The Creative Writing major requires the equivalent of nine full courses, distributed as follows: the 201 gateway (a full course), three 300-level workshops (3 full courses), a full course or two half courses in electives, the 470 capstone (a full course), and three additional full courses in textual studies. Students who declare the major will have completed 201 and been admitted to their first 300-level workshop. No more than one 100-level course will count as a major elective. Courses in which a student has earned a letter grade lower than a C- or P cannot be used to fulfill the requirements of the major.
Courses Requiring Applications
Admittance to all workshops and projects, required by the major, is by application only. At the end of each term, applications are due on the final day of classes. Please see the program website for information on submission deadlines and to download application forms.
The 201 Gateway:
In CRWR 201, students are given the opportunity to explore a variety of poetry and prose genres and the intersections among them. Successful completion of 201 is a pre-requisite for 310 (poetry) and 320 (fiction), as well as a number of other 300-level workshops.
As with 201, admittance to the 300-level workshops is based on a juried selection process requiring the submission of a completed application and recent work sample. The quality of the work sample is the primary criterion for selection, and students who hope to major in Creative Writing should focus on producing a strong body of work in 201 and other lower division Creative Writing courses.
Independent Projects and Other Variable Credit Courses:
An application and work sample are required for most 400-level courses. Please check the course catalog for pre-requisites.
This three-course requirement gives majors the opportunity to explore, through various disciplinary perspectives, the genres in which they are writing. The requirement may be met by literature, theory, and film courses (generally at the 200-level and above) offered by English, the language departments, Comparative Literature, Cinema Studies, and other disciplines. While there are many ways of filling this requirement, it is strongly recommended that majors consult with their advisors in selecting courses related to the genres in which they are most interested.
There are a variety of options for filling this requirement:
- CRWR 110 or 120
- Elective courses at the 200-level
- Cross-referenced courses offered by other programs and departments
- Transfer of course work completed outside of Oberlin
- Elective workshops at the 400-level
- Half courses at the 400-level (e.g., CRWR 475, 485)
A minimum of 1 full course committed to a creative project, incorporating a substantial amount of independent work and designed in consultation with a faculty advisor, is required for completion of this requirement. Most majors will fill this requirement by completing a semester-long independent project (CRWR 470), though in special circumstances two semester-long half courses may be allowed. It is strongly recommended that majors complete two 300-level workshops, including at least one in a related genre, before signing up for 470.
Transfer of Credit
Upon acceptance to the College, transfer students with an interest in Creative Writing should consult one of the co-directors for approval of previous coursework. Third-year transfer students will find it almost impossible to complete the major in four semesters and might consider the minor. While credit is normally given for Creative Writing courses taken elsewhere, equivalent credit is almost never given for any of the four required workshops.
No more than two full courses of transfer credit may be applied toward the Creative Writing Major. Transfer courses may be applied toward the textual studies requirement, the in-program course requirement, or a combination of these.