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University College's creative writing courses are open to all students who possess writing skills comparable to those typically learned in English Composition 101 and 203. However, for those who want to explore in depth and achieve significant mastery in the art of writing poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction, University College offers a 16-unit Certificate Program in Creative Writing.
Instructors are experienced professional writers, most of whom are associated with the Washington University Graduate Writing Program and the Department of English. All of the craft courses are taught on the workshop model, with open discussion, and detailed, constructive criticism of each student's writing.
Summer Writers Institute
Each June, Washington University holds the Summer Writers Institute, a creative writing experience for writers of fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction. Participants may earn 3 college credits. Call (314) 935-4695 for more information.
Students may specialize in any one of the three genres: poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction.
Each student will take five three-credit, advanced level (300 or higher) courses, including three courses devoted to mastering the craft of writing in the chosen specialty genre, one course primarily in reading and analysis of the literature in that genre, and one course in a second genre.
The student's final course in the program will be taken for four credits, rather than the usual three, and will include a one-credit meta-commentary assignment. This assignment requires stepping back from the particular course and describing (in 1500 words) what you have learned about the differences between and similarities among the genres investigated and how these have affected your choice of genre. You should look at the strategies you have chosen in your writing and explain why you chose them for a particular purpose. The purpose of this assignment is for you to show the skills that you have learned in the course of the certificate as you think about the genres you have examined, and how these skills govern your approach to creative writing.
Please review the English Composition course listings in University College for current offerings.
Students with little previous experience in creative writing are encouraged to begin with a 200-level writing course or workshop as a foundation for the more advanced courses that will count toward the certificate.
Below is a list of requirements for an application to the Creative Writing certificate at University College. Your application will be reviewed once all requirements are received.
Policies and Procedures
Courses taken toward a University College undergraduate certificate program may be applied to a University College bachelor of science degree, as distribution, general elective, or major elective courses. A maximum of 6 units of coursework from a University College undergraduate certificate may be used as core major courses in a University College bachelor of science degree.