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Program Overview

Writing for Print and Digital Media

Writing for Print and Digital Media Certificate

Although communication in the digital age is most often focused on technology, delivery and platform, compelling and timely writing and storytelling is crucial to making the message heard. The Writing for Print and Digital Media certificate provides a solid foundation in journalistic writing, editing, and narrative technique for work in print and across digital media platforms. Students develop a robust skill set for communication in formats from blogs to brochures, websites to direct marketing. The program teaches clear, concise writing, foundations of persuasive communication, visual content production and design, and long- and short-form storytelling in multimedia formats. The core journalistic writing courses are taught by current and emeritus faculty from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism; all courses are offered evenings and weekends.

The program is ideal for online content producers and editors, designers, and professionals working in communications, social media, marketing, public relations or advertising roles.



About Writing for Print and Digital Media

Writing for Print and Digital Media Goals and Courses

Writing for Print and Digital Media Tuition

Post-baccalaureate students at Northwestern's School of Professional Studies pay per course. For more information about financial obligations and tuition, please visit the Tuition page.

Admission for Writing for Print and Digital Media

In addition to completing an online application, you'll also need to submit a few supplemental materials. A list of requirements for admission including application deadlines and tips on how to apply can be found on the Admission page.

Writing for Print and Digital Media Registration Information

Whether you're a first-time registrant or current and returning student, all students register using our online student registration and records systems. Important information about registering for courses at SPS, including registration timelines and adding or dropping courses in which you are already enrolled, can be found on the Registration Information page.

Find out more about the Writing for Print and Digital Media Certificate

Program Courses:Course Detail
Visual Communication <> ADVT 380-CN

Through a combination of technical and theoretical instruction, students in this course will learn basic concepts of visual communication as they tap into the potential of industry-standard software and their own brains as tools for creation. Ultimately, they will emerge with a better understanding of the relationships between the practical and aesthetic concerns that go in to effective graphic design. 

Students must possess a working laptop computer with Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign (CS6 or later; Creative Cloud recommended) to enroll in this course. Visit to check hardware requirements and purchase/subscribe.

This course may not be audited. This course was previously ADVT 390-CN: Topics in Advertising: Introduction to Visual Communication

View ADVT 380-CN Sections
Theories of Persuasion <> COMM_ST 205-CN

This course will provide a survey of persuasive theories with an emphasis on the civic, interpersonal and commercial dimensions of persuasive efforts. Students will be introduced to the vocabulary and concepts necessary to create and to critique persuasive acts, including media theory and rhetorical theory. The course will rely on contemporary examples of persuasion from a wide variety of sources and students will acquire practical skills relevant to their performances as professionals, citizens and scholars.

View COMM_ST 205-CN Sections
Theories of Persuasion <> COMM_ST 205-DL

Acts of persuasion affect us in all aspects of our lives. This course will examine the different ways in which we observe and use persuasion in the communication we have with our families, our friends, and the general public. How effective are we? How are we affected by persuasion? This will culminate in an overall assessment of persuasion's effects on us as individuals and as a society.

The course is conducted completely online. It will be asynchronous; students can participate in discussions and complete assignments by working at their own pace, as long as deadlines are met. A technology fee will be added to tuition.

View COMM_ST 205-DL Sections
Writing for Media <> JRN_WRIT 201-A

This course focuses on fundamental journalistic writing techniques -- skills that work well in any academic or vocational setting and result in clear, crisp, concise writing. The format is straightforward: lectures and in-class exercises followed by rewrites with remote-site editing. And then more rewriting. Through in-class meetings and remote-site interactive instruction, students develop capability to compose quickly and meet real-world deadlines.

View JRN_WRIT 201-A Sections
Visual Storytelling <> JRN_WRIT 201-B

This course helps students find their writing voice through independent reporting, coaching and class critiques. It emphasizes visual story telling -- i.e., photos and text together. This course focuses on reaching a specific audience -- professional, academic, familial. It does so by allowing the student to select an appropriate topic for a photo essay. Students research, report and write their stories which become the script for a final project that resembles a slideshow. Coaching and class critiques help students along the way. Some weeks the instruction is remote-site -- computer interaction and telephone discussion with the professor. A schedule will be provided early in the quarter.  

View JRN_WRIT 201-B Sections
Topics: Deconstructing the Blog JRN_WRIT 390-CN

The course is an exploration of the blogosphere with an eye toward understanding what makes a good blog and replicating those elements. Students will evaluate the work of the most successful (i.e. highly trafficked) blog sites and learn to create engaging blogs themselves. The objective is not only to gain a deeper understanding of blog culture and creation, but to help each student become branded bloggers in their own right. The course also touches on issues such as Search Engine Optimization (the key to driving traffic), libel and copyright law, as well as the basics of vivid writing. As is the case with most of the offerings in Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism, students will learn by doing. Sessions will be organized around subject areas to allow students the opportunity to try different blog formats (travel blogs, pop/culture/entertainment blogs, personal blogs, political blogs), with the goal of helping students find their voices as writers and social critics. Blog techniques, multi-media and incorporation of other news feeds will be explored, and guest speakers will talk about their approaches to generating ideas and traffic. Students needn't have previous journalism or HTML coding experience to take this course, though some basic knowledge about gathering information would be helpful. 

View JRN_WRIT 390-CN Sections
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