BFA in Creative Writing: Requirements

Overview

In addition to meeting the general University degree requirements, the Creative Writing major will meet the following requirements for the BFA degree. Students admitted before Fall 2020 may use either these major requirements, or the Creative Writing major requirements of their catalogue year (2019 or earlier); the former requirements are listed at the bottom of this page.

Questions?

Contact an Undergraduate Advisor.

Degree Requirements

In addition to meeting university B.A. degree requirements, the Creative Writing major must meet the following requirements for the BFA degree: Literature Courses, Writing Courses, Fine Art Electives, English Electives, Writing Electives, and a Graduation Requirement (Senior Portfolio).

Required Writing Courses
Writing Electives
Historical Literacy
Culture, Difference, and Representation
English Electives
Fine Arts Electives
Graduation Requirement (Senior Portfolio)
Additional Information

Use the BFA in Creative Writing Advising Worksheet (2020 Catalog Year) to track your credits.

Required Writing Courses (12 credits)

Wr 212 Introductory Fiction Writing (4)
Wr 213 Introductory Poetry Writing (4)
Wr 214 Introductory Nonfiction Writing (4)

Writing Electives (32 credits)

16 credits in the genre of portfolio (fiction, nonfiction, or poetry), at least 8 of which must be at the 400-level:

Wr 312 Intermediate Fiction Writing (4)
Wr 313 Intermediate Poetry Writing (4)
Wr 328 Media Editing (4)
Wr 399 Special Studies (1-5)
Wr 407 Writing Seminar (1-6)
Wr 412 Advanced Fiction Writing (4)
Wr 413 Advanced Poetry Writing (4)
Wr 428 Advanced Media Writing (4)
Wr 456 Forms of Nonfiction (4)
Wr 457 Personal Essay Writing (4)
Wr 458 Magazine Writing (4)
Wr 459 Memoir Writing (4)

16 credits of additional upper-division WR courses, 8 of which must be 400-level.
Note: Wr 312, Wr 313, Wr 412, Wr 413 may be repeated for credit.

Historical Literacy: (8 credits)

These courses provide students with the opportunity to explore different historical periods, regions, and genres, thus enabling them to find connections between multiple topics and cultural moments.

Take two courses from the following list:

Eng 301U Topics in Shakespearean Genre (4)
Eng 320U The English Novel I (4)
Eng 340U Medieval Literature (4)
Eng 341U Renaissance Literature (4)
Eng 342U Eighteenth-Century Literature (4)
Eng 343U Romanticism (4)
Eng 351 African American Literature (4) 
Eng 360U American Literature and Culture I (4) 
Eng 411 English Drama (4)
Eng 416 History of Rhetoric (4)
Eng 426 Advanced Topics in Medieval Literature (4) 
Eng 441 Advanced Topics in Renaissance Literature (4)
Eng 450 Advanced Topics in Eighteenth-Century Literature (4)
Eng 458 Advanced Topics in Romanticism (4)
Eng 460 Advanced Topics in American Literature to 1800 (4)
Eng 491 History of Literary Criticism and Theory I (4)

Culture, Difference, and Representation: (4 credits)

These courses explore the politics of representation in the contexts of identity and subject formation, cultural encounter and domination, and canon formation and contestation.

Take one course from the following list:

Eng 326 Literature, Community, and Difference (4)
Eng 327 Culture, Imperialism, and Globalization (4)
Eng 428 Canons and Canonicity (4)

English Electives (12 credits)

12 upper division Eng credits (With adviser approval, one upper-division WLL literature course may be applied to this requirement.)

Fine Arts Electives (8 credits)

Two courses in arts appreciation, theory, or performance (8 credits). This requirement is fulfilled through courses in the College of the Arts prefixed Arch, ArH, Art, D, FILM, Mus, and TA.

Graduation Requirement: The Senior Portfolio

The Senior Portfolio is submitted for approval by the end of the third week of the term in which a student intends to graduate. For summer graduates, note that portfolios must be turned in by the end of the third week of spring term. Portfolios will not be accepted over the summer. The portfolio showcases the clean revised copy of the student's creative writing in a chosen genre (i.e., fiction, nonfiction, or poetry), and should contain: (a) An introductory statement of artistic intent (6-10 pages), which provides an overview and analysis of the development and revision of their portfolio work; and (b) Writing within a genre: 30-50 pages (fiction or nonfiction), or 20-30 pages (poetry). Email the portfolio and introductory statement in a DOC format to grdstudy@pdx.edu; it will be forwarded to a departmental committee for review.

The portfolio consists of a Title Page, a Table of Contents, a Statement of Artistic Intent, and your Writing. All pages must be proofread and properly formatted with 1-inch margins, and double-spaced in a readable standard 12-point font. (There are no spacing instructions for poems.) All pages except the Title Page should be numbered.

