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Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Goddard College (BFAW) is an undergraduate degree program comprised of a community of learners, students, and faculty who aspire toward innovation, creativity, and experimentation within the realm of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, playwriting, other poetic and prose works, all hybrids, and any genres we can’t even conceive of yet! We see creative writing as an art and craft done individually and with others, an engaged study of literature, an understanding of language and the social context, and reflection on the role of the artist in the world. The program is low-residency and grounded in the principles and practices of student-centered, emancipatory education.

The BFA community values experimentation and innovation and encourages students to write in hybrid forms, across genres, and between art forms: visual art / creative writing hybrids are encouraged, for example, as are academic and theoretical works mixed with the creative. Students are invited to produce an experimental thesis. This program is non-tracking and genre-bending. BFAW students, in concert with faculty, design a program that aligns with socially engaged art-making and a foundation of transgressive makership that is the basis of Goddard College.

Students will also have access to practices in publishing, support around lo-fi and established publishing practices, alongside an interrogation of the practices of producing and sharing work.

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The  BFA in Creative Writing Faculty  are writers who have been published and produced internationally, and are recognized in their fields. Faculty members work one-on-one with students as faculty advisors throughout the semester, as well as facilitating group studies, teaching workshops at residency, and acting as second readers to students’ final projects. Our faculty is comprised of national and international scholar practitioner with extensive experience supporting students taking charge of their learning. Faculty members’ work with students is focused, clear, and rigorous.

Admissions Information

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing is for students who will develop, or are developing, a significant practice as a creative writer in one or more of these literary genres: fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, dramatic writing, or hybrid forms.

See complete application instructions .

Twice a year, at the  start of each semester , students attend an intensive eight-day residency at the College’s  Plainfield, Vermont campus . Residencies are a rich time of exploration, connection, and planning.

Degree Requirements

All students must satisfy  General Requirements for the BA/BFA at Goddard College . In addition, students pursuing the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing will demonstrate a particular competency in the arts and humanities.

Example Workshops / Group Studies

  • “Divination and The Document”  a nonfiction group study that will explore divinatory poetics/writing as it relates to documentary modes: how can relationships to chance and randomness function as a mechanism for makership? How do practices of divination (somatics, astrology, tarot, bibilomancy, chiromancy) relate to “the document”–particularly when “documents” often functions as tools of white/western bureaucracy & supremacy? Can we use these practices to rebuild a radical kind of makership? We’ll look at Bhanu Kapil, M NourbeSe Phillip, and others who use these kinds of practices on behalf of nonfiction & we’ll make some things together! All are welcome!
  • “Magical Realism as a tool for Social Justice”  In this group study we will explore the world of magical realism, its origins, and contemporary usage. Students will be given a number of writing prompts designed for the student to produce magical realist fiction. We will read a variety of short stories and novel excerpts by writers such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Toni Morrison, Etgar Keret, Aimee Bender, and others. Students will write short responses to the readings, and we will meet via Zoom during the semester in a workshop format.
  • “Decolonizing Craft: Methods and Material”  this group study explores and reconfigures the colonial gaze of craft techniques belonging to other cultures that is rampantly primitivized, fetishized, appropriated, stolen and stripped of their original context.
  • “WTF is Workshopping?”  The intention of this workshop is to provide artists and writers of all genres (including hybrid, experimental modes) a supportive space to share work and receive feedback during the semester. At the same time, we will engage in a philosophical inquiry about the structure of feedback giving and receiving in the arts and creative writing worlds: what actually is “workshopping”? What’s the point? Can we dismantle the hierarchical (racist, classist, cisheterosexist, colonialist, ableist etc…) structures that rule these environments? We’ll do it together, try different techniques, and share work.

The Creative Thesis / Senior Study

You will present your Senior Study in the form of:

  • A manuscript of 25-100 pages of creative work. Hybrid and experimental manuscripts are welcome as are hybrid visual art and written manuscripts.
  • A 15-30 page reflective critical paper on the subject of craft, integrating literary criticism and explication of the writer’s own work.
  • A reflective essay on the cultural/societal responsibilities of the writer.
  • Bibliography and annotated bibliography.
  • A reading of your senior study manuscript work to the residency community, followed by a question and answer period facilitated by members of the BFAW faculty.

You will leave the program with a complete draft of a creative manuscript that has gone through a number of revisions. At the same time, you will have gained a deep connection to your writing peers, many of whom will continue to sustain you as the work of writing continues.

Learn more about the Individualized Bachelor of Arts program, and how Goddard College can help you meet your goals!

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BFA in Creative Writing

A BFA in Creative Writing educates students who have decided to develop and hone their creative writing skills. This intensive undergraduate program provides students with a strong foundation in the fundamentals of multiple genres of creative writing and in its interdisciplinary breadth. By working closely with the department’s nationally and internationally acclaimed and well-published authors—including novelists, poets, screenwriters, memoirists, game designers, and essayists—as well as with their fellow students, the program’s undergraduates actively participate in a creative and literary community that focuses on successfully learning the craft of writing in multiple genres.

