Creative Writing Major

We are excited to announce a new Major in Creative Writing, which is launching in Autumn 2017! Rising fourth-years will not be eligible for the major, but students in their third year or below will be able to declare the major starting in Spring 2017. Below you will find program details. 

What follows is a brief overview of the major. For a full account of the major, including sample plans and details on policies, please visit the College Catalog. A list of frequently asked questions can be found here.

at a glance

Students who graduate with the Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing will both be skilled in writing in a major literary genre and have a theoretically informed understanding of the aesthetic, historical, social, and political context of a range of contemporary writing. Students in the major will focus their studies on a primary genre: fiction, poetry, or non-fiction.

The organization of the major incorporates the workshop model into a broader education that furthers students’ knowledge of historical and contemporary literary practice, introduces them to aesthetic and literary theory, sharpens their critical attention, and fosters their creative enthusiasm.

Summary Of Program Requirements

  • 1 fundamentals in creative writing seminar
  • 2 technical seminars (in a primary genre)
  • 3 advanced workshops (at least 2 in primary genre)
  • 3 courses in literature
  • 1 literary genre course
  • 2 research background electives
  • 1 thesis/major projects workshop (winter quarter of 4th year)
  • 1 BA thesis (due in spring quarter; requires work with preceptor over 4th year)

= 13 Courses and a Thesis

Courses in the Major

CRWR courses give priority to students who have declared the major with the DUS. In instances where a class has many more applications than it has spots, priority is determined first by degree program and then by class year.

Fundamentals In Creative Writing Seminar

The Fundamentals in Creative Writing course is an introductory cross-genre seminar to be taken by all students in the major. Every section of the course focuses on a current debate relevant to all forms of literary practice and will introduce students to core texts from each major literary genre. For more information, visit this page.

Technical Seminars (in Poetry, Fiction, or Nonfiction)

These courses are designed to give students a deep grounding in core technical elements of their primary genre. Coursework may involve creative exercises, but papers will focus on analysis of assigned readings. For more information, visit this page.

Advanced Workshops

Critique is the core value and activity of the workshop, and students will practice it under the guidance of the workshop instructor. Advanced Workshops typically focus on original student work.

Literary Genre Courses

This requirement can be met by a cross-listed English course or a course in another literature. For a list of eligible courses, please visit this page.

Literature Courses

A substantial proportion of one of these courses must involve the study of literature written before the twentieth century, and one must fulfill a theory requirement. For a list of eligible courses, please visit this page.

Research Background Electives

Students take two courses outside the Creative Writing program, selected in consultation with the DUS, to support the student’s individual interests and thesis project.

BA Thesis & Workshop

Students work on their BA project over three quarters. Early in Autumn Quarter of their fourth year, students will be assigned a graduate student preceptor, who will lead a series of mandatory colloquia over the course of the year. In Winter Quarter of their fourth year, students will enroll in one of the Thesis/Major Projects Workshops in their genre.

Program Administration

Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS)

Students must meet with the DUS before the end of the Autumn Quarter of their third year of study to declare the major & to receive priority in CRWR classes.

Vu Tran (
Autumn 2018 Office Hours - Taft House 302

  • Tuesday: 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
  • Thursday: 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Director, Creative Writing & Poetics

John Wilkinson (

Program Manager

Contact the program manager with any questions about individual classes, course policies, application procedures, switching major/minor programs, and any other administrative concerns.

Jessi Haley (

Taft 103: appointments available Monday-Friday, 10 am - 4 pm

Student Affairs Administrator

Contact the student affairs administrator with any questions about individual classes, course policies, application procedures, switching major/minor programs, and any other administrative concerns.

May Huang (

Taft 104


college catalog
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