Creative Writing | Advising Handbook

Students from all disciplines are welcome to join any introductory Creative Writing courses once they have completed the university’s core writing requirement. The department offers a production-driven major and minor that provides students broad training in a variety of professional genres. The Creative Writing major can serve as a powerful centerpiece around which to arrange a variety of tailored minors. The flexibility of the major and the regularity of offerings also makes it a dynamic double-major option easily completed within four years.

Note that there are two kinds of “ENGW” courses taught by the English department: Research to fulfill the core requirement (ENGW 180, 181, 182) and Creative (ENGW 206, 208, 209, 306, 308, 309). Students must complete ENGW 180, 181, or 182 (recommended)—fulfilling the college-wide core general writing requirement—before enrolling in any Creative Writing courses.

Creative Writing Major Plan

The following is a recommended schedule to complete the Creative Writing major in a timely manner. The major is flexible enough to accommodate late-bloomers as well as early-birds. Consider taking an ENGL 300- or 400-level elective course as soon as one appears on the schedule that strikes your interests. Or taking an ENGL 200-level course in the first term of freshman year.

Year Fall Winter Spring Summer
1 HUM 100 (First Year Seminar)  

ENGW 180 or 181 or 182 

ENGL 200-level


First Workshop (ENGW 206 / 208 / 209)

Genre Studies (ENGL 340 / 341 / 342 / 343 / 344)

ENGW 466


Second Workshop (ENGW 206 / 208 / 209)

Third Workshop (ENGW 306 / 308 / 309)

Genre Studies (ENGL 340 / 341 / 342 / 343 / 344)


Fourth Workshop (ENGW 306 / 308 / 309)

ENGL 300- or 400-level


ENGW 305*

Fifth Workshop


ENGL 497*

ENGL 300- or 400-level

  ENGW 498*  

* These courses much be taken specifically at the designated stages of your degree progress. In other words, ENGW 305 must be taken in the spring of the third year, ENGW 497 in the fall of the fourth year, and ENGW 498 in the spring of the fourth year. Failure to do so will delay degree completion.

Students must complete the undergraduate core writing requirement, fulfilled by either ENGW 180, 181, or 182 (recommended) with a C or better, before enrolling in Creative Writing courses. We recommend taking this course as soon as you are able, and certainly in the first year.

While it is recommend that you enroll in ENGW 466, “Literary Magazine Production” (Silk Road Review) after taking your first introductory Creative Writing workshop, you make take this course at any point and as many times as you wish. While it is offered every term, it will only count once for this program.

Some ENGW and ENGL 200-level courses are routinely offered in the accelerated Winter and Summer terms, while upper-division courses are not. The earlier the better, however, as scholarships are awarded every year to declared sophomores in the major.


Interested in pursuing a program in Creative Writing? Students with plans to major or minor in Literature are encouraged to take an ENGW workshop-based course in the second semester of their first year, as well as to find an English department advisor by the end of their sophomore year at the latest.

Considering the Creative Writing minor? In addition to your major advisor, it is highly recommended that you have an advisor for the Creative Writing minor. ENGL and ENGW 200-level courses are routinely offered in the accelerated Winter and Summer terms, while upper-division courses are not. The earlier the better, however, as scholarships are awarded every year to declared sophomores in the minor. Requisites

All of the courses offered in Creative Writing fulfill your Explorations core requirement for artistic practice and creative processes (APCP). Likewise, all of the courses offered in English Literature can fulfill your Explorations core requirement for analyzing and interpreting texts (AIT). Some courses meet the Explorations requirement for historical context (HC), such as ENGL 323, 337, and 338. Consider ENGL 223 to fulfill your Applications core requirement for civic engagement (CE).

Study Abroad

Study abroad proves an especially rich experience for majors in Creative Writing, and we highly recommend pursuing summer and short-term courses, as well as a semester abroad the University of Limerick and York-St. John, among others. Students must declare their intent to study abroad approximately a year in advance. We recommend going abroad during sophomore year or fall of junior year at the latest.

Do note that the Creative Writing major does require students to be in residence in specific semesters to complete the program. Studying abroad during spring of junior year or any time in senior year will impede your ability to prepare and complete the senior capstone, and ultimately delay graduation. Consult with your English faculty advisor as soon as you decide to study abroad. Creative Writing

Workshop Sequence

The Creative Writing major is designed around a core curriculum of five writing workshops designed to facilitate expertise in at least two genres. Workshops one and two are taken from the introductory curriculum in Poetry, Fiction, and Nonfiction, to be completed no later than the second year.

In workshops three and four we encourage you to take the advanced curriculum in the genres for which you completed the companion introductory course. In the fifth workshop, students may:

  • take an introductory course in a genre not hitherto explored.
  • repeat an advanced-level course in a genre of their specialization.
  • pursue a workshop-style writing course in another department, such as MEDA 332, “Screenwriting,” or THEA 380, “Playwriting.”

Rev 2019