Professional Writing


Effective 1 June 2019 through 31 May 2020

Please see the Undergraduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.

18 Credit Hours

This program is offered by the College of Arts & Sciences/English Department. It is available online and at the St. Louis home campus.

For information on the general requirements for a certificate, see Certificate under the Academic Policies and Information section of this catalog.

The certificate in professional writing is designed for students who want to learn about - and prepare to meet - the writing and other communication challenges found in business, nonprofit, governmental and community settings. It is designed for students who want a highly structured program that provides the broad-based research, writing and editing skills necessary to excel in any field or profession.

The certificate program in professional writing is open both to undergraduate students at Webster and to non-degree-seeking members of the community, including those who already have bachelor's degrees. To receive the certificate in professional writing, students must complete 18 credit hours as specified below with a grade of C or better in each course.

The U.S. Department of Education defines Gainful Employment program criteria and data requirements. View this program's Gainful Employment Disclosures at to see important information about the education debt, earnings and completion rates of students who attended this program.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students should be able to:

  • Analyze the purpose, audience and context of a specific writing task and use that analysis to complete the task effectively.
  • Conduct a variety of types of research -- including library research, interviews and surveys -- essential to many professional writing tasks.
  • Understand and follow the conventions of specific types of documents produced in professional settings, including feasibility reports, grant proposals and business plans.
  • Plan and write collaboratively with others.
  • Critique and edit their own writing rhetorical effectiveness as well as style usage.
  • Understand and apply the basic principles of successful web-based communication.
  • Employ principles of effective visual design.


The 18 credit hours required for this certificate include the following courses:

  • WRIT 2400 Introduction to Professional Writing (3 hours)
  • WRIT 2090 Writing in the Workplace (3 hours)
  • WRIT 3100 Report and Proposal Writing (3 hours)
  • WRIT 3300 Solving Information Problems (3 hours)
  • WRIT 3400 Editing and Style (3 hours)
  • WRIT 4200 Writing for Digital Environments (3 hours)
  • WRIT 4600 Professional Writing Portfolio Review (0 hour)

Portfolio Review 

Students who begin the certificate in professional writing in the 2007-08 academic year or later must submit a portfolio in order to graduate. Students will enroll in WRIT 4600 Professional Writing Portfolio Review (0 credit hours) in their final semester of undergraduate study. Students must pass WRIT 4600 Professional Writing Portfolio Review in order to receive the certificate in professional writing.

The portfolio will be used as a means of assessing the knowledge and skills the student developed in the course of pursuing the professional writing certificate and will also help the English Department assess the quality and success of the certificate.

The portfolio will be assessed using the learning objectives for the professional writing program.