Frequently Asked Questions about Certificate Programs in

Fiction Writing
Creative Nonfiction Writing

Q: Why should I enroll in a Certificate Program?

A:  The Certificate Program offers major benefits including the opportunities to:

  • Receive a 30 minute, one-on-one goal-setting consultation with a Writers’ Program advisor, who helps you to chart out your certificate program curriculum based on your current 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 a complimentary one-on-one consultation on 100 pages of your manuscript with a Writers’ Program instructor
  • Interact, network, and share writing tips with fellow certificate program students through the Writers’ Program Certificate Students Facebook closed group
  • Participate in a UCLA Extension-wide graduation ceremony at UCLA’s historic Royce Hall and receive a certificate bearing the UCLA gold
  • Get free membership in the UCLA Alumni Association, plus discounts on future Extension
  • Qualify for a Bruin Card which can be used as a student ID for discounted movie tickets and bus passes and as a fee-free debit card at various locations on campus and in Westwood Village*
  • Enjoy recreation privileges on the UCLA campus*

*Nominal fee required

Q: Which courses are required for the Certificate Program in Creative Writing?

A: For the Certificate Program in Creative Writing, students first choose an emphasis in either Fiction (CE 0589), or Creative Nonfiction (CF 0590), and then complete a total of 24 units as follows:

Fiction Writing
6 beginning-level fiction units
9 intermediate-level fiction units 3 advanced-level fiction units
6 elective units in your choice of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, publishing, and writing for the youth market

Creative Nonfiction Writing
6 beginning-level creative nonfiction units
9 intermediate-level creative nonfiction units 3 advanced-level creative nonfiction units
6 elective units in your choice of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, publishing, and writing for the youth market

Q. When can I begin taking courses for my certificate? Will required courses be offered every quarter?

A. You may begin taking required courses right away and we advise all certificate students to sign up early. While we make every attempt to offer most required “core” courses every quarter, it may not always be possible. If a required course is not offered, please consult with an advisor to discuss a reasonable substitute. Courses may also be repeated, as long as they are taken for a letter grade.

Q: Can I apply journalism or screenwriting courses towards my certificate?

A:  No, only creative writing courses count towards the certificate program. Our course called Creative Writing: Screenplay is allowed.

Q. I have already taken creative writing courses at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. May I apply them to my certificate?

A. Generally speaking, you may apply any creative writing course you have taken in the Writers’ Program within the past five years to your certificate requirements, provided that the course meets the curriculum requirements, was taken for a letter grade, and a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better was earned. Courses that were previously taken Not for Credit or Pass/No Pass cannot be accepted, and you may not petition your instructor to change the record in order to award you a grade.  All grades, once filed by the instructor in the Final Grade Report, are final.  Please check with an advisor if you are in doubt about whether or not a course you’ve taken previously applies. Please check with an advisor if you are in doubt about whether or not a course you’ve taken previously applies.

Q. I have taken creative writing courses at an outside university or writing program. May I apply these towards my certificate? Do I still have to take the introductory/beginning sequence of courses?

A. Only Writers’ Program creative writing courses may be counted towards your certificate. However, if you have a verifiable course history, intermediate or advanced level Writers’ Program courses may be substituted for the six units of beginning level requirements. Please consult an advisor to receive departmental permission to waive your beginning level requirements. You may be required to submit a transcript of prior courses.

Q. Do I need to take more than one course per quarter to receive my certificate?

A. No, the certificate is designed to be completed by taking one three-unit course per quarter. However, you may elect to take more than one three-unit course per quarter if you have the time and wish to complete the certificate sooner.

Q. Do one or two-day courses apply to my certificate requirements?

A. Our one-day courses do not carry units, and therefore do not apply. Some of our two- day courses will apply to your certificate, but please consult with an advisor prior to enrolling.

Q. What should I do if I’m not sure what course I need to sign up for next?

A. Please call or email an advisor for personalized curriculum guidance.

Q. How do I know which instructor is best for me?

A. We suggest you visit the Writers’ Program’s listing of Instructors page. Each instructor has a dedicated page where you’ll find their photographs, bio, statement, web address, etc. You may also call or email an advisor or look at the published work of our instructors, which can often be found online or in bookstores.

Q. Do online courses qualify for the certificate program?

A. Courses for the certificate may be taken either online or onsite. There are no restrictions. While all of our “core” courses are offered both onsite and online, elective courses will sometimes alternate, or be offered only onsite or online.

Q. When do I receive my actual certificate?

A. When you have completed all 24 required units, contact your advisor. Once we’ve confirmed that your requirements have been fulfilled, your certificate will be processed and mailed to you.

Q. When do I receive my complimentary manuscript consultation (up to 100 pages)?

A. To receive your free manuscript consultation you must have completed all 24 units of coursework with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better. If you believe you have completed your requirements, contact Ani Cooney at acooney@unex.ucla.edu or 310 825-0107 to discuss your consultation.

Q. If I’ve finished my coursework but am still working on my manuscript, how long can I wait to use my free manuscript consultation?

A. Certificate students have up to six months after completion of coursework to submit a manuscript for consultation. There are no extensions for manuscript consultations after the six month period.

Q. Can I use my free manuscript consultation on a manuscript I wrote before I enrolled in the program?

A. Yes, you may submit any manuscript for the complimentary consultation.

Q. Can I share my success story with the program?

A. Absolutely! Please submit the following information to our Success Story coordinator Bree Todish at btodish@unex.ucla.edu and provide the following information:

Name:
Email Address:
Success Story: (Did your article get published in a magazine? Have you secured a book deal? Please provide as many details as possible.)
How have your Writers’ Program courses or instructors contributed to your success?

FOR INFORMATION ABOUT CREATIVE WRITING COURSES:

Ani Cooney
310-825-0107
acooney@uclaextension.edu

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