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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October 2019

29 Plain Language Final Project PLNL410 PLNL410-ON1197

November 2019

5 Plain Language Principles PLNL110 PLNL110-ON11972

5 Plain Language in Health Literacy PLNL520 PLNL520-ON1197

12 Plain Graphics and Design PLNL310 PLNL310-ON1197

January 2020

14 Plain Language Principles PLNL110 PLNL110-ON12011

21 Writing Plain Language for Law PLNL510 PLNL510-ON1201

February 2020

11 Plain Graphics and Design PLNL310 PLNL310-ON1201

March 2020

31 Plain Language Principles PLNL110 PLNL110-ON12012

May 2020

12 Advanced User Analysis PLNL320 PLNL320-ON1204

July 2020

7 Plain Language Principles PLNL110 PLNL110-ON12041

August 2020

4 Writing Plain Language for Law PLNL510 PLNL510-ON1204

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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