Our curriculum is writing and workshop intensive, offering students many opportunities to develop their writing in community with other BFA students. Every year of the program features cohort classes in such subjects as introduction to creative writing; introduction to form, craft, and influence; and introduction to digital editing and publishing. Students also take creative writing courses in an array of genres. They learn about a variety of literatures so they can build a portfolio of literary influences and hone their style. They pursue electives in other theories, histories, and practices of artistic expression. The program concludes with a year-long, thesis style course sequence that includes developing a major creative writing project with a thesis director, workshopping with fellow senior BFA students, and learning about such aspects of being a professional writer as finding an agent, publishing, and giving public readings. Upon completion of the degree, the successful student will have completed a creative senior thesis.

For more details about the curriculum, see the Academic Program page.

For more information, contact the Department of English at 662-915-7439 or bfacreativewriting@olemiss.edu.

Freshman and transfer prospective students: priority deadline January 10th

Current students: priority deadline october 1st.

Undergraduate Creative Writing (BFA)

Develop the talent and technique it takes to excel as a creative writer in our BFA program.

About the Undergraduate Creative Writing Major

Words have power. They can catapult people out of their mindsets, throw them out of time, motivate them to rethink beliefs, and move them to introspection and tears. At Emerson College, writers have the opportunity to examine the power of the written word and experiment with offbeat ideas, novel approaches, and timeless topics. 

Our undergraduate Creative Writing BFA program is designed for the imaginative, the curious, and the poetic. Housed in the Department of Writing, Literature and Publishing in the School of the Arts, the program’s faculty challenge you to sharpen your writing skills and find your own voice, ensuring that you leave Emerson as a formidable communicator—and also a unique one. Our writing courses give you a deep understanding of how writing as an art form has developed over time and across cultures, leaving you well-positioned to succeed in creative writing—a life of provoking and persuading, entertaining and educating, imagining and inspiring.

I enjoy the Creative Writing program because I am able to focus on specific genres….I am able to explore different forms of writing to solidify what I am interested in and what I am not interested in. I have learned a lot from my professors, who are all experienced writers—they are very helpful.

Real-World Experience as a Writer

Creative Writing majors have ample opportunity to gain real-world learning experience. Here are a few examples:

  • Students can write or work for a number of student literary journals and magazines, including Redivider, em Magazine, The Emerson Review, Concrete Literary Magazine, and Your Magazine.
  • Emerson hosts a Pitch Slam event during which students give a one-minute pitch to a board of local and national editors for the opportunity to have their writing published. 
  • Beyond campus, students have access to coveted internships through our alumni network, which includes New York Times –bestselling authors, editors, and publishing professionals. Recent internship sites include: Boston magazine, Reader’s Digest , and Yale University Press.
  • Through a partnership with Penguin Random House, students are mentored during a semester-long program.

Careers for Creative Writing Majors

Our Creative Writing graduates have gone on to become prominent authors, screenwriters, and critics. Examples of careers include:

  • Acquisitions Editor
  • Book Reviewer
  • Social Media Specialist
  • Writing Instructor

Notable Writing, Literature and Publishing Alumni

  • Lara Egger, Author, H ow to Love Everyone and Almost Get Away with It
  • Alex Garner, Assistant Editor, Museum of Modern Art
  • Jaweed Kaleem, National Correspondent, Los Angeles Times
  • Kira Salak, Travel Writer and Contributing Editor, National Geographic

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  • Learn More about the Undergraduate Creative Writing (BFA) Program
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BA and BFA in Creative Writing

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Why study with us?

Creativity used to be a term reserved for alternative professions and hobbies. Today, it is being embraced in offices around the world.  – Forbes

Our multi-disciplinary focus on creativity, storytelling, empathy, and poetics develops the professional skills valued in today’s workplace. Students can prepare for jobs in the private sector, hone their writing skills for publication, or develop a portfolio for applying to an MFA program.

BA in Creative Writing

A traditional creative writing degree of 120 credits with background in literature and literary studies. See the Degree Requirements for BA in Creative Writing.

BFA in Creative Writing

An intensive program of 120 credits that prepares students to be professional writers. There are currently 35 BFA degrees in creative writing in the U.S.. See the Degree Requirements for BFA in Creative Writing.

Creative Writing Minor

A program of 24 credits including fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. See the Degree Requirements in Creative Writing Minor.

For the current Catalog, please visit the Boise State Undergraduate Catalog . Creative Writing is listed in the Theatre, Film and Creative Writing portion of the catalog.

Department of Theatre Arts and Creative Writing

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Why a BFA in Creative Writing?

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Why creative writing?

One simple word: storytelling.

