If writing is your passion and you have an affinity for the arts, a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Creative Writing from the University of the Arts is for you. As a Creative Writing major, you will be immersed in poetry and fiction and gain writing experience in many different genres. Learning from award-winning published authors, you'll collaborate with your peers in an inspiring artistic environment. Your undergraduate study will culminate in a finished collection of poems or a series of short stories—your unique portfolio with potential for publication. You'll study a wide range of genres—from Speculative Fiction and Creative Nonfiction to Screenplay Adaptation and Graphic Storytelling—in workshop setting, and have the opportunity to take general arts electives such as music, theater and dance.

As a student in a truly arts-centered University, you’ll have many opportunities to collaborate with students in other majors. You might work with Illustration and Graphic Design students on our popular undergraduate literary magazine, Underground Pool. A poet or fiction writer might team up with a music major to create a joint artistic work in our Writing and Collaboration course. Creative Writing majors can also take advantage of our affiliation with the nationally renowned American Poetry Review and their student internships, housed right here at UArts.  

Underground Pool Visiting Writers Series


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Tyra Jamison headshot
Tyra Jamison

BFA '20

Creative Writing (BFA)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylavania
Mikayla Morell
Mikayla Morell

BFA '20

Creative Writing (BFA)
Woodstown, New Jersey
Zoe Darazsdi Headshot
Zoe Darazsdi

BFA '20

Creative Writing (BFA)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Click the image below to read more.

Steve Kleinman headshot
Steve Kleinman

Creative Writing (BFA)
Interim program director, award-winning author
Sebastian Agudelo headshot
Sebastian Agudelo

Creative Writing (BFA)
Poet, winner of the Saturnalia Book Prize
Elise Juska
Elise Juska

Creative Writing (BFA)
Award-winning novelist, Entertainment Weekly's "Must List", Philly Inquirer's "Best Books" List
Rahul Mehta headshot
Rahul Mehta

Creative Writing (BFA)
Latest novel, 'No Other World,' published by HarperCollins in 2017

Sample Courses in the Creative Writing Major

First Year
The Writing Life
Introduction to Contemporary Poetry I
Introduction to Contemporary Poetry II
Introduction to Short Story I
Introduction to Short Story II
Creative Practices

Second Year
Intermediate Short Story Workshop
Intermediate Poetry Workshop
The Linked Short Story Collection
Poetic Translations & Adaptations
Big Fat Famous Novels
Art of Song Lyric

Third Year
Literary Editing & Publishing
Advanced Workshop Poetry or Short Story
Art Criticism & Reviewing
20th Century American Writers
High Modernism
Collaborative Studio

Fourth Year
Senior Seminar Poetry or Short Story I
Senior Seminar Poetry or Short Story II
Writing for the Web
Writing for Television
Creative Nonfiction
Film Story Analysis

About the Curriculum

The Creative Writing major prepares students for professional writing careers. Within the major, 45 of the 60 credits are dedicated exclusively to writing courses including small, intensive workshops in poetry and fiction. Students also take craft seminars focused on specialized writing forms and genres, literature courses, a hands-on course in publishing, and a cross-disciplinary course requiring close collaboration with a student in another artistic field.

Graduates of the Creative Writing program are expected to:

  • Understand the elements of the poem and the short story and be able to use them, skillfully and deliberately, in their own work;
  • Be close and careful readers, able to analyze text with a writer’s eye;
  • Demonstrate knowledge of significant books, writers and trends in the contemporary landscape, as well as the context for the development of these models and traditions;
  • Write ably in a range of forms and genres;
  • Critique writing usefully and productively, delivering detailed, well-supported verbal and written peer feedback;
  • Find and articulate connections between their writing and other artistic disciplines;
  • Demonstrate practical knowledge of producing a literary magazine;
  • Hone public speaking skills by reading work aloud, introducing visiting writers, and participating in public readings and other presentations;
  • Engage in thorough, substantial revision of written work;
  • Demonstrate a mature awareness of their own process of writing and revising, both in written self-assessments and exit interview;
  • Produce a final portfolio of professional-quality writing;
  • Have something to say.

Explore the full curriculum

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Maggie Fenning
Maggie Malachi Lily

BFA '17

Creative Writing (BFA)
Writer, illustrator and curator; hometown: Philadelphia
Emily Famularo at lectern
Emily Famularo

BFA '17

Creative Writing (BFA)
Founder of popular online music magazine 'The Hook Journal'; hometown: Beachwood, NJ




Maggie Malachi Lily
Creative Writing Reading

See an archive of past Visiting Writers.

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