Literary Journalism


Why study Literary Journalism?

This certificate will teach narrative journalistic writing techniques, reporting and research skills, and in-depth storytelling strategies to students interested in pursuing opportunities in literary journalism. The primary target is undergraduate writers (of any discipline, but drawing heavily from Journalism and English) seeking to enhance their nonfiction writing skills to include more advanced journalistic techniques. This certificate will also be available to non-matriculating students who might be aspiring or mid-career writers, journalists, authors, writing instructors and/or researchers who are interested in contributing to magazine-style or literary journalism outlets or pursuing book-length nonfiction projects.

Admission Requirements

There are no special admissions criteria for this certificate. Any student enrolled at UC (matriculating or non-matriculating) can pursue the Certificate in Literary Journalism. However, students pursing this certificate must earn a minimum grade of C- in a course in order for it to count toward the certificate for graduation/completion. This applies to required courses and electives in the certificate curriculum. 

Students who are already pursuing a degree in any college at UC can add the certificate to their program. They must submit a declaration of the certificate program using our online form.

Students not currently pursuing a degree may declare the certificate after establishing non-matriculated status.

Tomorrow’s nonfiction storytellers need a polished set of advanced writing and reporting skills to successfully engage in deeper information dives than the standard “who, what, when, where and why” of fast-paced news coverage, as they tackle some of society’s most compelling, troubling and important topics in their writing pursuits. This kind of reportage requires a well-developed set of writing, research, interviewing and storytelling skills that draw from the disciplines of journalism and creative nonfiction. UC is uniquely equipped to offer such a cross-disciplinary writing curriculum, thanks to the strengths of its award-winning faculty in the Journalism and English/Creative Nonfiction writing programs.

This certificate will provide undergraduate students in Journalism, English and other disciplines with a competitive advantage through the critical study and practice of in-depth narrative writing, reporting and research methods. While this certificate has potential to steer students toward careers in journalism (especially magazine-style reporting) or nonfiction writing, it also serves to enrich students’ intellectual experience as an end in itself, providing valuable skills in professional research, writing and critical thinking. As journalistic platforms change to meet the needs of new audiences and ever-changing methods of delivery, in-depth reporting and storytelling is more relevant, more important and more necessary than ever. This certificate will prepare aspiring journalists and nonfiction writers for opportunities in writing and publishing longform journalism, while also enhancing their personal and intellectual development through their literary journalism/nonfiction writing pursuits.

The primary advising point person for this certificate is Jenny Wohlfarth in the Department of Journalism (

UC's urban campus lends itself to great storytelling and reporting opportunities for UC students. The award-winning faculty in Journalism and English who teach the courses in this certificate bring real-world experience to the classroom and provide professional connections to students who are pursuing internships and jobs in this field. The optional internship course (JOUR-5050) that students pursuing this certificate may choose as an elective can provide them with experience working at a magazine or other publishing company to strengthen their professional skills and employability after graduation.

Also, students in the UC College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) enjoy many benefits afforded through study at a research-extensive institution ranked among the nation's top 25 public research universities. UC's urban location offers exciting opportunities for global education (including faculty-led study abroad programs), internships, research and service learning, while its student-centered focus includes an 11:1 student-faculty ratio, a nationally recognized Center for Exploratory Studies and a highly successful First Year Experience program that teaches critical skills for first-year students and provides connections with important campus resources.

Courses included in this certificate offer experiential, hands-on learning opportunities that can include faculty-led study-abroad opportunities, service-learning opportunities, and an optional internship experience. Students pursuing this certificate can intern with magazines, news organizations, digital-only publications, non-profit organizations and legacy publishing companies. UC students can also gain valuable experience by taking research-intensive or service learning courses, by studying abroad, and by submitting their work to student-run publications on campus.

Students who are pursuing a degree at UC will need to designate this certificate as part of their degree program when they apply for graduation.

Application Deadlines

There is no application deadline to pursue this certificate; enrollments are accepted throughout the academic year. Students must declare the Certificate using this online form. Students who plan to graduate with this certificate must follow UC's guidelines for graduation applications.

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Contact Information

Jenny Wohlfarth
Arts & Sciences Hall Room 13-B
University of Cincinnati
Cincinnati, OH 45221
(513) 556-0934

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Program Code: 15CRT-LITJ-C1