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Most Classes Begin Mar 28
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Writing Certificate




Admission is by application only. Applicants do not need to be published writers, English majors, or even college graduates. The Certificate Program is designed for people from all walks of life, from all parts of the world, with varying degrees of writing experience.  Most applicants will probably not have published, though we will take publication into account. Applicants must hold a high school diploma or its equivalent. 

Students in the Continuing Studies program are not matriculated Stanford University students, and not all University student privileges apply to Continuing Studies students. The University reserves the right, at its discretion, to withhold registration from, or require withdrawal from the program of, any student or applicant.

Admission Acceptance Deadlines

If accepted, students must begin the program in the subsequent Fall quarter. Deferrals are not allowed. To confirm their intent to pursue the program, students must enroll in the first course The Writing Life: Form and Theory of the Novel (OWC 101) by the mandated enrollment date, September 1, 2015, or forfeit their spot in the program. Finally, any student drops after the mandated enrollment date, September 1, 2015, will also forfeit all tuition paid.


Students must register each quarter; there is no automatic enrollment. Course numbers for all of the required courses start with the OWC designation. Only students admitted into the Certificate Program can register for OWC courses. Students may register for their courses online, by mail, fax, or in person at the Continuing Studies office. Phone or email registrations are not permitted. Students should be sure to register at least one week prior to the course start date to ensure that they get timely access to the online class platform.

Statement of Nondiscriminatory Policy

Stanford University admits qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the University. Consistent with its obligations under the law, Stanford prohibits unlawful discrimination, including harassment, on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law in the administration of the University’s programs and activities. 

To read all University Policies, including the complete Nondiscrimination Policy, please visit our University Policies page.

Class Size

The Certificate Program will seek to admit approximately 30 students per admission cycle, to be divided into two sections. To give students the opportunity of the broadest feedback and to encourage the overall coherence of the cohort, the make-up of the sections will be rotated each term. 

Non-Native Speakers of English

Non-native speakers of English are welcome to apply for the Certificate Program if they have the ability to write fluently and idiomatically in English. The Online Writer’s Studio has counted international students and non-native speakers among its participants since its beginning.

Transfer Credits

Continuing Studies does not accept transfer credits from other universities or programs. If appropriate, previous courses taken through Stanford Continuing Studies’ Online Writer’s Studio may fulfill the alternative genre requirement. This is at the program director's discretion. 

How to Apply