Fiction (BFA)

This program is not accepting applications for new students at this time.
Please contact an admissions counselor for more information.

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.

fiction bfa

In the Classroom

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 as a creative writing student, 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.

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.


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

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.  

Opportunities 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.


Employers in fields like technical writing, marketing management, education, research, and nonprofits need people with impeccable writing and storytelling skills. As a Fiction BFA student, 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


Alumni of the Fiction BFA program write their own stories of success, taking what they've learned and creating a place for themselves in the writing world. Many of our alumni publish their own books, start their own reading series, or go on to get MFAs or PhDs, and many put their writing skills to work for major corporations and industries around the country. The skills you learn translate to myriad job possibilities.