The Graduate Certificate in Teaching Writing

The Graduate Certificate in Teaching Writing formally recognizes the achievements of the graduate students who serve in the Arts & Sciences Writing Program. Graduate students who teach in the program receive extensive training and teaching experience. The spring prior to their first semester of teaching, new teaching fellows and graduate writing fellows complete a two-credit seminar in the teaching of writing (WR 698). They also take a two-credit teaching practicum in their first semester of teaching (WR 699), and after that they receive professional development and supervision as they teach seminars of their own design, typically WR 120 (focused on academic writing) in the fall and WR 150, 151, or 152 (writing, research, and inquiry) in the spring.

Students who receive a Graduate Certificate in Teaching Writing should

  • Successfully design a WR 120 and WR 150-level course (including syllabus, assignments, and assessments).
  • Successfully teach a WR 120 and WR 150-level 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.


To earn the certificate, graduate students must teach in the Writing Program for at least two semesters, fulfill their responsibilities as teaching fellows or graduate writing fellows as described above, attend one Writing Program faculty seminar, and submit a teaching portfolio documenting their development as teachers during their semesters with the program. Writing Program faculty seminars typically meet for three or four sessions each and provide the Writing Program’s teachers with the opportunity to explore current scholarship on various topics related to writing and writing pedagogy. Seminars offered in recent semesters include “ESL Now,” “Linguistics, Grammar, and Teaching Writing,” “Teaching for Transfer,” and “Student Motivation and Engagement.” Teaching portfolios are coherent collections of teaching materials (e.g., syllabi, assignments, representative student work) accompanied by a framing introduction. Such portfolios provide students with an occasion to reflect on their development as teachers and help them prepare to be competitive job candidates. See examples of teaching portfolios here.

In sum, the requirements for the certificate are the following:

  • Successfully teach in the Writing Program for two semesters
  • Successfully complete WR 698, a two-credit seminar that prepares incoming graduate-student instructors for their first teaching assignment in the Writing Program
  • Successfully complete WR 699, a two-credit teaching practicum that guides graduate-student instructors through their first semester teaching in the program
  • Participate in ongoing supervision required of all graduate-student instructors
  • Attend one (four-session) faculty seminar
  • Submit a teaching portfolio

If you have any questions about the Graduate Certificate in Teaching Writing, please email Director Chris Walsh.

Book an Online Writing Consultation

Writing Consultants are available for online tutoring for all CAS WR classes. Appointments can be booked online. Appointments will be held online only until further notice.
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WR Transfer Credit

Did you take or are you planning to take a writing class at another school? You may be able to receive WR transfer credit for it.
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CAS Alumni Awards for Writing Excellence

The Writing Program is now accepting nominations for this year's CAS Alumni Awards for Writing Excellence. Graduating CAS seniors are eligible for these prestigious awards.
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