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Creative Writing


Creative writing programs teach students to compose poems, short stories, novels, and plays.

Students learn how to write and edit their work and learn the components of literary genres. They study methods of literary criticism and learn how to market their work.

In most creative writing programs, students take a combination of literature courses and workshops. In literature courses, they study different genres of creative writing and how authors put together their work. They also study the elements of writing fiction, poetry, and plays, including scene development, meter, and point of view.

Workshops are courses in which students write original pieces and submit them to classmates for critique. These courses allow them to practice your writing, from generating ideas to writing first drafts to revising. They also learn how to respond to criticism and work with editors.


In creative writing programs, students may be able to specialize in:


Community colleges and other two-year schools offer associate degree programs in creative writing. An associate degree usually takes two years to complete. After earning an associate degree students can transfer to a college or university for further study.

Many colleges and universities offer bachelor's degrees in creative writing. They are sometimes offered as part of a broad English program. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

Many universities offer graduate degrees in creative writing. A Master of Fine Arts degree (MFA) or other master's degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree.

See schools that offer this program.

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Some programs require you to submit a creative piece (poem, short story, section of a play) before you are admitted.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need samples of your creative writing, a bachelor's degree, good grades, and good test scores.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

Graduate Program Courses

Graduate study in creative writing typically includes:

Things to Know

You can begin developing your writing portfolio in high school with school assignments and journal pieces.

Some schools offer creative writing through English programs, while others have separate writing departments.

Most programs require you to specialize in either poetry or fiction, but not both. While some programs also offer scriptwriting (for plays and screenplays), these are commonly offered through theater programs.

Most graduate creative writing programs offer Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees. This is considered a terminal degree, meaning that you do not need a doctorate to teach at the college level.


East Side Area

Big Bend Community College

Central Washington University

Walla Walla University

Washington State University - Pullman

King-Snohomish Area

Everett Community College

Seattle Pacific University

Seattle University

Shoreline Community College

University of Washington - Bothell

University of Washington - Seattle

Spokane Area

Eastern Washington University

Eastern Washington University (Spokane Campus)

Tacoma Area

Pacific Lutheran University

University of Puget Sound

University of Washington - Tacoma

West Side Area

Evergreen State College, The

Western Washington University