Graduate Certificates in Writing
The School of Writing offers a Graduate Certificate in Writing with two tracks, one in creative writing and one in professional writing. Certificate students earn 15 hours of academic credit while completing a semester of study, which could be used as the first semester towards the MAW or MFA. The certificate program provides in-depth study of an area of writing so students can improve, even excel, in their chosen area of interest.
Certificate students join MAW and MFA students in existing courses taught by School of Writing faculty in fiction; poetry; creative nonfiction; writing for children and young adults; writing for TV, screen, or stage (screenwriting or playwriting); or professional writing.
Students may begin studies in May or November in Louisville and complete the certificate in six months, which requires about 25 hours of work per week during independent study. A nine-month option, requiring only about 12 hours of work per week during independent study, begins in May (in Louisville) or July (abroad). Students produce the same amount of work on either schedule.
Certificate admission standards are the same as for the MFA and MAW. A BA or BS is the minimum education requirement. The Graduate Certificate credits may be transferred to the MAW or MFA for one semester of credit.
Those who wish to pursue quality graduate instruction in creative writing, but do not wish to complete the 35-hour Master of Arts in Writing degree or the 65-hour MFA degree, may apply to the School of Writing’s Graduate Certificate in Writing program. Once admitted, certificate students are taught alongside MFA students by current School of Writing low-residency Master of Fine Arts faculty.
The School of Creative and Professional Writing offers three low-residency, 15-hour, one-semester certificate programs.
• The Graduate Certificate in Writing, which offers two tracks, one in creative writing and one in professional writing.
• The Post-Master’s Graduate Certificate in the Teaching of Creative Writing which is for those who already have a master’s degree but desire more focused instruction in the teaching of creative writing.
• The Post-Master’s Certificate in Writing Enrichment, which is for those who already have a master’s degree but desire continued instruction in writing.
Graduate Certificate in Writing, with tracks in creative writing and professional writing.
Certificate students in the creative writing track choose one area from the following: fiction; poetry; creative nonfiction; writing for children & young adults; and writing for TV, screen, and stage (screenwriting or playwriting). Creative writing students take the following courses to complete the required 15 credits.
ENG612 Introductory Creative Writing Residency (3 credits) + ENG613 Introductory Independent Writing and Reading in Creative Writing (12 credits)
Certificate students in the professional writing track seek professional writing skills to advance established careers or to shift into a new career path. Students in the professional writing track create their own individualized course of study, choosing the modes of professional writing which best suit their writing goals. Among the many possibilities are grant and proposal writing; speech writing; writing for the web and other new media; technical and scientific writing; and writing for the travel, food, sports, and entertainment industries.
Graduate Certificate in Writing with the professional writing track students take the following courses to complete the required 15 credits.
ENG614 Introductory Professional Writing Residency (3 credits) + ENG615 Independent Study Emphasizing Modes of Professional Writing (12 credits)
Graduate Certificate in Writing applicants are required to meet the same admission standards as degree-seeking applicants. The application consists of a completed application form, payment of the university application fee, a writing sample, two essays, and appropriate transcripts (the BA or BS is the minimum education requirement).
Upon earning the graduate certificate in creative writing, should certificate students wish to continue MFA studies, they are qualified to do so. The certificate student simply transitions into the second semester courses and continues the coursework required for the MFA degree.
Graduate Certificate Admissions Requirements
Admission to the certificate program is based primarily on the quality of the applicant’s original writing. Applicants who wish to be considered for admission into the creative writing track should send a writing sample in one of the particular areas of fiction (short story and/or novel); poetry; creative nonfiction; writing for children and young adults; and writing for TV, screen, and stage (screenwriting or playwriting).
Applicants who wish to be considered for admission into the professional writing track should send a writing sample in nonfiction, which could be a research paper, feature article, a speech, an essay, op-ed writing, press releases, or a combination of those elements.
For both tracks, the quality of the writing is judged by a committee of School of Writing faculty, who read the sample without knowing the identity of the applicant, and the Chair or Associate Programs Director.
Application materials also include an application form and fee, transcripts, and two essays. A bachelor’s degree is required.
Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, so they may be submitted at any time. The deadline for the fall semester is August 1; the deadline for the spring and summer semesters is February 1. Prospective students who miss the deadline may inquire with the SCPW Office about the possibility of applying after the deadline.
