Creative writing touches on all aspects of written communication, with particular emphasis on those that lie outside the purely academic and technical fields. Creative writing draws on the author’s imaginative capacity, stylistic felicity, and originality of composition, insight and expression. It encompasses a wide range of approaches, including prose fiction, poetry, drama, screenwriting, and writing for stage. Thus, an undergraduate degree in creative writing is one of the most useful programs of study that a student can contemplate, offering not only the means to explore and develop one’s expressive abilities in a variety of written forms, but also providing the means to develop advanced skills and competencies in written communication and academic research. In a digital age that is heavily reliant on effective, interesting, original and attractive writing, a BFA in Creative Writing is an exciting, relevant and vocationally desirable course of study: it provides a range of opportunities for artistic and intellectual growth, enhanced expressive ability, a rich variety of career development possibilities in the arts and business, and many avenues for further development in graduate study.
The BFA program examines all of the main areas of creative writing, with introductory courses on the discipline as a whole, courses on the technical requirements and the analysis of creative writing, and specific courses exploring the practical aspects of composing novels, short stories, poems, scripts and screenplays. As the student progresses, the program makes increasing use of the workshop method of teaching, and in the final stages there are opportunities for approved students to undertake extended independent writing projects. The student may combine the major in creative writing with other majors offered by the institution, depending on his or her interests; these include performing arts, liberal arts and international business, either as a double major or as minors.
The degree normally takes four years (eight semesters) to complete, though approved students may complete the program more quickly than this by taking summer semester classes. The student must complete a total of 120 credits, according to the following requirements (note that all classes are worth 3 credits unless indicated otherwise):
45 credits minimum from the creative writing major
- Academic communication
- Imagination and storytelling
- Anglo-Irish writers
- Introduction to creative writing
- Writing prose
- Poetry now
- Close reading
- Writing for screen
- Writing for stage
- Literary modernism
- Writing workshops
- Creative writing projects (3 to 15 credits, depending on the size of the project undertaken, with approximately 6,000 words of text required for each 3 credits awarded; only available to junior and senior students, and requiring approval for the size of the project attempted)
30 credits minimum of general education classes
- 200-level creative writing and liberal arts classes above are all rated as general education courses and may be counted towards the general education requirement.
45 credits of free electives
- The remaining classes to achieve the required total of 120 credits may be freely chosen by the student, with the proviso that prerequisite stipulations are followed.
- The student may select as free electives more than the minimum 45 credits of creative writing major classes.
- The student may select as free electives more than the minimum of 30 credits of general education classes.
- If a student wishes to take a minor, a minimum of 15 credits must be taken in the minor, with at least 9 credits in the upper divisions (300+); these minor credits are taken from the free elective requirement.
The programme has three intakes: January, May and September.
Applicants are required to have graduated from high school at a standard that satisfies the institution that they have a strong likelihood of being able to complete the program of study. Applicants still in high school must provide evidence from high school transcripts and / or report cards that suggest a likelihood to graduate from high school; conditional acceptance is granted pending the completion of the applicant’s senior high school year.
Applicants are also required to submit with their application a sample of original creative writing (any form of creative writing) of approximately 1,000 words.
Along with academic knowledge that students receive throughout the duration of their chosen subject, students will also acquire and develop transferable career skills from their degree discipline. These skills along with potential career paths are provided below to give you a well-rounded view of what the course has to offer.
These skills include:
- Skills and competencies in written communication.
- Skills and competences in academic research.
- Organisational competencies
- Critical and editorial commentary
Graduate of BFA in Creative Writing will be prepared to participate in a range of complementary fields including:
- Online writing
The programme also serves as an effective platform for successful participation in a variety of postgraduate programmes such as the MFA in Creative Writing, Liberal Arts and Performing Arts.