Professional Writing Certificate Program

Professional Writing Certificate Program

IMPORTANT: Note that beginning with the Fall 2022 semester, the requirements for the Professional Writing Certificate have changed. See below under FORMS for the new program checklist.

In today’s global economy, clear and accurate prose is a staple of success. Via both print and electronic media, writers are conduits to audiences with diverse linguistic, cultural, and demographic profiles. However, the challenges presented by the demands of global communication are many and require that a professional communicator possess a diverse range of abilities. CSULB’s Professional Writing Certificate program meets this need by providing an educational experience focused on developing the communication skills needed for success within the office–and across the world. And we have been doing so for more than three decades.


Our Certificate program is intended for students who know that written communication will be important in their professional lives in business, science, technology, government, public service, or freelance work. Students in our program have obtained internships and employment with corporations and agencies throughout Southern California. Our graduates have also become successful freelance writers and have gone on to earn advanced degrees in technical and professional communication. Here is a brief list of companies where our graduates have obtained jobs:

  • reddit, Inc.
  • Google, Inc.
  • Yahoo
  • CraneMorley, Inc.
  • Informatica
  • MultiQuip, Inc.
  • Facebook
  • Nasdaq
  • Texas Instruments
  • Kia Motors

Our certificate program is unique in a number of significant ways:

  • It can be completed along with a baccalaureate or post-baccalaureate degree. Students may also pursue the certificate as a stand-alone, post-baccalaureate program.
  • It includes coursework that provides extensive interaction with both program faculty and practicing professionals.
  • Program faculty are themselves practicing professional communicators and educators.
  • Program coursework focuses on written communication as well as mixed media and layout, design, graphics, and content delivery.


Certificate in Professional Writing as a Stand-Alone, Post-Baccalaureate Program Students may pursue the certificate as a “stand-alone” program, and it prepares students for gainful employment in a “recognized occupation.”  The U.S. Department of Labor Standard Occupational Codes (SOC) for the Certificate in Technical and Professional Communication are:

  • Occupation #1:  Technical Writer

Department of Labor SOC Code:  27-3042

  • Occupation #2:  Editors

Department of Labor SOC Code:  27-3041

To find out additional information about this professional field, please visit, and search the SOC code for the occupational profile for Technical Writers and/or Editors.  You may also go directly to the profile by following the above links. Stand-Alone, Post-Baccalaureate Program Costs This cost information is based upon completion of the “stand-alone” Professional Writing Certificate program within the normal time frame of four semesters.

Explanation of Cost Cost in Dollars
Tuition & Fees (as of 07/01/15) $15,436
Books & Supplies $3,796
Total Program Cost $19,232
Additional Non-Resident Tuition  
($372 per unit as of 07/07/15) $9,300
Total Non-Resident Program Cost $28,532


This information may be found in the University Catalog page that contains overviews of each program within the English Department:

Please note: If you are not a current CSULB student, you must apply to the University prior to applying for the Certificate program. Please refer to the Enrollment Services website at for more information regarding application deadlines and tuition costs.


Program Application

Program Checklist for students admitted to the program Fall 2022 or later

Program Checklist for students admitted to the program PRIOR to Fall 2022

ENGL 491: Applied Technical Writing (Directed Project) application

ENGL 492A: Internship application and Internship Placement form

ENGL 492B: Portfolio application and Portfolio guidelines


For more information or to schedule an advising appointment, please contact the Program Director:

W. Gary Griswold, PhD, Department of English California State University, Long Beach 1250 Bellflower Blvd. Long Beach, CA 90840-2403 (562) 985-4234