Travel Writing Certificate of Completion

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Travel Writing Certificate of Completion Overview

Come immerse yourself in a community of creative and professional writers. Chatham’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (MFACW) offers a new post-baccalaureate Certificate of Completion in Travel Writing. This certificate requires 12 credit hours and can be completed in two semesters plus one summer, in full- or low-residency format. Through the Certificate, students benefit from the best of what an MFA program has to offer: experienced travel writing faculty, practical training through guided field experience, training in the craft of elevated writing, guidance toward polishing creative work for publishing, and built-in community through our Summer Community of Writers program.
Application Deadline


We evaluate applications on a rolling basis; however, we recommend that applicants apply as early as possible.

Credits Required


Certificates of Completion can be completed in two terms plus one summer.

Cost Per Credit


Cost consists of program tuition (cost per credit times number of credits) as well as any applicable University and degree-specific fees.

Further Your Education

Easily Transferrable

Credits can easily be transferred into Chatham’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing or Master of Arts in Creative Writing programs.

Explore the Certificate of Completion in Travel Writing:

By the end of the certificate, students will have at least two polished longform essays ready to submit to travel journals.


  • Have a completed baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, with an overall undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale.
    If a student has below a 3.0 GPA, please feel free to apply if you show extreme promise through other achievements. Additional Admissions documents may be requested.

Completed application for admission by the posted deadline, including:

    • Online application
    • Admissions Essay (current prompt found in application portal)
    • Curriculum vita or Resume
    • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
    • 10-page prose sample

Admissions Materials can be uploaded in the application or submitted to:
Chatham University
Office of Graduate Admission-Berry Hall
Woodland Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Email Admissions

International Applicants

International Applicants must submit additional documentation to the Office of Admissions. A list of these documents can be found on the International Admission web page.

ENG585: Travel Writing

This course focuses on the art and craft of travel writing. Students will read and study contemporary travel writing and will be expected to generate creative work that illustrates a deep understanding of the literary tools available to writers in this genre.

ENG582: The Art and Craft of Narrative

Readings and writing in this multi-genre course will focus on constructing narratives in fiction, nonfiction, poetry or writing for children. Students will be introduced to the workshop method and given instruction on sending work out for publication.

ENG674: International Field Seminar

The field seminar is a traveling creative writing workshop designed to push students outside the realm of comfort and make them question their assumptions about themselves and their culture. Travel locations and specific topics will vary, but will always be outside the United States. An additional fee applies to this course.

For the last 15 years, I’ve had the pleasure of leading Chatham MFA students on International Field Seminars to such destinations as Chile, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Turkey, Vietnam, and South Africa. I can barely express how excited I am that we’re now broadening that experience to include the wider community. This Travel Writing Certificate of Completion will bring your words and your world into fresh focus and offer unforeseen lessons in community and craft and compassion.  Come join us—our next stop for Spring 2021 is Cyprus!

—Marc Nieson, Associate Professor

Our Faculty

Faculty members are accomplished teachers, practitioners, and active leaders in the field.

Full Faculty
Close-up photo of a student writing in a notebook in the library

Why Chatham University?

The MFA in Creative Writing has offered both travel writing classes and field seminars for over 15 years. In May 2016, Publisher's Weekly named the MFA in Creative Writing as one of a number of "great MFA programs," specifically focusing on our travel writing concentration. A number of our alumni are working travel writers, such as Rachael Levitt, MFACW ‘14, who now writes for Fodor's Travel Guide.

Photo of several people gathering at picnic tables on Chatham University's Eden Hall Campus in front of a white barn.

Summer Community of Writers

Certificate of Completion in Travel Writing students participate in the Summer Community of Writers (SCW), a ten-day, three-credit course that brings together Certificate students, low- and full-residency MFA students, community members, and acclaimed national writers for an intense and exciting learning experience. SCW takes place on our beautiful Eden Hall campus with daily workshops, dynamic craft lectures, faculty and student readings, and ample time to write.

Learn About SCW : Checkerboard 2 - Summer Community of Writers
Photo of of a group of Chatham University student posing in front of mountains in Iceland.

International Field Seminar

Certificate of Completion students have the option to join MFACW students on an International Field Seminar. Recent trips have included Indonesia, Ireland, Chile, and South Africa. Students may also opt to do an independent study in travel writing, in which they work closely with a faculty member to design the experience and outcomes.

Photo of a Chatham University student sitting on a bench outside writing in notebook on lap.

Step Into a Master's Degree

In addition to its immediate benefits, a post-baccalaureate certificate can also be a stepping stone into a Master's degree. Students can easily transfer their credits into Chatham's MFA in Creative Writing or Master of Arts in Creative Writing program, gaining familiarity with the instructors and general material that makes for an exceptionally smooth graduate experience.

Learn About MFA : Checkerboard 4 - Step Into a Master's Degree
Photo of two students seated on Adirondack chairs outside on Shadyside Campus

Alumni Careers

Here is an overview of what some recent graduates have gone on to do, and some of the places where they’re doing it: Editor-in-Chief at Autumn House Press, Pittsburgh, PA; Award-winning journalist for Public Source, Pittsburgh, PA; Acquisition Reader at Upstart Crow Literary Agency, Pittsburgh, PA; Writer and Community Specialist at ModCloth, Pittsburgh, PA; Information Specialist at USO, Frankfurt, Germany; Teaching Fellow at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA; Associate Professor at Youngstown State University, Youngstown, OH; and Official Speech Writer for Tibetan President in Exile.

Black and white profile of woman with dark hair and eyeliner.

Fiction is Still True: A Conversation with Brittany Hailer, MFACW '15

Brittany Hailer, MFACW ‘15, is an author and a journalist at Public Source and other outlets. Her new book Animal You’ll Surely Become is a genre-blending work of poetry and creative nonfiction that explores issues of addiction, sexual assault, and fractured families. Sarah Cadence Hamm, Social Media Manager for ChathamU and an MFACW ‘13 alum herself, sat down with Hailer for a chat about journalism, authorship, and the Chatham community.

Photo of a Chatham University student in sunglasses in a market abroad

Alumna Profile: Rachael Levitt, '14

Rachael grew up in Philadelphia, acquired her BA at the University of Pittsburgh and MFA in Creative Writing at Chatham University, and lived and taught in San Francisco and Austin, Texas. Currently, she works as the Managing Editor of Fodor's Travel digital site creating and editing original content, managing an editorial calendar and budget for 100+ freelance writers and a staff of in-house editors, and traveling the world. Rachael was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2018 and won a Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award in 2019.

Do you have questions?

We make it easy to get in touch:

Call Us


Text Us

412-419-3772 (standard text/SMS rates will apply)

Email Us

Request Information

Complete our Request for Information form

Or, answer a few questions and we will be glad to help.

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