Columbia College Chicago

English and Creative Writing

The English and Creative Writing Department offers a Creative Writing BA program, in which you’ll explore the history of your chosen genre of concentration while creating original and innovative work of your own. We also offer several interdisciplinary BA programs, including Interdisciplinary Documentary and Cultural Studies, as well as several minors.

Majors and Programs

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

Creative Writing, BA


Creative Writing students at Columbia have consistently pushed boundaries. As a Creative Writing major, you’ll do the same—discovering your own voice as a writer while developing your craft and benefiting from regular, one-on-one interactions with diverse, distinguished faculty. Most importantly, you’ll spend a lot of time creating work. And by the time you graduate, you’ll be grounded in the aesthetics of writing as well the business of creative writing.

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You’ll flex your creative muscles as you engage with classic and contemporary novels, short stories and experimental texts. You’ll also develop critical reading and writing skills as you study a variety of literary forms and genres.


You’ll form 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.


You’ll discover your own voice as a poet and develop your craft. And by the time you graduate, you’ll be grounded in the history of poetry, poetics and a wide range of writing approaches.

Cultural Studies, BA


Columbia’s Cultural Studies program is one of the few such programs for undergraduates in the United States. Interdisciplinary at heart and multimedia in orientation, this intensive BA program analyzes and critiques our cultural, social, and political world. This program incorporates the arts and media disciplines and study from across Columbia’s programs to highlight the interplay of culture, economy, and diversity.

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Interdisciplinary Documentary, BA


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


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 Writing, Minor


The minor in Creative Writing 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 problem-solving skills—a natural boost for any creative professional. You’ll enjoy all of the benefits available to Creative Writing majors: experienced resident and visiting instructors, the ability to work on student-produced literary magazines, and other special programs.

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Literature Minor


This minor offers a wide range of literature courses exploring fiction, poetry, drama, nonfiction, and film. As you engage literary writers from the US, Britain, and/or the world, you will gain valuable career skills in critical thinking, research, idea development, and analytical writing. You will also discover the relationships between literature and the diverse aesthetic, historical, and cultural contexts in which it is written and read. The flexible curriculum allows you to shape the minor according to your interests.

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Professional Writing Minor


This minor is designed to help you gain practical skills in writing for the workplace, with a focus on writing effectively for and about the arts and media. You’ll explore the rhetorical, ethical, and cultural dimensions of communication and find opportunities to learn, research, create, and distribute content for print and digital environments.

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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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