Graduate Certificate in Writing

Individuals holding a bachelor's degree who wish to pursue the Graduate Certificate in Writing may apply for admission to the program prior to taking any GLS courses or after taking a handful of courses as a non-degree GLS student. Up to four GLS classes taken prior to admission to the certificate program will be applied toward the Graduate Certificate in Writing requirements.

No transfer credit is admissible to this plan of study; nor is financial aid available for certificate-only study.

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Complete your online application.

Writing Sample

The writing sample for certificate-only study may be an example of either your academic or creative writing, not fewer than 1,000 words and not exceeding 2,500 words. Poetry is not admissible for the purposes of this application. The sample may be excerpted from a longer work, and must have been written within the past five years. If the writing sample was submitted as coursework or for publication, the sample must include the title of the class or publication and the original date of submission. The writing sample must be an academic essay supported by research which meets the standard of graduate-level writing. 

The Admission Committee will evaluate your intellectual and academic preparedness for graduate-level writing. Wesleyan Graduate Liberal Studies seeks applicants who have serious academic interests and can articulate thoughtful, coherent arguments supported by appropriate, properly cited materials. The writing sample should be prepared exclusively by the applicant and will be reviewed using the following rubric.

If Academic:

  1. written in an academic (not colloquial or conversational) style
  2. topic clearly fits within the target concentration of arts, humanities, mathematics, sciences or social sciences
  3. clearly states a position, provides support for the position, acknowledges contrary considerations, and comes to a conclusion
  4. strong grasp of grammar, usage, and spelling, as well as organization and structure
  5. demonstrated excellence in editing (i.e., organization, spelling, grammar, syntax)
  6. clarity of expression
  7. creativity and originality of thought
  8. correct and appropriate use of cited material according to standard academic convention (i.e., MLA, Chicago)

If Creative:

  1. excellence of narrative structure
  2. development of theme
  3. development of character
  4. strength of voice
  5. cleanness of style
  6. clarity of expression
  7. creativity and originality of thought

Applicants whose work does not meet these criteria will not be considered for admission. Applicants whose work minimally meets these criteria may be invited to reapply after taking a Graduate Liberal Studies course with a foundational writing option.

The sample may be excerpted from a longer work and must have been written within the past five years. If the writing sample was submitted as coursework or for publication, the sample must include the title of the class or publication and the original date of submission.

NOTE: Applicants who do not already have an appropriate writing sample from previous academic coursework may use the following guidelines:

1. Write a 6-8 page research essay on the topic of your choice, within your proposed concentration area.
2. Identifying a topic can be difficult; give yourself permission to spend thirty minutes reading a book you’ve been meaning to read, reviewing the news from a credible source, or browsing a magazine or journal to help you discover something that you’d like to learn more about.
3. Learn more about the topic by consulting credible academic or journalistic resources, or primary sources.
4. After consulting 5-8 sources, you should be able to arrive at a conclusion on the topic.
5. Your essay should articulate your argument and be supported by the resources you have consulted.
6. Your resources should be cited properly in the style appropriate to the discipline in which you are writing.

Depending on the topic and number of resources used, students may submit longer papers, but ten pages should be considered the limit. The rubric for assessment found above will be utilized for all Academic Writing Samples.

Statement of Academic Intent

The statement of academic intent, not to exceed 250 words, should be prepared exclusively by the applicant and address one or more of the following:

  1. Why are you choosing to pursue graduate work at this time?
  2. Are there specific areas of knowledge in which you hope to develop expertise?
  3. If you have had the opportunity to perform research on the topics that interest you, casually or in an academic setting, please describe.
  4. Any additional information that you feel is relevant to your application.


Generally, non-degree students are not required to submit official transcripts. Our office will verify any degree information provided. If there is an issue verifying degree information, you may be required to submit an official transcript. If there is an issue, our office will reach out to you.

If you are interested in pursuing a degree with us in the future and would like to submit your official transcript(s), please have it sent directly to us from the degree-granting institution. Electronic transcripts can be sent to; hard copies can be mailed to Graduate Liberal Studies, Wesleyan University, 74 Wyllys Avenue, Middletown, CT 06459.

Immunization Cover Sheet

Students applying for the MALS or MPhil degree, or for full-time, or for residential status, must provide proof of compliance with the State of CT's immunization requirements. If you are unsure if you are required to submit proof of compliance, please email us at

School Report

Enter a School Official from the last institution that you attended (prompt appears in online application). If you are unsure who to enter, the Registrar’s Office at your last institution is a common contact for the School Official Report. An email will automatically be sent to the school official that you entered when you submit your application. Contact if you have questions regarding this report.

Academic Recommendations

Two letters of academic recommendation must be completed online by the recommenders. The academic recommendation request can only be accessed through the online application. Recommenders should be individuals who have taught you in a post-secondary academic setting and can speak to your qualities as a student. Recommendations from employers, friends or family members will not be considered and may jeopardize your application to degree admission.

TOEFL Exam Score

Required if an applicant's native language is not English; IELTS test results will also be considered. The minimally acceptable TOEFL score for graduate work is 100, and the minimally acceptable IELTS score is a 7.