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.

By completing the certificate, you’ll gain hands-on experience with technical and professional writing projects, and you’ll have access to writing-focused internships, experiential learning courses, and networking events.

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

What is technical and professional writing?

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.

TPW Certificate at a Glance

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

TPW 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 TPW courses (you complete real world technical writing projects for industry and community partners; client-partnered courses are remote or in-person)
  • Work with faculty, career advisors, and TPW mentors to focus your job searches, build your TPW portfolio, optimize your resume, and practice interviews

Program Delivery 

  • This is on-campus and online 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?

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 coursesCredits 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.

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.

  • ENGL 3154: Technical Writing
  • ENGL 4175: Writing in the Sciences
  • ENGL 4190: Advanced Topics in Writing in approved topics (such as medical writing, usability and UX, accessibility in professional writing)
  • ENGL 4177: Technical Editing

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.

  • ENGL 3170: Business Writing
  • ENGL 4280: Proposal and Grant Writing
  • ENGL 3084: Digital Writing and Storytelling
  • ENGL 4190: Advanced Topics in Writing & Digital Studies in approved topics (such as podcasting, humor writing, creative nonfiction writing)
  • ENGL 4701: Multimedia in the Community
  • ENGL 3405: Topics in Writing (in approved topics)
  • ENGL 3416: Magazine Writing
  • ENGL 3415: Screenwriting Workshop

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.

  • ENGL 2060: Intro to Writing & Digital Studies
  • ENGL 2070: Grammar, Rhetoric, and Style
  • ENGL 4190: Advanced Topics in Writing & Digital Studies (in approved topics) 
  • ENGL 3160: Language Theory
  • ENGL 3405: Topics in Writing (in approved topics)

Cluster: Interdisciplinary Learning

For this requirement, students should either:

  • Take a course outside of the English Department that advances your career goals, or
  • Complete an approved internship

Contact Dr. Kari Campeau for help finding internships or for course suggestions.

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.