Graduate Certificate in Teaching Writing

The teaching of writing is playing an increasingly important role in the college curriculum. The Graduate Certificate in Teaching Writing prepares doctoral students to teach writing-intensive seminars at the undergraduate level.

Doctoral students who complete the Graduate Certificate in Teaching Writing program receive extensive mentored training and teaching experience, giving them an expertise that is valued across a range of fields. The spring prior to their first semester of teaching, they complete a 2-credit seminar in the teaching of writing (GRS WR 698). In their first semester of teaching, they also take a 2-credit teaching practicum (GRS WR 699) and receive professional development and supervision, which continues each semester they teach. They are responsible for teaching two writing seminars, which they design in consultation with the Writing Program’s directors; participating in a mentoring group during their first year of teaching; and attending 1 four-session Writing Program faculty seminar, offered each semester and addressing various topics related to writing and writing pedagogy. They also document their development as teachers of writing during the semesters with the program.

Students interested in earning the certificate must be in good standing in their doctoral program at Boston University and be selected to teach in the CAS Writing Program; selection for most students occurs via the Graduate Writing Fellowship competition, which takes place each fall semester. The certificate is awarded under the auspices of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences (GRS).

Learning Outcomes

Students who receive a Graduate Certificate in Teaching Writing should:

  • Successfully design a CAS WR 120 and a WR 15X course (including syllabus, assignments, and assessments).
  • Incorporate accepted best practices for writing instruction in teaching CAS WR 120 and WR 15X.
  • Reflect on how concepts and research from the field of writing studies inform their teaching.
  • Demonstrate awareness of the affective and social dimensions of teaching writing and of inclusive pedagogies relevant to teaching writing.


  • GRS WR 698 Teaching Composition
  • GRS WR 699 Teaching College Writing
  • Design and teach at least two undergraduate writing seminars—typically sections of CAS WR 120 First-Year Writing Seminar and CAS WR 151, WR 152, or WR 153 Writing, Research, & Inquiry Seminar.
  • Participate in a mentoring group throughout the first year of teaching with the Writing Program.
  • Attend one four-session Writing Program faculty seminar.
  • Submit a teaching portfolio documenting development as teachers of writing during the semesters with the program.