Saturday, November 24, 2012

Copy Editing Certificate Programs

I lettered in English, was an English Sterling Scholar, and went to college for 2 semesters majoring in English. It was as I was sitting in Written Works 1800-1860 that I realized: How will this help me write my books? Do I need a degree to publish my books? Will all this debt be paid off once I'm published? So I stopped. Creative Writing would help. But Renaissance writing? No.

Since then I have discovered I would love to make Editing part of my career. Yet most Editor jobs request a Bachelors in Journalism, English or Communications. Now if you look at the courses you'd be taking, how much can you use in  your writing? To me I'd prefer to use the classes I'm paying for rather than just have the title to get me the job. So I am looking at online Copy Editing Certificate courses. I am stuck between 3 programs. I'll post the best ones here that I've found based on cost, types of courses, and they are all completely online (so I am not looking at ones on campus). I need one I can do on the go whenever. So if you have an opinion share it! I'll be picking one within the next month and I'll post more later.

Here are the contenders:

Media Bistro Copy Editing Certificate
Copy Editing I
Copy Editing II
Copy Editing III
Grammar and Punctuation

2 Electives (2 included, others $350-$425 ea)
Advanced Grammar
Writing and Editing for the Web
Develop a Freelance Career
InDesign for Writers & Editors
Online Research for Journalists

UC San Diego Extension Copy Editing Certificate
$395 a class ($1580 for 4 required. Extra $ for electives)
Copy Editing I
Copy Editing II
Copy Editing III
Grammar Lab

Recommended Electives (unkn prices)
Editing as a Business
Marketing for Copy Editors
Web Skills for Editors
Intro to Scientific and Medical Editing
Social Media for Editors

I am torn because each program has their pros and cons. I want a certificate not only for the knowledge and confidence it would bring but also to show potential employers. Which of these would provide the most knowledge if quality were all equal (which I won't know until I get in)? I'd say the one with the most classes? Media offers 6 classes for $1500. Not a bad deal. The program seems pretty all inclusive. Though what employers know what Media Bistro is? Where as UC San Diego is a real college (University of California San Diego) and my certificate might hold more weight. Though the classes are more expensive. Already $1580 for only 4 classes and Media Bistro claims to offer the same courses. So there they are. I'll let you know what I end up picking and how the class goes. I'll also let you know if it helps in my writing career so stay tuned!


  1. I know this is a sort of old blog entry, but you mention that you were stuck between three courses and then only post two. In my research, I have come across the same two that you mention--what was the third?

    I just graduated with a BFA in Creative Writing myself, but I work as a Copyeditor and would love to boost my skills and have a certificate. (The certificate would simply be a confidence booster!)

    Please let me know what you found out, or if you chose a course and how it worked out for you!


    1. Hello Alison,

      I stumbled on this page in search of tips for becoming a
      copy editor. Would you tell me how you started in the copy editing business?

  2. Hi! Never mind, I clicked through and read your blog entries about Media Bistro. Helpful information! I had been focusing on the UC San Diego Extension and I think I'll be sending them some questions tonight..

    1. Hi Alison!

      So sorry I'm just now reading your comments. Been super busy working on the novel. The third was one I ended up not really considering but it was based out of Australia. I won't even bother with the details as what we consider an associates, they consider something else and it wasn't worth the money. I'd stick with your choice for the UC San Diego. Even if you learn the same information, a degree will really help! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. I am interested also...I am thinking I might go with San Diego because the credits can be transferred and used as elective toward my BA degree. Maybe?

  5. I've also been looking into copyediting certificates. The other ones I found that looked credible (Media Bistro does NOT) are UC Riverside and Emerson. Unfortunately the Emerson program is in Boston, not online, but I did send them a note asking if they would consider offering the program online in the future. Perhaps if they receive several emails asking for an online program, they will offer it online, as they do have other online courses.

  6. University of Chicago also has a copyediting certificate program. At this point, only the first course is available online, but by the 2014-15 school year, it will be possible to complete the entire program online.