Nonfiction Writing Graduate Certificate Program

Fine-tune your skills as a narrative nonfiction writer, memoirist, and/or freelance nonfiction writer and journalist, and produce new creative work in addition to revising preexisting manuscripts, within the specialization of nonfiction. The small-group workshop format perennially allows for individual attention from published, award-winning faculty. Flexible scheduling — with courses offered in the evenings and on weekends on Northwestern’s Chicago and Evanston campuses as well as online courses and in hybrid format — gives you the opportunity to balance your professional, personal, and writing lives. While earning your certificate, you'll connect with other writers at readings and other events in an artistic community that extends beyond the University into Chicagoʼs vibrant literary scene.


• Three Units of MCW 461 Nonfiction Writing Workshops
• One graduate-level course elective

May include independent study (not to exceed one unit of independent study), a cross-genre course (not to exceed one unit of cross-genre), MCW 570 Seminar on Teaching Creative Writing, MCW 575 The Publishing Industry: Literary Presses and Journals, MCW 579 Practicum in Teaching Creative Writing, MCW 580 Practicum in Publishing, any Publishing and Professional Development course, any graduate-level literature course, or any MCW 490 elective course.



Learning Objectives

The Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Nonfiction Writing has been designed to ensure that certificate holders:

  • Have increased their knowledge of the craft elements specifically related to nonfiction-writing, e.g. point of view, narrative structure, pacing, etc.
  • Have meaningfully added to their body of creative work
  • Honed their editorial skills for their own and their peers’ work
  • Continued developing their skills to read texts (published or unpublished) as writers
  • Have had the opportunity to engage in lively literary exchanges inside and outside of the classroom


More About the Nonfiction Writing program

Nonfiction Writing Course Schedule

The Nonfiction Writing Course Schedule page provides you with detailed information on the program's offerings.

Nonfiction Writing Faculty

You can find a full listing of our instructors in this certificate program on the Nonfiction Writing Faculty page.

Admission to the Nonfiction Writing program

Applicants to this certificate program must hold a graduate degree from an accredited U.S. college, university or its foreign equivalent. A competitive graduate record that indicates strong academic ability is required. Work, internship, or research experience is highly desirable, but not a requirement. A list of admission requirements can be found on the Nonfiction Writing Admission page.

Nonfiction Writing Tuition

Tuition costs can vary for each of our programs. For the most up-to-date information on financial obligations, please visit our Nonfiction Writing page.

Nonfiction Writing Registration Information

Our Nonfiction Writing Registration Information page outlines important dates and deadlines as well as the process for adding and dropping courses.

Find out more about Northwestern's Nonfiction Writing program

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