English : Creative Writing


Why study English : Creative Writing?

Our top-ranked Creative Writing program pairs aspiring undergraduate students with professors and instructors who are award-winning working artists, to study in small, close-knit workshop classes that emphasize the fruitful symbiosis between close reading and inventive writing. Students are encouraged to take courses in writing poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and cross genre or hybrid forms, where they gain a robust understanding of the literary conversation in which they wish to participate, and enjoy careful individual attention to their own original work.

In addition to growing as writers, readers, and thinkers, the workshop model trains students to give and receive criticism, problem-solve in creative and original ways, work effectively in a solo and self-disciplined way as well as in a collaborate group, and think broadly about the application of their work to their communities, in a living and evolving literary tradition. Students go on to work in such areas as advertising, copywriting, writing for television and cinema, arts administration, digital content creation, magazine writing and editing, information analysis, book publishing, law, education, and more.

Admission Requirements

Freshman applicants, please visit the Admission Requirements page for more information.

The English degree offers unique opportunities for undergraduate students to shape their curriculum according to their interests and future professional goals. All undergraduate students take a core group of courses designed to introduce them to the history, language, and current disciplinary discourses of English studies. Beyond the core courses, students choose a track designed to develop their skills and talents in Creative Writing (Fiction, Literary Nonfiction, Poetry), Literary & Cultural Studies, or Rhetoric & Professional Writing. We also offer a track in English Education to supplement a major in Secondary Language Arts through the College of Education, or to lead into a Master's degree plus licensure. Undergraduate students can double major in two tracks of English, and can also combine a major in one of the tracks with a certificate in a different track; the program offers certificates in Copyediting & Publishing, Creative Writing, and Professional Writing; Literary Journalism jointly with the Dept. of Journalism; and English courses play a role in the curriculum requirements of several interdisciplinary certificates, including Medical Humanities, Digital Engagement, and Film & Media Studies.

Students who pursue a BA in English – Creative Writing should desire to build on their strengths in writing, reading, and critical thinking. The Creative Writing track of the English major is specifically designed for students who wish to explore the writing of poetry, fiction, and literary nonfiction; improve their editorial skills; and examine works of literature through the lens of craft. Students take a sequence of workshop courses, culminating in a capstone that will result in a substantial body of work. Literature classes in the chosen genre continue to expand students’ reading, writing, and critical thinking skills, as well as their knowledge of both canonical and contemporary works.

English majors enjoy satisfying careers and admission to graduate programs due to their ability to read closely, write clearly, research thoroughly, and think critically. From first-year composition through senior capstone courses, English students engage a wide range of historical and contemporary texts and subject matter, including global, ethnic, minority, and popular literatures; film and visual media; and scientific and professional writing. Our majors are known and respected for their ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing, and find success in such diverse fields as law, business, media, education, publishing, and science. English – Creative Writing graduates are well suited for careers in:

  • Book and magazine publishing
  • Arts administration
  • Education
  • Marketing and public relations
  • Film and television writing
  • Advertising
  • Law
  • Libraries
  • Journalism

A minor in English complements any major, and offers students from other disciplines the opportunity to develop the reading, writing, and critical thinking skills that employers seek in college graduates. Students choose courses from Creative Writing, Literary & Cultural Studies, and Rhetoric & Professional Writing, and may focus on one particular area of study or take courses from two or all three tracks in order to explore different areas of English.

Click here to declare the minor online

The department of English offers three certificate programs: Copyediting & Publishing, Creative Writing, and Professional Writing; plus Literary Journalism jointly with the Dept. of Journalism. Certificate programs provide more focus and less time commitment than a minor, and provide an opportunity for undergraduate students to more fully develop skills in reading, writing, and analysis in their chosen area of interest.

The Creative Writing certificate is designed for students who wish to write poems, fiction, or nonfiction, to improve their writing and abilities through workshops taught by practitioners, and possibly to go on to graduate programs in creative writing and careers such as teaching and editing. The program is also for students who wish to broaden their perspectives of literature to include that of the writer.

