Bachelor of Arts | College of Arts and Science
What is English/Creative Writing?
The creative writing major combines a joyfully intensive writing practice — courses are available in fiction, poetry, screenwriting, creative nonfiction and more — with critical thinking skills developed through the analysis and interpretation of literary texts. Incorporating courses in literature and the literary marketplace, the major develops fluent written and oral communication skills; trains students to locate patterns in, analyze, and interpret complex and surprising information; and enhances creative flexibility and inventiveness.
What are the features of Miami’s program?
All instructors in the creative writing program are published writers, many with strong reputations in the literary field. Solidly trained in literature and criticism, they are dedicated to teaching and personally mentoring student writers.
Small classes and workshops
Upper-level classes are conducted as small workshops that provide individual mentorship, a supportive atmosphere, individual mentorship and intensive peer and instructor critiques. Workshops have a transformative effect on student writing; by graduation, many students are producing publishable creative works.
Speakers and exhibitions
Each year, over a dozen noted writers give readings and lectures as part of Miami’s visiting writer series and meet with students for coffee hours and brown-bag seminars. Editors, agents, and publishers also visit campus to conduct Q&As and workshops with student writers. The Margaret Peterson Haddix endowment brings a children’s/young-adult author to campus annually, and the biannual McComb Conference on Undergraduate Creative Writing involves majors in an intensive weekend of panels, workshops and seminars with local and distinguished visiting writers.
Inklings and Oxford Magazine provide forums for creative work and offer practical experience in editing, layout, and design.
What are the special admission requirements, if any?
There are no additional admission requirements for this program.
What courses would I take?
Creative writers begin by taking two introductory courses, one in the practice of creative writing and another in literary analysis. Your main focus at this stage will be the Global Miami Plan, a well-rounded course of study that provides you with the intercultural knowledge and critical thinking skills that tomorrow’s leaders and citizens need.
During your sophomore and junior year, you will concentrate on one type of writing or continue with a combination of courses in fiction, poetry, and essay writing. You will also choose from a large menu of literature courses, some concentrating on the works of a particular author (such as Chaucer, Shakespeare, or Jane Austen) and others devoted to the literature and culture of particular groups, areas, or eras.
In your senior year, you will take advanced writing workshops and a capstone course, which examines theoretical issues in the writing of fiction and poetry and culminates in a significant writing project. The program is flexible enough to allow you to combine the creative writing major with elective courses in a particular field of interest. Popular options include Marketing; a second English major such as literature, professional writing, or linguistics; graphic design or another creative arts major; foreign languages; and media and communications. Many creative writers are on a pre-law or pre-med track.
What can I do with this major?
A major in creative writing is excellent preparation for careers in law, advertising, editing and publishing, freelance writing, writing for video games, and teaching, all of which are common areas of employment for recent graduates. The major can also enable and inspire, for those inclined, a lifetime of serious creative writing. Recent graduates report job titles such as assistant editor, advertising copywriter, and assistant creative director. Some Miami creative writing graduates go on to law or medical school (English majors outperform all other majors on the MCAT), and many, especially those interested in teaching, do graduate work in creative writing.