Founded in 1990, the Certificate in Publishing is the largest and most successful professional training program for the publishing industry in Canada. Our graduates thrive in book publishing and related industries, and in corporate, non-profit, and government communications.
Take a full range of courses covering the latest in print and digital publishing, including overviews of industry sectors and skills-based training in:
- production and design
- sales, marketing, and publicity
- literary rights and the business of book publishing
- digital publishing
This certificate program can be completed in the classroom, entirely online, or through a combination of the two, depending on your needs.
What Will You Learn?
Our courses include overviews of industry sectors and skills-based training in:
- production and design
- sales, marketing, and publicity
- literary rights and the business of book publishing
- digital publishing
Take specialized courses on various topics, including:
- children's publishing
- editing recipes and cookbooks
- government reports
- scholarly and reference publishing
- legal publishing
Put your new knowledge and skills in action through volunteer opportunities, internships, and jobs posted to all students in the program.
Who Should Take This Certificate?
This program will teach you the skills you need to succeed in the publishing industry. You may be interested if you:
- want to enter the publishing industry
- work in the publishing industry or in areas where publishing skills are required
- are considering a career change
Who Teaches the Courses?
Our instructors are respected industry experts. They work in publishing and bring up-to-date, applied knowledge to every course. Here is an up-to-date list of our current Publishing instructors and their biographies.
You may also wish to visit our Instructor Profile Directory.
Our Publishing program academic coordinators – Brad Horning and Meg Taylor – are seasoned veterans of the publishing industry. They bring a wealth of knowledge and experience and possess strong links with the Canadian publishing community.
Their roles include the following:
- student advising
- curriculum development
- course programming
- liaising with the publishing community
- instructor hiring and management
If you have any questions about the Publishing program, don't hesitate to contact our coordinators: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions about the registration process and fee payments should be directed to the Chang School office: email@example.com.
Brad Horning has been a part of the Canadian arts community for the past 30 years and has specialized in publishing since his move to Toronto in 1992. A one-time Ryerson University student and recipient of the program’s Eve Orpen Award, Brad has served as academic co-coordinator since February 2007; he taught Publishing and the Electronic Age in the Publishing program for 10 years.
It was during his studies at Ryerson University that Brad was offered a position with a Toronto-based publisher. Since then he has worked as a production coordinator, database developer, business analyst, and systems administrator for businesses in Australia, England, and extensively throughout North America. In addition to teaching and co-coordinating the Publishing program, Brad is currently Manager, Business Systems, for Cengage Learning (formerly Thomson), where he manages the development of proprietary Internet-based procurement, rights, and business-to-business applications within a non-centralized workgroup.
In his free time, Brad enjoys many forms of popular culture. He is an avid TV and movie buff, and has been collecting comic books since the age of five. But more than anything he loves giving back to a community that has given so much to him. He spends countless hours on the Internet researching the next wave of publishing technology for his class and loves it each time one of his former students drops him an email beginning “you’ll never guess what we talked about at our company today…”
Meg Taylor brings 30 years of experience in the book publishing industry to her vision for the future of the Publishing program. As academic co-coordinator, her focus is on working with instructors and students to keep the curriculum current and working with the Program Director, Muthana Zouri, to expand partnerships both within Ryerson and beyond.
Since 2005, Meg has been an independent editor for publishers, curators, and scholars in Canada, the United States, and Asia. She is the former editorial director of the Art Canada Institute and helped to develop the ACI’s Online Art Book Project. She got her start in publishing at Weatherhill in Tokyo (now an imprint of Shambhala) and later worked as senior editor at Doubleday Canada.
Meg began teaching in 2003 as an instructor in the Book Editing Immersion Workshop at Simon Fraser University; she was director of the workshop when she resigned in 2010 to focus on her teaching in Toronto. Since 2005 she has taught Substantive Editing in Ryerson’s Publishing program.
She has served on juries for the Trillium Book Award and the Trillium Poetry Award. A member of the Editors’ Association of Canada since 1990, Meg is also a founding member of the Society of Writers, Editors and Translators, Tokyo.
Feel free to contact the coordinators with any questions about our program: firstname.lastname@example.org
Industry and Careers
The production of print and digital materials is a key activity for many organizations, including:
- book publishers
- magazine and journal publishers
- non-profit organizations
- professional associations
- research institutes
- universities and colleges
Book publishing has been at the heart of the publishing industry since the invention of the printing press. Today it includes a wide range of sectors, from trade and educational publishers to university presses, reference and specialty publishers, and self-publishing.
Toronto is the centre of the Canadian publishing industry. The Ryerson Publishing program draws on the city’s resources through internships and job postings. Our instructors are all active professionals in the industry.
Digital technology has spawned many new types of publications:
- ebooks in various formats
- online publications
- online educational materials
This program integrates digital publishing across the curriculum.
- Two required courses
- Six 39-hour electives
- Two 19.5-hour courses are considered equivalent to 1 39-hour course
- Cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 1.67+
Recommended Course Sequence
If you are working full-time, you are advised to register in no more than two courses per term.
