the student, and recorded on their transcript, after final grades are posted for the semester.
For Non-Degree seeking students:

Additional information about the undergraduate certificate in Technical and Professional Communication may be obtained from Dr. Kari Campeau, 240-731-4229 or kari.campeau@ucdenver.edu.

What are the requirements to complete the certificate?

Students complete the certificate by taking 3 credits in the foundational course, Proposal and Grant Writing, 3 credits (up to 6 credits) in a professional writing elective, and 3 credits (up to 6 credits) in electives that align with their professional goals. Refer to table 1 for a preview of the certificate’s requirements

Table 1. Credit and course requirements for the Proposal and Grant Writing certificate.

Foundational Course (3 credits)

All students must take this course.


Professional Writing electives (3-6 credits)

Students must complete 1 course from 4 possible professional writing electives.


Open electives (3-6 credits)

Students select 2 electives in consultation with the certificate advisor.

  • ENGL4280: Proposal and Grant Writing
  • English 4175: Writing in the Sciences
  • ENGL 3170: Business Writing
  • ENGL 4088 Literary Editing
  • English 3939: Internship (ORS internship or an approved internship)
  • any course, with approval
  • English 3939: Internship

Foundational Course (3 credits)

Students must take English 4280: Grant and Proposal Writing.

Professional Writing Electives (3-6 credits)

Students must take 3 credits in professional writing by completing 1 of the following 4 courses. All professional writing elective courses include content and assignments that address different aspects of proposal and grant writing.

  • English 4175: Writing in the Sciences

    • Course description: Provides rhetorical analyses of scientific discourse and student practice in writing research reports and proposals. 
    • This course also taught as an experiential learning course, wherein students work on sections of NIH and NSF proposals
    • Who should take this elective?: This course is most useful to students pursuing the certificate with career interests in academia, science, medicine, and/or healthcare.
  • ENGL 3170: Business Writing

    • Course Description: Focuses on the strategies and techniques of business writing, with emphasis on reader, message and form.
    • Who should take this elective?: This course is most useful to students with career interests in business and nonprofits.
  • ENGL 4088 Literary Editing

    • Course Description: ​​Literary editing in theory and practice, using UCD’s nationally recognized journal “Copper Nickel.” Topics may include evaluating fiction, poetry and nonfiction; design and aesthetics; line editing; the business of literary journals.
    • Who should take this elective?: This course is most useful to students with career interests in the creative arts and publishing. Students who take Literary Editing and complete the Proposal and Grant Writing certificate will gain professional experience editing a national literary journal and composing and writing competitive grant proposals.
  • English 3939: Internship 

    • Description: The English Department and Office of Research Services have a new partnership where students who have completed either Grant and PRoposal Writing or Writing in the Sciences can apply to work as student interns with ORS. Students work on faculty members’ grant writing teams and with ORS to build a grant repository for CU Denver.
    • Who should take this elective?: This elective is broadly applicable, as it provides the most direct experience in grant writing. It should appeal especially to students interested in working in research careers as well as students who want to pursue grant writing as a career path.

Career Tailored Electives (3-6 credits)

  • Electives will be decided on an individual basis between the certificate director and certificate students. Electives should support students to gain experience in the fields that they want to pursue. For example, students who are interested in writing scientific research proposals might take courses in related science disciplines. Students who are interested in using grant writing skills in a nonprofit context would be encouraged to take courses in nonprofit and business management. 
    • Students who want to focus on professional writing should also consider:
    • English 3154: Technical Writing
    • English 4/5177: Technical Editing
    • English 4/5190: Advanced Topics in Writing, Rhetoric, & Linguistics

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.