Major in Creative Writing

Undergraduate Creative Writing Programs

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Do you spend your free time outlining plots, building worlds, and  creating characters? Do you find yourself eavesdropping on conversations at school or the coffee shop, then jotting down a great snippet of dialogue?  Do you stay up late trying to capture your emotions in words? Are you interested in writing works that move people to tears or laughter, or that inspire change in the world?

If you answered yes, then a creative writing major is for you. 

The creative writing program at Murray State offers three degree options – the Bachelor of Fine Arts, the Bachelor of Arts, and the Bachelor of Science – more than any other public university in the state. Under the guidance of our award-winning faculty,  our majors hone their craft in small workshops that offer individualized attention and a vibrant peer community.

Students who major in creative writing may take introductory, intermediate, and advanced courses in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, as well as specialty courses on topics ranging from horror writing to nature poetry.  In addition to working closely with our faculty, creative writing majors learn from  other publishing authors who visit campus as part of the annual Murray State Reading Series. They also have the opportunity to develop their editing skills by working on Notations, the student-run literary journal.

Creative Writing majors are prepared to use their degree in a wide variety of careers, including screenwriting, editing, publishing, technical writing, video game design, marketing, journalism, teaching, business, law, and professional writing. Other creative writing majors attend graduate school to further advance their art. Ultimately, creative writers learn many skills that employers find desirable.

If you are considering one of our creative writing programs, we encourage you to visit campus, where you can talk to our faculty, visit a class or two, and see what it's like to be an emerging writer at Murray State. Contact Carrie Jerrell (cjerrell1@murraystate.edu), our undergraduate creative writing program coordinator,  for more information.

 

B.A./B.S. in English/Creative Writing

Courses  
Total curriculum requirements (120 hours)  

University Studies Requirements (41-44 hrs)

World’s Historical, Literary, and Philosophical Traditions

  • ENG 201 Introduction to Literature (B.A. only)

        University Studies Electives

  • ENG 201 Introduction to Literature (B.S. only)
  • ENG 214 Intro to Creative Writing (B.A. and B.S.)
 

Required English Core Courses (22 hrs)

  • ENG 100T Transitions

One of the following Foundations sequences:

  • ENG 303 British Literature to 176 and
  • ENG 312 American Literature, 1865 to 1945

                                          OR

  • ENG 304 British Lit, 1760 to the Present and
  • ENG 311 American Literature to 1865

One of the following Writing/Theory courses:

  • ENG 321 Research in Literary Studies
  • ENG 322 Rhetorical and Professional Writing
  • TSL 421 Research in Second Language Learning

One of the following Language Systems courses:

  • ENG 309 History of the English Language
  • ENG 310 Introduction to English Linguistics

One of the following Genre courses

  • ENG 360 Literature and Philosophy
  • ENG 380 Introduction to Poetry and Poetics
  • ENG 451 Introduction to Drama
  • ENG 452 Introduction to Fiction

One of the following Diversity courses:

  • ENG 308 World Literature, 1830-Present
  • ENG 318 Women’s Literature
  • ENG 319 Gay and Lesbian Literature
  • ENG 320 Survey in African-American Literature
  • ENG 362 Linguistic Diversity Across Cultures

One of the following Figures & Movements courses:

  • ENG 332 Contemporary Rhetoric
  • ENG 334 Shakespeare
  • PHI 498 Major Figures
 
 Creative Writing Requirements (21 hrs)

Choose one of the following:

  • ENG 392 Professional Engagement (3 hrs)
  • ENG 488 Editorial Internship (3 hrs)

Choose six of the following; at least two should be 400-500 level:

  • ENG 341 Introduction to Writing Fiction
  • ENG 342 Introduction to Writing Poetry
  • ENG 343 Special Topics in Creative Writing*
  • ENG 344 Intro to Writing Creative Nonfiction
  • ENG 408 Forms of Fiction
  • ENG 415 Writer’s Workshop: Short Story
  • ENG 416 Writer’s Workshop: Poetry
  • ENG 424 Forms of Poetry
  • ENG 560 Advanced Creative Writing: Fiction
  • ENG 561 Advanced Creative Writing: Poetry

*ENG 343 may be repeated for credit with advisor approval.

 
 Required Minor (21-24 hrs)  
Electives (9-15 hrs)  

B.F.A. in Creative Writing

Courses  
Total curriculum requirements (120 hrs)  

University Studies Requirements (44-47 hrs)

World’s Historical, Literary, and Philosophical Traditions

  • ENG 201 Introduction to Literature

        University Studies Electives

  • ENG 201 Introduction to Literature
  • ENG 214 Intro to Creative Writing 
 

Required English Core Courses (22 hrs)

  • ENG 100T Transitions

One of the following Foundations sequences:

  • ENG 303 British Literature to 176 and
  • ENG 312 American Literature, 1865 to 1945

                                          OR

  • ENG 304 British Lit, 1760 to the Present and
  • ENG 311 American Literature to 1865

One of the following Writing/Theory courses:

  • ENG 321 Research in Literary Studies
  • ENG 322 Rhetorical and Professional Writing
  • TSL 421 Research in Second Language Learning

One of the following Language Systems courses:

  • ENG 309 History of the English Language
  • ENG 310 Introduction to English Linguistics

One of the following Genre courses

  • ENG 360 Literature and Philosophy
  • ENG 380 Introduction to Poetry and Poetics
  • ENG 451 Introduction to Drama
  • ENG 452 Introduction to Fiction

One of the following Diversity courses:

  • ENG 308 World Literature, 1830-Present
  • ENG 318 Women’s Literature
  • ENG 319 Gay and Lesbian Literature
  • ENG 320 Survey in African-American Literature
  • ENG 362 Linguistic Diversity Across Cultures

One of the following Figures & Movements courses:

  • ENG 332 Contemporary Rhetoric
  • ENG 334 Shakespeare
  • PHI 498 Major Figures
 
 Limited Required Electives (18 hrs)

Choose six of the following; at least two should be 400-500 level:

  • ENG 341 Introduction to Writing Fiction
  • ENG 342 Introduction to Writing Poetry
  • ENG 343 Special Topics in Creative Writing*
  • ENG 344 Intro to Writing Creative Nonfiction
  • ENG 408 Forms of Fiction
  • ENG 415 Writer’s Workshop: Short Story
  • ENG 416 Writer’s Workshop: Poetry
  • ENG 424 Forms of Poetry
  • ENG 560 Advanced Creative Writing: Fiction
  • ENG 561 Advanced Creative Writing: Poetry

*ENG 343 may be repeated for credit with advisor approval.

 
Restricted Electives (13 hrs)
  • ENG 562 BFA Seminar
  • Two 300-500 level literature courses
  • One additional creative writing workshop

and one of the following:

  • ENG 392 Professional Engagement
  • ENG 488 Cooperative Internship/Literary Editing
 
Unrestricted Electives (23-26 hrs)  
The bachelor of fine arts degree is not awarded automatically upon completion of any required number of courses or units of credit. Students must be admitted to this program. To apply, students must submit an application available from the creative writing coordinator; students must have a B or better in a creative writing course at Murray State and must submit a writing sample, to be reviewed by a committee.