Certificate in Publishing

North Dakota State University Press
& the Certificate in Publishing

Giving region a voice! Experiential learning to the max!

Certificate Requirements
       Graduate students: 9 credit hours / Undergrad students: 12 credit hours

AHSS 472/672
3 credit hours
Offered every fall semester

AHSS 476/676
3 credit hours
Offered every spring semester

AHSS 496/695
1-6 credit hours
Offered every semester (including long summer session)

For undergraduates, the remaining required 3 credit hours may be filled with other courses –in consultation with the Certificate in Publishing program director—related to publishing, such as contemporary lit (writing or reading), poetry (writing or reading,) literary publications, InDesign, graphic design, digital history, historical research & writing, editorial processes, principles of design for print, working with nonprofits, communication, etc.).

What’s so great about the Certificate in Publishing?

  • Build resume & portfolio. YOUR name goes into each book you help bring to publication, and you receive two comp copies.
  • Gain hands-on experience in copyediting, marketing, publicity, project development & management, design, social media outreach, digital & print media, metadata, and more as you assist in the publication of books distributed nationally.
  • Learn the history, business, and practice of small press and university press publishing.
  • Publish books! Contribute to the corpus of knowledge.
  • Earn credits for internship experience.
  • Understand how the publishing world works in relation to your own publications.
  • Produce real-world products and experience all aspects of small press & university press publishing.

About the Certificate in Publishing

  • The Certificate in Publishing prepares students for the job market—within the unique framework of the publishing industry—in the top five skills employers seek among college graduates: communication, problem solving, ability to work in a team, project management, and quantitative skills. The courses deliver educational and hands-on experience in the practice of publishing scholarly and literary works.
  • The Certificate in Publishing program offers in-depth, real-life experience with a decades-old publishing house, applying current methods and customs of scholarly and literary publishing while meeting real-time production deadlines and schedules in preparation for national distribution of NDSU Press books.
  • The Certificate in Publishing focuses on the process of managing the production, publication, and distribution of print and electronic books and other text products, and preparing individuals to manage the editorial, technical, and business aspects of publishing operations.
  • The Certificate in Publishing includes instruction in product planning and design, editing, author relations, business and copyright law, publishing industry operations, contracting and purchasing, product marketing, electronic publishing and commerce, the history of small press publishing, and professional standards and ethics.

Course Descriptions

Introduction to Publishing
Listed in NDSU’s Campus Connection as AHSS 472/672 Introduction to Publishing

This introductory class will familiarize students with the history, business, and practice of small press publishing. Course lectures, readings, and activities focus on various facets of publishing history, production, and marketing processes. The course includes an orientation to North Dakota State University Press–a teaching and academic press located on the NDSU campus–and a hands-on experience in publishing a current chapbook manuscript for the press.

The course will address the following areas of small press publishing: history of the small press movement; the history and aesthetics of the book; manuscript acquisitions and editing; the business of publishing; design aspects of publishing; copyright laws and permissions; promotion and marketing; and digital publishing. Introduction to Publishing includes two required field trips.

The Practicum in Publishing
Listed in NDSU’s Campus Connection as AHSS 476/676 Practicum in Publishing

Students enrolled in the Practicum in Publishing will have the opportunity to obtain and apply the skills of a publisher as they undertake editorial, publicity, and marketing activities for our forthcoming book releases. The students will take responsibility for key roles in social media marketing and development as well as working on line-by-line edits. The practicum puts into practice current methods and customs of scholarly and literary publishing, while meeting real-time publishing deadlines and schedules in preparation for national distribution of North Dakota State University Press books.

The Practicum in Publishing is offered every spring and is available for both Undergraduate and Graduate student credit. This practicum is repeatable for credit.

The Field Experience in Publishing
Listed in NDSU’s Campus Connection as AHSS 496/695 Field Experience

The Field Experience in publishing is tailored to meet the aims and goals of the student participant, while also furthering the mission of the press. The semester schedule is individualized in consultation with the student and the director of the Certificate in Publishing program.

About the Director of the Certificate in Publishing and the Course Instructor

Dr. Suzzanne Kelley has worked in various aspects of the publishing field since 2002. She began teaching courses in publishing in 2009, and she oversees all activities of NDSU Press, from acquisitions, through production, to marketing and distribution. She has shepherded nearly one hundred books (scholarly, literary, and poetry–print and digital) through production.

Kelley holds a PhD in History, editorial fellow (NDSU); a Master’s in History, Museum Studies emphasis, with honors (University of Central Oklahoma); and a BS in Applied Learning & Development, summa cum laude (University of Texas–Austin). She was a National Endowment for the Humanities Scholar. Since 2017, she has served as president of the Midwest Independent Publishing Association, and she is the current president of the NDSU Chapter of the honor society Phi Kappa Phi.


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