College of Education and Human Development

Department of Curriculum and Instruction

Teaching writing and critical literacy graduate certificate

The Teaching Writing and Critical Literacy graduate certificate is designed for preK-college educators to delve into the latest research and practice in critical reading and writing education.

This certificate will offer advanced knowledge of literacy education through a focused, rigorous program. It will develop your skills as a teacher and writer in a supportive learning community. The certificate program seeks to accomplish the following goals:

  • Develop effective strategies for teaching the writing process to English-language learners and diverse populations, as well as reading and writing across the curriculum.
  • Engage educators in current research about composition, reading, and learning theory.
  • Create learning communities where educators reflect on their own teaching, reading, and writing.
  • Give educators opportunities to learn from other practicing educators.

(Please note that a university certificate program or certificate is distinct from a state certificate or certification).

Quote from Sarah Bassett

I left the summer institute with a renewed passion for writing education, and I also became an advisory board member of the Minnesota Writing Project to stay involved with their work.

Sarah Bassett MEd 2016 English Education and Critical Writing Certificate



This program begins with a three-week, 3-credit Minnesota Writing Project (MWP) Invitational Institute and then extends to allow educators to choose from a wider range of courses from multiple university departments throughout the academic year.

You will gain strategies for:

  • Teaching the writing process to English-language learners and diverse populations
  • Incorporating reading and writing across the curriculum

By reviewing your own reading and writing in learning communities, you will learn from other practicing educators and deepen your reflective practice about your work as a literacy educator.

How to apply

    Application deadline and instructions

    Currently enrolled students: If you are enrolled in another program at the University, you need to apply to earn this certificate.

    You must apply and be admitted to the Minnesota Writing Project Summer Institute before you can be admitted into the certificate program.

    Application priority deadlines:

    • December 15 - Spring start
    • April 30 - Summer start
    • July 31- Fall start

    You can also contact the faculty adviser for the program, Justin Grinage.

    Tuition and funding

    Tuition varies depending on your degree program, student status, and residency. If you are seeking only the certificate, you pay the CEHD departmental master's tuition rate. More cost information is on the CEHD site.

    Certificate-only students are not eligible for financial aid.

    Application requirements

    Before applying online, make sure you have all the required materials. We are here to help! If you have questions, please contact the academic advisor in your program area. Even if you are a currently enrolled student, you must apply to earn a certificate. We also require a bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. institution or foreign equivalent with at least a 2.8 GPA.

    To apply you will need:

    • Unofficial transcripts: Upload your transcripts into the application system; please do not mail your transcripts. Official transcripts are required only after you are admitted.
    • Resume: Upload in the Program Supplementary Information - Graduate Program Additional Application section.
    • Statement of purpose: Explain the relationship of courses and research to your professional goals. (Recommended length: two pages).

    Additional admissions information

    International applicants

    This program does not support VISA requirements; if you need a VISA, please view our Master of Education degree option instead.

    International applicants may also need:

    An English translation of your transcripts, if the transcript is not in English. A course by course evaluation may be required.
    TOEFL scores. Official TOEFL scores are required. You may qualify for an exception if you have completed 16 semester or 24 quarter credits within the past 24 months in residence as a full-time student at an accredited institution of higher learning in the United States.
    UMN TOEFL score requirements and submission guidelines

    TOEFL registration and score submission

    Contact and advisor


    We’re here to help. Simply complete one of these forms and a member of our department will be in touch.