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 Writing; 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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The Poetry program helps students discover their own voices as poets and develop their craft. Graduates of the program are grounded in the history of poetry, poetics and a wide range of writing approaches. As a Poetry major, you will work through a sequence of workshop-style classes (including two intermediate and two advanced workshops), a craft seminar and literature courses in the English department.

Nonfiction, BA

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As a Nonfiction major, you will explore the history, forms, genres and techniques vital to producing nonfiction. Effective reading, writing, critical thinking and revision strategies are necessary for writing-related employment or entrance into a graduate writing program, so you will take workshops and literature classes focused on developing a vast bank of knowledge relating to writing and publishing practices. In your capstone course, you will revise a thesis of your best creative work.

Fiction, BA

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As a Fiction major, you will study a variety of literary forms and genres, narrative techniques, and revision strategies by engaging with classic and contemporary novels, short stories, creative nonfiction, and experimental texts. You will develop critical reading and writing skills to prepare you for the literary marketplace, graduate studies, writing-related careers and other professions where effective communication, best publishing practice, and creative problem-solving are necessary.

Fiction, BFA

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The BFA program focuses on the intense liberal arts education all writers must possess. A service learning component is required, and students choose between two capstone courses that provide a culminating experience leading to a creative portfolio or a teaching journal/essay. This degree prepares students who anticipate entering graduate school in creative writing, and encourages vigorous development for those seeking employment in writing-related professions.

Creative Nonfiction Minor

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A Creative Nonfiction minor offers students an exciting avenue to improving oral, written and creative problem-solving skills as well as a means to enhance the development of their written creative work. The combination of analytical, research, poetic, fictional and journalistic techniques used to produce creative nonfiction offers a powerful means of communicating more effectively in a wide range of arts and media-related writing, increasing your chances of competing successfully in the work world after graduation.

Fiction Minor

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The minor in Fiction Writing allows students to combine their major fields of study with a sequence of workshop classes and elective writing courses that will improve reading, writing, listening, speaking and creative problem-solving skills. The minor in Fiction Writing is of interest to students who realize the great importance of writing in all arts disciplines and media careers.

Poetry Minor

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A minor in Poetry may be taken by a student who is majoring in another area at the college. Students pursuing the minor will have all the benefits available to Poetry majors. This includes experienced resident and visiting instructors, an annual poetry reading series, the Columbia Poetry Review, the Eileen Lannan Contest and other special programs.

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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