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Requirements for Applying to the Creative Writing Major

Applications for the creative writing major can be competitive and students must fulfill the following requirements before applying:

  1. You must be a sophomore to apply.
  2. Complete the 200-level course in your chosen genre. This means that if you plan to apply to the major in poetry, you will need to complete ENG 206 prior to applying. If you plan to apply in fiction, complete ENG 207, and if you plan to apply in creative nonfiction, complete ENG 208. 
  3. You must be enrolled in a second 200-level of your choice. For instance, if you've completed 206, enroll in 207 or 208 for the following quarter.
  4. Prepare a writing sample. You will submit a sample of your writing (perhaps from your 200-level classes) to submit with your creative writing application. This sample should be: 7-15 pages for fiction or creative nonfiction, 4-5 poems for poetry.
  5. Fill out and submit your application here. Applications open in Winter and close in April. See application site for guidelines.


Requirements for Completing the Creative Writing Major

15 Courses, as follows
No creative writing course may be audited or taken pass/fail.

Three Introductory Courses

Prospective students must A) complete one introductory course in the genre to which they are applying and B) be enrolled in or have taken another introductory course prior to applying to the year-long sequence.

All three introductory courses are required to complete the major.

Year-long Writing Sequence

One of the following 3 credit courses:

The application is available here. Applications are currently CLOSED.

ENG 392 - The Situation of Writing

“The Situation of Writing,” which is typically offered once per year, investigates the writer’s relation to the culture, both currently and historically. The course addresses such questions as the relation of criticism to imaginative literature, the rise and fall of specific literary genres, the effect of the university on the production and consumption of literary works, the state of the publishing industry, and international literary contexts.

Six 300-level Literature Classes

These courses must be “pure literature”; that is, courses in which the bulk of the reading is literature and not criticism or theory. They must be selected from English Department offerings ONLY:

Note: Students who have completed two parts of either British Literary Traditions (210-1 and 210-2) or American Literary Traditions (270-1 and 270-2) can use these two courses to count as ONE of these six literature courses.

Two Non-Literature Related Courses

These courses, in areas such as history, art, classics, and gender studies, broaden the student’s background for the study of literature. These must be approved by a creative writing advisor. Students with a second major or a minor will be considered to have completed this requirement.


[1] The School of Professional Studies also offers courses under the listings ENG 206, 207, and 208. These courses do not count toward the Creative Writing Major.

[2] First year students may not apply to the creative writing sequence, even if they complete both pre-requisite classes in the first year.