certificate

Creative Nonfiction Writing

Develop the skills you need to write everything from personal essays to memoir to literary nonfiction in this comprehensive program. This certificate can be completed online or in the classroom. 

This program is perfect for...

  • People inspired to write by real-life events
  • People who love to read narrative nonfiction, memoirs, and essays
  • People new to writing nonfiction who want to master the genre
  • Writers considering graduate-level writing study in the future

What you can learn.

  • Lean basic nonfiction writing skills like voice, setting, and dialogue
  • Discover techniques of powerful storytelling
  • Learn to turn real people into compelling characters
  • Learn to write memorable scenes and stories
  • Generate up to 250 pages of a manuscript

What our students say about our certificates.

What our certificates have done for our students.

100%

feel more confident in their writing skills

73%

would recommend the certificate to others

3 in 4

value the mentorship & instructor feedback

1 in 3

have had their work published

Source: UCLA Extension Certificate Graduates Survey

This program’s curriculum is customizable based on each student’s individual needs and interests.

Required coursework consists of specific unit counts completed at beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels of writing. Electives may be selected from any course in the Writers’ Program.

Courses

Click below to view the required and elective courses, if applicable, for this program.

Creative Nonfiction Level I
Students must complete 2 courses (6 units) from Creative Nonfiction Level 1.
Creative Nonfiction Level II
Students must complete 3 courses (9 units) from Creative Nonfiction Level II.
WRITING X 422.3
WRITING X 421.2
WRITING X 421.3
WRITING X 422.2
WRITING X 423.2
WRITING X 423.3
Creative Nonfiction Level III
Students must complete 1 course (3 units) from Creative Nonfiction Level III.
WRITING X 422.3
WRITING X 421.3
WRITING X 423.3
Electives
Students are required to take 2 additional courses (6 units), choosing from more than 60 courses in either Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Playwriting, or Writing for the Youth Market. Contact a Writers' Program advisor for suggested electives.
WRITING X 463.4N
WRITING X 463.2E
WRITING X 463.1E
WRITING X 461.24
WRITING X 411.2E
WRITING X 414.2E
WRITING X 461.19E
WRITING X 424.21E
Typically Offered: Winter, Summer
WRITING X 432.11E
WRITING X 462.3
WRITING X 414.1E
WRITING X 432.10E
WRITING X 462.2
WRITING X 424.15E
WRITING X 413.12E
WRITING X 445.2
WRITING X 432.7E
WRITING X 413.5E
WRITING X 413.6E
WRITING X 413.4E
WRITING X 422.3
WRITING X 431.1
WRITING X 445.1
WRITING X 432.5E
WRITING X 432.2E
WRITING X 432.3E
WRITING X 461.10E
WRITING X 461.14E
WRITING X 461.15E
WRITING X 461.6E
WRITING X 461.8E
WRITING X 461.9E
WRITING X 422.1WS
WRITING X 423.1WS
WRITING X 424.3E
WRITING X 424.4E
WRITING X 411.1WS
WRITING X 412.2
WRITING X 412.3
WRITING X 421.1
WRITING X 421.2
WRITING X 421.3
WRITING X 422.1
WRITING X 422.2
WRITING X 423.1
WRITING X 423.2
WRITING X 411.1
WRITING X 423.3
WRITING X 411.2
WRITING X 431.2
WRITING X 411.3
WRITING X 411.4
WRITING X 411.5
WRITING X 412.1
see all courses

Exclusive benefits for Writers' Program certificate students:

  • Receive a 30 minute, one-on-one goal-setting consultation with a Writers’ Program advisor, who charts out certificate program curriculum based on current student’s level of experience, interests, and writing goals
  • Receive advance notice of upcoming Writers’ Program courses and enroll before the general public each quarter
  • Receive preferential placement on wait lists
  • Within six months of the completion of certificate program coursework, receive a complimentary one-on-one consultation on 100 pages of your manuscript by a Writers’ Program instructor
  • Interact, network, and share writing tips with fellow certificate program students through the Writers’ Program Certificate Students closed group Facebook page

Additional benefits exclusive to UCLA Extension certificate students:

  • Access to Handshake, UCLA Career Center’s online job board, with access to thousands of job and internship postings
  • Become a member of the UCLA Alumni Association (upon completing your certificate) and a nationwide network of Bruin family
  • Join us for the annual UCLA Extension Graduation Ceremony on campus to celebrate all your hard work 
  • Get access to UCLA Recreation facilities as a student affiliate*
  • Open an affiliate/Guest UCLA Bruin ID Card* for a number of student-related benefits
  • PLUS, all UCLA Extension students have access to UCLA Extension’s Career Resources including online career coaching, workshops and networking events
*Nominal Fee Required

Estimated Cost Breakdown

All courses in this program are paid for individually, unless otherwise noted. An application form is required to establish candidacy in this program. From the 'Apply Now' button, complete the online application and pay the application fee if applicable.

Application & Candidacy Fee

250.00

Estimated Program Tuition

5400.00

Estimated program textbook/materials

100.00

*The Application & Candidacy Fee establishes your candidacy in the program for a period of time covering normal progress toward completion and may allow you to access a variety of program benefits.

**Federal Financial Aid Gainful Employment Disclosures

The U.S. Department of Education requires colleges and universities to disclose certain information for any financial aid eligible program that, “prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation”. This information includes program costs; occupations that the program prepares students to enter; occupational profiles; on time completion rate; and for the most recent award year: the number of students who have completed the program, the number of students who complete the program within the estimated duration, the job placement rate, and the median Title IV and private loan debt incurred by those who complete the program. For gainful employment information for this program, visit our Financial Aid page.

Scholarship Opportunities

The Phyllis Gebauer Scholarship in Writing offers need-based support and may be applied to courses in this program.

Nonfiction writing students may be nominated to enter the annual Allegra Johnson Writing Prize competition in January.

Contact Us

Speak to a program representative. Hours: Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm.

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