Q & A
ABOUT THE PROFESSIONAL & TECHNICAL WRITING CERTIFICATE
Undergraduate students at FAU who wish to enhance their skills and experience in the field of professional writing should pursue the Professional and Technical Writing certificate. This certificate offers an interdisciplinary approach to writing instruction and experience, with courses drawing from departments across the University, including English, Communications, Marketing, Management Information Systems, Business, and Public Administration. Elective courses are designed to complement students' requirements within their majors, as well as provide students interested in writing and communication with additional, well-rounded training they will need to succeed in today's digital workplace.
Requirements include a final portfolio that demonstrates students' writing abilities, a required course in professional writing and an internship that includes real-world training in writing.
The certificate is awarded to students who complete 15 credits from the list of approved courses below and the portfolio requirement. The student will receive a transcript notation designating completion of the program.
Required Courses6 credits
Required Professional/Business Writing Course (3 credits), either
ENC 3213: Professional Writing or GEB 3213: Communicating Business Information
Required Internship (3 credits), either
ENG 4940: English Internship1
or COM 3945: Communication Internship2
or Outside internship approved by PTWC director
CRW 3010: Creative Writing
ENC 2248: Writing for the Technical Professions
ENC 3310: Advanced Exposition
ENC 4138: Principles of Research Writing
ENC 4930-002: Technical Writing4
ENC 4354: Writing for Nonprofits
ENG 4020: Studies in Writing and Rhetoric
ISM 4054: Social Media and Web Technologies
MAR 4334: RI Advanced Advertising, Research, Persuasion & Creative Strategy5
PAD 3438: Communication Skills for Public Managers
PAD 4202: Funding for Nonprofit Organizations
PUR 4411: Public and Community Relations
SPC 2608: Public Speaking
3 In addition to the elective courses listed here, students may take one 3 credit special topics class focused on professional or technical communication, from any department, approved by the PTWC director.
4 ENC 4930-002 as Technical Writing in Spring 2018 (CRN 42562) and Fall 2020 (CRN 15224).
5 Prior to Spring 2017, titled "Creative Advertising Strategy: Concepts and Design."
About a month before their graduation date, students who intend to earn the PTWC must submit a PTWC portfolio comprised of four documents: 1) a résumé, 2) a professional report, 3) a job letter or other example of professional correspondence and, 4) one other professional writing sample.
Please see PTWC Portfolio Information for more information on document requirements, deadlines, and submission instructions.
For Fall 2021 graduates, portfolios are due no later than 5pm on Friday, November 12th.
PTWC QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Why would I want a Professional and Technical Writing Certificate?
On the job market, almost everyone claims to have "excellent communication skills." A certificate proves you have advanced training in professional communication. It's a concrete way to demonstrate your skills and it will set you apart from other job applicants. It's also an excellent line for your resume and a qualification you can mention in your job search materials.
Do I have to be an English major to earn the PTWC?
No. Because the Professional and Technical Writing Certificate is an interdisciplinary certificate, undergraduate students from all majors can earn the certificate.
Can classes count toward my major/minor AND the PTWC?
Yes. Courses can count both towards a major or minor and the PTWC.
I'm a transfer student. Do courses from my previous institution count toward the certificate?
Probably. Contact the director
to ask about transfer credits.
I'm a non-degree seeking student / graduate student. Can I earn the PTWC?
Unfortunately, no. Only currently enrolled, degree-seeking undergraduate students are eligible for the PTWC certificate.
Can I take an class that's not on the Category II (Electives) list? How do I get it approved as a special topics class?
Yes, students can take one (3 credit) "special topics" elective class that's not on the Category II list as long as the course is 1) focused on professional and/or technical communication, and 2) is approved.
For approval, please send a copy of the course syllabus to email@example.com
for review. Because the depth and detail of syllabi varies, students may be asked to provide additional documentation.
Students are strongly encouraged to seek approval before registering for the course (because approval is not guaranteed).
What is required for the PTWC Portfolio? When is my PTWC portfolio due?
How do I register for a PTWC qualifying internship?
How do I sign up for the PTWC?
First, email the PTWC director—Dr. Julia Mason
—with your tentative graduation term/year. Within a week or two, the director will email you an unofficial PTWC requirements audit form with indications of classes you've already taken (or are taking) towards the certificate so you can better plan for future semesters.
Second, at your next advising appointment, let your advisor know of your intent to earn the Professional & Technical Writing Certificate. And, at your final advising appointment before graduation, you can bring a completed copy of this Application for Certificate form (tab = "Undergraduate Students"; Certificate College Code = "Arts and Letters"; Certificate Code = "CPTW"). If you forget, you can fill out the form with your advisor.
Will I actually get a certificate?
Yes. After graduation, students who have earned the Professional and Technical Writing Certificate will be mailed a certificate to their permanent address on file (the certificate is very nice—it looks like a smaller version of the FAU diploma).
Usually, students can expect to receive their certificate within a few months of graduation.
What should I do if I have a question that isn't answered here?
If you have a question that isn't answered here, please email it to the PTWC director, Dr. Julia Mason at firstname.lastname@example.org