Certificate Admission Requirements: Acceleration for Spalding Seniors
Spalding undergraduate students who have achieved senior status (have earned 90 credits or more) may be given permission to take the bridge course ENG512/612 Introductory Creative Writing Residency or ENG514/614 Introductory Professional Writing Residency. This offers Spalding undergraduates the opportunity to successfully complete an elective 3 credit residency course that can be counted as the first required course for the Graduate Certificate in Writing after earning the BA or BS.
After successfully completing ENG512/612 or ENG514/614, with recommendation from that course’s instructor and upon conferral of the BA or BS, approval of the School of Writing Chair or Associate Programs Director, submission of the graduate application form, other application materials, and official BA or BS transcripts, the student may enroll in ENG613 or ENG615 and upon successful completion of that course, earn the Graduate Certificate in Writing.
The School of Writing usually makes decisions on applications four to six weeks after the complete application has been received.
If a student is denied admission, he or she is advised to seek additional instruction at a local undergraduate program and/or to work privately with a publishing writer or writing group. Another way to seek additional instruction is to take adult education courses in creative writing. The School of Writing offers a 3-hour course, ENG605: Advanced Creative Writing, that helps prepare students to enter graduate school. After additional experience, applicants may re-apply for admission to the program, submitting a new manuscript.
The School of Writing Faculty Committee recommends students for admission to the Graduate Certificate in Writing program on a rolling basis.
1. Applicants will not be discriminated against because of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, gender, sexual orientation, age, or disability.
2. Successful applicants may enter the program in fall or spring or summer, based upon the admission cycle the applicant applied.
3. After completing all components of the admission process, graduate students’ application materials are submitted to Spalding University’s Graduate Committee by the School of Writing Chair for university admission as a graduate student; once approved by the University Graduate Committee, acceptance into the certificate program will occur.
4. If an applicant is selected and admitted into the program, yet is unable to begin in the next residency course, the initial acceptance into the certificate program remains good for one year.
The residency course includes workshops, lectures, readings, and other assigned curriculum sessions. The student also plans, in consultation with his or her instructor, an Independent Study Plan for the upcoming course in original writing and reading (with critical commentary). Five times during the independent study, the student sends to the instructor a packet consisting of original creative or professional writing, a detailed cover letter with questions about the craft of writing, and short essays commenting on the reading list. The instructor responds within a week to each aspect of the packet.
Graduate Certificate in Writing requirements include the completion of one residency course and one independent study course.
Grading in the Graduate Certificate in Writing is a discursive evaluation report. The faculty mentors and Chair or Associate Programs Director determine that credit will be Awarded, Not Awarded, Incomplete, or Deferred. For more information, see the SCPW Student Handbook or the Graduate Academic Policies section of this catalog.
For certificate students to remain in the program, evaluations of Credit Awarded must be received at the end of each course. If evaluations of Credit Not Awarded are received, a course may be repeated one time. All tuition and appropriate fees are required. If at the end of the repeated course the student does not receive a Credit Awarded evaluation, the student will not be allowed to continue in the program.
Tuition and Fee Payment Policy
Full payment of tuition and fees for the Graduate Certificate in Writing is due before or on the first day of the semester. Tuition and fees may be paid by check, money order, cash, or credit card. The University also offers a 5-month payment plan.
The refund schedule for the Graduate Certificate in Writing program is found in the SCPW Student Handbook.
Withdrawal and Refund Policy
For information regarding the withdrawal and refund policy for the Graduate Certificate in Writing program, see the SCPW Student Handbook or contact the School of Writing Office at (502) 873-4400.
Application for Certificate
Students who are completing ENG613/615 fill out an Application for Graduation form, found on the SCPW portal page (my.spalding.edu). The forms must be submitted through WebAdvisor no later than two months before the end of the semester. Students who do not submit these forms cannot expect to receive the certificate in a timely manner.
Oversight of the School of Creative and Professional Writing
The Graduate Certificate in Writing oversight will rest under the supervision of the School of Writing Chair and Associate Programs Director who will review evaluations, reports, and the projects of its students.
Link to gainful employment information for the Graduate Certificate in Writing: www.spalding.edu/gainful-employment/creative-writing/
Program Sheets for the School of Creative and Professional Writing
Master of Fine Arts in Writing
Master of Arts in Writing: Creative Writing Track
Master of Arts in Writing: Professional Writing Track
Graduate Certificate in Writing: Creative Writing Track or Professional Writing Track
Post-Master's Graduate Certificate in the Teaching of Creative Writing
Post-Master's Certificate in Writing Enrichment