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Certificate of Special Study in Creative Writing 

The Certificate of Special Study in Creative Writing is a 12-unit program intended for those who wish to study the art of literary writing without matriculating for a degree, or in addition to earning a degree in English or another area.

The certificate is ideal for K-12 classroom teachers or others who have already earned a degree, but would like further expertise in creative writing. It allows students, graduates, and professionals in a variety of fields the opportunity to enhance their training and bolster their resumes with a substantial creative writing background, making them more competitive on the job market and better prepared for professional careers and/or graduate degree programs.


Admission to the certificate program requires the consent of both the creative writing program coordinator and the chair of the department. Contact the certificate adviser to submit a letter of interest. Courses toward the certificate may be taken while working toward a degree in any area, but units do not double count. Non-matriculated students should enroll in courses through Fresno State’s Open University Program.


The certificate program requires a minimum of 12 units of upper-division work. Students may take 12 units comprised of two courses in one genre (courses may be repeated one time) and one in either of the other genres; OR students may take one course in each of the three genres.

Engl 161 - Advanced Writing of Poetry (4 units)
Engl 163 - Advanced Writing of Fiction (4 units)
Engl 164 - Advanced Writing of Creative Nonfiction (4 units)

Also recommended: at least one course at upper-division level in an area of contemporary literature.

Note: Course prerequisites (Engl 41, 43, 44) may be waived with permission of the certificate adviser and the specific course instructor, upon approval of your writing sample.