Creative Writing Undergraduate Certificate


Students earn the Certificate in Creative Writing by completing 18 hours in selected writing courses with a grade point average of 3.0 or better. Twelve of the 18 hours must be taken at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Courses may not be taken on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis.

Students in the creative writing emphasis produce original fiction or poetry. Courses in creative nonfiction, editing, feature writing and copywriting may also be taken for this emphasis.

Students should choose courses for the certificate with the guidance of the Writing Certificate Coordinator. Students electing ENGL 4890 as part of the certificate should meet with the coordinator to arrange the internship.

To receive this certificate, the student must take 18 hours chosen from the courses listed below, including a Capstone course.

Select at least two of the following courses (at least one must be a 4000-level course):6
Improving on the Blank Page: Writing Poetry
Lying to Tell a Truth: Writing Fiction
A Machine Made of Words: Writing Your Best Poems
Polishing Your Stories: Producing a Publishable Short Story
Editing "Litmag
2000-level Courses
Students may take no more than two 2000-level courses.
ENGL 2040Fiction Writing Jumpstart3
ENGL 2330Poetry: The Greatest Hits3
ENGL 2340Introduction to Drama3
Additional upper-level Creative Writing Courses
ENGL 3030Improving on the Blank Page: Writing Poetry3
ENGL 3040Lying to Tell a Truth: Writing Fiction3
ENGL 3090Turning the Kaleidoscope: How We Look at Texts3
ENGL 3100Junior-Level Writing3
ENGL 4130A Machine Made of Words: Writing Your Best Poems3
ENGL 4140Polishing Your Stories: Producing a Publishable Short Story3
ENGL 4160Special Topics in Writing3
ENGL 4890Writing Internship3
ENGL 4892Independent Writing Project3
ENGL 4895Editing "Litmag3
Professional Writing Courses
Students are encouraged to take at least one professional writing course, but no more than two.
ENGL/MEDIA ST 2080Advertising Copywriting3
ENGL/MEDIA ST 3150Feature Writing3
ENGL 4860Editing and the Production Process3

Capstone Course

Students may use ENGL 4895, ENGL 4890, ENGL 4140, or ENGL 4130 as their capstone course. If ENGL 4890 is used, it will be an internship in literary publishing, feature writing, or advertising copywriting. To use ENGL 4130 or ENGL 4140, the student must obtain the teacher’s permission and do extra work in the course. The Editing Litmag course, ENGL 4895, may also be used as the final course for this certificate.

When the student has completed requirements for the certificate, the coordinator will notify the university registrar and the college from which the student will graduate. Upon the student’s graduation, completion of the Creative Writing Certificate will be noted on the official transcript and a certificate will be mailed to the student’s residence. Students who have graduated before completing the Creative Writing Certificate will receive the certificate in the mail and will have the certificate entered on their official transcripts.


Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, certificate earners will be able to:

  • Identify and execute particular techniques of the genre, such as characterization, plot, dialogue, metaphor, meter, and rhyme
  • Improve, sharpen, and extend these techniques in their own writing through revision
  • Demonstrate practice in multiple creative writing genres
  • Reflect on their own work in the context of literary traditions and aesthetic points of view
  • Possess the ability to critically read and analyze the work of others
  • Incorporate constructive criticism into the revising process
  • Provide critical feedback to other writers during their creative process
  • Experiment with literary traditions to break tradition
  • Explain how different genres inform and intersect with one another
  • Pursue ideas, techniques, and forms that are outside their comfort zone
  • Demonstrate how professional publishing and editing functions, including how and where to send their work for publication
  • Market their skills set as creative writers for employment