It’s in our DNA. The compulsion to conjure and relay stories dates back as far as 30,000 years ago to cave walls, the original graphic novels. Hieroglyphics from roughly 5,000 years ago rank among the world’s earliest writing systems; in fact, in 2016 Penguin Classics published Writings from Ancient Egypt , the first literary English translation of some of the texts that cover thousands of square feet of monuments and tomb walls. West African griots, purveyors of an oral storytelling tradition, date back to the 13th century. The novel traces its roots to Pamela , Samuel Richardson's epistolary novel written in 1740, and further back still to Lady Murasaki Shikibu's Tale of Genji written in the early 11th century. Ten centuries later, Jennifer Egan penned (or perhaps "thumbed") the first relatively successful Twitter story, “Black Box,” first published as a series of tweets and then in The New Yorker magazine. Poet Mahogany L. Brown published tweet-length poems in her collection #Dear Twitter: Love Letters Hashed Out Online in 140 Characters or Less . Consider the leap across time from the earliest surviving work of literature the "Epic of Gilgamesh" discovered on fragments of clay to poems delivered electronically to your inbox every day by Poetry Daily . 

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And it's in you. Maybe you've been writing stories since you were a kid or something just recently happened (you cracked a book, watched a streaming show, played an immersive game) that lit that storytelling fuse.

Why a  fine arts degree? One word: craft.

Regardless of evolving platforms, one thing remains constant: we humans are innate storytellers precisely because we’re constantly trying to figure out what it means to be human. Therefore, by declaring a BFA in Creative Writing as your major, you are joining a time-honored tradition of story-making and story-sharing that is passed on by learning the craft. All BFA students are exposed to the three main genres – fiction, poetry, and nonfiction – before deciding on a concentration. They learn the rules – world-building, character development, effective pacing, compelling dialogue, how to manage subtly with grandeur – then are challenged to break them through experimentation and innovation. In addition to examining literature across the genres and understanding methods of research, students explore poetic form, diction, lineation, metaphor, and prosody to gain an appreciation of how the words you choose, the images you create, and the way your sentences sound serve your style.  

Taught by highly acclaimed authors and poets who value the art of teaching as much as the art of writing, the BFA in Creative Writing is one of less than thirty such undergraduate programs in the country. As part of Mason’s literary community, students also have access to first-rate professional development opportunities with the program’s affiliated initiatives such as Fall for the Book, a premier literary festival; Stillhouse Press, a student-managed book publishing imprint; and Poetry Daily , a daily online poetry journal.  

Finally, your storytelling skills are a highly desirable commodity in today’s marketplace. Journalists, editors, webmasters, marketers, social media experts, and public relations practioners remain in great demand. Corporations and nonprofits alike seek storytellers to advance their missions, tout their products and services, and convince donors to make charitable contributions. Employers also seek employees with "emotional intelligence," the kind of team member who demonstrates mindfulness and embraces empathy that grows directly from the art of storytelling, the curiosity to examine life, and the desire to grapple with the human condition. Mason English/BFA graduates have gone on to rewarding careers in the arts and art administration, education, media and design, management, business operations, legal occupations, and the healthcare and tech industries.

In fact, you can further prepare for your creative future by joining the new Minor in Dynamic Publishing where you can combine an understanding of craft (creative writing major) with editorial and production skills (publishing minor).

Write the next chapter of your story today in the BFA in Creative Writing program. Drop us a line at [email protected] to ask how.

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Pursue a program of intensive study in the making of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and screenwriting.

The BFA in Creative requires a minimum of 75 semester hours of major coursework designated by the candidate’s area of emphasis in consultation with the student’s program advisor.

Students must successfully complete all major courses with a grade of “C” (2.0) or better. The degree requires 120 total credit hours of coursework. Candidates for the degree must meet the following requirements:

General Education Requirements

All students enrolled in a degree program in the College of Communication, Fine Arts and Media must meet the university general education requirements. Additional information on these requirements can be found on the University General Education website . Please consult with an academic advisor for recommended choices for the major.

Writer’s Workshop Core Requirements

Foreign language:.

6-10 hrs. Minimum of one academic year of the same college-level foreign language; high school equivalent of foreign language is not acceptable for this requirement.

Literature and Theory Core: 12 hrs.

  • WRWS 1010 Contemporary Writers
  • WRWS 4000 Form & Theory (6 hrs.) or WRWS 4000 Form & Theory (3 hrs.) and WRWS 3990 Internship (3 hrs.)

Students may enroll a third time for WRWS 4000 for literature credit. Topic must be different each time.

Lower Level Literature: 9 hrs.

  • Select 3 2000-level literature courses from any language or discipline offering a course in primary sources of literature
  • ENGL 2310, 2320, 2450, 2460, 2500, 2510, 2520, ENGL 2310, WRWS 2000, Literature courses in Black Studies, Women’s Studies, History, Religion, Philosophy

Upper Division Literature: 18 hrs.

