List of All U.S. Colleges with a Creative Writing Major
Writing has been my passion practically since I learned to read in kindergarten. I would write stories about princesses and my family dog, Gansett. When it came time to look at colleges, I was set on attending one with a strong creative writing program. Ultimately, I graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a B.A. in Writing Seminars.
Today, colleges across the country offer creative writing as a major. Because writing skills are essential for a wide range of careers, and because most curricula emphasize broad liberal arts competencies, a degree in creative writing can set you up for success in numerous fields, whether you want to be an editor or a lawyer.
Interested in majoring in creative writing? Learn which schools offer the major and what to look for in a program.
Overview of the Creative Writing Major
Creative writing is about more than spinning tales. For your major, you’ll generally need to pursue a curriculum grounded in literature, history, foreign language, and other humanities courses, along with distribution courses, if the college requires them.
Most creative writing majors must participate in workshops, in which students present their work and listen to peer critiques, usually with a certain number of advanced courses in the mix. In some cases, colleges will ask you to specialize in a particular genre, such as fiction, poetry, or playwriting.
To succeed in creative writing, you’ll need to have a tough spine, in order to open yourself up to feedback from your classmates and instructors. You may need to give readings in public — if not as an undergraduate, certainly during your career. Of course, a passion for creating is essential, too, as is a willingness to revise your work and learn from the greats and your peers.
A creative writing major opens up doors to many careers, including journalism, content marketing, copywriting, teaching, and others. Even careers that don’t center around writing often have a strong writing component: you’ll need to write reports, deliver presentations, and so on.
Some writers go on to earn an MFA, which will help you hone your craft. It’s also often a prerequisite for teaching creative writing at the college level.
What to Look for in a College as a Creative Writing Major
Published Authors on Faculty
Many world-renowned authors have another claim to fame: professorships. Writers who have taught their craft include (among many others):
- Maya Angelou (Wake Forest University)
- Colson Whitehead (many colleges, including Vassar College and Columbia University)
- Stephen Dixon (Johns Hopkins University)
- Viet Thanh Nguyen (University of Southern California)
- Eula Biss (Northwestern University)
- Toni Morrison (Princeton University)
Be aware that as an undergraduate, you may not be able to learn from the greats. That’s why it’s important to look into which courses these faculty teach before you have dreams of being mentored by Salman Rushdie — who is a Distinguished Writer in Residence at NYU.
While many schools that have creative writing majors offer fiction and poetry courses and tracks, there are some niche genres that could be more difficult to find. If you’re interested in playwriting, for example, you won’t find that at every school. Before you decide on a program, be sure it includes the genres you’d like to explore further, whether that’s flash fiction, creative nonfiction, or something else.
The core of most quality creative writing curriculum is workshopping. This means sharing your work in your classes and listening to your peers discuss and critique it. While this may sound intimidating, it can do a lot to help you hone your work and become a better writer. Look for colleges that make this the bedrock of their curriculum.
Are there opportunities to present your work, such as college-sponsored readings where undergraduates can participate? Or, perhaps the school has a great literary journal. At my school, students could submit their plays and have them performed by fellow students.
List of All U.S. Colleges With a Creative Writing Major
|Agnes Scott College
|Baldwin Wallace University | BW
|Bowling Green State University | BGSU
|California College of the Arts | CCA
|Carnegie Mellon University | CMU
|Central Michigan University | CMU
|Central Washington University | CWU
|College of the Holy Cross | Holy Cross
|Columbia College Chicago
|Eastern Michigan University | EMU
|Fitchburg State University
|Franklin and Marshall College | F&M
|George Mason University
|George Washington University | GW
|Johns Hopkins University | JHU
|Laguna College of Art and Design | LCAD
|Loyola University Maryland
|Loyola University New Orleans
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology | MIT
|Ohio Northern University | ONU
|Ohio Wesleyan University
|Oklahoma Baptist University | OBU
|Portland State University | PSU
|Rhode Island College | RIC
|Rocky Mountain College | RMC
|Roger Williams University | RWU
|Saint Mary’s College (Indiana)
|School of the Art Institute of Chicago | SAIC
|Seton Hall University
|Southern Methodist University | SMU
|Southern Oregon University | SOU
|State University of New York at Purchase | SUNY Purchase
|Texas Christian University | TCU
|Texas Wesleyan University
|The State University of New York at Binghamton | SUNY Binghamton
|The State University of New York at Buffalo | SUNY Buffalo
|The State University of New York at Stony Brook | SUNY Stony Brook
|Truman State University | TSU
|University of Arizona
|University of California, Riverside | UC Riverside
|University of Cincinnati
|University of Evansville
|University of Houston
|University of Idaho
|University of La Verne
|University of Maine at Farmington | UMF
|University of Miami
|University of Michigan
|University of Nebraska Omaha | UNO
|University of New Mexico | UNM
|University of North Carolina at Wilmington | UNC Wilmington
|University of Pittsburgh | Pitt
|University of Puget Sound
|University of Redlands
|University of Rochester
|University of Southern California | USC
|University of St. Thomas (Minnesota)
|University of Texas at El Paso | UTEP
|University of the Arts | UArts
|University of Tulsa
|University of Washington
|Valparaiso University | Valpo
|Washington University in St. Louis | WashU
|Western Michigan University | WMU
|Western New England University | WNE
|Western Washington University | WWU
|Wheaton College (Massachusetts)
|Wichita State University | WSU
|Youngstown State University
What Are Your Chances of Acceptance?
No matter what major you’re considering, the first step is ensuring you’re academically comparable to students who were previously accepted to the college or university. Most selective schools use the Academic Index to filter out applicants who aren’t up to their standards.
You’ll also want to demonstrate your fit with the school and specific major with the qualitative components of your application, like your extracurriculars and essays. For a prospective creative writing major, the essay is particularly important because this is a way to demonstrate your writing prowess. Activities might include editing your school’s newspaper or literary journal, publishing your work, and participating in pre-college writing workshops.
Want to know your chances of being accepted to top creative writing schools? Try our Chancing Engine (it’s free). Unlike other calculators, it takes your individual profile into account, including academic stats and qualitative components like your activities. Give it a try and get a jumpstart on your journey as a creative writing major!