200.00 Hours Required

Are you a professional who writes in business, industry, education, engineering, science, medicine or elsewhere? Are you looking to apply your clinical or research expertise to writing? Are you a technical writer, copywriter, corporate writer, proposal writer, web writer, science writer or other writer? If you want to gain valuable skills in these areas, the Professional Writing Certificate specializing in Marketing and Public Relations may be perfect for you.

Writing is a core job competency that falls under the broader category of communication and is required in most careers world-wide. Due to the prevalence of new technologies, which often require an abundance of writing, solid competencies are sought after more than ever before.

You will learn and improve numerous skills from basic to more advanced writing including composition, grammar, copyediting, proofreading and specific techniques related to your field of work. This online, flexible and interactive program will allow you to learn the theory behind your writing as well as allow ample time to write practice documents and receive feedback from your instructors and peers.

The certificate can be achieved entirely online. Some courses are also offered in a classroom format. All students must complete the four core courses, two specialization courses, and one optional course to complete the 200-hour requirement. It is strongly recommended that core courses be completed before taking additional courses.

This is one of three writing certificate programs offered online through Continuing Education. Other certificates include:

All courses are offered online. Some courses are also offered in classroom format at the University of Calgary main or downtown campus.

Online learning is a learning option that caters to busy schedules by taking the learning experience out of the traditional classroom. It is learning that relies on the Internet for access to learning materials as well as interaction with instructors and fellow learners.

In this online program, you will work within scheduled start- and end-dates, and assignment timelines. In most cases, the times you choose to work will be entirely up to you. It is strongly recommended that you log into the University's online learning software three to four times per week to keep pace with the class. Readings, assignments and contributions will be required on a weekly basis. Graded assignments, participation marks, and sometimes exams, are also given for a final letter grade mark. You should plan on studying and working a minimum of six hours per week per course.

In this certificate, BMC 352 Learning Online is a required course that must be taken before any other courses. If you have recently completed a fully interactive online course, you may be eligible for advanced standing. You must apply by completing the online application form and pay a non-refundable fee for the prior learning assessment.

All Continuing Education Certificates have been developed with part-time learners in mind. Online programming allows you to complete this program at a pace that can fit your needs and schedule.

The Certificate in Professional Writing specializing in Marketing and Public Relations is a 200-hour program. All students must complete 110 hours of core courses, 60 hours of specialization courses, and one course from a designated list of professional writing optional courses.

This is a self-paced program, which many students complete in 12 to 18 months. To learn if fast tracking this program is an option, please call to speak to a student advisor.

Plan your certificate...

Important: Students are expected to have university-level English writing skills including grammar, vocabulary, and basic writing experience. For those needing these skills, WRI 110 Writing Well can be taken at the beginning of the program.

If English is not your first language, please review the English language proficiency requirements.

You can take courses first and enrol in the certificate later; however, as programs are subject to change, we recommend you apply for admission to the certificate program as early as possible. Once you are admitted, you can be confident that you have locked in the requirements leading to your graduation.

You must be a minimum of 18 years of age to be admitted to the program. Successful completion of a Grade 12 diploma and relevant work experience are recommended.

A degree or diploma is not required to enrol in a University of Calgary Continuing Education course or certificate unless otherwise specified.

Apply for Certificate Admission

Prior learning from other post-secondary institutions

Advanced Standing* may be granted for equivalent, graded courses completed at other post-secondary institutions. Credit may be granted for up to a maximum of 60 hours towards this certificate.

To apply for advanced standing:

  1. Submit an Application for Advanced Standing, specifying the course for which you are requesting exemption, and the equivalent course credits you have obtained.
  2. Include a non-refundable administration fee of $100 for the course credit you request (payable online by credit card).
  3. Include a course outline and description of the equivalent course that you are submitting for advanced standing.
  4. Include a proof of attendance and final grade of the equivalent course from the educational institution you attended.

Transferring credit from other Continuing Education certificates

If you have completed requirements for another University of Calgary Continuing Education certificate, you may be able to transfer* some credits between programs. For details, please review the Transferability section in the certificate programs that you have completed. To transfer credits, please contact a student advisor.

Note: The combined total of Transferability and Advanced Standing credits cannot exceed 100 hours for this certificate.

Some courses in the Professional Writing Certificate specializing in Marketing and Public Relations can also be used for credit toward the other Writing Certificate programs. You may be eligible to transfer up to 100 hours to a second writing certificate.

Receive a discount of 5% per course by registering at the same time for three or more courses. Register online or by calling 403-220-2952. Some restrictions may apply (i.e., all courses must take place within the current academic year).

Note: BMC 352 Learning Online and WRI 500 Creative Writing Final Project are not eligible for the discount.

Awards are given to deserving students not only for their academic achievement, but also for community involvement. Award sponsors include both corporate and private donors.

To apply, you must meet eligibility criteria and submission deadlines. Students in this program may be eligible for:

To graduate, a student must satisfy all certificate requirements including:

  • Successful completion of the core, optional and elective program requirements.
  • Attain a minimum of a C in all courses used to meet program requirements.
  • Attain minimum instruction hours to meet program requirements.

Note: If a student attains a grade of C-, D+ or D in one course only, a program director has the discretionary authority to approve a student for graduation. It will be the student's responsibility to contact the program director to request approval. Approval is usually granted for exceptional circumstances and it is the student's responsibility to contact the program director to request approval.

It is the student's responsibility to ensure all requirements for graduation are fulfilled, and to apply to graduate. Student advisors are available to meet with students to review status and determine outstanding certificate requirements.

Apply for Certificate Graduation

Questions can be directed to advisors in person, by phone or email.

Continuing Education Administrative Offices
Phone: 403-220-2952 or 1-866-220-4992
Email: writing@ucalgary.ca

Additional Details

Federal Financial Aid Available: