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 (WR 698). In their first semester of teaching, they also take a 2-credit teaching practicum (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. They also attend at least one 4-session Writing Program faculty seminar. Writing Program faculty seminars explore various topics related to writing and writing pedagogy.

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 WR 120 and WR 150 course (including syllabus, assignments, and assessments).
  • Successfully teach a WR 120 and WR 150 course (including creating lesson plans and offering formative and summative feedback).
  • Reflect on one’s teaching practices for career-long improvement.
  • Learn about Writing Studies as a discipline.


  • 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 150, WR 151, or WR 152 Writing, Research, & Inquiry Seminar.
  • Attend one four-session Writing Program faculty seminar.
  • Submit a teaching portfolio documenting development as teachers during the semesters with the program.