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Program: B.A., English

Creative Writing

Program Description

The undergraduate English major (consisting of five options: Literature, Creative Writing, Subject Matter, FYI and JYI, and Honors) is designed for students who desire to concentrate in one of the different fields subsumed under the broader category of “English.” Students are required to choose one of these options at the time they declare their English major. For further information concerning the choice of options or related career opportunities for those with a B.A. in English, see an English department advisor.

The Creative Writing option provides students with the opportunity to develop narrative, verse or playwriting skills while building a solid background of study in British and American literature.

Program Requirements

1. Lower Division Required Courses (6 units)

a. Creative Writing (3 units)

ENGL 208 Creative Writing (3)

b. Literature (3 units)

Select one from the following:

ENGL 258 Major English Writers I (3)
ENGL 259 Major English Writers II (3)
ENGL 275 Major American Writers (3)

2. Upper Division Required Courses (33 units)

a. Critical Writing (3 units)

ENGL 355 Writing About Literature (3)

b. Literary Theory (3 units)

ENGL 436 Major Critical Theories (3)

c. Literatures of Cultural Diversity (3 units)

Select one of the following:

AIS 314 North American Indian Literature (3)
ENGL 311 History of African-American Writing (3)
ENGL 314 North American Indian Literature (3)
ENGL 368 Gay Male Writers (3)
ENGL 369 Lesbian Writers (3)
ENGL 371 Issues in Jewish-American Writing (3)
ENGL 431 Images of Women in Literature (3)
ENGL 433 Women Authors (3)
ENGL 434 19th Century Women Novelists (3)
ENGL 487 Latina/o Literatures of the Americas (3)

Consult an advisor for current courses in other areas, such as Asian American literature, Central American literature, Chicana and Chicano literature and Pan African or African American literature that also may satisfy this requirement. For the English major, students may not double-count these courses for upper division or Subject Exploration requirements in General Education.

d. British Literature Before 1900 (3 units)

Select one course from the following:

ENGL 414 Chaucer (3)
ENGL 416 Shakespeare: Selected Plays (3)
ENGL 417 Shakespeare: A Survey (3)
ENGL 418 English Drama to 1642 (3)
ENGL 419 English Drama 1660-1880 (3)
ENGL 420 Milton (3)
ENGL 443 English Literature of the Middle Ages (3)
ENGL 449 The English Renaissance (3)
ENGL 452 17th Century Literature (3)
ENGL 456 The Age of Enlightenment (3)
ENGL 458 The Romantic Age (3)
ENGL 460 The Victorian Age (3)
ENGL 466 Major British Novelists I: 1700-1815 (3)
ENGL 467 Major British Novelists II: 1815-1900 (3)

e. American Literature to 1912 (3 units)

Select one course from the following:

ENGL 473 American Literature: 1607-1860 (3)
ENGL 474 American Literature: 1860-1912 (3)
ENGL 477 Major American Novelists I: the 19th Century (3)

f. 20th Century Literature (3 units)

Select one of the following:

ENGL 427 Drama from Ibsen to the Present (3)
ENGL 461 Modern British Literature (3)
ENGL 462 Contemporary British Literature (3)
ENGL 463A Modern Poetry (3)
ENGL 463B Contemporary Poetry (3)
ENGL 468 Major British Novelists III: 1900 to the Present (3)
ENGL 475 American Literature: 1912-1945 (3)
ENGL 476 Contemporary American Literature (3)
ENGL 478 Major American Novelists II: The 20th Century (3)

g. Creative Writing (9 units)

Select three of the following:

Courses may be repeated and counted as second course.

ENGL 308 Narrative Writing (3-3)
ENGL 309 Verse Writing (3-3)
ENGL 310 Playwriting (3-3)
ENGL 408 Advanced Narrative Writing (3-3)
ENGL 409 Advanced Verse Writing (3-3)
ENGL 410 Advanced Dramatic Writing (3-3)
ENGL 457A-Z Selected Topics in Creative Writing (3-3)

h. Creative Writing Theory (3 units)

Select one of the following:

ENGL 464 Theories of Poetry (3)
ENGL 465 Theories of Fiction (3)

i. Senior Seminar (3 units)

Select one of the following:

ENGL 457A-Z Selected Topics in Creative Writing (3)
ENGL 490 Senior Seminar in Narrative Writing (3)
ENGL 491 Senior Seminar in Verse Writing (3)
ENGL 512 Writing for Performance (3)

3. Upper Division Electives (6 units)

ENGL 300, 305, 316 and 364 are not permitted as electives in this option.

4. General Education (48 units)

Undergraduate students must complete 48 units of General Education as described in this Catalog.
The standard General Education requirement is 48 units; however, English majors are permitted to double-count 3 units from the lower division major requirements (ENGL 208, 258, 259 or 275) for both GE Subject Explorations Arts and Humanities and for the major.

Students majoring in English are encouraged to take a foreign language as part of their college program.

Total Units in Major/Option: 45

General Education Units: 45

Additional Units: 30

Total Units Required for the B.A. Degree: 120


Department of English
Chair: Kent Baxter
Associate Chair: Kate Haake
Sierra Tower (ST) 708
(818) 677-3431

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  1. Demonstrate critical reading skills.
  2. Demonstrate effective writing skills.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of creative, literary, linguistic and/or rhetorical theories.
  4. Analyze British and American cultural, historical and literary texts.
  5. Analyze culturally diverse texts.

Creative Writing Undergraduate Option
Student Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  1. Create and revise original writing by practicing techniques and strategies employed by experienced writers.
  2. Analyze drama, narrative and/or poetry to identify writerly strategies.
  3. Assess their own creative writing in relation to relevant literary and theoretical traditions.
  4. Demonstrate advanced creative writing skills by applying contemporary methods in at least one genre in a final portfolio for a capstone course.