The Editing and Document Design certificate of proficiency provides expertise in planning, evaluating, and revising texts for publication. As a standalone credential or as a complement to another degree, this versatile certificate helps prepare you for both publishing-related careers and disparate career fields that require effective communication.

Within many workplaces, editing and document design tasks are performed by people whose job titles are unrelated to publishing. In such capacities, you may polish internal- and external-facing workplace communications and enforce consistent messaging, style, and branding. Working in publishing-related fields, you may specialize in literary texts, creative texts, to technical and professional texts, or you may handle a mixture of genres and media.

Regardless of the workplace context, editing and design tasks usually extend beyond grammar and mechanics. Editing and document design work requires you to advocate for readers’ needs while also respecting authors’ creative decisions, complying with relevant policies or regulations, and meeting other stakeholders’ expectations. You may edit and design content for translation, localization, and globalization. You may root out biased language and mitigate oppressive rhetoric. Additional areas of responsibility may include information architecture, visual rhetoric, usability, accessibility, user experience, and quality control.

If you appreciate the nuances of language, have a knack for spotting errors, inconsistences, and plot holes, or relish the challenge of solving complex communication problems, then this certificate is for you. If you’re intrigued by design psychology, have an eye for visual design, or want to learn digital design software, then this certificate is for you. The Editing and Document Design certificate provides opportunities to develop editorial and design judgment and to improve skills in problem-solving, collaboration, and project management.

Motivating Questions

  • How do we design information to solve communication problems?
  • How do we plan, review, and revise texts to improve user experience and accessibility?
  • What ethical obligations do editors and designers have when performing their work?
  • How do we determine whose voices are heard? How do we cultivate diverse voices that represent worldviews beyond our own experiences?
  • How do approaches to editing and document design differ across genres, media, and workplace contexts?
  • How have digital technologies and artificial intelligence changed audience expectations, communication practices, and publishing workflows?

Courses Overview

The required courses for the Editing and Document Design certificate teach you how to prepare texts for digital or print publication. Our two editing courses cover fundamentals, such as grammar, style, and markup symbols, as well as advanced topics ranging from typography to typesetting. You will use digital publishing tools to take manuscripts from editing to press-ready. Our Technical Communication course familiarizes you with technical genres and the basics of technical style, design, and digital design software, while our Digital Document Design course asks you to apply design principles and design psychology to create web standard texts.

Finally, you will choose one elective course from a designated selection of courses that delve deeper into technical communication practices, explore strategies for collaboration, or provide experience in grant and proposal writing.

What Can I Do with Editing and Document Design?

  • Content Manager
  • Desktop Publisher
  • Editor (e.g., Copyeditor, Developmental Editor, Layout Editor, Web Editor)
  • Editorial Assistant
  • Freelancer/Consultant
  • Graphic Designer
  • Information Designer
  • Proofreader
  • Production Specialist
  • Publications Coordinator
  • Technical Writer
  • User Experience (UX) Designer
  • Web Designer

Faculty Contacts

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