Certificate Information

Certificate in Editing

This certificate program helps individuals sharpen their editorial eye, clarify their thoughts and learn to edit and proofread copy efficiently.

Are you interested in the expanding field of print and electronic publications? Do you have an interest in desktop publishing and design? Do you love reading? Are you a stickler for detail and correctness in language? Do you find yourself being asked to help others polish their prose? Do you enjoy being part of a team but also like to work quietly in the background?

The publishing industry is vast and needs people who can shepherd materials from conception to blueline. Editors are found wherever the printed word is important, and that is just about everywhere in this age of information. In fact, whenever you read good writing, whether it’s between the covers of a book or magazine or on the web, it’s almost certain that an editor worked silently behind the scenes to shape its final form.

What do editors do?
Editors are the bridge between writers, publishers and readers. They work with writers in every conceivable communication industry: publishers of newspapers, magazines and books, corporations, government and financial, health care and educational institutions. They shape writing that will appear on paper and on screen, contributing ideas to documents that range from simple newsletters to complex reports, from poetry and fiction to computer documentation and everything in between.

Is editing for you?
If you respect language and value clarity of thought and expression, then editing could be for you. If you want to share your superior language skills, enjoy working with words and images and like the challenge of meeting deadlines, then the profession can use your talent.

What will the Editing program give you?
Upon completing this part-time, non-credit program you will have the knowledge, skills and confidence necessary to join the world of print and electronic publications as a junior editor and partner in the writing and publishing process.

If you are new to editing, the program will provide a supportive environment in which you can learn about all aspects of editing. If you have experience as an editor, you will polish the skills you already have and develop new ones.

What does the program cover?
The nine core courses cover the essentials. Students sharpen their editorial eye, clarify their thoughts and learn to write, edit and proofread copy efficiently. The electives offer a range of topics that focus on specific aspects of editing and publishing.

How long does it take to complete the certificate?
You must complete a minimum of 144 hours of instruction—122 hours of core courses and at least 22 hours of elective courses. Like all our certificate programs, this one is non-credit, part-time and flexible, designed so you can proceed at your own pace. Many of our students work in the field while they study and apply what they learn immediately.

We recommend that you take 18 to 24 months to finish so you have time to master and practise the content, apply your skills and interact with other students. The certificate may be completed more quickly if the course schedule permits. There is no maximum time limit to complete a certificate. However, you should apply early in your program to lock in your graduation curriculum.

Who teaches in the program?
Our instructors are professionals and use materials based on current industry practices.

What prerequisites do you need?
There are no pre-requisites to the Editing Certificate program, however, it is recommended you complete Editors and Editing: An Introduction. You should also have computer experience and competent English language skills. Particular courses may have specific prerequisites; please refer to individual course descriptions. In addition, you should have good writing skills and some word processing experience. For participants whose first language is not English, International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores are required. For more information on IELTS, please visit the IELTS web site. For upcoming testing dates, visit the SFU IELTS site.

How can you find out more?
To find out more about the Editing Certificate, plan to attend one of our Certificate Information Sessions. For further information about the application process, see the Certificate Application page or call the Program Assistant in the Writing and Publishing Program, 778-782-5073.

Certificate Requirements

Certificate students are required to complete a minimum of 144 hours of instruction.

  1. Core courses, recommended order (122 hours)
  2. *Final Editing Project may be taken only after all other course work, including electives, is completed.

  3. Elective courses (20 hours)
  4. The remaining 20 hours must be chosen from the following:

    Up to two Writing and Publishing Program courses from the Business Communication and Professional Writing Certificate or the Publishing Certificate not listed here can also be chosen as electives. Please note that Summer Publishing Program courses (SUMM) are creditable for only the Publishing Certificate.

Ready to Apply?

Please see our Certificate Application Information page for information on application deadlines and the application process.

See also


Font Size

[-] [+]


Advisory Committee

Natalie Makortoff
Continuing Studies

Laura Millar
Editorial and Educational Consultant

Lana Okerlund

Barbara Tomlin

Ruth Wilson