  • Select six 3000-4000 level literature courses
  • English, foreign languages, Writer’s Workshop, or other appropriate departments (in consultation with faculty advisor).

Fiction & Poetry Track

Writing core: 18 hrs..

  • WRWS 2050 Fundamentals of Fiction, 3 hrs.
  • WRWS 2060 Fundamentals of Poetry, 3 hrs.
  • WRWS 2100 Basic Fiction Studio, 4 hrs.
  • WRWS 2200 Basic Poetry Studio, 4 hrs.
  • WRWS 2300 Creative Nonfiction Studio, 4 hrs.

Concentration Area:

  • Fiction Studio sequence WRWS 3100, 4100, 4110, 12 hrs. OR
  • Poetry Studio sequence WRWS 3200, 4200, 4210, 12 hrs.

Creative Nonfiction Track

Writing core: 7 hrs..

Concentration Area: 12 hrs.

  • Creative Nonfiction sequence WRWS 3300, 4300, 4310

Choose three (9 hrs.):

  • ENGL 4860, Modern Familiar Essay
  • ENGL 4820 Autobiography
  • JOUR 3400 Magazine Article Writing
  • JOUR 3500 Pub. Design & Graphics
  • JOUR 4220 Literary Journalism
  • JOUR 4250 Public Relations Writing
  • JOUR 3210 Critical Writing for Mass Media

Screenwriting Track

Select one of the following course groups:

  • WRWS 2600 Basic Screenwriting and Television Studio, 4 hrs.
  • WRWS 2060 Fundamentals of Poetry Writing, 3 hrs.
  • WRWS 2300 Basic Creative Nonfiction Studio, 4 hrs.
  • WRWS 2600 Basic Screenwriting and Television Studio, 3 hrs.
  • WRWS 3600 Intermediate Screenwriting Studio, 4 hrs.
  • WRWS 4600 Advanced Screenwriting Studio I, 4 hrs.
  • WRWS 4610 Advanced Screenwriting Studio II, 4 hrs.

Chose three (9 hrs.)

  • WRWS 3000 Special Topics in Writing, 3 hrs.
  • THEA 4020 Advanced Projects in Theatre, 3 hrs.
  • JMC 3320 Video Field and Studio Production, 3 hrs.
  • JMC 4380 Film Theory & Criticism, 3 hrs.
  • JMC 4810 Digital Literacies for Technical Communicators, 3 hrs.
  • JMC 4820 Politics & Film, 3 hrs.

Appropriate 3000—4000 level courses may be selected from other departments, with approval of WRWS advisor.

Minor in Creative Writing

A minor in creative writing requires a minimum of 27 credit hours of course work to be completed under one of four different emphasis areas: fiction, poetry, nonfiction, or combined genres.

Prerequisite Courses: English Composition 1150 & 1160

Fiction: 27 hrs.

  • WRWS 2050 Fundamentals of Fiction
  • WRWS 2060 Fundamentals of Poetry
  • WRWS Studio Sequence 2100, 3100, 4100 or 4110

Six hours of upper division (3000+) literature courses

Poetry 27 hrs.

  • WRWS Studio Sequence, 2200, 3200, 4200

Creative Nonfiction: 27 hrs.

  • Creative Nonfiction Studio Sequence, 2300, 3300, 4300

Nine hours of upper division (3000+) courses, choose 3:

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Your Complete Guide to Majoring in Creative Writing with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) or BA

what is a bfa in creative writing

Written by Haley Boyce

bachelor of fine arts

You’ve been telling stories since the first time you could string together a sentence. During recess, friends hung on to your every last fabricated word as you told them about the ghost you saw in the cafeteria. High school English teachers commended your imagination and prose, and math teachers reminded you that you can’t be good at everything.

And now you’re here, figuring out what to do with that part of you that is ready to churn the innate gift for storytelling into something that will make a real difference in your life – a bachelor’s degree in creative writing.  

Your entire education up until this point has led you to this very moment – it is time to choose your four-year college or university and declare a major. So now the question is…  

What college or university should you attend for your bachelor’s in creative writing?

Selecting the college or university where you will earn your creative writing bachelor’s degree comes down to factors that include everything from what you find in the course catalog to where the program is located. If you’re at the very beginning of your college career, you still have prerequisites to complete before focusing solely on creative writing coursework, which could play a part in where you start your degree and when.

It is also important to consider which type of writing bachelor’s will benefit you the most – a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing… or a Bachelor of Science in Writing (Yup. Science.). 

This handy guide is the result of research and years of our own college experiences that we happily share to make these decisions as easy as possible. 

How a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing Offers Preparation for Life, Not Just a Career in Writing

students in the library

This is the essential creative writing education experience – totally reliable in its ability to deliver you to career readiness, and fully capable of pushing you out of your comfort zone and into the realm of self-exploration where writers thrive.

