When you take the Certificate in Professional Communication – Persuasive Communication (CPC‐PC) you will learn what persuasive communication is and how to establish influence in a variety of situations, helping you excel in your career. Persuasive communication is at the foundation of building and maintaining relationships with collaborators and clients.

If you are a student planning to apply to a professional college in fields such as medicine, physiotherapy, veterinary medicine or law, this certificate will help you gain skills to effectively convey information and establish credibility in the application and interview process.

Quick facts
  • Part-time or full-time four-month certificate program
  • Previous post-secondary study required
  • In-person classes at USask's main campus in Saskatoon
  • Can be completed concurrently alongside degree programs

What you will learn

When you take the Certificate in Professional Communication – Persuasive Communication, you will learn how to use the art of persuasion in written and oral communication. Topics that you will study include understanding what makes a message convincing, how to craft effective messages for a variety of audiences and learning how credibility is established. The program consists of three courses (9 credit units) delivered by the Ron and Jane Graham School of Professional Development in the College of Engineering.

Many of the courses in the certificate program can also be used to satisfy degree requirements. Please speak with an academic advisor to see what options may be available to you if you are completing this program concurrently with another degree program.

Here are just a few of the classes you might take while you complete this certificate:

RCM 400: Rhetorical Theory and Practice of Persuasion

A survey of the aims and scope of rhetoric, the art of persuasion, as it is currently understood and practiced. Develops skill in the use and detection of rhetorical devices and methods, including understanding how rhetors adapt to the demands of various audiences; what makes messages effective, engaging and convincing, how situation influences the positioning of a message, and how credibility is established.

RCM 401: Oral Rhetoric

Focuses on application of the fundamentals of rhetoric to oral presentations. This is not primarily a course in performance. In addition to developing skills in delivery, it will concentrate on applying theoretical understanding in four other areas: understanding and adapting to audience, using rhetorical strategies to develop a well-structured, engaging, and convincing message, and accommodating to situational constraints; and establishing speaker credibility.

RCM 402: Interpersonal Communication and Rhetoric

A survey of foundational concepts in interpersonal communication. Topics include the nature of communication, self-concept, face and politeness, ethics, listening, context and situation, human motivation, identity formation, and persuasion. The course will incorporate rhetorical as well as social-scientific theories, and its goal will be to encourage students to think about the dynamic and shifting nature of human interaction, and to develop strategies for managing their own interactions particularly in their professional relationships.

RCM 404: Leadership as Communication

Examines leadership as communication, and in particular as a form of rhetorical activity. Drawing on both traditional and contemporary scholarship, it will combine theoretical understanding with practical strategies for improving skill across several dimensions of the leadership dynamic: interpersonal, rhetorical, social, ethical, and political. Through reading, discussion, and a variety of practical case studies and exercises, students will be challenged to develop their ability to guide, motivate, and support others toward common goals. Topics include leadership as rhetoric, the ethics of leadership, face-saving, conflict resolution and listening, community and team-building, group loyalty and identity formation, and persuasion.

The Course and Program Catalogue has the complete and official listing of required classes and their descriptions for this program.

  • It takes only three classes to earn this certificate and you can highlight it as an official credential on your resume.
  • At the Ron and Jane Graham School of Professional Development, we offer three specialized certificates in professional communication that can help you best match your goals: persuasive communication, technical and professional writing, and leadership and negotiation.
  • Our faculty equip students with skills that answer industry’s demand for employees who are effective at communicating with their colleagues, managers and others, including clients, government and the general public.
  • We provide small class sizes, personal attention and feedback from faculty and opportunities to hone your skills in class.
  • Our faculty are recognized experts in professional communication who have offered certificates in this area since 2007.


The Certificate in Professional Communication – Persuasive Communication offers essential skills if your goal is to communicate more thoughtfully, strategically and effectively in the workplace and beyond. If you are entering a career with a focus on client interaction, the skills gained by earning the specialized certificate in persuasive communication will be invaluable.

Tuition estimates

Note: if you are taking this certificate concurrently with a degree program, there will be no additional student fees. Tuition will still be assessed for each course. With proper program planning, you will use the communication classes towards your degree and you will already be paying student fees as part of your studies.

Canadian students International students
Tuition $811.80 per class $2,922.48 per class
Student fees $1,050 per year $1,050 per year

Tuition will vary depending on the type and number of classes you take in a year. This estimate reflects a typical amount you could expect to pay per class (2022-2023 Canadian dollar rates).
Student fees are used to fund specific student benefits, including health, vision and dental coverage, a bus pass, recreational programs and fitness centre access. This estimate reflects the price you would pay if you are a full-time student.
The cost of books and supplies varies widely depending on the courses you choose. It is recommended that you budget between $150-$250 for each class.

Program options

USask College of Engineering building

The Certificate in Professional Communication – Persuasive Communication is offered by the Ron and Jane Graham School of Professional Development in the College of Engineering. You may earn the certificate on its own, concurrently with a degree program from this college or others, or after completing a degree.

If you are already enrolled at USask, consult an academic advisor regarding enrolling in this program.

The Course and Program Catalogue has the complete and official listing of required classes and their descriptions for this program.

Admission requirements and deadlines

Admission requirements

All applicants to the Certificate in Professional Communication must meet the following requirements in order to be considered for admission:

  1. Completed at least 60 credit units of post-secondary coursework
  2. 60% average in the most recent 18 credit units of completed coursework
  3. Completion of RCM 200 Effective Professional Communication (formerly RCM 300), or an approved equivalent
  4. Proficiency in English

Applicants must have completed RCM 300.3 or an approved equivalent in order to be eligible for admission into the certificate program. Approved equivalencies include a minimum of six credit units in:

  • 100, 200, 300, or 400-level ANTH
  • 100, 200, 300, or 400-level ARTH
  • 100, 200, 300, or 400-level CMRS
  • 100, 200, 300, or 400-level DRAM
  • 100, 200, 300, or 400-level ENG
  • 100, 200, 300, or 400-level HIST
  • 100, 200, 300, or 400-level INDG
  • 100, 200, 300, or 400-level IS
  • 100, 200, 300, or 400-level LING
  • 100, 200, 300, or 400-level PHIL
  • 100, 200, 300, or 400-level POLS
  • 100, 200, 300, or 400-level PSY
  • 100, 200, 300, or 400-level RLST
  • 100, 200, 300, or 400-level SOC
  • 100, 200, 300, or 400-level WGST
  • Select CLAS Courses: CLAS 110.3, CLAS 111.3, CLAS 203.3, CLAS 220.3, CLAS 225.3, CLAS 228.3, CLAS 240.3, CLAS 242.3, CLAS 252.3, CLAS 259.3, CLAS 298.3, CLAS 299.3, CLAS 398.3, CLAS 399.3, CLAS 499.6


Start term Application deadline
2022 Fall Term (September) June 30, 2022

Ready to apply?

Both external applicants and current USask students must complete the online application form by the application deadline.

For applicants new to USask, a non-refundable application fee of $90 CDN is required before your application will be processed. Current USask students do not need to pay an application fee.


Ron and Jane Graham School of Professional Development
College of Engineering