Professional Writing, Certificate

The Certificate in Professional Writing at Penn LPS Online gives you a scenario-based deep dive into the kinds of writing essential to business. Our courses offer a series of concepts and practical applications that provide an accelerated understanding of the subtle arts of communication, enhanced by tips to make anyone a power-writer—a master of grammar, concision, and clarity.

Whether you are in an entry-level position and want to ramp up your writing skills or are an accomplished writer ready to expand and refine your repertoire, our professional writing courses take you to the next level. We take you beyond the basics of structure and style. Our coursework emphasizes professional expertise and extensive feedback as we share and cutting-edge findings in the field of writing. Find out how to incorporate your personal or corporate brand's story into every piece of communication and discover the best ways to identify and appeal to target audiences.

The Certificate in Professional Writing is a 4-course, 4 course unit program of study taught by University of Pennsylvania faculty. To earn the certificate, it is recommended that students enroll first in the Fundamentals of Professional Writing course, followed by any additional three professional writing courses.

Penn LPS Online courses in the Certificate in Professional Writing are offered on an accelerated (8-week) schedule. Courses in the certificate program are largely asynchronous with some optional synchronous sessions to be scheduled by the instructors. For more information about specific course dates, please visit the Course Schedule page.

You also have the option to enroll in individual courses without committing to the entire certificate, enjoying the flexibility and expertise offered by Penn LPS Online to suit your schedule and interests. Students who complete the basic certificate may pursue an advanced certificate (6-course, 6 course unit) by adding two additional courses from the advanced course list.

The Certificate in Professional Writing prepares you to:

  • Assess audience and purpose for communication targeted at achieving specific goals
  • Analyze different audiences, scenarios, and contexts in order to shape your messaging most effectively whatever your audience
  • Develop effective rhetorical strategies and skills to persuade specific audiences—personal, professional, and social—through visual, written, and multimedia communication
  • Draft and revise written work for precision, clarity, and power
  • Develop empathetic and analytic skills to integrate and build upon other viewpoints and perspectives
  • Learn how readers, writers, and designers use complex multimedia texts incorporating language, image, sound, and gesture to produce a coherent, engaging message
  • Explore how to engage the senses—visual, aural, and somatic—to convey information effectively through social media
  • Understanding how to make complex information accessible to audiences through effective visualization


Certificate students who complete four of the five basic courses listed below earn the Certificate in Professional Writing. Those students are then eligible to pursue an Advanced Certificate in Professional Writing by adding two advanced courses.

Professional Writing Certificate
PROW 100Fundamentals of Professional Writing (Required)1
PROW 102The Elements of Style1
PROW 301The Power of Storytelling1
PROW 400Writing for Social Media1
Advanced Courses
Select two of the following:2
PROW 200 Writing with Numbers: Presenting Data Effectively
PROW 201 Writing for Presentations and Public Speaking
PROW 401 Public Relations and Crisis Communication
Total Course Units6

Courses are subject to change.

The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2020 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.