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Writing Certificate



Program Requirements

All courses must be taken for a letter grade, and students must maintain a B average to remain in the program.  All policies and the honor code must be adhered to. In addition, Certificate students are required to abide by the Student Code of Conduct that applies to all Stanford Continuing Studies students. Failure to adhere to the Student Code of Conduct, honor code, or other program policies, may result in removal from the Certificate Program. As is common in higher education programs, admission to the Certificate program is provisional. After your first quarter, a committee will be reviewing your coursework and conduct before granting permission to proceed.


Since discussions and workshops are central elements to all courses in the Certificate Program, weekly online participation is expected. Participation and attendance are factored into grades, and serious lack of participation could result in removal from the program and forfeiture of fees and tuition. However, there are no required online meeting times. Students may log in and complete assignments anytime during the day and with considerable flexibility during the week. 

Reasonable Work Expectations

In order to complete a full manuscript within the two-year program, we recommend students write roughly three times the pages assigned and workshopped in their classes.  At this recommended rate, students who start their novel from scratch will enter the One-on-One Tutorial with 200 pages of prose.

Course Sequence Requirements

Students are expected to take all five OWC 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 (OWC 306). The alternative genre course may be taken in the regular Online Writing Program during the Summer quarter or any time prior to the One-on-One Tutorial. Once students complete OWC 306, they will have up to one year to contact the Program Coordinators to schedule and complete their One-on-One Tutorial.


Deferrals are granted only in emergency or medical circumstances, and will be made on a case-by-case basis. For medical deferral requests, students may be required to submit their deferral request directly to the Office of Accessible Education for review. If you are still unable to enroll after the deferral period, you will need to re-apply to the program during a future application cycle.

Honor Code

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 may apply to the registrar of Continuing Studies for their certificate.