In addition to your area of concentration, you will get a well-rounded  liberal arts education that could touch on diverse areas such as history, anthropology, psychology, the sciences, and even religion. 

The Kind of Liberal Arts Education You Get from a Bachelor’s Will Include the Courses You Need to Become a Real Writer – Not Just the Ones You Want  

enjoying studying together

In those moments it can definitely feel like an injustice to spend time and money on classes that feel distant from the act of creative writing itself, but consider that the more you know about life and history and the way people think, the richer your writing will be.

Books that are swallowed whole are the ones that breathe life into otherwise static characters. Authors who write stories with dynamic character relationships, fictional worlds so real you can smell the food mingling with spices in the pan or hear the swoosh of the sword as it slices wind on its way to a villain. 

But hold strong and stay the course, the utterly fascinating humanities classes you will encounter in addition to your creative writing classes could everything from literature to thought and image to European Jewish writers to women writers of the middle ages.

The purpose of a four-year degree is manifold. Not only does it prepare you for a career in writing, but it also gives you a well-rounded education that in turn gives the world a multifaceted human who is equipped to contribute to society and even the greater good of humanity.

If that sounds lofty, consider the schools of Ancient Athens. Those were precisely the original goals of a fundamental liberal arts education laid out by philosophers, and masters of rhetoric, from Plato to Socrates.

BA, BFA, or BS – Writing Bachelor’s Degrees of All Stripes Offer Serious Career Preparation

We’d wager a confident bet that all this time you’ve been considering a bachelor’s in creative writing, you assumed it would be a Bachelor of Arts. But did you know there are options to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing and even a Bachelor of Science in writing too?

We didn’t when we were first starting out as writing students ourselves, so we did some digging and hit a goldmine of information that helped us to define and decide upon the creative writing programs best suited to our individual needs and goals.

Here’s the breakdown:

Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing

The quintessential liberal arts education and the most common four-year degree for creative writing undergrads.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

An esteemed fine arts degree that leans heavily into the literary arts and humanities, providing exceptional preparation for an MFA.

Bachelor of Science in Writing

English writing may not be a science itself, but it’s structure and rules track with an analytic worldview, giving the BS a place in less creative areas of writing.

BA vs Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Creative Writing

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The difference between a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Arts is the concentration in coursework. While the Bachelor of Arts spotlights several areas of the sciences and humanities, the Bachelor of Fine Arts pays special attention to an education specifically in the arts. 

Whether a BA or BFA, students are required to complete at least 120 credits, with some programs including as many as 128. How these credits are distributed among arts and humanities, though, depends on which of the routes you take.

A BFA differs from a BA in the ratio between courses that are purely steeped in the arts and those that would be considered general studies:

  • BFA – weighted more heavily toward purely creative arts credits
  • BA – weighted more toward general liberals arts credits, which include math, science, history, psychology, etc

With a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, something close to 75% of your studies would be focused exclusively on the arts. In your typical 120-credit bachelor’s program, that works out to approximately 90 creative arts credits and 30 liberal arts credits. 

Naturally, with a BFA you can expect extra extensive studies and workshops in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, classics, and, creative nonfiction to name just a few. 

man thinking at empty blackboard

Writing begins with observations of human behavior, studying it in conjunction with craft makes for deeply compelling storytelling. 

If this sounds like something you’d like to explore, here is a little of what you might expect while earning your Bachelor of Science in Writing:

  • Behavioral Science
  • Story Analysis
  • Action Line Writing
  • Cultural Studies
  • Historical Archetypes and Mythology
  • Leadership and Organizational Behavior
  • The Business of Writing
  • Creative Communication
  • Character Building
  • Literary Analysis
  • Technical Writing

No surprises here. The BS options you find out there will be decided less focused on artistic expression and the creative side of writing, and more geared toward careers in academic, technical, scientific, textbook, and other nonfiction and instructional types of writing.

There’s a tremendous need in the world for writing that focuses purely on clarity and concision, and that’s exactly what a Bachelor of Science in Writing will help you do.

Your Favorite Author Might Have Spent Time in the Lecture Hall – on Both Sides of the Podium

female professor lecturing

Your favorite author — the one responsible for influencing how you view literature and the world. They have been part of your life in one way or another from the moment you first picked up their book.

But what would happen if they were standing before you (or talking to you from their office during a weekly Zoom meeting), pouring into you all their knowledge about artistry and industry? Imagine being their student and how lucky many have been to learn from masters such as these (then go enroll in your first creative writing course so you can one day do the same).

Neil Gaiman ( Coraline , T he Graveyard Book , American Gods ) has taught an advanced writing workshop at Bard College.

Joyce Carol Oates ( Blonde , We Were the Mulvaneys ) has taught at Princeton and University of California, Berkeley. 

