Jul 24, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Creative Writing, B.F.A.

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The BFA Program offers students the opportunity to work with faculty who are practicing writers in workshop-style classes to discover and develop their writing strengths in the genres of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. Small classes, an emphasis on individual conferencing, and the development of a writing portfolio allow students to see themselves as artists and refine their writing. In literature courses, students become more familiar with British and American literature, developing their abilities to read and interpret literary and cultural materials. They gain experience in the literary or publishing world through an apprenticeship.

Requirements (52 Total Credits)

Creative Writing Workshops

Three of the following beginning Creative Writing workshops:

Subtotal: 12 Credits

Advanced Creative Writing Workshops

Two of the following advanced Creative Writing workshops:

Subtotal: 8 Credits


Five of the following in Literature:

*Of these four courses, at least one must focus on American literature, and at least one on British literature.

  • Credits: 4
  • One 200-level literature course Credits: 4
  • One 300-level literature course Credits: 4
  • One course in contemporary literature Credits: 4
  • One elective literature course Credits: 4
Subtotal: 20 Credits

Other Requirements:

World Language Requirement

  • Intermediate Proficiency in a World Language Credits: 12

Total Other Requirements: 12

General Education Requirements

For specific information about general education requirements and expectations, see the General Education Requirements  in the Academic Programs section of this catalog.

Minimum Total Credits for The Degree: 128

Learning Goals and Assessment

Learning Goals:

  • Students will be able to skillfully and gracefully compose creative writing in more than one genre, exhibiting command of craft elements on all levels.
  • Students will be able to recognize and draw upon literary models and traditions and to articulate the influence those models and traditions have had on their own creative development.
  • Students will be able to speak, write, and read at an intermediate level in a language other than English, thereby enriching their own writing in their native tongue.
  • Students will be able to communicate positively and productively with other writers in a workshop setting about issues related to craft and technique, as well as communicate with general audiences with whom they may share their work.
  • Students will be able to enter professional situations in writing-related fields or pursue further study in creative writing with a mature sense of the responsibilities and rewards therein.

Assessment Criteria:

  • Students will compose poems, literary essays and other forms of nonfiction, short stories, novel-length fiction, feature writing, journalism, and scripts for the stage or screen in a style that is more clear, graceful, and mature than when they entered the program. Their work will be assessed through the final portfolio, a collection of original work and critical essays compiled in the capstone course and reviewed and discussed by at least two professors during an Exit Interview.
  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of and engagement with representative texts from at least three standard periods in English literary history and a more detailed knowledge of contemporary literature in at least one genre. Students will complete twenty credits in literature, four of these in contemporary literature, and four credits of literature study at the advanced level. In the final portfolio, students will compose an Artist’s Statement and a Writer’s Assessment, in which they will demonstrate the ways in which their own creative development is connected with these literary models and traditions.
  • Students will demonstrate intermediate proficiency in a foreign language through successful completion of the equivalent of three semesters of language study.
  • Students will be able to develop oral presentation skills by reading their work aloud in creative writing classes, by discussing peer work in creative writing workshops, by introducing visiting writers, and by participating in the Senior Reading.
  • Students will be able to gain real world experience through the required Apprenticeship, taken for four credit hours in a wide variety of professional writing settings. They also will be able to submit their work for publication in the Senior Seminar.

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