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Writing Certificate

Writing Certificates - Policies & Honor Code

Program Requirements

All courses must be taken for a letter grade, and students must maintain a B average to remain in the program. All Stanford Continuing Studies Writing Certificate students are required to abide by the Student Code of Conduct that applies to all Stanford Continuing Studies students. Failure to adhere to program policies may result in removal from the Writing Certificate.

Admission to the Writing Certificates is provisional. The first course will be used to assess whether or not the program is a good fit and whether a student will be cleared to continue in the program.

Participation Expectations

Since discussions and workshops are central elements to all courses in the Writing Certificates, online participation is expected on a weekly basis. Students may log in and complete assignments anytime during the day and with considerable flexibility during the week. Students will be able to see an instructor’s Zoom session schedule in advance of registration and can choose one that works best for them, but there is also some flexibility—no one is expected to be at 100% of Zoom sessions. They are all recorded for later viewing. 

An on-going lack of participation in the weekly discussion boards and submission of assignments could result in removal from the program and forfeiture of fees and tuition. 

Course Sequence

Students are expected to take all five Writing Certificate core courses in sequence, without breaks, beginning in the term in which they are admitted. With the exception of the Summer recess, the courses must be taken consecutively until students complete Novel IV or Memoir IV.

The elective may be taken anytime: concurrent with an Writing Certificate course, during the Summer quarter, or within a year of finishing Novel IV or Memoir IV. The electives are selected from the open-enrollment Continuing Studies courses, and students will be notified each quarter which upcoming courses will meet the elective requirement.

The optional One-on-One Tutorial must also be done within a year after Novel IV or Memoir IV.


Program deferrals are granted only in emergency or medical circumstances, and will be made on a case-by-case basis. Students are required to provide documentation to support their request. A deferral is always for one calendar year, and the student would rejoin at the same point they left. If they are still unable to enroll after the deferral period, they may need to reapply to the program during a future application cycle.

Code of Conduct

Students will submit original work they themselves have authored. Disruptive or hostile behavior may result in removal from the program and forfeiture of all tuition and fees paid. In the interest of building trust and community, students will use their real names. Students must abide by the Student Code of Conduct at all times.


After all coursework is completed, students will receive their certificate via postal mail.