English (BA)

Offering courses in literature, professional writing, and creative writing, the English bachelor’s degree program at Columbia College Chicago weaves your imagination and love of reading with the writing and communication skills that lead to success in the workplace.

You’ll study different literary forms (fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and more) as you become a flexible and adaptable writer and thinker. And as a member of Columbia’s diverse creative community, you’ll have access to the college’s robust arts and media resources as you prepare for your career. You’ll graduate with sharp analytical skills, the capacity to write in different forms, and the creativity and critical thinking that are valuable assets to any employer. 

In the Classroom

english classroom

Your First Year

You’ll begin with introductory courses in literature and creative writing, which provide a foundation for both analyzing creative texts and creating your own work. You’ll also experience how collaborative writing and workshopping can benefit your work and your individual expression.

Other Courses You’ll Take

Intermediate writing courses like Writing Digital Content and Writing for the Creative Workplace build on your foundation. Intermediate literature courses invite you to reflect on developments in popular literary traditions (English or American) over the course of several generations of writers. You’ll choose interdisciplinary elective courses that both broaden your frame of experience and enable you to apply your skills and abilities in a new context.

While you focus on locating and evaluating sources from libraries and online databases, seminar and workshop classes will help you hone your skills as a researcher, reader, and writer.

Your Last Year

For your capstone project, you’ll revise your favorite piece from your body of work, create longer and more complex pieces, and shape a portfolio that will showcase your abilities to potential employers. You’ll also complete an internship. 

Outside the Classroom

As a student, you’ll have a front-row seat for the prestigious The Efroymson Creative Writing Reading Series, which gives students the chance to interact with award-winning writers of different genres.

You can also participate in the Writers at Lunch program, which strengthens Columbia’s writing community by bringing together undergraduate students from all disciplines for readings, panel discussions, and meetings with professionals in the field.


You can work on Columbia’s literary journal, Allium, A Journal of Poetry & Prose. Not only can you submit your own work, you can take classes that provide hands-on experience with editing and producing this nationally distributed professional publication.


Like our students, Columbia College Chicago English and Creative Writing faculty members are diverse in every sense of the word. They are practicing, publishing writers and scholars; they are artists who teach.

Combining different literary backgrounds and experiences with a willingness to experiment, faculty members will encourage you to produce your best work, no matter where you fit into the literary scene.

View all department faculty members


Employers in fields like technical writing, marketing management, education, research, and nonprofits need people with creativity and critical thinking skills. With your English bachelor’s degree, you’ll be a fit for internships at marketing firms, tech companies, legal firms, television companies, advertising agencies—wherever good writing helps companies thrive. 

Learn more about the Career Center

Chicago: A Writing Hub

Chicago at Night

A world-class city that has given rise to literary greats, Chicago is a hub for writers and literature lovers. From distinctive bookstores and libraries to live lit events that welcome new talent, Chicago has everything an aspiring author could want. Find your community of writers here.  

Faculty Spotlight

Columbia College Chicago Adjunct Professor and MFA Alum Kate Wisel Publishes Thesis Project

Kate Wisel is the author of Driving in Cars with Homeless Men, winner of the 2019 Drue Heinz Literature Prize, selected by Min Jin Lee.

Read More

Related Minors for the English BA Program