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Degree Offerings

English Major with a Creative Writing Concentration


Admission to the English Major with a Creative Writing Concentration is competitive and is based on the strength of the Cover Letter and Writing Sample. Fifteen students will be admitted each year.

Applicants must:

  • Be in their sophomore or junior year
  • Submit a cover letter and writing sample by completing this Application form between October 1 and November 1
    • Cover Letter (1,000 words maximum): Explain how your personal background and life experiences (social, cultural, familial, educational) or other opportunities or challenges have motivated your decision to pursue an English Major with a Creative Writing Concentration. In addition, tell us about your academic and research background, your career goals, and how the English Major with a Creative Writing Concentration will help you meet your educational objectives.
    • Writing Sample (2,500 words maximum): You may send prose, poetry or any mixture of genres. Please use 12 pt. font. Prose pieces must be double-spaced. Submissions that do not comply with these rules will not be considered. 

Notification on application status will go out by email to all applicants by December 15.


As a creative writing concentrator, you will receive guidance from full-time creative writing faculty members to help you choose courses in a manner that provides a coherent focus across writing genres and historical periods, at the same time allowing you to pursue an interest-driven, individualized course of study. Advisors will initially be assigned at random, but you will have the opportunity to adjust your advisor assignment as you develop a mentoring relationship with different faculty members.

Course Requirements

  • 11 Courses
    • 1 Theory course
    • 5 Literature electives
    • 4 Creative Writing courses
    • 1 Capstone course (this would be a 4 credit class)

Course Specifics

Theory Course
All majors are required to take "Theory for English Majors" (ENGL 3045) or "Theories of Comparative Literature" (COLI 3000). These courses introduce the English major to debates in literary and critical theory. The goal of these courses is to reflect on reading strategies, textual practices and language itself. Students will engage with a range of critical, theoretical and social issues shaping the field of literary studies today.

Literature Electives (at 3000 level or above)
At least two courses must be designated in a historical period before 1800. While the English curriculum grants students considerable freedom to pursue their individual interests, the department urges majors to consult regularly with their advisers in selecting their electives, in order to ensure historical diversity in their course of study.

Race and Social Justice Requirement
English majors in the Class of 2023 and beyond are required to take one course with the Race and Social Justice designation. These courses will introduce students to literatures from minority, ethnic, diasporic, postcolonial, colonial, and/or global traditions. They also aim to examine issues of race through the lenses of ethics, social justice, respect for human dignity, and the sustainability of the world in which we live. These courses have the ENRJ attribute code and are included in departmental course listings. 

Creative Writing Courses
One of these Creative Writing courses may be a cross-listed course.

Capstone Course
This course is the exit requirement for English Majors concentrating in Creative Writing. To take this course, students must have completed 7 of their 11 courses toward their degree. They also must be in their Senior year. Students will work collaboratively to put together a public exhibition of a creative writing project as a culminating experience.

* Courses in which a student receives a D or F will not count toward the major. All graduating students will have to attend the Capstone course which will be offered only in the Spring. Students electing the zero credit course would have less assigned work in the class.

Creative Writing Minor

For English Majors
The Creative Writing minor for English majors allows students to take 4 creative writing classes. This increases the total number of required courses for the English Major from 10 to 14. A typical course of study for this option is:

  • 1 Theory course
  • 3 Pre-1800 courses
  • 4 English Creative Writing courses (at 3000 level or above).
    • One of these Creative Writing courses may be a cross-listed course. (The exception to this rule is COMM 2211: Journalism Workshop.)
  • 6 Literature Electives (At 3000 level or above). Two of these courses may be Cognate Courses.

For Non-English Majors
The minor in Creative Writing, available to students in majors other than English, will consist of:

  • Four (4) four-credit courses which must be drawn from 3000-level and above English Creative Writing courses.
    • One of these Creative Writing courses may be a cross-listed course. (The exception to this rule is COMM 2211: Journalism Workshop.)
    • Independent studies, approved by the Director of Creative Writing, are also accepted.
  • Two (2) advanced courses (3000-level and above) in Literature offered through the English department. Cognate Courses (3000-level and above)and courses meeting literature requirements in the Classics department, the Literary Studies program, or the Modern Languages department may be utilized to fulfill this requirement.

Please note: Students minoring in Creative Writing may count no more than 2 courses [or 8 credits] applicable to the Creative Writing minor for their major.

To declare a Creative Writing Minor, complete the online Creative Writing Minor Declaration form.

Applications for the Creative Writing Minor are accepted throughout the school year.

Departmental Honors in Creative Writing

The department offers an honors option for seniors with a GPA of 3.6 or higher in English who wish to do an ambitious piece of research and writing under the individual direction of faculty or in conjunction with a senior seminar (maximum length is 40 pages double-spaced). Faculty Advisors can be any full-time faculty member or Writer in Residence. The thesis is to be written over the course of one semester.

Preceding Semester

  • Student first determines faculty advisor and second reader in consultation with the Director of Creative Writing.
  • Student registers for ENGL 4998, a four-credit “Honors Tutorial" with Associate Chair. This course does not count for credit toward the English major or the English major with a creative writing concentration, though it does count as an elective toward graduation.

Beginning of Semester

  • Early in semester, student meets with faculty advisor and second reader to go over parameters of the thesis.


  • Deadline for the first completed draft of the thesis is mid-semester.
  • Student determines date for thesis defense (which should take place latest within 1 week of the last day of classes) with faculty advisor and second reader and emails Rose Hill or Lincoln Center Department secretaries (copying faculty advisor and second reader) to reserve a classroom for the thesis defense.

End of Semester

  • Deadline for completed thesis is three weeks before the end of classes.
  • The completed thesis will include a cover sheet, which the faculty advisor and second reader must sign and indicate if further revision is required (each must check off either "OK as is" or "OK with revisions"; any necessary changes will be discussed at length). Cover sheets are located here. If additional revision is required, the final deadline for the completed thesis is the last day of classes for that semester.
  • Following the thesis defense (which consists of a short reading of the thesis and a question and answer session), the faculty advisor and second reader determine whether the thesis qualifies the student for departmental honors.
  • Faculty advisor gives grade on ENGL 4998 on