About this Program
The writer and editor Arthur Plotnick famously said, “You write to communicate to the hearts and minds of others what’s burning inside you, and we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.” If you have a passion for making written copy shine, then you’re an editor at heart, and our three-course certificate program can help you channel that passion into a profession.
In this program, we’ll use American English to explore key techniques for developmental editing, copyediting, line editing, structural editing, content editing and collaborating with writers. You’ll develop the expertise to transform a rough draft — be it web copy, a book-length manuscript or short-form media — into a polished piece. Whether you want to edit your own writing, work for someone else or launch an editorial business, you’ll gain the skills and confidence you'll need to achieve your goals.
▸ Related Article:
How to Become an Editor
▸ Related Article:
Programs for Writers and Editors DESIGNED FOR
Anyone interested in becoming a professional editor or advancing in the field.
For those getting started in the editing field, or who want a foundation in proofreading, we offer the
Proofreading Essentials course. More experienced editors might consider our Specialization in Developmental Editing. See all related programs.
To apply, you must have:
Two years of college
Two years of experience in any professional setting where your responsibilities required writing, reading, and the ability to communicate and engage with others using American English
Solid grammar skills, as demonstrated by your application letter
Familiarity with the basic uses of Microsoft Word
Be an attentive reader with strong reading comprehension skills
Desire to work as an editor in a professional capacity
Willingness to engage with course content and contribute to class discussions
Including time in class, you should expect to spend about 6 to 8 hours each week on coursework.
For the self-paced format, at this weekly rate you can expect to complete each course in about 10 weeks.
If English is not your native language, you should have advanced English skills to enroll. To learn more, see
English Language Proficiency Requirements – Noncredit Programs. International Students
International students are welcome to apply to an online offering of this program, which doesn’t require a visa. To enroll in a classroom or blended offering, you must have a visa that permits study in the United States. This program does not enable students to obtain or maintain F-1 visa status. For more information, see
Admission Requirements for International Students. Technology Requirements
Access to a computer with a recent operating system such as Windows 8 or later or Mac OSX 10.10 or later (blended format students need a laptop to bring to class)
Microsoft Word (2016 or later; not the web app) and a recent version of Adobe Acrobat Reader DC
High-speed internet connection
Access to a printer and scanner or smartphone with a PDF-conversion app
Headset and webcam (recommended)
EARNING THE CERTIFICATE
You earn the certificate by adhering to your program's
attendance policy and successfully completing all course requirements. To continue in the program, participants must pass a grammar test during the first quarter. For more information, see Earning the Certificate.
Hear from instructor Ingrid Emerick about the Certificate in Editing at the University of Washington and how it can prepare you to enter the growing field of editing.
Play WHAT YOU’LL LEARN
How to edit in American English for different audiences and content types, including academic documents, corporate communications, web publications, fiction and narrative nonfiction
Grammar rules and how to use style manuals and customized style guides
Online editing systems and content management tools and best practices
Characteristics of different professional environments and strategies for determining the best fit for you
GET HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE
Use Microsoft Word editing tools and PDF reader tools
Develop an editorial project of your choosing and work with a writer to complete it
APPLY FOR A SCHOLARSHIP
You may be eligible to apply for a UW Certificate Scholarship or Rotary Scholarship to cover most of the costs of this program. Scholarships are awarded based on financial need and the potential of the program to positively impact your career. For more information, see the
Alumni working in field
Amazon, University of Washington, Girl Friday Productions, Boeing, King County Library System, Microsoft
Projected job growth for editors in Washington state (2018-2028)
Average salary for editors in Washington state
OUR ENROLLMENT COACHES ARE HERE TO HELP
Connect with an enrollment coach to learn more about this offering. Or if you need help finding the right certificate, specialization or course for you, reach out to explore your options.