Journalism/Professional Writing | Webster University

Journalism/Professional Writing


Effective 1 June 2020 through 31 May 2021

Please see the Temporary Adjustments to Policy on Grading for Undergraduate Courses for Spring 2020

Please see the Undergraduate Catalog Archives for PDF versions of past catalogs.

18 Credit Hours

This program is offered by the School of Communications/Communications and Journalism Department and is only available at the St. Louis home campus.

For information on the general requirements for a certificate, see Certificate under the Academic Policies and Information section of this catalog.

The certificate in journalism/professional writing prepares students for employment requiring basic journalism writing skills, as well as careers involving communication tasks found in business, nonprofit, governmental and community settings. The program is ideal for aspiring freelance writers who are seeking knowledge on how to write news and feature stories, and how to compose and publish community journalism assignments. The professional writing component of the certificate provides background in understanding and composing documents in professional settings, such as project outlines, grant writing, business plans and freelance writing proposals for editors. The certificate is open to both undergraduate students and those with bachelor's degrees who are returning to school for acquisition of additional writing proficiencies.

Learning Outcomes

Students completing this certificate program will learn:

  • How to differentiate the criteria for a news story, for a feature article and a persuasive piece of writing, such as an op-ed.
  • How to format writing for specific projects and to use Associated Press style in editing materials.
  • How to research opportunities in today's writing market and effectively propose a writing project to an editor or publisher.
  • How to compose documents in professional writing settings, including project outlines, grant writing, business and marketing proposals and pitches for freelance work.


  • JOUR 1030 Fundamentals of Reporting (3 hours)
  • JOUR 3130 Feature Writing (3 hours)
  • WRIT 2090 Writing in the Workplace (3 hours)
  • WRIT 2400 Introduction to Professional Writing (3 hours)

In addition, two courses, (6 credits) should be taken from the following courses:
(No prerequisites)

  • JOUR 3060 Community Reporting (3 hours)
  • WRIT 3000 Professional Writing Practicum (1-3 hours)
  • ENGL 2110 Perspectives (3 hours)
  • ENGL 2180 Creative Writing: Nonfiction (3 hours)