Office of the Registrar
Faculty of Arts (2008/2009)
4.12 Diploma in Professional Writing

Program Co-ordinator: J. Guthrie, Department of English Language and Literature

4.12.1 Program Description

The Diploma in Professional Writing (DPW) aims to develop students’ skills in writing non-fiction prose such as newspaper and radio journalism, reviews, reports, feature articles, and creative nonfiction. Students take 6 courses, 18 credit hours, in which they are introduced to non-fiction writing as a process (identifying issues, drafting, revising, editing); they investigate reading and writing as gendered practices; they develop journalistic pieces for print or radio; they review books, performances, and movies; they practice strategies for reading, revising, and editing documents; and they take a course of their choice (in creative writing or satire).

The 6 credit hour field placement is completed in a professional situation, e.g., a division of the University, an arts organization, government, the media. Students also attend seminars on professional writing and submit written reflections on their work experience.

4.12.2 Admission Requirements

Applicants to the Diploma in Professional Writing should include a letter of application, a transcript (if the applicant is a student or a graduate of a university program), and a portfolio of work. Admission to the diploma is limited. The following are eligible to apply:

  1. students taking a Bachelor of Arts or another degree program;

  2. graduates of a Bachelor of Arts or another degree program; and

  3. individuals without a degree who wish to develop skills in writing and editing. Such applicants must meet the prerequisite requirements for the Diploma in Professional Writing courses.

4.12.3 Program of Study

Students are required to complete a minimum of 24 credit hours of course work, including:

  1. One of English 2010 or English 2020

  2. English 3910, English 3920, English 3817 and English 4914

  3. One of English 3001, English 3900, English 3901, English 3902, English 3903, English 4910, English 4911, English 4912 or English 4913

  4. English 5200

Further information regarding the Diploma in Professional Writing may be obtained at