Columbia College Chicago

Creative Writing

Creative Writing offers Bachelor of Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees in Nonfiction, Fiction and Poetry; a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Fiction; and minors in Creative Nonfiction, Fiction Writing and Poetry. As an undergraduate, you’ll explore the history of your chosen genre while creating original and innovative work of your own. Our intensive graduate programs are small, vibrant and supportive communities for growing as a student, honing your craft as a writer, and obtaining experience as an educator.

Majors & Programs

For requirements and more information about these programs, visit the course catalog.


Poetry, BA

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As the first Poetry BA program in the country, Columbia’s Poetry program has consistently pushed creative boundaries. As a Poetry major, you’ll do the same—discovering your own voice as a poet and developing your craft while benefiting from regular one-on-one interactions with a diverse, distinguished faculty. And by the time you graduate, you’ll be grounded in the history of poetry, poetics and a wide range of writing approaches.

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Nonfiction, BA

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As a Nonfiction major, you’ll develop a vast bank of knowledge relating to writing and publishing practices. You’ll start by forming a foundation based on the history, forms, genres and techniques that are vital to producing nonfiction work, and you’ll be exposed to the new role of nonfiction writing in the literary landscape as you create a body of work of your own.

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Fiction, BA

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As a Fiction major, you’ll study a variety of literary forms and genres, narrative techniques and revision strategies. You’ll also engage with classic and contemporary novels, short stories and experimental texts. Through an amazing array of specialty writing classes and workshop-style learning, you’ll be exposed to a multitude of genres, while developing critical reading and writing skills to prepare you for the literary marketplace, graduate studies and writing-related careers. Most importantly, you’ll spend a lot of time creating work.

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Interdisciplinary Documentary, BA

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Documentary filmmakers wear many hats. They’re directors and writers, photographers and voice actors. But above all else, documentary filmmakers are compelling storytellers with a passion for spreading the truth. As an Interdisciplinary Documentary major, you’ll take courses in a variety of departments and gain a comprehensive education that covers nonfiction storytelling through story, image and sound. You’ll graduate with a wide knowledge of documentary theory and practice and a portfolio of nonfiction work that spans disciplines and media formats.

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Fiction, BFA

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In the Fiction BFA program, you’ll study a variety of literary forms and genres, narrative techniques and revision strategies. You’ll also engage with classic and contemporary novels, short stories and experimental texts. Through an amazing array of specialty writing classes and workshop-style learning, you’ll be exposed to the intense liberal arts education all writers must possess, while completing a service learning component and rigorous capstone class.

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Creative Nonfiction Minor

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The Creative Nonfiction minor offers you an exciting avenue to combine analytical, research, poetic, fictional and journalistic techniques used to produce creative nonfiction. The genre offers a powerful means to communicate and exert your insight and influence across a wide range of arts- and media-related topics. The minor will help you to improve your oral, written and creative problem-solving skills; enhance the development of your written creative work; and increase your chances of competing successfully in the business world after graduation. This minor complements a major in Advertising, Journalism, International Arts Management, Photography and Public Relations.

Requirements for the Creative Nonfiction Minor

Fiction Minor

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The minor in Fiction allows you to combine your major field of study with a sequence of workshop classes and elective writing courses that will improve reading, writing, listening, speaking and creative problem-solving skills—a natural boost for any arts and communications career. This minor complements a major in Advertising, Arts Management, Screenwriting, Television and Writing for Performance.

Requirements for the fiction Minor

Poetry Minor

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With a minor in Poetry, you’ll build on your major and strengthen your outside-the-box thinking while developing the discipline of writing. You’ll have all of the benefits available to poetry majors: experienced resident and visiting instructors, an annual poetry reading series, and the ability to work on the Columbia Poetry Review and other special programs. This minor complements a major in Advertising, Comedy Writing and Performance, Journalism, Theatre and Television.

Requirements for the Poetry Minor

Ready to Apply?

We’re happy you’re thinking of joining our creative community. We work hard to make our application process as simple and fast as possible, but should you run into any concerns, we're here to help at any time.

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