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.

 

Genres Offered

 

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.

 

Workshopping Opportunities

 

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.

 

Showcasing Opportunities

 

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. 

Discover your chances at hundreds of schools

Our free chancing engine takes into account your history, background, test scores, and extracurricular activities to show you your real chances of admission—and how to improve them.

List of All U.S. Colleges With a Creative Writing Major

 

School Name City State
Agnes Scott College Decatur Georgia
Ashland University Ashland Ohio
Augustana College Rock Island Illinois
Austin College Sherman Texas
Baldwin Wallace University | BW Berea Ohio
Beloit College Beloit Wisconsin
Bennington College Bennington Vermont
Berry College Mount Berry Georgia
Bowling Green State University | BGSU Bowling Green Ohio
Bradley University Peoria Illinois
Brandeis University Waltham Massachusetts
Brooklyn College Brooklyn New York
Brown University Providence Rhode Island
Bucknell University Lewisburg Pennsylvania
Butler University Indianapolis Indiana
California College of the Arts | CCA San Francisco California
Capital University Columbus Ohio
Carnegie Mellon University | CMU Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
Catawba College Salisbury North Carolina
Central Michigan University | CMU Mount Pleasant Michigan
Central Washington University | CWU Ellensburg Washington
Chapman University Orange California
Coe College Cedar Rapids Iowa
Colby College Waterville Maine
College of the Holy Cross | Holy Cross Worcester Massachusetts
Colorado College Colorado Springs Colorado
Columbia College Chicago Chicago Illinois
Columbia University New York New York
Dartmouth College Hanover New Hampshire
Eastern Michigan University | EMU Ypsilanti Michigan
Eckerd College Saint Petersburg Florida
Emerson College Boston Massachusetts
Emory University Atlanta Georgia
Fitchburg State University Fitchburg Massachusetts
Franklin and Marshall College | F&M Lancaster Pennsylvania
George Mason University Fairfax Virginia
George Washington University | GW Washington Washington DC
Hamilton College Clinton New York
Huntingdon College Montgomery Alabama
Ithaca College Ithaca New York
Johns Hopkins University | JHU Baltimore Maryland
Knox College Galesburg Illinois
Laguna College of Art and Design | LCAD Laguna Beach California
Lesley University Cambridge Massachusetts
Lindenwood University Saint Charles Missouri
Linfield College McMinnville Oregon
Loyola University Maryland Baltimore Maryland
Loyola University New Orleans New Orleans Louisiana
Macalester College Saint Paul Minnesota
Massachusetts Institute of Technology | MIT Cambridge Massachusetts
Mercer University Macon Georgia
Miami University Oxford Ohio
Millikin University Decatur Illinois
Millsaps College Jackson Mississippi
New School New York New York
Northwestern University Evanston Illinois
Oakland University Rochester Hills Michigan
Oberlin College Oberlin Ohio
Ohio Northern University | ONU Ada Ohio
Ohio University Athens Ohio
Ohio Wesleyan University Delaware Ohio
Oklahoma Baptist University | OBU Shawnee Oklahoma
Otterbein University Westerville Ohio
Pacific University Forest Grove Oregon
Pepperdine University Malibu California
Portland State University | PSU Portland Oregon
Pratt Institute Brooklyn New York
Principia College Elsah Illinois
Providence College Providence Rhode Island
Purdue University West Lafayette Indiana
Rhode Island College | RIC Providence Rhode Island
Rocky Mountain College | RMC Billings Montana
Roger Williams University | RWU Bristol Rhode Island
Saint Mary’s College (Indiana) Notre Dame Indiana
School of the Art Institute of Chicago | SAIC Chicago Illinois
Seattle University Seattle Washington
Seton Hall University South Orange New Jersey
Simmons College Boston Massachusetts
Southern Methodist University | SMU Dallas Texas
Southern Oregon University | SOU Ashland Oregon
Spalding University Louisville Kentucky
State University of New York at Purchase | SUNY Purchase Purchase New York
Stephens College Columbia Missouri
Suffolk University Boston Massachusetts
Texas Christian University | TCU Fort Worth Texas
Texas Wesleyan University Fort Worth Texas
The State University of New York at Binghamton | SUNY Binghamton Vestal New York
The State University of New York at Buffalo | SUNY Buffalo Buffalo New York
The State University of New York at Stony Brook | SUNY Stony Brook Stony Brook New York
Truman State University | TSU Kirksville Missouri
University of Arizona Tucson Arizona
University of California, Riverside | UC Riverside Riverside California
University of Cincinnati Cincinnati Ohio
University of Evansville Evansville Indiana
University of Houston Houston Texas
University of Idaho Moscow Idaho
University of La Verne La Verne California
University of Maine at Farmington | UMF Farmington Maine
University of Miami Coral Gables Florida
University of Michigan Ann Arbor Michigan
University of Nebraska Omaha | UNO Omaha Nebraska
University of New Mexico | UNM Albuquerque New Mexico
University of North Carolina at Wilmington | UNC Wilmington Wilmington North Carolina
University of Pittsburgh | Pitt Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
University of Puget Sound Tacoma Washington
University of Redlands Redlands California
University of Rochester Rochester New York
University of Southern California | USC Los Angeles California
University of St. Thomas (Minnesota) Saint Paul Minnesota
University of Texas at El Paso | UTEP El Paso Texas
University of the Arts | UArts Philadelphia Pennsylvania
University of Tulsa Tulsa Oklahoma
University of Washington Seattle Washington
Valparaiso University | Valpo Valparaiso Indiana
Washington University in St. Louis | WashU Saint Louis Missouri
Wellesley College Wellesley Massachusetts
Western Michigan University | WMU Kalamazoo Michigan
Western New England University | WNE Springfield Massachusetts
Western Washington University | WWU Bellingham Washington
Wheaton College (Massachusetts) Norton Massachusetts
Wichita State University | WSU Wichita Kansas
Widener University Chester Pennsylvania
Wofford College Spartanburg South Carolina
Yeshiva University New York New York
Youngstown State University Youngstown Ohio

 

Notice a school that’s missing? Email us and let us know!

 

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!

Want more tips on improving your academic profile?

We'll send valuable information to help you strengthen your profile and get ready for college admissions.


Laura Berlinsky-Schine
Senior Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, where she majored in Creative Writing and minored in History. She lives in Brooklyn, New York and works as a freelance writer specializing in education. She dreams of having a dog.