Rachel Kadish ( The Weight of Ink , From a Sealed Room ) has taught courses at Bar Ilan University, Boston College, New York University, and summer residencies at Harvard University. 

Toni Morrison ( The Bluest Eye , Song of Solomon , Beloved ) had an extensive career as a professor at Texas Southern University, Howard University, the State University of New York at Albany, and Princeton University.  

Colson Whitehead ( Harlem Shuffle , The Underground Railroad , Nickleboys ) has taught at the University of Houston, Columbia University, Brooklyn College, Hunter College, New York University, Princeton University, and Wesleyan University.

Minor Decisions Can Make a Big Impact on Your Bachelor’s in Creative Writing Program

First and foremost, declaring a minor is not a mandatory requirement for your bachelor’s degree. However, you might find at some point that you’ve earned enough credits in a particular field and decide that you may as well declare it your minor.

Choosing your minor might come to you organically, or it might be a more methodical decision.

It’s also a good idea to declare a minor if you know that the career you’re aiming for after graduation will be packed with equally qualified candidates, or if you simply want to expand your breadth of knowledge and effectively specialize in an area that aligns with the ways you will be applying your writing talents.

If your interest is in writing historical fiction, let’s say, then history would be a smart choice for a minor. Pretty much any minor can benefit your craft.

Here are a few minors that combine well with creative writing. 

Start your own publishing house, magazine, journal, or all three! Or apply to work at established publishing houses. A minor in business will show that not only are you passionate about words, but you know how to do what it takes to run a successful business as well. What an asset!

what is a bfa in creative writing

Celebrities are being touted as multihyphenates but there is none more influential than someone who is a writer and a teacher.  Taking great liberty with the old George Bernard Shaw adage, those who can, do. Those who can change lives, teach.

Stories are told in limitless mediums and it’s no secret that film is one of them. Gosh, can you imagine the audience you could captivate with skills in both writing the story and executing it on the silver screen? Do not ever limit yourself or your stories to one mode of communication. You’ve got ideas and there are people who need to hear and see them.

Take the same sentiment from above and add the electric buzz that can only be generated between performers on stage and an audience leaning toward them from their red velvet seats. There’s nothing like it.

Political Science

There’s no denying the connection between good writing and politics. As a writer with an interest and/or career goals in politics you’ll have the power to shape how people think about policy.

Even if it seems logical to choose a minor connected to creative writing in some capacity, but your gut instinct is moving you in a completely different direction – trust it. Trust yourself.  

Earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing Is More Practical Than Most People Think

successful writer

2022 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the median national monthly income with a bachelor’s degree to be better than $5,200, well above the national median of about $4,000 for everybody in the workforce. Compare that to the $3,200 per month you could expect to earn with a high school diploma. Even an associate degree puts you below the national median, with monthly earnings of less than $3,900 expected.

Even if money isn’t everything, there’s no arguing that it isn’t very, very important. And hey – this is the section about pragmatism after all. When you consider that the unemployment rate in America for those that hold a bachelor’s degree is half what it is high school educated Americans, the point really hits home.

A bachelor’s degree is almost a necessity these days if you want to be considered a competitive applicant in the workforce. Earning a bachelor’s in your preferred field of creative writing not only fulfills your desire to develop your craft, but it also sets you up for success as a job candidate in many other fields. 

Completing your bachelor’s degree is a wise life decision. You already know that. But there’s a sweetness to earning a degree in creative writing that transcends all the facts and figures that support that kind of practical wisdom.  

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

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Creative Writing at Spalding University

We often find meaning in life through stories. Stories of gods and goddesses, war, struggle, love, adventure, romance, victory and defeat are such a rich part of our human experience that we sometimes forget it all begins with the written word.

At Spalding, we understand how powerful a person’s voice can be. We understand how writing can inspire and shape the world, how it can influence and drive creativity, how it makes us want to learn and create. This is why the Creative Writing Program at Spalding places an emphasis on collaboration, feedback, community, and an exploration of craft through workshops and classes designed to not only provide writers with strong writing skills, but to also make those writers part of a larger community as they pursue careers in writing.

At Spalding you can pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing allowing you to tailor your studies to your specific interests and focus on genres, writing styles, and literature you are passionate about. At the same time, we provide a foundation of skills to help you move toward a career in the field of writing or continue studying writing at the graduate level.

Career Options

In addition to becoming a published author, a BFA can prepare you for a career in developing content for magazines, websites, blogs, television, advertising, and corporations in need of print or online materials. A BFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University will provide a foundation for critical reading, thinking, and editing skills that can lead to careers such as film editing, professor, library science, teaching, communications director and journalist to name a few. The job market is in need of excellent editing and writing skills and a BFA can provide that foundation and experience.

To help prepare you for your future career, Spalding’s BFA in Creative Writing provides opportunities to gain experience and hone your skills.

