Good writing skills are an asset in any field of study or career. The Certificate in Writing, sponsored by the Magid Center for Writing, allows students to benefit from the university's wide-ranging Writing programs and resources by pursuing a concentration in Writing related to their academic success, career goals, or personal interests. 

The certificate may be earned by any student admitted to the University of Iowa who is not concurrently enrolled in a UI graduate or professional degree program.

Certificate in Writing students may not earn the Bachelor of Applied Studies degree with the Creative Writing emphasis. 

Why Iowa?

The University of Iowa is known nationally and internationally for its writing programs, particularly for its top-ranked graduate programs in creative writing (Iowa Writers' Workshop) and nonfiction writing. It also offers numerous discipline-based undergraduate and graduate programs that emphasize writing, and several of its colleges have their own writing centers.

Certificate students have the opportunity to participate in the Iowa City writing community through activities such as attending readings and lectures; presenting their own work in public; working with professional journals, newspapers, or other publications; and volunteering or interning with the Iowa Youth Writing Project literacy outreach program.

For students interested in Writing, the university also offers a BA degree in English and Creative Writing through the Department of English.

Online Certificate in Writing

The online Certificate in Writing is designed for students who are unable to attend classes on campus, including distance education students, nondegree-seeking students, and international students. The program allows students to take advantage of Iowa's impressive culture of writing from anywhere in the world. Visit Magid Center for Writing to learn more about the online certificate.

In addition to sponsoring the Certificate in Writing, the Magid Center also publishes several student literary magazines and supports the Iowa Writers living learning community in the UI residence halls. The Magid Center is home to the Iowa Youth Writing Project, a K-12 literacy outreach non-profit; the Iowa Young Writers' Studio, a selective summer camp for aspiring high school writers; and the Iowa Summer Writing Festival.


Literary Publishing
Online/Off-campus program(s)
Certificate in Writing
Student Opportunities

On-campus students who are interested in this certificate program may enjoy living in the Iowa Writers Living Learning Community in the UI residence halls.


To earn the Certificate in Writing, students must complete a minimum of 22 semester hours (s.h.) of credit, including 12 s.h. in core courses, 9 s.h. in focused electives, and 1-3 s.h. in a capstone. 

Capstone options include Guided Capstone Portfolio, Independent Writing Project, Writing-Related Internship, or an Additional Writing Course. 

You'll explore writing and develop your own writing skills in a range of genres and for different purposes, such as creative writing (fiction, nonfiction, poetry); writing for the professions (including the arts, business, journalism, science, and others); writing for organizations; and writing related to personal interests. You'll also participate in writing community activities.

Up to 6 s.h. of transfer credit is allowed. For questions regarding the transfer credit policy, contact the director.

Visit Writing in the UI General Catalog to learn about required coursework.

Literary Publishing Track

This track provides an overview of what it takes to work in the publishing industry. Students will learn the process of acquiring manuscripts, choosing stories, editing and proofreading the works, and creating the final design. The Literary Publishing track is open to students in any major.