Communicate Clearly on a Wide Range of Technical Subjects
Next start date
September 28, 2016
Technical communication today goes beyond writing traditional software documentation to include diverse Web content, white papers and scientific publications, plus elements related to design and production. Technical writers are expected to bring both broad and deep knowledge, and skilled workers are in high demand.
In this three-course certificate program, we’ll cover all the fundamental concepts and practical applications of technical writing. You’ll learn about the styles, formats and requirements for different kinds of technical communication and how to adapt for each. Become a well-trained, confident technical writer who can hit the ground running in a variety of organizational roles.
Professionals with some writing background who want to develop their technical writing abilities.
Applicants must have either a bachelor’s degree plus two years of work experience or an associate degree and four years of work experience. Successful applicants must also have substantial professional writing experience, familiarity with Microsoft Word, the ability to conduct research and a strong understanding of English usage and grammar.
If you're not a native English speaker, you’ll need to have basic English language skills to participate in this program. To learn more, see English Language Proficiency Requirements.
To enroll in this program, international students 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.
Some coursework will require the use of Microsoft Office 365 (including Publisher). Students enrolled will receive free access to Office 365 ProPlus through Microsoft Student Advantage. Also, students should bring a WiFi equipped laptop to class. Either a Mac or PC is fine. If needed, students can check out a loaner laptop from student technology services on campus.
You earn the certificate by regularly attending class and successfully completing all required courses. For more information, see Completing Your Program.
Complete the courses listed below to earn the certificate. You may be able to take individual courses without enrolling in the certificate program; check the course pages for details.
Fundamentals of Technical Writing
Technical Writing for Regulatory Agencies, Consumers & IT
Technical Writing: Production & Usability Workshop
Certificate in Professional Technical Writing
Approved by the UW Department of English.
View this program's advisory board.
Each of our programs uses an advisory board to review content, guide design and recommend updates to ensure the program remains current as the field of study evolves. By tapping the minds of the top thinkers, doers and leaders in the field, we offer a transformational learning experience. The following individuals serve as the advisory board for this program.
Rovy Branon, Vice Provost, UW Educational Outreach
Carl Chatfield, Content Publisher and Tech Writing Instructor
Teresa Floreano Geortz, Scholarship Manager, STC Puget Sound Chapter, and Project Manager at Pathable Inc.
Mary-Colleen Jenkins, Technical Writer and Lecturer, UW Department of HCDE
Christine Loucks-Jaret, Technical Writer and Lecturer, UW Department of HCDE and Engineering
Mike Maisen, Technical Editor, Aspect Consulting, LLC
Marita Stevens Graube, Principal, Pixel Theory Inc.
Joseph Welinske, Technical Writer and former President, STC Puget Sound Chapter
Download the application form (PDF)
This program is full, but you may join the waitlist by submitting an application. If you’re not offered a spot in the program, you’ll have the chance defer your enrollment to the next offering.
Apply online, or submit an application packet that includes:
We’re currently accepting applications and will be reviewing them in the order they’re received. We’ll accept applications until the program closes.
We’ll contact you within two weeks of receiving your application materials to let you know if you’ve been accepted to the program.
If you’re accepted, we’ll send you details about your first-term course, including information on paying your course fee. Your course fee is due two weeks before the first class.
With the exception of the one-time application fee, certificate program fees are charged on a quarterly basis. Payment is due when you register.
Course fees do not include any costs for class materials such as textbooks and software.
Drops, Withdrawals & Refunds
Attend class in person at one of our convenient locations. You’ll engage face to face with your classmates and instructors as part of a highly interactive curriculum. An online learning management system may be required to access some course materials and assignments.
Our special blended programs combine the convenience of online study with the vibrancy of in-person classes for a unique learning experience.
Not available for this program
Enjoy the flexibility of online learning, which allows you to participate in class activities, assignments and discussions on your schedule, from anywhere. Experience cutting-edge technology and a supportive, diverse learning community.
Technical Communicator and Project Manager
Learn how to tell real-life stories with creativity and clarity. Develop your voice and hone your ability to write quality nonfiction for a variety of audiences and publication types.
Acquire in-depth knowledge of user experience design and research, and learn sophisticated methods for planning and developing intuitive, user-friendly digital tools and products.