- Undergraduate degree
- Mature student status with related professional experience and education
If you are an undergraduate student in your final year, please contact the academic coordinators at email@example.com.
Meet Our Recent Graduates
Mulitnational Trade Publishing, Editorial
“When I decided to pursue a career in book editing, I had no idea where to begin and had no contacts. Through the introductory courses at Ryerson I was able to have meaningful conversations not only with smart peers with the same interests, but with wonderful instructors who were active members of the publishing community, and who were always willing to offer advice and perspective, not to mention crucial references when they mattered most. I landed an editorial internship three months into the program with Doubleday Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada, and am still here today in the role of Editor. The Ryerson Publishing program made it possible for me to work with some of the best writers in the world, surrounded by bright and tremendously hardworking colleagues and mentors.”
Recipient, Rosemary Shipton Award for Excellence in Book Editing (2012)
Editor, Doubleday Canada
Canadian Independent Publishing, Production and Design
“Ryerson’s Publishing program equipped me with the skills I need to work in one of the most exciting areas of publishing – design. When I first enrolled in the program, I wanted to become an editor. Although the editorial courses were great, I quickly realized that this was not the best match for me. Luckily, the Publishing program also offers excellent production and design courses. These courses prepared me for a production internship at Penguin Random House Canada, where I met and learned from some of the most talented and creative people in the industry. The internship led to freelance work with HarperCollins Canada, a position as production assistant at Firefly Books, and then a position as production coordinator at Drawn & Quarterly in Montreal. I currently work at Inhabit Media in Toronto, an Iqaluit-based publisher that promotes storytelling from the Canadian Arctic. None of this would have been possible without the Certificate in Publishing program and the amazing people I met there.”
Recipient, Pearson Canada Award (2015)
Graphic Designer, Inhabit Media
Educational and Scholarly Publishing, Editorial
“I enrolled in Ryerson’s Publishing program because I was interested in leveraging my graduate degree (a PhD in anthropology) and my experience teaching undergraduates into a career in publishing. The courses I took at Ryerson were key to my career success. The educational publishing overview gave me insight into the industry and an opportunity to connect with and learn from instructors with established careers. Through the Ryerson program, I landed an internship at Canadian Scholars’ Press, which ultimately led to my first position in educational publishing. Now I work at Pearson Education Canada as an Acquisitions Editor for the Humanities and Social Sciences. I credit the Ryerson program for providing me with the skills and connections that I needed to kick off my publishing career.”
Recipient, Pearson Canada Award (2013)
Acquisitions Editor, Pearson Education Canada
U.S. Book Publishing, Digital Production
“I entered the Ryerson program without a clear idea of where I wanted to end up in publishing, but I knew I wanted to work with books in a digital format. Ryerson offered the exact courses and contacts that helped me secure an internship at HarperCollins Canada in Digital Sales & Marketing, which led to a summer contract. That experience, combined with coursework focusing on production (print and digital) and a healthy exposure to other aspects of the industry, gave me the background I needed to join the Time Inc. Books team in New York City, where I was Digital Product Coordinator, managing their ebook and print-on-demand programs until March 2018. I am currently Digital Product Distribution Coordinator at W.W. Norton, utilizing the skills I learned through the Ryerson Publishing program on a daily basis.”
Digital Product Distribution Coordinator, W.W. Norton
Frequently Asked Questions
I’m attracted to a career in publishing, but I don’t know which area to specialize in. Which course should I take first?
Start by taking one of the two overviews: CDPB 100 - Trade Publishing or CDPB 200 - Educational Publishing. By the time you finish the course, you will have a better idea of where your talents and interests lie. You might choose to specialize in editing, production and design, sales and marketing, publicity, literary rights and the business of book publishing, and/or digital publishing.
Which courses should I take if I know I want to be an editor? Do I have the foundation in grammar that I need to take Copy Editing (CDPB 102)? Should I consider taking Practical Grammar and Punctuation (CDPB 312) first?
To enter CDPB 102, ideally you will score 80 or higher on this Diagnostic Grammar Test. This is a self-administered test to help you determine whether you should take Practical Grammar and Punctuation (CDPB 312) first.
This is a closed-book test. Give yourself 30–45 minutes to complete it. Once you have completed the test, please see the Diagnostic Grammar Test Marking Sheet for solutions.
If you score between 70 and 80 and decide to proceed directly into Copy Editing, please review grammar basics (see Practical Grammar by Maxine Ruvinsky). Under 70: we highly recommend that you take Practical Grammar and Punctuation (CDPB 312) before tackling Copy Editing (CDPB 102).
Eligibility and Preparation
I work in corporate communications. Will your courses provide professional development for me?
Yes. Our courses that focus on copy and stylistic editing, production, design, and digital publishing may be particularly helpful to you.
I’m in my late 30s. Will I be the oldest person in the class?
No. Publishing program students range in age from early 20s through 40 and beyond.
