Plain Language

Communicate clearly with any audience

Demand is growing for plain language specialists who can strip away bureaucratic lingo and communicate effectively with the public. Our plain language courses and certificate program will allow you to develop your skills in this critical communication area and apply them immediately to any work setting.

  • Take fully online courses on a flexible schedule
  • Learn from established industry professionals
  • Develop a professional network of peers



3–10 weeks/course


Take our plain language courses one at a time to suit your work schedule.

View plain language courses:

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September 2021

7 Plain Language in Health Literacy PLNL520 PLNL520-ON12171

14 Plain Language Principles PLNL110 PLNL110-ON12171

21 Plain Graphics and Design PLNL310 PLNL310-ON12171

October 2021

19 Plain Language Principles PLNL110 PLNL110-ON12172

26 Plain Language Final Project PLNL410 PLNL410-ON12171

November 2021

23 Plain Language Principles PLNL110 PLNL110-ON12173

January 2022

11 Plain Language Principles PLNL110 PLNL110-ON12211

February 2022

8 Plain Graphics and Design PLNL310 PLNL310-ON12211

March 2022

29 Plain Language Principles PLNL110 PLNL110-ON12212

April 2022

5 Writing Plain Language for Law PLNL510 PLNL510-ON12211

May 2022

10 Advanced User Analysis PLNL320 PLNL320-ON12241

September 2022

20 Plain Graphics and Design PLNL310 PLNL310-ON12271

20 Plain Language in Health Literacy PLNL520 PLNL520-ON12271

October 2022

25 Plain Language Final Project PLNL410 PLNL410-ON12271

Part-Time Certificate Program


8 courses

Finish in 1 year


Our hands-on Plain Language Certificate can help you develop in-demand plain language skills in as little as one year.

You'll learn to:

  • Write and edit information following plain language principles
  • Target communications to specific audiences
  • Work with graphic designers to produce effective communication pieces
  • Analyze and improve communications for clarity

Through your choice of electives, you can add specialized training in plain language for legal, health or technical settings.

Is this program for you?

We’ve designed our certificate for professionals in fields ranging from publishing and marketing to government and law. Our students include:

  • Writers and editors expanding their skills
  • Marketing and communications professionals
  • Graphic designers
  • Public service providers

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