A professor having a discussion with a group of students near the UAlbany main fountain

Certificate of Graduate Study

Teaching Composition

Program of Study

This certificate program in teaching composition strengthens you as a job candidate when you apply for academic positions. Most academic positions require applicants to have experience in teaching first-year writing to undergraduate students.

However, experience alone is not enough to differentiate you from a pool of applicants. This program will allow you to show that you have not only taught writing to undergraduate students, but that you did this well and in an engaging, effective manner. You will be able to demonstrate that you have a deep understanding of the theory and research surrounding pedagogical methods in teaching writing.

When you complete this certificate program, you'll have tangible proof that you are an effective writing teacher with sound experience. You'll be evaluated while you teach and receive actionable feedback to help you improve your skills and techniques.


Required Courses

  • Teaching Writing and Literature
  • Practicum in Teaching Writing and Literature

One of the following courses:

  • History and Theory of Composition
  • History and Theory of Rhetoric
  • Current Trends in Rhetorical Theory and Research
  • Special Topics

    Additional Program Requirements

    • Teach at least two semesters of Writing and Critical Inquiry in the Humanities
    • Participate in the WCI (Writing and Critical Inquiry Program) professional development opportunities, including any instructor orientation and staff meetings
    • While teaching Writing and Critical Inquiry in the Humanities, have your teaching effectiveness documented through student evaluations and through observation by the WCI program director or designated English faculty liaison
    • Work at least one semester as a tutor in the Writing Center and participate in all Writing Center professionalization activities and staff meetings during that semester.

      Teaching Portfolio

      Prior to graduation submit a teaching portfolio to the WCI director or designated English faculty liaison between English and the WCI program.


      See the Graduate Bulletin for details.

      For more information, contact the English Department at 518-442-4055.

    Applied Learning

    Since this program helps you strengthen your teaching skills and makes you a competitive candidate for academic positions, it is largely based on your performance in the classroom.

    You'll work as a tutor in the Writing Center for at least one semester. In addition, you'll teach at least two semesters of Writing and Critical Inquiry in the Humanities.

    You'll participate in instructor orientation, attend staff meetings and engage in other professional development opportunities presented through WCI.

    You will also have your teaching evaluated during those two semesters. Either the WCI program director or a designated English faculty liaison will observe and evaluate your methods, then offer mentoring to help you improve as an instructor.


    Career Outcomes

    With a Certificate in Teaching Composition you will acquire documented proof of your teaching skills and methods that can set you apart from the competition when pursuing positions after graduation.

    This graduate certificate program is geared toward PhD students who plan to go into academia once they complete their degree.

    Potential job titles include:

    • Lecturer
    • Professor or Assistant Professor
    • Faculty Tutor
    • Instructor
    Group of college students