Columbia College Chicago

Fiction, BA

Writing is an art—and in an arts and communications institution like Columbia, collaboration opportunities will shape your educational experience. In the process-oriented Fiction program, you’ll be immersed in media beyond traditional text to prepare you for a diverse work environment—and by emphasizing points of connection between the fiction program and other Creative Writing genres, you’ll experience a range of writing styles and techniques while refining your focus on fiction writing styles and critiquing skills.

Along the way, you’ll also focus on generating work, flexing your writing muscles through an array of specialty writing classes that integrate popular forms and traditional literary pursuits. The benefit? You learn and grow as a writer, and learn how to be a writer for a living—all while developing your own unique voice and delving into a variety of elective courses throughout Columbia, from theatre and dance to American Sign Language and game art.

What to Expect Your First Year

You’re a writer, and you want to write. As a Fiction major, you’ll write from day one, immediately learning about the process of generating your own content—and actually generating it. In your first fiction workshop class, you’ll experiment with diverse assignments in a number of different writing styles and forms, benefiting from an open-minded setting with faculty who are committed to helping you discover what kind of writer you are.   

What to Expect Your Last Year

Throughout your time in the Fiction program, you’ll amass a body of work—and during your senior year, you’ll learn what to do with it. Whether you immerse yourself in publishing, editing and production classes, serve as a magazine editor on one of Columbia’s professional-level student publications, or tackle an internship, you’ll not only continue to hone your skills—you’ll learn how to see your work in terms of a large national conversation in the field of Creative Writing.

BA vs. BFA: What’s the Difference?

Bachelor of Arts (BA) programs feature a flexible curriculum that allows for exploration and the ability to tailor elective coursework beyond your major. Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) programs feature more focused coursework in the major.

If you wish to pursue entry to a BFA program, you must first gain admission to Columbia College Chicago. If eligible, you will be evaluated individually by your academic department sometime during your first or second year of enrollment.

For requirements and more information about this program, visit the course catalog.

Real-world Opportunities

What experience will I get outside the classroom?

As a Fiction student at an arts and communications institution in a vibrant, world-class city, you’ll be presented with incomparable opportunities for networking and collaboration: 

  • Participate in the Creative Writing Reading Series, which attracts prestigious, award-winning fiction writers who perform, engage and educate on a myriad of topics and traditions.
  • Participate in the Writers at Lunch program, which brings together undergraduate students in Fiction, Nonfiction and Poetry for readings, panel discussions, and meetings with professionals in the field.
  • Work on Hair Trigger magazine, which features the best fiction writing from Columbia students. From submitting work to taking the lead in publishing, editing and producing, you can contribute to this highly professional publication. 
  • Create reading series, journals or presses of your own.
What are my internship options?

Employers in a variety of fields look for experienced, competent and confident employees who are strong communicators. The internship opportunities that Columbia’s Fiction program can help you land are vast—newspapers, trade magazines, banks, personnel firms, legal firms, television companies, advertising agencies and more. Companies and organizations get your strong writing skills, and you make professional contacts and create a portfolio of real-world work at places like The Daily Show, Disney, Pitchfork Media and Time Out Chicago.  

See the Career Center website for more information.


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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