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Mar 2, 2018

New Writing Certificate Program Broadens Career Prospects

Sponsored Content provided by Aswani Volety - Dean, UNCW College of Arts and Sciences

This semester, UNCW’s Department of English launched a new certificate program, enrolling the first students to pursue a post-baccalaureate certificate in science and medical writing at the university.

The program grew from faculty requests from the Departments of Environmental Sciences, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Biology and Marine Biology and other scientific disciplines to develop writing courses for their graduate students. Professional writing faculty in the English department developed the program and piloted graduate science writing courses throughout 2016.

The 15-hour post-baccalaureate certificate in science and medical writing is designed for graduate students and working professionals and can be earned online. The program teaches students to produce print and electronic genres, including research papers, grant applications, graphics and social media that will enable them to advance their work and move their careers forward.

Students choose from courses that include Professional Science Writing, Writing in the Medical and Health Professions, Grant and Proposal Writing, and Science Writing for Cross-cultural and Global Audiences, among others.

The certificate will serve UNCW graduate students from science and health science programs across the university. It will also enable students pursuing the M.A. in English to obtain a concentration that will broaden their career prospects to include science and medical writing.

A current M.A. student in the Department of English who is working toward this concentration is completing an internship with New Hanover Regional Medical Center assisting physicians and residents by editing and formatting their research for publication.

The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Science and Medical Writing program increases post-graduate opportunities for UNCW students and helps meet the regional workforce’s need for employees with specialized skill sets. Employers are looking to hire students with soft skills, including the ability to communicate effectively, think critically and write well. These skills, provided by a high-quality liberal arts education, enable students to find employment.

“Wilmington has thriving medical and pharmaceutical sectors; professionals from those areas who are pursuing advanced degrees in other disciplines at UNCW have already enrolled in and successfully completed our pilot courses for this program,” said Colleen Reilly, certificate coordinator and professor in the Department of English. “Our program can provide opportunities for professionals in the area to enhance their writing skills thereby advancing their careers.”

Applicants to the Post-baccalaureate Certificate in Science and Medical Writing program must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university and have a strong overall academic record. The program is accepting applications for 2018 fall admission now through July 1; the deadline for 2019 spring admission is Nov. 1. For more information, contact Colleen Reilly or visit the program’s website.

Aswani Volety, Ph.D., is dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and a professor in the Department of Biology and Marine Biology. Volety earned a Ph.D. in marine science from the College of William & Mary, and a master’s and a bachelor’s degree in zoology from Andhra University. The College of Arts and Sciences is UNCW’s largest academic unit, employing over 450 full-time and 150 part-time faculty members and awarding approximately three quarters of the university’s academic credits. Volety serves as the chief academic, fiscal and administrative officer of the college, which is responsible for educating students across the arts, sciences, humanities and social sciences, and includes the UNCW Center for Marine Science. Volety is also the current president of the Southern Association of Marine Labs.To learn more about the UNCW College of Arts and Sciences, visit Questions and comments can be sent to [email protected].


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