• Total Courses
    Choose 5 from a list of 8 courses
  • CEUs | Contact Hours
    3.0 CEUs | 30 contact hours
  • Cost
  • Format
    Fully online
  • Time to Complete
    As little as 3–4 months
  • Funding Resources

Supercharge your Messages with These Online Business Writing Courses

Effective writing inspires and influences colleagues, management, and internal and external clients. Refining your writing skill improves the effectiveness of professional communication and boosts your image, gaining support for your position.

“Strong writing skills are essential for anyone in business. You need them to effectively communicate with colleagues, employees, and bosses and to sell any ideas, products, or services you’re offering.”
—Bill Birchard, Harvard Business Review

With the U of M’s Business Writing Certificate Program, you’ll gain proven techniques for writing powerful emails, reports, instructional manuals, memos, newsletters, and more. You’ll learn how to:

  • use advanced editing and proofreading strategies for more powerful and precise written content.
  • plan, draft, and present facts and data clearly and concisely.
  • write error-free business communications.

Business Writing Certificate Courses

Choose five courses (30 contact hours) to complete the certificate. We recommend starting with Foundations in Business Writing.

Career Outlook

Funding and Discounts

The U's professional development programs are affordable because they can be completed in relatively short order—sometimes within a few months—which can save you both time and money. What's more, there are other opportunities you can explore to potentially bring the cost down even further.


  • CCAPS offers scholarships of $500 to $2,500 to Minnesota residents who meet eligibility requirements.
  • If you're not employed, you may be able to take advantage of federal or state funding. Contact your CareerForce center to inquire.
  • Your organization may have funds set aside for employee education. Read about the benefits of employer investment in career development.


  • When you register and pay for all courses in the certificate at once, you'll receive up to a 10% discount.
  • University of Minnesota Alumni Association members receive a 10% discount.
  • U of M staff get 50% off most professional development programs.

See Discounts, Scholarships, and Other Funding for more information and possible exclusions to discounts.


The cost of the Business Writing Certificate is $2,100. But if you register and pay for all the courses in the certificate at once, we'll give you a 10% discount, a savings of $210! 

If you have questions about the registration process, payment options, or need to transfer or cancel your registration, contact the registration team:

612-625-2900 | ccapsreg@umn.edu

Option 1

Enroll, Register, and Pay for All Courses Now

  • Earn a 10% discount
  • Enroll for free
  • Register and pay now, make needed changes later
  • Get program updates

Enroll and Register for All Courses Now

Option 2

Enroll in Certificate Now, Register and Pay for Courses Individually

  • Enroll for free
  • Register and pay for courses at your convenience
  • Get program updates
  • U of M employees: choose this option to receive your discount

Enroll in Certificate Now

Enrollment Advisor

Shanta Bhoelai, enrollment advisor


Shanta Bhoelai

I can help you choose which professional development programs are the best fit to meet your career goals. I am here to answer your questions regarding specific programs, courses, or other career topics you have on your mind. 

Don’t hesitate to send me an email or schedule an online appointment. I'm here for YOU!

Business Writing Testimonials

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Business Writing?

Business writing covers a wide range of types of documents and writing styles that are commonly used in a professional setting. In writing certificate programs, business writing is taught to show professionals how to communicate effectively with the rest of their organization. Without business writing courses, many new professionals would have a hard time explaining their strategies, goals, and intentions.

What is the purpose of improving your business writing?

The easiest way to demonstrate the value of improving your business writing is in how it can help advance your career. Say you were a manager or executive hiring for a big position in your company. Would you hire someone whose resume or email communications had multiple errors in grammar, usage, and spelling? Or would you hire someone who presents a professional image through exceptional writing and a proven track record of strong written communication skills? By improving your business writing, you ensure you're in a better position to communicate your goals, vision, and purpose.

What are the different document and style types of business writing?

Business requires writing for a wide range of document types, many of which are written very differently from one another. Imagine a business email that confirms the receipt of a document. It has a very different style from a business plan, website, or annual report. Even a grant proposal often requires specialized knowledge to present effectively.

By comparison, the writing style will be different based on the type of writing that you're doing. If you're writing a business website or sales content, you'd use persuasive language. A business plan will use an informational tone, and your business processes and procedures instruct the reader through a step-by-step process.

How is business writing different from academic writing?

Business writing is about improving the effectiveness of professional written communication. You want to create emails that have headlines that make people want to open them. You want to create proposals that will be approved. These require at least a touch of persuasive language. By comparison, most academic writing is informational, focused on specific facts and presenting a particular argument. 

What will I learn in a business writing course?

Part of what you'll get out of online business writing courses will depend on the specific course you take. If you're interested in exploring CIO or CTO positions in the future, technical writing may appeal to you. This entails developing solid documentation and more fact-based informational or instructive writing. If your interest lies in marketing, courses covering social media and web writing may appeal to you. By focusing on persuasive writing styles, you could help convert readers into potential leads. 

If you're looking at management, courses that focus on writing policies and procedures that use an instructional format to walk employees through these processes will provide you with the specialized writing style that you'll need. Similarly, taking an executive position that requires you to be able to author reports and proposals requires a specific mix of informational and persuasive writing that you'll want to master thoroughly before proceeding.

In these writing certificate courses, using proper grammar and being able to effectively proofread and edit documents is of vital importance to your future success. 

Does the Business Writing Certificate include a Copywriting Course?

While the writing certificate program at the College of Continuing and Professional Studies doesn't include a specific copywriting course, our Writing for the Web and Writing for Social Media do cover the vast majority of projects that most copywriters encounter today. The certificate also provides solid experience in persuasive writing. The pieces you write in class may become part of your professional portfolio, giving you writing samples to demonstrate your expertise to potential employers.

What's more, your Business Writing Certificate includes a range of grammar, editing, and proofreading classes that give you the knowledge you need to work well with editors while producing low- or no-error writing in your initial drafts. This knowledge allows you to focus on what you need to write, rather than how it should be written, speeding up your production.

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