The Creative Writing BA Program: Academic Requirements

In addition to meeting general degree requirements, creative writing majors must complete a minimum of nine courses and an 8-credit senior project (41–43 credits total) as follows. The foundation course and the two genre courses must be completed with a grade of B or higher:

  • CWR 1050/Foundations in Poetry and Fiction: 4 credits*
  • Two courses in the student’s chosen genre (poetry or fiction): 8 credits*
    CWR 2400/Poetry Writing I and CWR 3400/Poetry Writing II
    CWR 2500/Fiction Writing I and either CWR 3200/The Art of the Novella or CWR 3500/Fiction Writing II
    *Must be completed with a grade of B or higher
  • Two literature courses, chosen from the following: 3–4 credits
    LIT 2361/U.S. Short Story (3 credits)
    LIT 2560/Survey of U.S. Literature I (4 credits)
    LIT 2570/Survey of U.S. Literature II (4 credits)
    LIT 3581/Realism and Naturalism (4 credits)
    LIT 3620/U.S. Poetry (4 credits)
    LIT 3755/Poetry and the Avant-Garde (4 credits)
  • Two upper-level creative writing electives: 8 credits
  • Arts-related course(s): 3–4 credits
  • CWR 4000/Special Topics in Creative Writing: 3 credits
  • CWR 4990/Senior Project in Creative Writing: 8 credits

Note: A semester of study abroad is strongly recommended.

Examples of Arts-Related Courses
Courses in the following list are subject to change, and new courses may be added. Students should consult with their faculty advisor when choosing arts-related courses.

Conservatory of Music:
SOA 4595/Opera History II
SOA 4610/History of Recorded Music II: Bebop to Hip-Hop

Conservatory of Theatre Arts:
SOA 3775/Costume Design Seen Through Film

School of Art+Design:
SOA 3000/Introduction to Video Art
SOA 3001/Art in the Age of Electronic Media
SOA 3210/Sound/Interactive Media I
SOA 3220/Sound/Interactive Media II
SOA 3237/The Arts for Social Change

School of Film and Media Studies:
SOA 3770/Anatomy of an Indie

School of Humanities:
ARH 3190/History of Photography

School of Liberal Studies & Continuing Education:
AAR 3120/Contemporary Art
AAR 3400/Impressionism
AAR 3520/Art of the ’80s, ’90s and 21st Century
ADR/FTF 3255/Musicals: Stage, Screen, and Beyond
CSS/FTF 3075/American Film, Reflections of a Century I: 1900–1949
CSS/FTF 3175/American Film, Reflections of a Century II: 1950–1999
GDR 3040/Life Drawing II
GPA 3060/Painting From Art History
GPA 3150/Painting II

Sequence of Study
All creative writing majors follow a sequence of courses, whether their chosen genre is poetry or fiction:

  1. To encourage an awareness of and sensitivity to the various aspects of the craft of creative writing, students are required to take the introductory course, CWR 1050/Foundations in Poetry and Fiction, in their first year of study.

  2. In the second year, poetry students move on to CWR 2400/Poetry Writing I, then to CWR 3400/Poetry Writing II, while fiction writing students take CWR 2500/Fiction Writing I, followed by either CWR 3200/The Art of the Novella or CWR 3500/Fiction Writing II.

  3. After completing this course sequence, students have the opportunity to study for one semester with a writer-in-residence. In addition, advanced tutorials are available on a regular basis, emphasizing continuous, close work on revision and editing skills. In the most advanced classes, students begin to explore the fiction and poetry market. A component of advanced study may also include experience in editorial and copyediting techniques as preparation for work in the publishing industries.
  4. Students take CWR 4000/Special Topics in Creative Writing in the spring of their senior year, in tandem with the second semester of CWR 4990/Senior Project in Creative Writing.

For updates during 2013–2015, please visit

Arrow up icon | << School of Humanities home