Technical and Professional Communication Certificate Program

In today's global economy, clear and accurate prose is a staple of success. Via both print and electronic media, writers are conduits to audiences with diverse linguistic, cultural, and demographic profiles.However, the challenges presented by the demands of global communication are many and require that a professional communicator possess a diverse range of abilities.

CSULB's Technical and Professional Communication Certificate Program meets this need by providing an educational experience focused on developing the communication skills needed for success within the office--and across the world. And we have been doing so for more than two decades.


Our Certifcate Program is intended for students who know that written communication will be important in their professional lives in business, science, technology, government, public service, or freelance work.

Students in our program have obtained internships and employment with corporations and agencies throughout southern California. Our graduates have also become successful freelance writers and have gone on to earn advanced degrees in technical and professional communication.

Our certificate program is unique in a number of significant ways:

    • It can be completed as an adjunct to a baccalaureate or post-baccalaureate degree earned or in progress. Students may also pursue the certificate as a stand-alone, post-baccalaureate program.
    • It includes 24 units of coursework that provide extensive interaction with both program faculty and practicing professionals.
    • Program faculty are themselves practicing professional communicators and educators.
    • Students may tailor much of their course of study to their proposed career path.
    • Program coursework focuses on written communication as well as mixed media and layout, design, graphics, and content delivery.

    Certificate in Technical and Professional Communication as a Stand-Alone, Post-Baccalaureate Program

    Students may pursue the certificate as a "stand-alone" program, and it prepares students for gainful employment in a "recognized occupation."  The U.S. Department of Labor Standard Occupational Codes (SOC) for the Certificate in Technical and Professional Communication are:

    To find out additional information about this professional field, please visit, and search the SOC code for the occupational profile for Technical Writers and/or Editors.  You may also go directly to the profile by following the above links.

    Stand-Alone, Post-Baccalaureate Program Costs

    Cost information is based upon completion of the “stand-alone” Certificate in Technical and Professional Communication program within the normal time frame of four semesters.

    Tuition & Fees*


    Books & Supplies


    Program Cost


    * Based upon Tuition/Fee rates as of 7/1/11.

    Non Resident Tuition**


    Nonresident Program Cost


    ** Using Non-resident Tuition rate of $372 per unit, as of 7/7/11.


This information may be found near the bottom of the University Catalog page that contains overviews of each program within the English department:

Please note: If you are not a current CSULB student, you must apply to the University prior to applying for the Certificate Program. Please refer to the Enrollment Services website( regarding application deadlines and tuition costs.



The final requirement for the TPC Certificate is a portfolio of documents written and edited while in the Program. To be able to submit a portfolio, you must be enrolled in English 492B the semester in which you will complete the Certificate Program.

Your portfolio will be evaluated by three Department faculty in TPC, including the English 492 supervisor (usually the Certificate Program Director).

The portfolio should showcase the best writing you produced as part of your TPC Certificate Program. While it need not contain every paper from every class, it should exhibit your skill through a variety of formats from your program classes, especially English 491 and 492A.

Also note that the documents you include in the portfolio should not be the graded assignments returned to you by instructors in your Certificate coursework; it is expected that you will improve upon what you produced in the courses as you put together the portfolio.  Thus, the documents showcased in your portfolio are held to a higher standard than in your classes.

    Highly Recommended Sequence and Contents

    1. Cover Page for Binder

    2. Letter of Transmittal (to the Program Director)

    3. TPC Certificate Program Planner

    4. Table of Contents

    5. Resume

    6. A page listing and describing the contents of each major section of the portfolio.

    7. The TPC documents, grouped into divided sections by some appropriate method of organization.

Overall Appearance

The portfolio and its contents should be neat, clean, attractive, and well organized.


The portfolio should be bound. Most students find that a three-ring binder works well.


Index-style separators are recommended, but plastic holders for individual pages are not recommended for the longer documents.


To review documents or address any questions or concern during the semester, you must make an appointment with the Program Director or another faculty evaluator.

Approximately half-way through the semester, you will be required to show a mock-up version of your portfolio.  At the very least, this mock-up of your portfolio should include the table of contents and dividers showing how the portfolio will be organized.

The final portfolio is then due approximately two weeks before the end of the semester.


For more information or to schedule an advising appointment, please contact the Program Director:

Jennifer Smith