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Department of English Creative Writing Major

The Creative Writing Major at Washington State University brings students together in the study of writing poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, and multimedia storytelling, and prepares them for careers in editing and publishing. Our faculty members, all well published working writers and scholars, nurture young writers from beginning-level craft classes to advanced workshops. Our curriculum also engages students in the study of literature as they pursue their writing. We offer a certificate in professional editing and two extracurricular programs to expose students to the professional publishing world. These include our campus fine arts journal, LandEscapes —which students edit, publish and market—and our Visiting Writers Series that brings major literary figures to campus for presentations and workshops.


Core (2 courses, 6 credit hours):

  • Engl 251: Introduction to Creative Writing: Exploring the Genres
  • Engl 302: Introduction to English Studies

UPPER-DIVISION REQUIREMENTS (11 courses, 33 credit hours; Prerequisite of Engl 251 for any upper-division creative writing course):

  • Engl 352: Creative Writing: Poetry
  • One 300-level prose course from the following:
    • Engl 351: Creative Writing: Fiction
    • Engl 353: Creative Writing: Nonfiction
  • Engl 446: Form and Theory in Creative Writing (Note: Prerequisite of two college-level creative writing courses for 446)
  • Two advanced creative writing workshops from the following (courses repeatable for credit):
    • Engl 451: Advanced Creative Writing: Prose
    • Engl 452: Advanced Creative Writing: Poetry
  • One course from the following:
    • Engl 357: Literary Editing and Publishing
    • Engl 402: Technical and Professional Writing
    • Engl 498: Internship in publishing or editing internship (3 credits)
    • Engl 499: Independent Study in Creative Writing (3 credits)
  • Three upper-division literature courses, including at least one at 400-level course. At least one course must be a writers-of-color class so designated by the Undergraduate Studies Committee. Advisor must approve all courses.
  • One literature or creative writing elective.

Note: Majors in all options must have two [M] (writing intensive) courses in English. Of the 120 total credit hours required for the bachelor’s degree at WSU, forty credit hours must be in upper-division courses. For course descriptions and suggested four-year degree sequences, see the current WSU catalog.

Assessment: End-of-Program Portfolio

In all options, students are required to submit a sample paper from Engl 302 and from a senior literature course (for Creative Writing majors, a sample of writing from Engl 251 and from an advanced creative writing workshop course) and to complete an exit questionnaire before graduation.

Potential Careers

  • Novelist
  • Poet
  • Writing Coach
  • Editor
  • Greeting Card Author
  • Creative Advertising
  • Screenwriter
  • Lyricist
  • Linguist
  • Freelance Short Fiction Writer
  • Creative Writing Instructor
  • Professor
  • Biographer
  • Comic Book Writer
  • Ghostwriter
  • Travel Writer
  • Journalist
  • Columnist
  • Video Game Storyteller
  • Playwright
  • Librarian
  • Blogger
  • Copywriter
  • Writing Consultant