Students in UC's College of Arts and Sciences enjoy many benefits afforded through study at a research-intensive institution ranked among the nation's top 25 public research universities. UC's urban, Tristate location offers exciting opportunities for global education, research and service learning, while its student-centered focus includes an 11:1 student-faculty ratio, a nationally recognized Center for Exploratory Studies and a highly successful First Year Experience program that teaches critical skills for first-year students and provides connections with important campus resources.

University of Cincinnati 3 + 3 Law School Admissions

This major welcomes eligible students who would like to earn a bachelor’s degree and a UC law degree in just six years, saving a year of tuition and time over the traditional path to becoming a lawyer. Students will receive careful advising to complete their major and A&S core degree requirements in 3 years. More information is available here.

Publications and Organizations

English is home to an undergraduate journal, Short Vine, and the nationally prominent literary journal The Cincinnati Review. Short Vine is edited by English majors in the practicum course Creative Writing & Literary Publishing. 


The Creative Writing Program’s Visiting Writers Series brings a number of distinguished authors to campus each semester. Visitors often conduct a colloquium with creative writing students in addition to giving a public reading. Each year, through the Elliston Poet-in-Residence Program, a distinguished poet comes to campus to give public lectures and readings, and to conduct poetry seminars and workshops. The biennial Emerging Fiction Writers Festival brings four writers to campus for two days of readings and panels. Past visiting writers have included Rita Dove and Colson Whitehead.

The Undergraduate English Society welcomes all English majors, and hosts events such as roundtable discussions on graduate school, job fairs, film screenings, and outings to plays and readings.

Experiential learning

English students can intern with local businesses, nonprofits, university offices, state agencies, media outlets, and museums, and earn college credit while developing reading and writing skills. Students can also gain valuable experience by taking research-intensive or service learning courses, by studying abroad, and by entering their work in the department’s writing contest each year.

Renowned faculty

Creative Writing faculty have collectively published dozens of books of fiction, poetry, literary nonfiction, and criticism. They have won awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fulbright Program, and the National Book Awards program.

To graduate from the UC College of Arts and Sciences, students must:

  • Earn at least 120 credits. This can include transfer credit, AP credit and free electives, but does not include preparatory coursework. Students who have met all other degree requirements must continue earning credit until the total number of their earned hours comes to at least 120.
  • Attain a 2.0 grade point average for all courses taken at the University of Cincinnati.
  • Be in good academic standing, that is, not on either academic probation or disciplinary probation or suspension.
  • Complete the residency requirement by earning at least 30 credits after matriculating into the college.
  • Complete all of the requirements of at least one major (see major requirements above).
  • Complete the College Core Requirements.
  • Submit an application for graduation to the registrar's office by their posted deadline.

Students who were not admissible directly from high school must have:

  • 24 semester (36 quarter) hours earned
  • at least a cumulative 2.0 GPA and a 2.0 at most recent institution

University transfer scholarships are available to those who meet specific requirements and ANY admitted A&S transfer student might qualify for an A&S transfer scholarship. Deadlines and eligibility criteria are online via the previous links.

Admission to A&S is generally available for University of Cincinnati students enrolled in other colleges if they were admissible directly from high school, have a cumulative 2.0 GPA and a 2.0 in their most recent UC college.

Students who were not admissible directly from high school must have:

  • at least a 2.0 GPA in all college-level courses (both at UC and at other institutions)

Application Deadlines

While midyear admission is possible, fall semester is generally the best time to enter the college, since many course sequences begin in that semester. Applicants to the UC College of Arts and Sciences who are enrolled or who were previously enrolled as degree-seeking students in A&S or in other UC colleges should apply for admission directly to A&S (in French West, 2nd Floor). All other applicants who wish to earn an undergraduate degree from A&S should apply through the Office of Admissions (3rd Floor, University Pavilion).

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Contact Information

Rebecca Lindenberg
101C Arts & Sciences Hall
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0069
(513) 556-5924

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Program Code: 15BAC-ENGL-BA-ENGL-CW