2024-2025 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 24, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Course Catalog

Creative Writing, BA

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Katherine Kidd, Director of Undergraduate Studies
401 Hall of Languages

The Creative Writing Major in the English Department is designed for students who have an intense interest in developing their skills as writers and readers of creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. Students need to read widely and critically in order to write well and will be well served by a study of contemporary writing practices and the influences, precedents, and roots of literature. Students will be expected to read contemporary and historical works from a range of aesthetic credos that will provide a context to their development as artists. Students will begin to think as writers do and to understand the aesthetic and moral choices writers confront as they write. In addition, students will have ample opportunity for frequent and extensive writing and rewriting as they read, critique, and support each other’s work under the guidance of the distinguished faculty of the MFA in Creative Writing, a nationally ranked program.

Students who wish to major in Creative Writing should consult the Department of English Director of Undergraduate Studies to be assigned an appropriate advisor, who helps plan the course of study.

Some students majoring in Creative Writing may wish to apply for a dual enrollment with another school or college within the University, such as the School of Information Studies, College of Visual and Performing Arts, the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, or the School of Education. For more information, see the web site at english.syr.edu.

For all Arts and Sciences|Maxwell students, successful completion of a bachelor’s degree in this major requires a minimum of 120 credits, 96 of which must be Arts and Sciences|Maxwell credits, completion of the Liberal Arts Core requirements, and the requirements for this major that are listed below.

Dual Enrollments:

Students dually enrolled in Newhouse* and Arts and Sciences|Maxwell will complete a minimum of 122 credits, with at least 90 credits in Arts and Sciences|Maxwell coursework and an Arts and Sciences|Maxwell major.

*Students dually enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences|Maxwell as first year students must complete the Liberal Arts Core. Students who transfer to the dual program after their first year as singly enrolled students in the Newhouse School will satisfy general requirements for the dual degree program by completing the Newhouse Core Requirements.

Student learning outcomes include:

  1. Students will show the ability to read closely and analyze texts across historical periods and in various genres. 
  2. Students will be able to recognize and express the aesthetic qualities of literature and a knowledge of literary forms.
  3. Students will be able to recognize and produce good writing and explain what literary aspects make it good.
  4. Students will demonstrate a knowledge of critical approaches and methods of interpretation.
  5. Students will improve their own work through self-conscious and analytical processes. 
  6. They will be able to discuss peer work and other written texts in a thoughtful and constructive manner. 
  7. Students will exhibit an awareness of how these skills are necessary for employment and graduate study in a wide range of fields.

Major Requirements

To qualify for a B.A. degree in Creative Writing, students complete a total of 30 credits of coursework.  Students must attain a grade of C- or better in order to count a course toward their major credits. These credits include:

Remaining 21 credits

The remaining 21 credits are in courses numbered above 299 and must include:

  • ENG 300 Selected Topics: Creative Writing (3 credits)
  • One upper division ENG course numbered 300 and above from outside the area of creative writing (3 credits)
  • One upper division ENG critical course focused on texts written before 1900 from outside the area of creative writing (3 credits)
  • Two upper division “Reading and Writing” courses in different genres: ENG 301 Prose /303 Fiction /304 Poetry (6 credits)
  • Prerequisite for the Advanced Workshop: ENG 215 Poetry/ 216 Nonfiction/ 217 Fiction.
  • Two advanced workshops.  Each workshop must be in a different genre and have a different numerical designation: ENG 401 Poetry/ 402 Nonfiction/ 403 Fiction (6 credits) (does not have to correspond to the genre of the introductory course).

Note: WRT 422 may be substituted for ENG 402.

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