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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 American 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                                                        

TRNS:3179 Undergraduate Translation Workshop  

TRNS:3208 Classical Chinese Literature Through Translation                                          


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