Fiction, BFA

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 BFA program—designed to prepare you for graduate school in creative writing or writing-related professions—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. You’ll complete a service learning component and choose between two capstone courses. Whether you develop a creative portfolio or a teaching journal/essay, you’ll focus your energy into rigorous studio classes to master your art form in your specific field of choice. 

What to Expect Your First Year
You’re a writer, and you want to write. In the Fiction BFA program, you’ll write from day one, immediately learning about the process of generating your own content—and then 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

In the BFA program, you’ll amass a body of work—and during your final year of study, you’ll learn what to do with it. For your capstone experience, you’ll choose between developing a creative portfolio and completing a teaching practicum. You’ll also complete a service learning component designed to prepare you for writing-related professions.

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.

Detailed Program Information

Download a Four-Year Plan

For More Degree Requirements and Transfer Plans, Visit the Catalog

Real-world Opportunities

What experience will I get outside the classroom?

As a Fiction BFA 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 BFA 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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