Stay up to date with courses and trends in Writing

"If it wasn't for this program, I would have never gotten into an M.F.A."
Read more from Rose Heredia.

For aspiring writers serious about their craft, the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in Writing is ideal. Formalize your training and prepare for graduate study in writing with this certificate developed with directors of several San Francisco Bay Area M.F.A. programs and approved by the University of California, Berkeley, English Department. Develop a regular writing practice, build your writing portfolio, and gain a credential that shows your commitment. Whether you're in online or classroom courses, you join a community of writers who share your dedication. Be inspired as you read exemplary works of literature. Learn from accomplished instructors who provide structure, support and thoughtful feedback on your work to help you perfect your craft. Whether your goal is learning what it takes to be published or achieving a coveted place in an M.F.A. program in writing, this flexible program can meet your needs and schedule.

Rose Heredia,
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
Program in Writing


Required CoursesYou may enroll in individual courses without registering for the certificate. We recommend beginning the certificate with the following required courses.
Course Number Course Title Units / CEUs Delivery Options Status
ENGLISH X429 The Craft of Reading 2 Classroom, Online Available
ENGLISH X421 The Craft of Writing 2 Classroom, Online Available
ENGLISH X13 Writing Skills Workshop 2 Classroom, Online Available
Electives (Literature)Tailor your education by selecting electives to meet your writing goals and interests.
Course Number Course Title Units / CEUs Delivery Options Status
ENGLISH X135A American Fiction 3 Online Available
ENGLISH X466 Children's Literature: The Golden Age 3 Not Available
ENGLISH X125 The English Novel 4 Online Available
ENGLISH X473 Fact or Fiction: Reading and Writing the Personal Essay 2 Classroom Available
ENGLISH X467 Great Novels You Always Meant to Read 2 Not Available
ENGLISH X425 Learning From the Masters: Techniques of the Literary Greats 2 Classroom Available
ENGLISH X474.1 Modern and Contemporary Women Poets 2 Not Available
ENGLISH X103.9 Mystery Fiction 3 Online Available
ENGLISH X485 The Philosophy of Mark Twain 2 Not Available
ENGLISH XBW17 Shakespeare 4 Not Available
ENGLISH X436 Short-Story Masterpieces 2 Not Available
Electives (Writing Workshop)
Course Number Course Title Units / CEUs Delivery Options Status
ENGLISH X410 Advanced Fiction Writing 2 Classroom Available
ENGLISH X482 Creative Nonfiction Workshop 2 Online Available
ENGLISH X463 Developing the Memoir 2 Classroom Available
ENGLISH X462.9 Developing the Memoir II 2 Not Available
ENGLISH X407 Developing the Novel 2 Online Available
ENGLISH X442 Developing Your Creative Writing 2 Not Available
ENGLISH X438 Exploring Your Creative Writing Potential 2 Online Available
ENGLISH X106.3 Flash Fiction: The Power of the Short Form 2 Not Available
ENGLISH X440 Intermediate Fiction Writing 2 Online Available
ENGLISH X480 Introduction to Creative Nonfiction 2 Classroom Available
ENGLISH X464 Introduction to Writing Fiction 2 Classroom, Online Available
JOURN X473 Journalism Workshop 2 Online Available
ENGLISH X430 Long-Form Narrative Nonfiction Workshop 2 Not Available
ENGLISH X168 Mystery Writing 2 Not Available
ENGLISH X405 Novel Writing Workshop 2 Not Available
ENGLISH X428 Poetry Workshop 2 Classroom Available
ENGLISH X110.2 Poets Studied and in Conversation 2 Not Available
ENGLISH X463.5 Science Writing 2 Not Available
ENGLISH X470 Screenwriting: The Art of Visual Storytelling 2 Classroom Available
ENGLISH X463.7 Story Structure Workshop: Scene, Character, Dialogue 2 Not Available
ENGLISH X459 Writing Children's Picture Books 2 Not Available
ENGLISH X51 Writing Short Fiction From Life Experience 2 Not Available
JOURN X419 Writing the Feature Story 2 Online Available
ENGLISH X446 Writing the Novella 2 Not Available
ENGLISH X472 Writing the Young Adult Novel 2 Not Available

Course availability is subject to change. Courses offered in both online and classroom environments are interchangeable; if both delivery options are available, you may choose either option.

To enroll, click on a course title above and choose a section. You may enroll in individual courses without registering for a certificate or program.

Prerequisites for Admission

A bachelor's degree from an accredited undergraduate institution is required to register for the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in Writing.

Curriculum Requirements

The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in Writing comprises 8 courses for a minimum of 16 semester units (240 hours of instruction), which includes 3 required courses and 5 restricted electives selected from 2 categories: literature (2 courses) and writing workshops (3 courses). Candidates must pay a nonrefundable certificate application fee.

All courses must be taken for a letter grade. To receive the certificate, you must maintain an overall minimum 2.5 grade point average, with a grade of C or better in each course. A Certificate with Distinction will be awarded to those who complete the certificate with a GPA of 3.9. All coursework must be completed within five years of registering for the certificate. The completion of two courses per year is recommended in order to maintain sufficient academic progress in the certificate.

How to Register

By registering, you declare your intention to complete the curriculum. To register online for the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in Writing, complete these two steps:

  1. Submit the online registration, and complete your student account profile if you are a new student.
  2. Pay the nonrefundable registration fee through your shopping cart. Please allow 3–5 business days for the registration to appear in your student account.

You may also send the mail-in registration form with your credit card information or personal check.

Evidence of a bachelor's degree is required of all new applicants. Once you register for the certificate, please send a copy of your official transcript to:

Liz McDonough
UC Berkeley Extension
1995 University Ave., Suite 110
Berkeley, CA 94704-7000

Estimated Cost

Each course is priced individually, and you pay the course fee at the time of enrollment. The certificate has an estimated total cost of approximately $4,600 (not including course materials or registration fee). Course fees are subject to change.

Certificate and Award Request

Once you have completed the certificate coursework, notify UC Berkeley Extension that you have completed the curriculum and request your certificate. Send an email to or call (510) 643-1110. After your records have been reviewed, verified, and approved, your certificate will be sent to you in the mail. The review of your records is usually completed within six to eight weeks after you request the certificate.


Advisory Board

To ensure that your professional certificate is of the highest quality, UC Berkeley Extension turns to experienced writers, outstanding teachers and published authors for advisers and instructors.

Stephen Albert, M.F.A., University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, also holds an M.A. from the University of Iowa School of Journalism and a teaching credential from the UC Berkeley School of Education

Thaisa Frank, award-winning author and instructor in the creative writing graduate programs at San Francisco State University and the University of San Francisco, as well as at UC Berkeley Extension

Deborah Lichtman, Ph.D., author, teacher, curriculum instructor and former director of the University of San Francisco creative writing graduate program

Jane Anne Staw, Ph.D., author and teacher in the University of San Francisco creative writing graduate program, as well as an honored instructor at UC Berkeley Extension

Allison Tomlinson, M.F.A., holds a graduate degree in creative writing from Mills College

Hertha Sweet Wong, Ph.D., associate professor in UC Berkeley's English Department and chair of UC Berkeley's Department of Art Practice