  • Title page must include name, date, student ID #, email address, BFA genre (fiction, nonfiction, poetry), and identify itself as the BFA in Creative Writing Portfolio.  Students may additionally title or subtitle the collection if desired.
  • Table of Contents must include page numbers, and titles for each piece in your Writing section.
  • Statement of Artistic Intent will address a set of prompts available from the Program Coordinator and Undergraduate Advisor.  
  • Writing section may consist of a single or multiple works within BFA genre; they may be thematically connected, but this is not required. Pieces written within courses may be used, and this is indeed encouraged, but they must be clean revised copies. Each piece within the Writing section should be numbered and titled.

Work will not be judged by its subgenre or subject matter per se, or on its experimental or conventional nature; however, students are expected to carefully analyze and contextualize their artistry in the Statement of Artistic Intent. The Statement and Writing will be expected to meet a high standard of aesthetic achievement and writing craft, and to observe University standards of academic honesty.  

Additional Information on Requirements

  • Creative Writing majors in upper-division English courses are expected to be able to write a library research paper when required. The department recommends that majors without prior training in research paper writing enroll in Wr 222.
  • Only courses in which a student receives a C or above can count for the Creative Writing major.
  • Only courses taken for a letter grade can count toward the Creative Writing major.
  • No more than 12 credits taken for the Minor in English may be applied to the Creative Writing major.
  • A minimum of 24 credits in English and/or Writing at PSU is required to graduate from PSU with a major in Creative Writing.

TOTAL CREDIT HOURS: 76


Former Degree Requirements for BFA in Creative Writing

Students admitted before Fall 2020 may use either the new major requirements listed above or the Creative Writing major requirements of their catalogue year (2019 or earlier). 

Required Literature Courses
Required Writing Courses
Fine Arts Electives
Writing Electives
Literature Electives
Graduation Requirement: The Senior Portfolio
Additional Information on Requirements

Required Literature Courses (16 cr)

  • ENG 204 Survey of British Literature I
  • ENG 205 Survey of British Literature II
  • ENG 253 Survey of American Literature I
  • ENG 254 Survey of American Literature II

Required Writing Courses (12 cr)

  • WR 212 Introductory Fiction Writing
  • WR 213 Introductory Poetry Writing
  • WR 214 Introductory Nonfiction Writing

Fine Arts Electives (8 cr)

Two courses in arts appreciation, theory, or performance (8 credits).  This requirement is fulfilled through courses in the College of the Arts (e.g. prefixed ARCH, ARH, ART, FLM, MUS, DANCE and TA.)

Writing Electives (28 cr)

16 credits in the genre of portfolio (fiction, nonfiction, or poetry), at least 8 of which must be 400 level:

  • WR 312 Intermediate Fiction Writing*
  • WR 313 Intermediate Poetry Writing*
  • WR 328 Media Editing
  • WR 399 Special Studies
  • WR 407 Writing Seminar
  • WR 412 Advanced Fiction Writing*
  • WR 413 Advanced Poetry Writing*
  • WR 428 Advanced Media Writing
  • WR 456 Forms of Nonfiction
  • WR 457 Personal Essay Writing
  • WR 458 Magazine Writing
  • WR 459 Memoir Writing

* Courses may be repeated for credit.

12 credits of additional upper-division WR courses, 8 of which must be 400-level.

English Electives (12 cr)

12 upper division ENG credits. (With advisor approval, one upper division WLL literature course may be applied to this requirement.)

Graduation Requirement: The Senior Portfolio

The Senior Portfolio is submitted for approval by the end of the third week of the term in which students intend to graduate. For summer graduates, note that portfolios must be turned in by the end of the third week of spring term. Portfolios will not be accepted over the summer. This portfolio showcases the clean revised copy of the student's creative writing in a chosen genre (i.e., fiction, nonfiction, or poetry), and should contain: (a) An introductory statement of artistic intent (6-10 pages). This statement should provide an overview and analysis of the development and revision of their portfolio work; and (b) Writing within a genre: 30-50 pages (fiction or nonfiction), or 20-30 pages (poetry). Email the portfolio and introductory statement to grdstudy@pdx.edu.

Additional Information on Requirements

  • Creative Writing majors in upper-division English courses are expected to be able to write a library research paper when required. The department recommends that majors without prior training in research paper writing enroll in Wr 222.
  • Only courses in which a student receives a C or above can count for the Creative Writing major.
  • Only courses taken for a letter grade can count toward the Creative Writing major.
  • No more than 12 credits taken for the Minor in English may be applied to the Creative Writing major.
  • A minimum of 24 credits in English and/or Writing at PSU is required to graduate from PSU with a major in Creative Writing.