The Opal Lit Magazine

The BFA’s online The Opal Lit Magazine gives students the opportunity to work as editors for an online publication while also providing a home to showcase student work and experiences.

The undergraduate creative writing community at Spalding is a close-knit group of writers intent on learning and mastering their craft. The writing community shares work and engages in campus life events that include:

  • The annual Celebration of Student Writing
  • Various writing contests
  • Author visits
  • Writers in residence
  • The Spalding School of Professional and Creative Writing’s residencies (as mentioned below)
  • Writing workshops
  • Salon-style reading sessions

SCPW Residencies

Twice a year, in fall and spring, Spalding’s School of Professional and Creative Writing (SCPW) holds one-week residencies in which 30+ nationally recognized and published writers from a variety of disciplines attend the university. The BFA program at Spalding works alongside the SCPW to provide undergraduate students the experience of meeting these authors and attending lectures and participating in various residency activities. During these residencies, BFA students have the opportunity to meet SCPW graduates from across the country and see first hand what a top ranked graduate program in writing has to offer.

Internship Opportunities

You can gain valuable experience outside Spalding as well. Spalding students have held internships at the following places:

  • Filson Historical Society
  • Hydra Publications
  • Kentucky Author Forum
  • Louisville Magazine
  • Spalding University Writing Center
  • Today’s Woman Magazine

Classes and Program

Almost all creative writing classes at Spalding are around 15 students. This provides an intimate atmosphere of collaboration, feedback, and discovery. In addition to small classes, Spalding has six, six-week sessions throughout the year. Classes run from Monday to Thursday with a break week between sessions. These sessions allow for a great deal of flexibility in study as students can tailor schedules to meet their needs as they take day, evening, and online classes.

Spalding’s BFA program is 120-credit hours and offers students the opportunity to explore various genres of creative writing while also providing internships, practicums in career-related fields, reading opportunities, community connections, and independent studies allowing a focus on passion projects.

In addition to the required University Studies courses (52 credit hours), Creative Writing students also take:

  • Creative Writing Workshops (18 credit hours)
  • Practicum, Leadership, and Senior Seminar (18 credit hours)
  • Literature and Linguistics (15 credit hours)
  • Humanities (15 credit hours)
  • Social Sciences (12 credit hours)
  • Natural Sciences and Math (9 credit hours)
  • Religious Studies (6 credit hours)

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what is a bfa in creative writing

  • Creative Writing Programs
  • Opportunities
  • Prospective Students
  • MFA Program Options
  • Optional Summer Residency
  • How to Write a Novel
  • Writing for Video Games
  • Communications Support
  • Prize for Best New Fiction
  • Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
  • Indigenous Engagement
  • Job Opportunities
The UBC Creative Writing Major program is unique, offering undergraduate apprentice writers in their third year or beyond the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in an advanced, self-contained studio program.

We take a limited number of students each year, basing admissions primarily on evaluation of a portfolio of original writing.

Program Outcomes

As a Major in Creative Writing, you will cover a range of writing genres in depth. You work and learn in small genre-based writing workshops, guided by faculty who are themselves published and working writers, alongside peers who are as committed and engaged as you in the process of becoming a writer. This active, collaborative and highly participatory learning environment builds skills and confidence, equipping you for a writing future, and beyond.

While building your own identity, personality and skills as a writer and adding strong new material to your portfolio, you will also develop invaluable skills in peer-working, collaborative communication and creative problem solving, skills employers love.

You will graduate with a grounding in the professional standards and expectations for your chosen genres – screen, stage, fiction, comics, and more – equipping you to work in those fields.

Program Requirements

All CRWR 400 courses are dedicated to the Major, allowing us to offer a focused and closed studio program. The studio is the writing workshop; your original writing and that of your peers will comprise the principal text and subject for discussion in all workshop courses. Our expectation is that this material will be of high quality and interest, showing exemplary and new directions in technique that can be shared and studied.

To earn this degree, you must complete 36 credits in 400 level CRWR workshop courses, across at least four genres, plus completing the other elective courses and credits needed to meet your specific UBC degree requirements. This takes a minimum of two years; the demands of the workshop limit students to 9 workshop credits per term, and all 36 credits must be earned within the Major.

We welcome applications from current UBC students and from others; however, external applicants must have applied to UBC for admission to be considered for the BFA program. The deadline for UBC application is in mid-January each year.

Admission to the Major is by application only, and restricted to students about to enter at least their third undergraduate year, as formally determined by UBC Vancouver. Only those with formal third year standing can be enrolled into the Major. This is an official policy requirement and can’t be set aside.

If you are eligible to apply, you will submit a portfolio-based application to the program, through an online form. The application window is only open for a short period, beginning in January, and admits students to our Major for the subsequent Winter Session – for instance, students who applied in early 2023 were admitted as Majors for the 23W academic year, and started their studies in September 2023.  There is only one application cycle per year.

