Skip to main content

Creative Writing Track

BA in English (Creative Writing)

Admission to the Creative Writing track is highly selective. To obtain admission, students must submit an application, available from the department, together with a sample of their writing. Application for Creative Writing. The application deadline, announced each semester on the department website, falls before the beginning of pre-registration, approximately the seventh week of the semester. Students who declare a major in English/Literature will be changed to English/Creative Writing upon acceptance into the track. The Fall 2021 deadline is Wednesday, October 27 at 11:59pm. 

Total credits required to complete major: 44

Basic Requirements - 28 credits

Requirement Credits
ENGL 203: Reader and Text: (Subtitle) 4
ENGL 201: Foundations of Creative Writing 4
ENGL 402: Senior Seminar in Creative Writing 4
Four advanced workshop courses (from ENGL 301, ENGL 302, ENGL 303, ENGL 304, ENGL 305, ENGL 307, ENGL 426) 16

Electives -16 credits

Requirement Credits
3 ENGL elective courses in literature (at least one must be at the 400 level) 12
1 elective from ENGL 202, ENGL 301, ENGL 302, ENGL 303, ENGL 304, ENGL 305, ENGL 307, ENGL 426, FMST 310, ENGL courses in literature 4


  • Admission to the Creative Writing track is by selection. Students who wish to pursue the track must submit an application and a sample of their writing. Creative Writing Application
  • At least 3 of the student's elective courses must be drawn from literature.
  • At least one of the student's courses in literature must be at the 400 level.
  • 3-credit courses transferred from other institutions may fulfill certain requirements above, but all students must successfully complete a minimum of 44 credits.
  • A grade of C- or above is required in any course applied to the program.

Learning Outcomes in English/Creative Writing

200 level: Foundations

The 200 level in the creative writing track provides students with an introduction to the discipline through the study of various genres of creative writing including poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. Creative writing courses at this level help students understand what it means to read as a writer and write with an awareness of the craft elements within the different genres. They provide a working vocabulary for analyzing texts and critiquing peers' writings. Students discuss the choices writers make (and why) and consider those choices in their own writing and editing endeavors.

In creative writing courses at the 200 level, students will demonstrate

  • the ability to read texts closely
  • the ability to write clear and effective English prose in accordance with conventions of standard English
  • an understanding of differences between and requirements of the genre
  • knowledge of craft and technique in genres under study
  • proficiency at critiquing peer and published work

300 level: Studio

The 300-level creative writing courses are advanced writing workshops in which students will engage in more in-depth study in the various genres. Students will read published works in the class genre, but the majority of the reading material is produced by the students. Because students write a majority of the workshop's reading material it is essential that the workshop participants have successfully met the learning outcomes of the 200-level writing classes for the course to maintain the rigor necessary at this level of their development. All students must submit a writing application for entrance into the 300-level writing workshops, and those applications must be approved by the course professors. Students will write pieces in the course's genre and submit them to their peers for written and verbal critique that the writer will use to revise the work.

In creative writing courses at the 300 level, students will demonstrate

  • knowledge of elements, modes, and forms of chosen genre
  • proficiency at critiquing peer and published work
  • the ability to incorporate criticism into revision of creative work

400 level: Writing in the World

400-level creative writing courses prepare students for the more public aspects of the writing life, including publication and readings. These courses form a bridge between writing for the classroom and writing within a larger literary community. Students will attend various readings (including those of their peers) and literary events to learn about opportunities for writers and ways of sustaining a literary life beyond Geneseo.

In creative writing courses at the 400 level, students will demonstrate

  • proficiency at presenting work to readers in public readings, publication or exhibits
  • an understanding of the processes of revision, submission, publication
  • knowledge of contemporary writers and literary journals