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Degree Offerings

English Major with a Creative Writing Concentration

Application

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 (1,500 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.

Advising

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.

Access Course Requirements

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 English

Departmental Honors in English

The department offers an honors option for seniors with a GPA of 3.6 or higher in the English major who wish to do an ambitious piece of research and writing under the individual direction of faculty or in conjunction with a departmental seminar (suggested length is 30-40 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 while the student is enrolled in an individual tutorial with the faculty advisor (ENGL 4998)

Preceding Semester

  • Student determines a potential topic and potential faculty advisor in consultation with one of the Associate Chairs or the Director of Creative Writing (please consult the individual who is most relevant).
  • Student meets with potential faculty advisor to discuss the topic and parameters of the thesis.
  • Student submits an application to write a thesis to the relevant Associate Chair or Director of Creative Writing. To write a thesis in the spring semester, student must submit the application by October 15 of the previous semester. To write a thesis in the fall semester, student must submit the application by March 1 of the previous semester. The application consists of a) a one-page proposal describing the thesis topic and b) a one-page bibliography listing relevant sources for the research and writing of the thesis. The application will be evaluated by the Associate Chair or Director of Creative Writing and the potential faculty advisor.
  • If approved to write a thesis, student registers for ENGL 4998, a four-credit “Honors Tutorial.” This course counts for credit toward the English major and the English major with a creative writing concentration.
  • Students writing a thesis in the fall also have the option of enrolling in ENGL 8996, the “MA Capstone” seminar, in place of ENGL 4998. The faculty member leading ENGL 8996 would serve as the student’s thesis advisor. This seminar is recommended for students interested in working on their theses in the structured environment of a course.

Beginning of Semester

  • Early in semester, student meets with faculty advisor to begin work on the thesis.
  • With the help of the faculty advisor and Associate Chair or Director of Creative Writing, student finds a second reader for the thesis.

Mid-Semester

  • Deadline for the first completed draft of the thesis is mid-semester. Student should consult with the faculty advisor on the exact deadline.
  • Student determines date for thesis defense (which should take place at the latest within one week of the last day of classes) with faculty advisor and second reader and emails Rose Hill or Lincoln Center Department administrative assistants (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 presentation or reading of the thesis—whichever is more appropriate—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 for ENGL 4998 on my.fordham.edu (or ENGL 8996 when appropriate).