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English and Creative Writing Major Requirements


The Bachelor of Arts in English and Creative Writing requires a minimum of 120 s.h., including at least 42 s.h. of work for the major. Of the 42 s.h., at least 36 s.h. must be selected from the Department of English courses (prefix ENGL, CNW, CW). Students must maintain a GPA of at least 2.00 in all courses for the major and in all UI courses for the major. Transfer students must earn at least 30 s.h. work for the major at the University of Iowa, with at least 15 s.h. of course work in English literary study and 15 s.h. of course work in creative writing taken in residence at the University of Iowa. Students are encouraged to explore multiple genres, including fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and playwriting.

Students earning the major in English may not earn the major in English and Creative Writing and students completing the English and Creative Writing major may not earn a second major in English. Please note that "creative writing" encompasses ENGL 37** and 47** (creative writing courses in fiction, non-fiction, playwriting, translation, poetry, and special topics), CW courses (fiction and poetry), CNW (creative non-fiction), and some THTR (playwriting) and CINE (screenwriting). Search accordingly when looking for coursework.


Both of the following courses below are required and must be successfully completed before registering for advanced courses:
ENGL:2010 Foundations of the English Major    
ENGL:2020 Foundations of Creative Writing         


The core in English literary study helps students to learn and practice critical reading and analysis and to understand the relation of literature to history and culture, introducing students to the context and tradition of literature written in English.


A minimum of 3 s.h. must be completed from each of the following five areas of English literary study, for a minimum of a total of 15 s.h. of courses selected from the list below.

  • Literary Theory and Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Medieval and Early Modern Literature and Culture
  • Modern British Literature and Culture
  • American Literature and Culture
  • Transnational Literature and Postcolonial Studies


The area and historical periods for English courses are identified in the course description on MyUI, in the MAUI course library, and in the General Catalog. Since most courses satisfy both an area requirement and a historical period requirement, most students complete these requirements with the same courses. A minimum of 3 s.h. must be completed from each of the following three historical periods in English literary study:

  • Early Literatures through the 17th Century
  • 18th/19th Century Literature
  • 20th/21st Century Literature


Students must complete one class (a minimum of 3 s.h.) in multiethnic literature and culture. This course may also contribute to satisfying area and period requirements. A list of approved courses follows.        

ENGL:2460 Black Literature and Politics ENGL:2462 The Look of Blackness ENGL:2463 Topics in African American Literature
ENGL:2465 Selected African American Authors ENGL:2475 Topics in Asian American Literature ENGL:3441 Native American Literature
ENGL:3444 Literatures of the American Peoples ENGL:3455 Jewish American Literature ENGL:3459 African American Literature Before 1900
ENGL:3460 African American Literature After 1900 ENGL:3462 African American Drama ENGL:3465 African American Autobiography
ENGL:4410 Midwest African American Literature and Culture    

The following courses will sometimes be designated as fulfilling the Multiethnic American Literature and Culture requirement depending on course content, which varies by semester. Consult MyUI for semester-specific information.   

ENGL:2409 Selected American Authors Before 1900 ENGL:2410 Selected American Authors After 1900 ENGL:3431  American Novel Since 1945


The creative writing core ensures students have experience in a range of literary genres and substantial engagement with advanced courses. A minimum of 18 s.h. is required in creative writing courses in addition to the 3 s.h. ENGL:2020 Foundations of Creative Writing.


9 s.h. of creative writing electives gives students flexible choices, encouraging them to experiment across genres, including fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, and to focus on the particulars of craft, tradition, and innovation associated with each. Many of the courses on this list are repeatable for credit, allowing students to concentrate on a small number of genres if they so choose. Some of these courses have prerequisites.  

CINE:2861 Introduction to Screen Writing: Short CINE:2867 Introduction to Screen Writing: Long CNW:2000-4999 the wide range of courses in creative nonfiction offered by the Nonfiction Writing Program
CW:2000-4999 the wide range of courses in fiction and poetry offered by the Writers’ Workshop THTR:2301 Playwriting THTR:3301 Playwriting II
THTR:3320 Writing for Film and Television THTR 3325 Iowa Writers' Room TRNS:3179 Undergraduate Translation Workshop
TRNS:3208 Classical Chinese Literature Through Translation WLLC 2473: Cinderella  


A minimum of 9 s.h. in advanced creative writing courses is required from the following options, all of which are reserved for staffing by tenured and tenure-track faculty, and distinguished visitors. These courses are repeatable.  Registration requires successful completion of the two introductory courses, ENGL:2010 Foundations of the English Major, and ENGL:2020 Foundations of Creative Writing.                                 

CW:4870  Undergraduate Writers' Workshop: Fiction CW:4875  Undergraduate Writers' Workshop: Poetry CNW:4631  Advanced Essay Workshop
CNW:4635  Advanced Creative Nonfiction Workshop ENGL:4020  Honors Thesis Workshop [where the thesis is creative writing] ENGL:4720  Creative Writing Advanced Topic: [subtitle varies by section]
ENGL:4721  Advanced Writers’ Seminar: Fiction ENGL:4722  Advanced Writers’ Seminar: Poetry ENGL:4723  Advanced Writers’ Seminar: Nonfiction
ENGL:4724  Advanced Writers’ Seminar: Literary Translation ENGL:4725 Advanced Writers’ Seminar: Playwriting SPAN:4950  Advanced Workshop on Creative Writing in Spanish
THTR:3300   Advanced Playwriting THTR:3310   Undergraduate Playwriting Workshop