As there are limited places available, this is a highly competitive process, and one with unique and distinct criteria and requirements. If you are interested in applying, or learning more, you should carefully read the Guidelines for Prospective CRWR Majors , which gives the most up-to-date, detailed and precise information.

The Guidelines explain how standing is determined, and give details for those outside UBC interested in applying, as well as anyone interested in applying this Major to a Double Major program. It also contains detailed information on how to put together your portfolio for submission.

External applicants, please note – you must apply to UBC as well as directly to the program, and UBC admission deadlines precede our programs deadline.

The program cannot make exceptions for students who fail to follow the guidelines, and all applications are covered by the terms set out in those guidelines.

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Creative writing touches on all aspects of written communication, with particular emphasis on those that lie outside the purely academic and technical fields. Creative writing draws on the author’s imaginative capacity, stylistic felicity, and originality of composition, insight and expression. It encompasses a wide range of approaches, including prose fiction, poetry, drama, screenwriting, and writing for stage. Thus, an undergraduate degree in creative writing is one of the most useful programs of study that a student can contemplate, offering not only the means to explore and develop one’s expressive abilities in a variety of written forms, but also providing the means to develop advanced skills and competencies in written communication and academic research. In a digital age that is heavily reliant on effective, interesting, original and attractive writing, a BFA in Creative Writing is an exciting, relevant and vocationally desirable course of study: it provides a range of opportunities for artistic and intellectual growth, enhanced expressive ability, a rich variety of career development possibilities in the arts and business, and many avenues for further development in graduate study.

The BFA program examines all of the main areas of creative writing, with introductory courses on the discipline as a whole, courses on the technical requirements and the analysis of creative writing, and specific courses exploring the practical aspects of composing novels, short stories, poems, scripts and screenplays. As the student progresses, the program makes increasing use of the workshop method of teaching, and in the final stages there are opportunities for approved students to undertake extended independent writing projects. The student may combine the major in creative writing with other majors offered by the institution, depending on his or her interests; these include performing arts, liberal arts and international business, either as a double major or as minors.

The degree normally takes four years (eight semesters) to complete, though approved students may complete the program more quickly than this by taking summer semester classes. The student must complete a total of 120 credits, according to the following requirements (note that all classes are worth 3 credits unless indicated otherwise):

45 credits minimum from the creative writing major

  • Academic communication
  • Imagination and storytelling
  • Anglo-Irish writers
  • Introduction to creative writing
  • Writing prose
  • Close reading
  • Shakespeare
  • Writing for screen
  • Writing for stage
  • Literary modernism
  • Writing workshops
  • Creative writing projects (3 to 15 credits, depending on the size of the project undertaken, with approximately 6,000 words of text required for each 3 credits awarded; only available to junior and senior students, and requiring approval for the size of the project attempted)

30 credits minimum of general education classes

  • 200-level creative writing and liberal arts classes above are all rated as general education courses and may be counted towards the general education requirement.

45 credits of free electives

  • The remaining classes to achieve the required total of 120 credits may be freely chosen by the student, with the proviso that prerequisite stipulations are followed.
  • The student may select as free electives more than the minimum 45 credits of creative writing major classes.
  • The student may select as free electives more than the minimum of 30 credits of general education classes.
  • If a student wishes to take a minor, a minimum of 15 credits must be taken in the minor, with at least 9 credits in the upper divisions (300+); these minor credits are taken from the free elective requirement.

Entry requirements

The programme has three intakes: January, May and September.

Applicants are required to have graduated from high school at a standard that satisfies the institution that they have a strong likelihood of being able to complete the program of study. Applicants still in high school must provide evidence from high school transcripts and / or report cards that suggest a likelihood to graduate from high school; conditional acceptance is granted pending the completion of the applicant’s senior high school year.

Applicants are also required to submit with their application a sample of original creative writing (any form of creative writing) of approximately 1,000 words.

Along with academic knowledge that students receive throughout the duration of their chosen subject, students will also acquire and develop transferable career skills from their degree discipline. These skills along with potential career paths are provided below to give you a well-rounded view of what the course has to offer.

These skills include:

  • Skills and competencies in written communication.
  • Skills and competences in academic research.
  • Detail-oriented
  • Self-management
  • Organisational competencies
  • Critical and editorial commentary

Graduate of BFA in Creative Writing will be prepared to participate in a range of complementary fields including:

  • Online writing
  • Advertising

The programme also serves as an effective platform for successful participation in a variety of postgraduate programmes such as the MFA in Creative Writing, Liberal Arts and Performing Arts.

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  1. Creative Writing

    what is a bfa in creative writing

  2. Creative Writing BFA

    what is a bfa in creative writing

  3. Creative Writing Major (BFA)

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  4. BFA Creative Writing Program

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  5. Bachelor of Fine Arts

    what is a bfa in creative writing

  6. Creative Writing BFA

    what is a bfa in creative writing


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