PPW Certificate

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The English Literature Major and the PPW Certificate: Open More Doors 

Want to master the skills of critical thinking and complex problem solving? Work closely with faculty who know your name, help you craft your arguments and prose, and engage with you on a journey of cultural analysis across myriad times and spaces. English Literature majors take their training everywhere: they become professors and doctors, ad executives, and heads of nonprofits. They are sharp, versatile students who want to open more doors in their futures.

You can major in English Literature and complete the Public and Professional Writing (PPW) Certificate. If you are a Literature major, you can count one of the courses you take in your major toward the Public and Professional Writing certificate (see below for the specific courses).

To earn the PPW certificate, students must complete one 400-level PPW class (Writing for the Legal Professions, Writing for the Public, or Written Professional Communication), two 1000-level PPW classes (such as Grant and Proposal Writing, Language of Business and Industry, Professional Editing in Context, Public Relations Writing, Creative Corporate Writing, Professional Uses of Social Media, or Language of Science and Technology), and three additional courses from the 400-, 500-, 600-, or 1000-level (one of which can be an ENGLIT course from the list below). To find application guidelines for the PPW program, along with other information, visit the PPW pages.

  • Internships are available and recommended. Read about other Literature Majors who have completed internships.
  • Most PPW classes allow you to create and polish work samples for your portfolio.
  • Students can elect to complete service-learning credit by volunteering in the community.
  • Many PPW courses offer instruction in digital media. Students are also supported in creating digital portfolios for their job searches.

Literature Courses That Can Count Toward the PPW Certificate

ENGLIT 0399 Narrative and Technology

ENGLIT 0505 How to Do Things with Literature

ENGLIT 0541 Literature and Medicine

ENGLIT 0628 Working Class Literature

ENGLIT 1412 Secret Pittsburgh

Alumni Voices

"I graduated with an English Literature major and two certificates – PPW and Children’s Literature. The PPW certificate translated my academic tools, like essay writing, critical analysis, and discussion of literature, into tangible, desirable skills that have been invaluable to my post-graduate career. The hands-on, media-based learning I received from PPW expanded my career options and has made the transition between college and post grad exciting!" Lauren McNeil, Dietrich '15, Marketing and Conventions Coordinator at F.A. Davis

"My major allowed me to study a passion of mine while the PPW certificate allowed me to get practical job experience using my writing skills. Through the PPW certificate, I found two internships during school and then a job right out of college. I highly recommend this program because internships are much easier to find through it and employers look for internship experience."  Conor Flynn, Dietrich '14, Content Marketing Coordinator at PLS Logistics Services

"The PPW certificate had an immeasurable, positive impact on my experience as an English major. I learned technical and practical writing skills and techniques that have helped me secure each of the positions I have held since college." Erika Kyle, Dietrich '10, Senior Event Coordinator at The Event Group