English: Creative Writing Concentration

English: Creative Writing Concentration Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

About Creative Writing

Skilled writers are in demand in every sector of today's economy.

As an English major with a concentration in creative writing from PennWest California, you will progress from the fundamentals to advanced techniques of fiction, drama, poetry and nonfiction.

This bachelor's degree program gives you the creative and critical expertise to express yourself in compelling literary works - and prepares you to apply professional writing skills to a wide range of careers.

Learn and create at PennWest California.

  • Receive a broad foundation in language and literature. The creative writing concentration is part of PennWest California's fully accredited bachelor's degree program in English. 
  • Take a hands-on approach to creative writing by completing full-length texts and sharing your work with the Pennsylvania press.
  • Complete three professional creative writing-related internships and graduate job-ready.


Experienced faculty: PennWest California's low student-to-teacher ratio means you'll be closely mentored by professors in your major, all of whom have published prose and poetry. 

Emphasis on publication skills: In addition to teaching you to write like pro, creative writing courses show you how to edit, polish and publish your work - essential skills in today's literary marketplace.

Learn more about applying

average salary for writers and authors in Pennsylvania. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
of Fortune 1000 executives rate writing as an "essential" job skill. Source: MetLife
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Degree Benefits

The English degree program takes an applied approach to creative writing, ensuring plenty of opportunities outside of the classroom. You can:

  • Publish in or help to produce our literary magazine, The Inkwell.

  • Become a student mentor at the Writing Center.

  • Present your work at conferences in Pennsylvania and beyond.

  • Participate in on-campus literary readings.

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Graduate Outcomes

PennWest California creative writing students find careers as writers, proofreaders, editors and publishers. They also thrive in advertising, business and the nonprofit world. Our alumni job titles include:

  • Author, Victory Belt Publishing.
  • Language teacher, YBM ECC in South Korea.
  • Editor of the news magazine California Bridges.
  • Financial sales consultant, PNC Bank.
  • Clinical social worker, Southwest Regional Medical.
Creative Writing Concentration English - Bachelor's Degree

The Inkwell

Are you interested in an editorial career? You can get real-world experience at PennWest California's premiere creative-writing journal, The Inkwell, produced by our Publishing The Magazine class.

Portrait of young female team leader of talented journalists organizing work of members motivates and inspire them to make researching, standing on blurred background in modern coworking space.

Careers at a Glance

What can you do with a creative writing degree? Program graduate Marshal Carper '09 is a freelance writer and content marketing consultant. He has published a novel, The Cauliflower Chronicles, and co-authored three books about martial arts.

Online student using computer.

Faculty Spotlight

Meet creative writing professor Dr. Carole Waterhouse. She is the author of three novels -The Tapestry Baby, Without Wings and Winsome's Delight - and the short story collection The Paradise Ranch. Dr. Waterhouse has an MFA in fiction, a Ph.D. in 20th-century literature, and has reviewed books for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the New York Times.

Creative Writing Concentrations - English Bachelor's Degree Courses

PennWest California's bachelor of arts degree program in English offers comprehensive creative writing courses in poetry, fiction, drama and nonfiction that prepare students to become professional writers.


Course Credits
General Education Courses 40 or 41
Building a Sense of Community
UNI 100  First-Year Seminar
ENG 101  English Composition I
Public Speaking
Any Public Speaking Course
Mathematics and Quantitative Literacy
Any Mathematics and Quantitative Literacy Course
Health and Wellness
Any Health and Wellness Course
Technological Literacy
Any Technological Literacy Course
Any Humanities Course
Fine Arts
Any Fine Arts Course
Natural Sciences
Any Natural Sciences Course
3 or 4
Social Sciences
Any Social Sciences Course
General Education Options
  • Any Ethics and Multicultural Awareness Emphasis Course
  • ENG 102  Composition II
  • Any 300- or 400-level Humanities Course
  • General Education Course
Creative Writing Core Courses 18
Select six courses from the following:
  • ENG 351  Publish the Mag
  • ENG 375  Advanced Writing
  • ENG 376  Cr Writing: Fiction
  • ENG 377  Cr Writing: Poetry 
  • ENG 378  Cr Writing: Drama
  • ENG 410  Adv Study Creative Writing (repeatable)
Literature Core 3
Select one course from the following:
  • ENG 301  Brit Literature I
  • ENG 302  Brit Literature II
  • ENG 315  Survey of American Woman Writers
  • ENG 325  World Lit to 1600
  • ENG 326  World Lit from 1600 
  • ENG 337  Survey of American Literature I
  • ENG 338  Survey of American Literature II
  • ENG 355  Survey of African American Literature
  • ENG 425  Shakespeare
Language and Linguistics Core 3
Select one course from the following:
  • ENG 345  Grammar and Usage
  • ENG 346  History of English Language
  • ENG 347  Introduction to Linguistics
Composition and Literacy Core 3
Select one course from the following:
  • ENG 308  Research for Writers
  • ENG 375  Advanced Writing
  • ENG 590  Summer Institute for Teachers and Writers
Journalism Core 3
Select one course from the following:
  • ENG 306  Press Law and Ethics
  • ENG 320  Multimedia Journalism
  • ENG 367  News Writing and Editing
  • ENG 369  Beat Reporting and Feature Writing
Special Topics 9
Select three courses from the following:
  • ENG 320  Multimedia Journalism
  • ENG 351  Publish the Mag
  • ENG 419  Internship
  • ENG 450  Adv Study Journalism
  • ENG 452  Adv Study Composition and Rhetoric
  • ENG 406  Adv Study Literature
  • ENG 478  Adv Study Film
Special Experience 3
ENG 499  English Capstone Class 3
Free Electives 38
Total 120

Additional requirements, not counted toward the General Education requirements, include:

  • Special Experience Course (1 course required): ENG 499 English Capstone Class
  • Writing-Intensive Component Courses (2 courses required): Select two from: ENG 337, 406, 410, 450, 452, 478, 499
  • Laboratory Course (1 course required): Any Laboratory Course


Bachelor's Degree Concentration


  • Literature Program
    A concentration for English majors interested in American literature and literary theory.
  • English Certification Program 
    A concentration for students pursuing a bachelor's degree in education who want to teach middle- or high-school English.
Undergraduate Minors
  • Journalism Minor
  • Literature Minor
  • Creative Writing Minor