certificate

Creative Writing

Develop creative writing skills in multiple genres of interest including fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and more. This customizable program culminates in a capstone project in which students make significant progress on a polished collection of work. This certificate can be completed online or in the classroom.

This program is perfect for...

  • Those new to writing who want to explore various genres while cultivating their skills
  • Writers looking to hone their craft and develop a solid portfolio of work in a particular genre
  • Writers considering graduate-level writing study, including those who wish to polish pieces for submission to MFA programs
  • Individuals who want to become part of a vibrant and supportive community of artists who share their passion

What you can learn.

  • Identify your creative writing goals and develop a plan to achieve them
  • Deepen your practice within a chosen genre, or explore various forms of creative writing
  • Discover techniques of powerful storytelling, craft compelling characters, and write memorable scenes and stories
  • Receive guidance from successful writers and workshop in a group of supportive peers
 
Please Note

This is a new Certificate in Creative Writing, which launched on June 1, 2020. We are no longer accepting applications for the Fiction Writing and Creative Nonfiction Writing programs. Current certificate candidates in those programs have the option to complete their original program or transfer to the new program at no additional cost. Please review the FAQ’s for current certificate students to learn more.

Achieve results and reach your writing goals.

Stack of books published by Writers Program instructors

Whether you are new to writing, have a specific project you'd like to get off the ground, or are preparing to apply to an MFA program, the Certificate in Creative Writing is an immersive program for developing professional writing skills.

Our fully customizable certificate honors each individual student’s journey, allowing you to pursue the coursework that is most meaningful to your specific writing goals and level of expertise. 

The program offers the opportunity to specialize in genres like poetry, short stories, novel writing, essay writing, memoir writing, or to explore writing across genres, hybrid genres, and new forms without the limitation of a prescribed curriculum. 

The only required course, the Creative Writing Certificate Capstone, allows you to compile and further refine your writing from prior coursework into a final portfolio representing the finest examples of your craft. 

Taught by a prestigious roster of instructors who are published writers and active professionals, courses in this certificate program can be taken onsite, online, or a combination of both. 

What our students say.

Expect more from your education.

Learn from Industry Leaders

Author of 15 books, including Courage and Craft: Writing Your Life into Story, A Year of Writing Dangerously, and Kicking in the Wall. Ms. Abercrombie is a recipient of the UCLA Extension Distinguished Instructor Award and the UCLA Extension Outstanding Instructor Award in Creative Writing.

Barbara Abercrombie
Chart your path

All prospective certificate candidates receive a complimentary 30-minute one-on-one consultation with an academic counselor. 

My UCLA Extension coursework, teachers, and colleagues have shaped my writing life, fueled the creation of my novel, and provided continual inspiration.

Michael Sudmeier
Former Writers' Program student and Wyoming Arts Council fiction fellowship recipient

Certificate Curriculum

The Certificate in Creative Writing is fully customizable. You may follow a Writers’ Program sample curriculum plan based on specific writing goals, or design your own program of study.

Students must complete 21 total units comprised of the 3-unit Creative Writing Certificate Capstone course and 18 units of 400-level Creative Writing coursework.

Sample Program Tracks:

