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Graduate Certificate In Composition Studies


The Graduate Certificate in Composition Studies is an 18-hour program designed to provide English and Writing/Composition instructors with the credentials needed to teac​h dual-credit/enrollment courses in Texas high schools or lower-division writing courses at local universities and community colleges.* The program provides courses relevant to the challenges of teaching college writing in Texas – teaching that must negotiate different levels of academic preparation, language differences, and cultural differences by incorporating diverse pedagogical strategies.​

Courses are taught (mostly) in-person by faculty with extensive experience and expertise in teaching composition and writing courses. Courses are offered on weeknight (M-Th) evenings at the UHD campus and meet once a week. Courses are offered during the fall and spring semesters and occasionally over the summer term(s). Students may enroll part-time or full-time (3-9 SCHs).

* Each institution establishes its own interpretations for SACSCOC credentials for its faculty; we encourage you to check with your institution before choosing courses in the program in consultation with the Program Director.

​Curriculum ​

​Course Number / Title
​Semester Credit Hours (SCH)
​​4 required Courses (12 SCHs)​
​ENG 5317 - Rhetorical Theory and Criticism
ENG 5301 - Contemporary Composition Theory
ENG 5302 - Multicultural Composition Studies
ENG 5327​ - Teaching College Writing Practicum ​
​2 elective courses (6 SCHs)
​ENG 5306 - Critical Theory
​ENG 5316 - Advanced Studies in the History of Rhetoric
​ENG 6306 - Literary Theory and Interpretation​
​ENG 6307 - Advanced Shakespeare​
​ENG 6313 - British Literature Seminar​​
​ENG 6314 - American Literature Seminar
​ENG 6315 - World Literature Seminar​​​
​ENG 6316 - Multicultural Rhetorics
​ENG 6317 - Theories and Practice of Second Language Acquisition
​ENG 6319 - Language Variation and Adaptation

​ENG 6326 - Theories of Developmental Writing and Reading
​ENG 6327 - Studies in Literacy​
​ENG 6370 - Theories of Collaborative Learning and Pedagogical Practices
​ENG 6371 - Strategies for Writing Assessment
​TCOM 6310 - Intercultural and World Communication
​TCOM 6318 - Stylistics and Editing
​TCOM 6323 - Communications and Technology​
​18 total semester credit hours​

Please visit the UHD Catalog​ for more detailed information on degree requirements, course offerings, and course descriptions.

Note: Students should regularly consult with the Program Director and current/future employers to determine which electives to take.

How to Apply

​ Applicants must hold a BA, BS, or an equivalent degree from an accredited college or university in the US or overseas and complete and submit all of the following items in order to be considered for admission. Resumes and personal statements can be uploaded through the myUHD portal, emailed to, or mailed to:

Office of Admissions – Graduate Admissions
University of Houston-Downtown
One Main Street, Suite GSB 308
Houston, TX 77002-1001​

  • Submit an application through the ApplyTexas Application
  • Pay the $35 application fee
  • Request/submit official transcripts from the institution where applicant received a bachelor’s degree as well as any graduate schools attended to the email or mailing address above. (Community college coursework will not be considered in the admission process and need not be submitted)
  • Provide a 10-15 page academic writing sample. We ask that you compose a researched, argument-driven academic essay on a topic of general interest using a generally recognized academic style sheet for references (MLA, APA, or Chicago).
  • Provide a personal statement of approximately 500 words that addresses the following questions in detail. Support your views with reasons and examples drawn from such areas as your reading, experience, observations, or academic studies. Be sure to develop your ideas fully and organize them coherently:
    • Why do you want to study rhetoric and composition?
    • What topics or issues in our field might you want to study further and why?
    • What qualifies you to embark upon this field of study?
    • What experience do you have in this field?
    • How do you plan to use your degree?

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Last updated 4/7/2022 2:23 AM