English @ OU

Writing Certificate

The writing certificate provides students of all majors (except English) the opportunity to enhance their writing abilities and have this expertise appear as a credential on their transcripts. There is a national demand for employees who have strong skills in writing. For example, a survey of employers conducted for the Association of American Colleges and Universities revealed that 89% of those surveyed identified the ability to communicate effectively as a key intellectual skill for successful employees. This certificate provides a vehicle for enhancing the intellectual and personal development of students by allowing them to strengthen their writing skills and, at the same time, explore new topics and issues related to their personal interests.

To sign up for the Writing Certificate, students should go to their college’s Dean’s office and get a Program Addition Form. They will fill out the form and bring it to the Director of the Writing Certificate Program, Dr. Jennie Nelson in English. Her office is Ellis 317, and students can leave messages for her by calling the department office at 593-2838. She can also be contacted through email at .

In the event that students cannot meet with Dr. Nelson, they can take the form to the English department’s office, Ellis 360, and one of the staff members can sign the Update of Program form in Dr. Nelson’s place. Once students have completed the form, they will take it to Chubb Hall to have the Writing Certificate added to their program of study.

Finally, they will return the signed form to student services at their college's dean's office.


Course structure for the Writing Certificate
(21 credit-hour minimum)

Students must earn a B (3.0) or better in each of the courses that count toward the writing certificate

Core Courses: choose two of the following.

ENG 2800: Expository Writing and the Research Paper Practice in library research, techniques of documentation, and writing research papers. Topics or thematic focus may vary.

ENG 2820: Writing About Literature Students will address works of literature from a rhetorical perspective. Sections might focus on specific literary genres such as the novel, short fiction, plays, poetry, the essay, etc., or they might use a mixture of genres. The courses will engage students in formal and informal writing, writing to learn, critical reading, and critical thinking.

ENG 3850: Writing About Culture and Society Students will write about cultural issues and artifacts and how they function rhetorically in our society. Different sections might focus on particular issues or artifacts—popular culture, sports, sexuality, etc. The course will engage students in formal writings, informal writing, writing to learn, critical reading, and critical thinking.

ENG 3820: Rhetorical Approaches to Writing (sophomore or above) Students will apply rhetorical theories and methods to various genres of writing, using rhetorical perspectives to analyze genres and produce texts. Examples might include speeches, memoir, web sites, email, visual texts, editorials, and reviews, etc. The focus is on how different genres make persuasive appeals given their rhetorical situations and history. The course will engage students in formal and informal writing, writing to learn, critical reading, and critical thinking.


Complete One of the Following Courses

  • ART 3000J - Criticism in the Visual Arts Credit Hours: 3.0
  • ENG 3060J - Women and Writing Credit Hours: 3.0
  • ENG 3070J - Writing and Research in English Studies Credit Hours: 3.0
  • ENG 3080J - Writing and Rhetoric II Credit Hours: 3.0
  • ENG 3090J - Writing in the Sciences Credit Hours: 3.0
  • ENG 3100J - Writing About Environmental Sustainability Credit Hours: 3.0
  • FILM 3440J - The Practice of Film Criticism Credit Hours: 3.0
  • HIST 3111J - Historical Research and Writing Credit Hours: 3.0
  • HLTH 3400J - Grant Writing for Public Health Sciences Credit Hours: 3.0
  • IART 3600J - Writing in the Arts Credit Hours: 3.0
  • JOUR 4410J - Magazine Feature Writing Credit Hours: 3.0
  • MGT 3100J - The Social, Legal, and Ethical Responsibilities of Business Credit Hours: 3.0
  • ML 3210J - Writing in Two Languages Credit Hours: 3.0
  • ML 3270J - Translation as Writing Credit Hours: 3.0
  • PBIO 4180J - Writing for the Science Researcher Credit Hours: 3.0
  • POLS 3050J - Writing on Political Science Topics Credit Hours: 3.0
  • REC 3700J - Writing for Recreation Studies Credit Hours: 3.0

Students may complete two JE (Junior Equivalent) courses in place of a J-course.

NOTE: Junior composition exemptions, such as those based on exemption exams, transfer credit, Honor’s Tutorial exemption, or AP English scores do not count towards the credits required for the Writing Certificate. Upon completion of the Writing Certificate, students must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher in classes that will be counted toward the Writing Certificate. English majors cannot participate in the Writing Certificate Program.


Electives: Complete 12 hours from two or more academic areas listed below

There is not a minimum number of different courses needed in the academic areas listed as electives for the Writing Certificate. Note that two or more academic areas must be represented.

The following courses may have prerequisites requiring students to be juniors or seniors or requiring students to take additional courses as prerequisites prior to enrolling. Some of these prerequisites will fulfill a Tier II requirement. Students are responsible for checking with the departments regarding prerequisites and confirming with their major/minor departments regarding which classes fill their major/minor/specialty area requirements.

