College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Frequently Asked Questions
- Do CW:1800 Creative Writing Studio Workshop and CNW: 1620 Introduction to Creative Nonfiction courses count towards the major?
No. These courses satisfy General Education requirements and cannot be counted toward either English major or minor. Only courses numbering 2000 or higher may count towards the English major.
- Do I have to take ENGL 2020 before I can take any other writing courses? No, we understand that you might not be able to get into 2020 your first semester so you are encouraged to try to enroll but if it is filled you may enroll in another 2000 level writing course from CNW, CW or THTR 2301 or CINE 2861 or 2867. However 2020 is an excellent course and students are enjoying it so we encourage you to take it during your first year if at all possible. If you feel you are coming in with extraordinary writing abilities and experience, please feel free to talk to your English academic advisor upon arrival here to discuss your background and whether it is possible to take a more advanced course. We find MOST students find value in ENGL 2020 but we understand there might be the rare exception.
- Can I apply to the Teacher's Education Program (TEP) and be in the English and Creative Writing Major? Yes. The TEP accepts both majors but students interested in the TEP will be asked to take two additional American literature courses in addition to those required for the ECW major. The required courses before applying to the TEP include: ENGL 2010, ENGL 201*, ENGL 23**/33**, ENGL 24**/34** and ENGL 3287.
- I am a transfer student. Can I apply directly into this major?
Yes, you may choose either English major. We do caution that if you are coming in as as junior it may be difficult to finish the entire major in two years, but if you have brought in English literature or writing credit from a four year school, we may be able to accept some of those courses.
- Do I have to choose one genre of writing? No, we encourage our students to explore multiple genres because it helps you grow as a writer and also makes you more marketable after graduation. However, we allow students to choose their courses and some prefer to take multiple courses in one genre and that's perfectly acceptable.
- Do I have to apply to get accepted? I heard this program is very selective. No. Our new major is open to all students at any time. We understand that students arrive on campus with varying levels of writing experience and ability. If you have the interest we can challenge you at any level and help you grow as a writer. If you want more of a challenge see your advisor about the more challenging writing courses that will be available in the next semester.
- I am interested in editing and publishing as a career. Does this major help with that? Yes, literary publishing mostly demands that you love to read and love books. So, an English major or an English and Creative Writing major is perfectly appropriate. We also offer three courses about the publishing field (CNW 2991, CNW 2992 and ENGL 2900 and encourage you to take those as an area of concentration within the major. You'll see more courses added over time. However the most important preparation for that field is an internship and I encourage you to look at our career page and to think about finding 1-2 internships related to editing/publishing before graduation or immediately after graduation. There are also options to get involved with publications on campus as an editor through extra-curriculars. If you are interested in editing or publishing magazines or newspapers, we will want to combine a minor or major in Journalism/Mass Communications possible. If you are interested in running your own publishing company you might want to investigate Media Entrepeneurship. Communications studies is an excellent double major if you are interested in marketing aspects of publishing houses or online media or public relations.
- My parents are worried I can't get a job-- do graduates find employment? Yes. If you are trying to get a job called "fiction writing" that won't happen. Regardless of major you will have to seek what jobs exist. But our major has employment rates typical of any liberal arts degree. I believe about 94% of our majors are in graduate school or employed within a few months of graduation. The major does not determine your career as much as your extra-curriculars and effort and flexibility in the job search. You leave here with analytical, reading, writing, presentation, and research skills useful in most fields. We find our graduates head into a variety of fields including non-profit work doing fund-raising or raising awareness, editing, sales, marketing, advertising as well as some going into education or graduate school (law, MBA, counseling, English or Writing MFA). So, yes, you can find employment. However, it is up to you, with our support, to use your time in school wisely-- taking advantage of clubs, part-time work or internships to help you narrow down the field that interests you most. Writing is all around us and you can use your writing skills in any field but you have to choose how you want to make a difference in the world and then go for that first job to get the ball rolling. We have a course called English at Work that helps juniors with this process of discernment and self-marketing.
- How do I find places to submit my writing now? We have an ICON site for English Resources and we will post options there when we hear about submission opportunities. Otherwise students often check websites and magazines specifically for that purpose.
- How do I choose an MFA program after college? First, you need to decide if an MFA program is the right fit. Here is someone who says you can make it as a writer without an MFA degree. Read here. If you decide that you want to teach writing at the college level or are just set on an MFA, then here is some information about programs and how to choose one. Read here. These articles were originally found in Poets & Writers September/October 2017. Here is a video from 2021 where some of our writing faculty discuss MFA programs and when to go.
- Are diverse voices welcome? Absolutely! We have students from all backgrounds, races,religions and sexual orientation in our department and we appreciate their voice in both literature and writing courses. For students of color who want to share their writing or listen to others, check out Writers of Color Readings.