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

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. 

Expect more from your education.

Learn from Industry Leaders

MFA, fiction writer, author of the story collection Once Removed (UGA Press) and winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction. 

Colette Sartor

Writers Studio 

Join a community of aspiring writers and jumpstart your creativity. Choose from 9 workshops taught by professionals in the fields of feature film, television, fiction, and creative nonfiction writing.

August 1 - 4, 2024

Enroll Now

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

Novel II

Novel III

Novel IV

Novel V

Dialogue and Point of View

Creative Writing Certificate Capstone

Personal Essay I
WRITING  X 422.1

Personal Essay II

Personal Essay III

Storytelling for Social Justice

Writing the Thinkpiece

The Art of Creative Research
WRITING X 461.23

Creative Writing Certificate Capstone

Poetry I

Poetry II

Poetry Toolbox

Prose Poetry

Reframing the Form

The "F" Word: Innovative Poetic Forms

Cuento Poems

Creative Writing Certificate Capstone


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. 

Students must complete 18 units of elective coursework. Select from courses numbered WRITING X 400-499 in the following areas:

Creative Writing

Students may select courses in the following area with advisor approval:

Editing and Publishing

How to Get Started

Courses in this program are open enrollment, and each course is paid for individually.

Sequential courses should be taken in numerical order, starting from the lowest course number and progressing to higher numbers.

You may take Creative Writing courses without committing to the entire program.* However, by establishing candidacy in the program, you will receive many benefits exclusive to our certificate students such as priority placement on waitlists and access to the UCLA Career Center's job board. Creative Writing Certificate students can also receive a customized curriculum tailored to your writing goals.

Need assistance? If you have any questions or need advice on course selection, feel free to reach out to us at writers@uclaextension.edu.

*If you take Creative Writing courses and pass them with letter grades, they can count retroactively towards certificates for up to five years. A grade of "C" or better must be earned in all courses in order to fulfill certificate requirements.

Benefits exclusive for Writers' Program certificate students:

  • Advising: Receive a 30-minute, one-on-one goal-setting consultation with a Writers’ Program advisor. During this consultation, the advisor will customize a certificate program curriculum tailored to your experience, interests, and writing goals.
  • Enrollment Advantages: Receive quarterly notice when Writers’ Program courses open for enrollment each quarter and receive preferential placement on wait lists.
  • Manuscript Consultation: Within six months of completing certificate program coursework, receive 50% off a one-on-one manuscript consultation with a Writers' Program instructor. Learn more.

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 all UCLA Extension certificate students:

  • Career Resources: Access UCLA Extension’s Career Resources including online career coaching, workshops, networking events, and other resources. Learn More.
  • Handshake Access: Explore thousands of job and internship postings through UCLA Career Center’s online job board. Learn More.
  • UCLA Alumni Association Membership: Upon completing your certificate, join the nationwide Bruin family as a member of the UCLA Alumni Association. Learn More.
  • Graduation Celebration: Attend the annual UCLA Extension Graduation Ceremony on campus to celebrate your achievements. Learn More.
  • UCLA Recreation Facilities: Enjoy access to UCLA Recreation facilities as a student affiliate. Learn More.
  • Bruin ID Card: Obtain an affiliate/Guest UCLA Bruin ID Card for additional student-related benefits. Learn More.
*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.

How to Apply - Establish Certificate Candidacy

  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. 

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


Estimated Program Tuition


Estimated program textbook/materials


*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 student advisor. Hours: Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm.

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