Novel I
WRITING X 411.1

Novel II
WRITING X 411.2

Novel III
WRITING X 411.3

Novel IV
WRITING X 411.4

Dialogue and Point of View
WRITING X 462.1

Creative Writing Certificate Capstone
WRITING X 460

Personal Essay I
WRITING  X 422.1

Personal Essay II
WRITING X 422.2

Personal Essay III
WRITING X 422.3

Storytelling for Social Justice
WRITING X 424.21E

Writing the Thinkpiece
WRITING X 424.15E

The Art of Creative Research
WRITING X 461.23

Creative Writing Certificate Capstone
WRITING X 460

Poetry I
WRITING X 431.1

Poetry II
WRITING X 431.2

Poetry Toolbox
WRITING X 432.10E

Prose Poetry
WRITING X 432.11E

Reframing the Form
WRITING X 432.7E

The "F" Word: Innovative Poetic Forms
WRITING X 432.8E

Cuento Poems
WRITING X 432.32E

Creative Writing Certificate Capstone
WRITING X 460

Courses

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

Required Capstone Course
Students must complete the capstone course as their last course for the certificate. 
Electives
Students must complete 18 units of elective coursework. Any WRITING X 400 level course may be counted towards completion of the certificate. 
WRITING X 463.5E
WRITING X 463.4E
WRITING X 463.2E
WRITING X 454.1
WRITING X 463.1E
WRITING X 455.3EWS
Typically Offered: Winter
WRITING X 461.22EWS
WRITING X 411.2E
WRITING X 414.2E
WRITING X 461.19E
WRITING X 455.2
Typically Offered: Fall
WRITING X 432.11E
WRITING X 462.3
WRITING X 414.1E
WRITING X 432.10E
WRITING X 462.2
WRITING X 403
WRITING X 445.1WS
Typically Offered: Winter
WRITING X 455.3
Typically Offered: Fall
WRITING X 452.3
WRITING X 402
WRITING X 461.16E
WRITING X 424.15E
WRITING X 413.12E
WRITING X 445.2
WRITING X 441.2
WRITING X 451.3
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 461.6E
WRITING X 461.8E
WRITING X 461.9E
WRITING X 432.2E
WRITING X 432.3E
WRITING X 461.10E
WRITING X 461.14E
WRITING X 461.15E
WRITING X 422.1WS
WRITING X 423.1WS
WRITING X 424.3E
WRITING X 424.4E
WRITING X 411.1WS
WRITING X 441.1
WRITING X 451.1
WRITING X 451.2
Typically Offered: Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer
WRITING X 421.2
WRITING X 421.3
WRITING X 422.1
WRITING X 422.2
WRITING X 423.1
WRITING X 411.1
WRITING X 423.2
WRITING X 411.2
WRITING X 423.3
WRITING X 411.3
WRITING X 431.2
WRITING X 411.4
WRITING X 411.5
WRITING X 412.1
WRITING X 412.2
WRITING X 412.3
WRITING X 421.1
see all courses

How to Get Started

Courses in this program are open enrollment, and each course is paid for individually. You may take creative writing courses without committing to the program. However, establishing candidacy in the program allows you to receive a customized curriculum suited to your writing goals along with many benefits exclusive to our certificate students.

Note: A grade of "C" or better must be earned in all courses in order to fulfill certificate requirements.
 

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 your 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 50% off a one-on-one manuscript consultation
  • Interact, network, and share writing tips with fellow certificate program students through the Writers’ Program Certificate Students private Facebook group.

Advanced standing at Antioch University*

Students who complete the Certificate in Creative Writing can receive Advanced Standing in Antioch University Los Angeles’s MFA in Creative Writing.

Advanced Standing allows a student to enter the MFA program with the equivalent of one semester completed. In addition, you may be eligible for Antioch’s fellowships and scholarships.

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.
  • Access to UCLA Extension’s Career Resources including online career coaching, workshops and networking events.
 
*Eligible students should indicate in their Admissions Dialogue Essay that they have completed, or will have completed, UCLA Extension' Creative Writing Certificate by the time they begin study at Antioch University. Certificate completion does not guarantee admission to Antioch University’s MFA program. All admissions decisions are made solely by Antioch University MFA program faculty, and questions about the process should be directed to them.
 
**Nominal Fee Required

How to Apply: New Students

  1. Click the Apply Now button below
  2. Login or create a new student account
  3. Once you are logged into the student portal, you can select “My Applications” from the left side menu at any time to return to your application. Click the yellow “Start” button to proceed.
  4. On the Certificate Application page, follow the instructions and click save. Then submit your application. 
  5. Proceed to checkout and pay the nonrefundable candidacy fee to finalize your application. 

How to Apply: Fiction or Creative Nonfiction Certificate students enrolled prior to June 1, 2020

To start, please review the FAQ’s for Fiction and Creative Nonfiction certificate students.

  • To transfer to the new Certificate in Creative Writing, please complete this form
  • To finish your original Fiction or Creative Nonfiction program, no action is necessary.
  • Unsure which program better suits your writing goals? Our Student Affairs Officer, Carrie Truong can be reached at ctruong@uclaextension.edu.

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

100.00

Estimated Program Tuition

4025.00

Estimated program textbook/materials

200.00

*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.

Contact Us

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

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