Graduate Certificate in Professional and Technical Writing

Following the MA concentration in professional and technical writing, the certificate is centered on workplace uses of language. Students who do not seek a full master's degree may be interested in a Certificate in Professional and Technical Writing. The certificate program enables a student to attend graduate courses associated with writing and rhetoric without requiring those in the study of literature or literary research or the writing of a thesis. It is an eighteen hour program, a full and unified course of study in itself.

Why choose this concentration?

This certificates is valuable for anyone pursuing an MA in English who is also interested in workplace and technical writing whether they are starting a career or are already experienced in the field and are looking for professional development. This certificate is also beneficial for those who are wanting to grow within their current careers. 

What this program offers:

The PTW certificate is a useful complement to the Literature or Cultural Studies concentrations. It offers students hands-on, practical and theoretical expertise in a wide range of issues and skills needed to develop a career in professional writing. Our graduates can be found throughout the DC area working independently, for the federal government, or for major corporations.

Our students and faculty:

Reflect the diversity in backgrounds that make up George Mason University as a whole. We have students coming directly from college as well as many experienced writers looking for professional development. We have a diverse and  internationally-recognized scholarly faculty who have published research in specializations in many areas of professional writing and rhetoric.

A successful applicant:

The most important part of the application for PTW is the sample of professional work.  This may include an optional portfolio of professional writing samples. The samples in the portfolio should be chosen to demonstrate your ability to write to a specific audience for a specific purpose. However, the instances you select should reflect your expertise and experience as a non-literary writer, as well as give us a sense of the genres of professional writing you have worked with prior to entering our program. Past applicants have submitted a range of materials, such as brochures, websites, newsletters, reports, and newspaper articles. Samples that demonstrate your research and argumentation skills are especially encouraged. Please note, however, that narratives and creative-nonfiction should not be included in the portfolio, since such writing is not a principal focus for the PWR concentration.


Learn more about our program from faculty, staff, and students! Click here to watch this Virtual Information Session for in-depth information on the program and what it can do for you and your career.