Apr 19, 2024  
Course Catalog 2023-2024 
Course Catalog 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Creative Writing Major

The major consists of a minimum of 10 full courses (or the equivalent).

Note: Students must earn minimum grades of C- or P for all courses that apply toward the major.

arrow View the catalog page for the creative writing program.  

Note(s) on Requirements

  • Only one cross-listed 300-level workshop course may apply to the major.
  • Only one practical studies course (e.g., CRWR 450) may apply to the major.
  • Students must complete creative writing courses in at least two genres.
  • Students must take courses at the 200- and 300-level with at least three different instructors.

Declaring the Major

Students may apply to the major in their second or third year once they have, at minimum:

  • satisfactorily completed two 200-level courses, preferably in different genres, or
  • satisfactorily completed one 100-level course and one 200-level course, and are in the process of completing a second 200-level course in good standing, or
  • (for transfer students only) satisfactorily completed one 200-level course and have demonstrated that they have satisfactorily completed the equivalent of another 200-level creative writing course at another institution.

The program accepts applications to the major in the middle of each semester. The application is both rigorous and holistic, assessing students’ development over three main areas: professionalism, workshop citizenship, and artistic commitment. Typically, the application requires a reflection on the student’s experiences in creative writing thus far, a proposed course of study in the major, an example of a workshop feedback letter written to a peer, and a portfolio. Applications are reviewed by the entire creative writing teaching faculty.

Students not accepted into the major may often still complete the creative writing minor.

Transfer of Credit Toward the Major

Credit for creative writing courses taken elsewhere may normally be applied toward the 200-level course requirement, to the textual studies requirement, or to both; however, equivalent credit is seldom given for any of the 300-level workshops. No more than two full courses of transfer credit may be applied toward the creative writing major.

Upon acceptance to the college, transfer students with an interest in creative writing should contact the program chair to discuss 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.

Course of Study

Students accepted to the major undertake a series of three intensive upper-level workshops: exacting, low-enrollment courses designed to test and refine the core skills and practices of maturing writers who are committed not only to their own development but also to that of their peers and to nurturing a vibrant, open-minded community of fellow craftspeople.

Acknowledging that there is no good writing without good reading, students also consult with their advisors to select textual studies courses to cultivate the careful reading and interpretation of literature that is central to any vital studio practice.

The major culminates in a substantial, closely-mentored capstone project, undertaken in a seminar setting with other capstone students. Capstone seminars include discussions of how to bring the skills and disciplines honed in the creative writing major out into the world after college.

Detailed Major Requirements

Creative Writing Major Course Lists

200-Level Creative Writing Courses

Return to the summary of requirements.

Textual Studies Requirement

Return to the summary of requirements.

Students should consult with their advisors when selecting textual studies courses.

Growing as a writer depends upon growing as a reader. The textual studies requirement asks students to deepen their knowledge of the traditions and current practices that shape the genres in which they write. The requirement may be met by courses in literature, narrative, or poetics (generally at the 200-level and above) offered by the departments of Africana studies, cinema studies, comparative literature, English, theater, and language departments such as French and Italian and East Asian studies. Textual studies credit may, in some cases, be considered for courses outside of these departments but within the Arts and Humanities (ARHU) division of the college. All such considerations and decisions are at the discretion of the program chair.

Students in their fourth (and sometimes their third) year may choose to substitute one of the textual studies courses for a practical studies course such as CRWR 450  or various other practica.