I’m starting my undergraduate degree now and want to take your program later. Should I major in English?
You should study something you really enjoy. Regardless of your major, you will benefit later from following current events and reading widely in both nonfiction and fiction.
I’m finishing my undergraduate degree and would like to start your program early. Can I do that?
You can, but before you do please consider the amount of additional work that you will be taking on. Most of our courses require three hours per week of classroom or online time plus another three hours – often many more – outside the classroom, and many students still completing their degree find themselves struggling with the additional workload.
I didn’t complete my university degree. May I still register for the Certificate in Publishing?
Please contact the academic coordinators at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Internships and Jobs
Do I have to complete the Certificate in Publishing before I apply for an internship?
No. Feel free to apply for an internship as soon as you feel you have the skills to impress (usually after taking at least four courses).
Do I have to register for the Certificate in Publishing to apply for the Publishing Program awards?
Yes. Our awards are open only to students who are registered for the Certificate in Publishing.
Can I complete the certificate online?
Yes, you can complete the certificate through online courses, but it may take longer, as some courses are not offered as often and not all courses are available online.
I live in Toronto. Can I take online courses?
Yes. Online courses are open to enrolment for local students as well.
As an online student, can I qualify for internships and awards?
All Publishing students are welcome to apply for internship opportunities, though currently most of these are in the Greater Toronto Area. All registered certificate students – online and on-campus – may apply for awards.
Coursework, Grades, and Credits
Will I receive a Ryerson University credit if I successfully complete a Publishing program course?
For most courses, yes. Every certificate course in the Publishing program is a graded, university-level credit course.
Are the assignments based on real-life publishing?
Yes. Because our instructors work in the areas they teach, the assignments are very realistic and are indeed often drawn from confidential real-world materials, used by permission.
How large are the classes?
The maximum is 35 in the overview courses and 28 in the skills-based courses. These limits ensure a close student-instructor relationship and make it possible for us to employ the instructors we do. The same limits apply to our online courses.
How many hours a week of my time will each course require?
Every on-campus course meets for three hours one evening each week for seven or 14 weeks. Allow about four to five hours extra for readings, homework, and assignments, though you may find that some courses require more than that. Online courses entail similar time commitments. Time commitments for workshops vary.
How many courses should I take each term?
The number of courses you should take depends on your own schedule and energy level. We strongly recommend, based on years of student experience, that students who do not have a job or internship take no more than four courses per term and that students with full-time jobs or internships take no more than two. If you have both a full-time job and home responsibilities, be realistic about the number of hours you can set aside for your studies each week.
How long will it take me to complete the Certificate in Publishing?
You need eight full credits (or half-credit equivalents) to get the certificate. Figure out how many courses you can handle each term. We recommend that you take no more than four courses per term, and no more than two if you are working full-time.
How much will it cost to complete the certificate?
Costs are on a per-course basis, with some additional administrative fees and the occasional textbook or software purchase. Check each course description for fees. We attempt to keep software purchase costs as low as possible.
May I use credits from other programs or universities towards the Certificate in Publishing?
Yes. You may use one or two, as long as they are credit courses, relevant to our program, and do not duplicate courses you have already taken with us. All Transfer Credits must be approved by one of the Publishing Program academic coordinators.
Fast-track your certificate with an intensive, three-month program. The Publishing Intensive delivers six of the eight credits needed to complete the Certificate in Publishing over three intensive months. Courses cover trade publishing, educational publishing, copy and stylistic editing, an introduction to design, production (including an introduction to digital production), and publicity.
Why Register for the Certificate?
By registering for the Certificate – which you can do at no cost – you will have early access to enrol in courses, many of which fill up quickly.
You will also be eligible for Publishing awards.
Here are some great reasons to pursue your certificate:
- Build a comprehensive base of practical, real-world knowledge and skills.
- Earn a well-respected credential that carries significant weight in this industry.
- Develop professional connections through your fellow students, expert instructors, and other industry specialists.
Awards and Financial Aid
The Certificate in Publishing program offers the following awards:
- Marsh Jeanneret Memorial Award
- Pearson Canada Award
- Wallace A. Matheson Award for Creativity and Innovation in Educational Publishing
- Rosemary Shipton Award for Excellence in Book Editing
More information about how to apply for these awards is provided to registered students.
We offer an extensive network of industry partnerships that provide direct links between your learning experience and a career.
If you’re enrolled in a Publishing course (and for a full year after your last course), you are eligible to apply for any of the internships posted each term on the Publishing student email service. Internships are in various sectors:
- digital and reference
Within these sectors you may apply to work as an editorial intern, a publicity intern, etc. Choose the internship that fits your skills and career plans.
Most full-time three-month internships offer an honorarium of $1,200 to $1,500 upon successful completion. Part-time internships are typically pro-rated on that basis. There is a trend in the industry toward offering minimum wage, and there are even one-year internships, so read the details carefully.
Questions? Contact Brad Horning and Meg Taylor, Academic Coordinators.