College of Arts and Letters2016-2017

Department of English

Rhetoric, Writing and Digital Media Studies, Graduate Certificate

The 18-unit graduate certificate program in Rhetoric, Writing, and Digital Media Studies is designed to provide professional development for current and future teachers of academic writing.

Teachers who are grounded in rhetoric and composition theories, literacy theories, and media literacies are well equipped to implement effective teaching practices in their composition classrooms and to continue teacher research to improve teaching practices.


What Can I Do with a Certificate in Rhetoric, Writing, and Digital Media Studies?

The certificate in Rhetoric, Writing, and Digital Media Studies is especially relevant for high school and college teachers who are looking for accreditation, advanced training, and promotion; for M.A. students in English programs who are preparing for a career in teaching composition at a community college or high school; and PhD candidates who would like to include a specialization in rhetoric, writing, and digital media studies.

University Requirements

  • Graduate certificate programs require a minimum of 12 credit hours. Many certificate programs require more than 12 credit hours.

    No more than one 400-level NAU course (3 or 4 units) may be used on a certificate program.

    No more than 25% of the units required for the certificate program may be transferred from another university.

    A 400-level course (undergraduate course) completed at another university is not eligible for transfer credit.

    A minimum grade point average of 3.0 must be achieved to obtain a graduate certificate. No more than three units of coursework with a grade of "C" may be used in a certificate program.

    A graduate student may pursue a graduate certificate concurrently with a graduate degree. Each graduate degree program must decide which, if any, certificate courses can be counted toward the graduate degree.

    Students who are admitted to a graduate certificate program will be eligible for the official posting of the graduate certificate to their transcripts when all applicable coursework has been successfully completed and approved by the academic unit and the Graduate College.
  • Please be aware that federal financial aid is not available for some certificates, if the certificate is pursued and completed as a stand-alone certificate (i.e., not completed concurrently with a degree program).  See the “Details” tab for additional information.


In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Please note that you may be able to use some courses to meet more than one requirement. Contact your advisor for details.

Minimum Units for Completion 18
Additional Admission Requirements Required
Student Learning Outcomes

Theory and Knowledge

  • Examine and evaluate the major theories in rhetoric, writing, and digital media studies by participating in and advancing current knowledge and practices in the field.
  • Produce academic writing and projects applicable to educational and public settings to demonstrate an advanced understanding of research methodologies and writing skills applicable to English studies, including academic writing, workplace writing, and information development. 
Analysis and Critical Thinking
  • Critically analyze how cultural artifacts (written, digital, visual, and spoken texts) shape identities and ideologies in diverse local, national, historical, and global communities.
  • Apply theoretical and practical knowledge to projects that synthesize and evaluate appropriate research, scholarship, and methodologies in rhetoric, writing, and digital studies, including research on significant issues related to global learning, diversity, and sustainable educational and environmental practices. 
Research and Application
  • Apply rhetorical, pedagogical, narrative, new media, and public writing theories and practices by carrying out advanced course-related and client-related projects directed at conceptualizing, researching, understanding, and reformulating current theories in the field of rhetoric and writing studies.


Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts
    • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
    • International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy 

    Individual program admission requirements include:

    • 2 letters of recommendation
    • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
    • Writing sample
    • Letter of Application
Certificate Requirements
  • Take the following  with a 18 units in each course:

    Introductory Courses (3-6 units)

    Analysis Courses (9-12 units)Elective (3 units)
    • ENG course, or additional Rhetoric, Writing, and Digital Media Studies course. 
  • Federal financial aid cannot be used for this certificate.

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

Campus Availability

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