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Bachelor of Arts in Writing

Students in the Writing major have the opportunity to design their program of study according to their areas of interest.

The Writing major requires 12 courses: at least 5 at the lower division and at least 6 at the upper division. The Writing major allows for 3 electives, 2 of which must be 100-level courses. An English course may be used only once to fulfill a particular major requirement. Transfer students majoring in Writing must take at least 6 courses in English at Drake. Students with advanced placement (A.P.) will be credited one lower-level elective toward the major. 


The Lower Division Core (at least 5 courses) 

All English and Writing majors will be required to take five lower-division courses: a “Common Core.” These courses focus on historical and topical areas deemed essential to the responsible study of English or Writing (or both) and are meant to foster a shared sense of disciplinary identity and to encourage department-wide dialogue, discussion, and debate about issues of significance to students and scholars of English.   

In Writing: Topics and Genres courses students will engage in the study of thematic and formal traditions through writing. Courses will explore particular forms of writing; ways of using writing to pose and explore particular kinds of questions about class, gender, sexuality, race, etc.; and ways of using writing within particular institutional contexts.

History and Tradition courses focus students’ attention on one or several of a number of questions related to the history of English studies and the traditions it examines. Courses will introduce students to critical methods for situating literary, filmic, and cultural interpretations within the historical and cultural contexts of their creation, dissemination, reproduction and reception; explore the historical development of a particular form, topic, or critical method; and examine historically distant texts in order to provide historical understanding or insights into contemporary developments in culture, literary genre, and the practices of writing, reading, and criticism.

Culture and Identity courses will focus students’ attention on the way texts represent, construct, and engage with culture and, in doing so, enact and reflect on individual and group identities.


Students select at least 5 upper-level courses in the department, including at least three courses in the Writing core. These upper-level Writing courses develop creative writing skills in areas such as fiction-writing, poetry, and autobiography and memoir. They also introduce students to flash fiction and non-fiction, a variety of "topics" based on present faculty interest, community writing,  writing in professional settings, and writing for different media. Students regularly win honors in a variety of genres. Students learn how to work in workshop settings, how to revise, how to consider the practice of writing, what it means to write in today's world of new media and machine-learning, and more. The program culminates in a capstone.


Current Catalog Requirements for the Writing major and minor

Writing Major Description

Writing Major Checklist

Writing Minor Checklist

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