  • AH 4902 - Contemporary Art Theory and Criticism Credit Hours: 3.0
  • ANTH 3850 - Cultures of Southeast Asia Credit Hours: 3.0
  • ANTH 3860 - Problems in Southeast Asian Anthropology Credit Hours: 3.0
  • ANTH 4560 - Ethnographic Methodology and Field Research Credit Hours: 3.0
  • ANTH 4720 - History of Anthropological Thought Credit Hours: 3.0
  • CHE 4520 - Analysis of Eletcrochemical Systems Credit Hours: 3.0
  • CHEM 4310 - Analytical Chemistry II: Chromatography and Spectroscopy Credit Hours: 3.0
  • CHEM 4600 - Spectroscopic Methods in Organic Chemistry Credit Hours: 3.0
  • CHEM 4870 - Forensic Chemistry II: Procedures, Drugs and Trace Analysis Credit Hours: 3.0
  • CLAS 2340 - Classical Mythology Credit Hours: 3.0
  • CLAS 2530 - Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic World Credit Hours: 3.0
  • CLAS 2550 - Pagan to Christian in Late Antiquity Credit Hours: 3.0
  • CLAS 3120 - Greek Tragedy and Comedy Credit Hours: 3.0
  • CLWR 2220 - Difficult Dialogues: Religion, Gender and Sexuality Credit Hours: 3.0
  • CLWR 3330 - Introduction to Islam Credit Hours: 3.0
  • CLWR 3340 - Hinduism Credit Hours: 3.0
  • CLWR 3360 - Theories of Religion Credit Hours: 3.0
  • CLWR 4330 - Political Islam Credit Hours: 3.0
  • CLWR 4340 - Sufism-Mysticism and Asceticism in Islam Credit Hours: 3.0
  • CLWR 4410 - Contemporary Religious Thought Credit Hours: 3.0
  • COMS 3603 - Contemporary Culture and Rhetoric Credit Hours: 3.0
  • COMS 3620 - Rhetorical Analysis and Criticism Credit Hours: 3.0
  • COMS 4630 - Rhetoric and Electronic Media Credit Hours: 3.0
  • ENG 3610 - Creative Writing: Fiction Credit Hours: 3.0
  • ENG 3620 - Creative Writing: Poetry Credit Hours: 3.0
  • ENG 3630 - Creative Writing: Nonfiction Credit Hours: 3.0
  • ENG 4910 - English Internship Credit Hours: 1.0-9.0
  • FILM 2010 - Introduction to Film: History of World Cinema Credit Hours: 3.0
  • FILM 2020 - Introduction to Film: Film Analysis Credit Hourss: 3.0
  • FILM 2030 - Introduction to Film: The Documentary Credit Hours: 3.0
  • FILM 3430 - Screenwriting Credit Hours: 3.0
  • FILM 4510 - Film Theory I Credit Hours: 3.0
  • FILM 4520 - Film Theory II Credit Hours: 3.0
  • FILM 4530 - Film Theory III Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOG 3310 - Geography of Africa Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOG 4450 - Gender, Environment, and Development Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 2830 - Geology for Engineers Credit Hours: 4.0
  • GEOL 3500 - Stratigraphy-Sedimentology Credit Hours: 3.0
  • GEOL 4460 - Earth Systems Evolution Credit Hours: 3.0
  • HIST 3143 - American Social and Cultural History, 1820-1890 Credit Hours: 3.0
  • HIST 3202 - Women's Health and Medicine in U.S. History Credit Hours: 3.0
  • JOUR 3630 - Reviewing and Criticism Credit Hours: 3.0
  • LAT 3110 - Latin Prose and Poetry I Credit Hours: 3.0
  • LAT 3120 - Latin Prose and Poetry II Credit Hours: 3.0
  • LAT 4900 - Special Topics in Latin Literature Credit Hours: 3.0
  • MDIA 2200 - Script Analysis and Production Planning Credit Hours: 3.0
  • MDIA 2201 - Short Form Media Scriptwriting Credit Hours: 3.0
  • PBIO 1090 - Americans and their Forests: Ecology, Conservation and History Credit Hours: 3.0
  • PBIO 1140 - Foundations of Plant Biology Credit Hours: 4.0
  • 3010 - Lab in Cell and Molecular Plant Physiology Credit Hours: 2.0
  • PBIO 4160 - Problem Solving with Bioinformatics Tools Credit Hours: 3.0
  • PBIO 4941 - Undergraduate Research/Written Presentation Credit Hours: 1.0-4.0
  • PBIO 4945H - Thesis Credit Hours: 2.0-4.0
  • T3 4040 - Reconstructing Roman Slavery Credit Hours: 3.0
  • THAR 1730 - Fundamentals of Play Analysis and Playwriting Credit Hours: 3.0
  • THAR 2510 - Introduction to Playwriting Credit Hours: 3.0
  • THAR 3510 - Playwriting Revision Technique Credit Hours: 3.0
  • THAR 3511 - Playwriting Style and Voice Credit Hours: 3.0
  • THAR 4510 - Advanced Playwriting Credit Hours: 3.0
  • THAR 4520 - Playwriting Senior Project Credit Hours: 3.0
  • WGS 4800 - Capstone in Women's and Gender Studies Credit Hours: 3.0
  • WGS 4810 - Writing GenderCredit Hours: 3.0