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Professional Writing

Apply Now:  Accepting Applications for Fall 2024

Application Deadline: August 1, 2024

Proposed Program Changes Underway

The Professional Writing Certificate is undergoing innovative changes to its curriculum. These proposed changes are currently under review and are expected to be approved by the end of Spring Semester 2024. They will go into effect starting Fall Semester 2024.

What Are the Proposed Changes?

  • The main change will be the length of each course. Each course will last for seven weeks. Doing so will allow for two courses to be offered consecutively in the fall  and two courses to be offered consecutively in the spring.
  • Because the length of each course will be condensed to seven weeks, students will be able to complete the certificate in one academic year (if they take courses consecutively).
  • The number of courses will be reduced from five to four, thereby reducing the total number of credits from 13 to 12.
  • The capstone course will no longer be offered; however, the ePorfolio will be integrated into the final certificate course as a capstone project.

Will the Application Deadline Change?

Yes. Applications will be accepted only once a year. Previously, students could enter the program at any time and take courses in any order, but that will no longer be the case. Students will begin the certificate program in the fall and complete it the following spring (if they want to complete it in one academic year). The annual application deadline will be August 1.

What Will Remain the Same?

  • The certificate will continue to be 100% online, allowing students the convenience and flexibility they need to complete assignments according to their own schedule.
  • The certificate will still focus on strengthening students’ professional, business, proposal, and digital writing skills to help them stay competitive in the workforce.
  • The certificate will continue to emphasize rhetorical awareness and career readiness competencies.
  • The courses will continue to be taught by dedicated faculty experienced in applying online learning and workplace communication best practices.
  • As before, there will be no prerequisites for any of the courses.
  • As usual, upon completion of the program, students will have a web-based writing portfolio that can be used to support their job search or promotion efforts.

Will the Student Population Change?

No. The certificate will continue to provide a high-value, high-quality education to RU and RUC graduate students in any discipline as an add-on to their major program of study as well as to working professionals in any field and workplace type and to Radford University and Radford in Roanoke staff wanting to improve their writing skills.

What Are the Proposed Changes to the Courses?

Four of the courses will remain the same, but the titles for three of the courses will change. The ePortfolio course (ENGL 612) will be eliminated, but the ePortfolio will still be part of the curriculum. It will become a capstone project in ENGL 609, the final course in the program. Each course will be three credits and last for seven weeks. ENGL 607 and ENGL 608 will be offered consecutively in the fall, and ENGL 610 and ENGL 609 will be offered consecutively in the spring. The courses are:

  • ENGL 607: Business Writing and Editing (offered Fall A)
  • ENGL 608: Professional Writing (offered Fall B)
  • ENGL 610: Proposal Writing (offered Spring A)
  • ENGL 609: Digital Writing (offered Spring B)

What Are the Admission Criteria?

Criteria for admission into the Professional Writing Certificate program for students not currently enrolled at Radford University are:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.75
  • Official transcripts from all institutions from which the applicant has earned a degree or course credit following a degree conferral
  • An official application completed and submitted with a nonrefundable application fee of $50
  • A TOEFL minimum score of 550 on the paper-based test, 79-80 on the Internet-based test, or 213 on the computer-based test; or an IELTS minimum score of 6.5 (for international students)
  • A résumé
  • A 500-word statement of interest in the certificate program

Criteria for admission into the certificate program for students already enrolled in other post-baccalaureate degree or certificate program at Radford University are:

  • Completion of a graduate certificate add-on form
  • A résumé
  • A 500-word statement of interest in the certificate program
  • GRE scores are not required for admission to the Professional Writing Certificate program.

Whom Do I Contact for More Information?

Prospective students can learn more about the Professional Writing Certificate by contacting Dr. Laura Vernon, the program coordinator, at

Alternatively, interested applicants may contact Dr. Sean Keck, the English Department’s Director of Graduate Studies, at

Information on this page was last updated February 28, 2024.