The Writing Seminars offers a liberal arts education with a concentration in writing. Writing Seminars majors take courses in the writing of fiction and poetry; seminars on the history and technique of poetry and prose; and literature courses with a focus on close reading of substantive works from the perspective of an author of creative work.

Students also study literature, philosophy, and history in other departments of the university. Finally, Writing Seminars majors are expected to demonstrate competency in a foreign language.

Learning Goals

A Writing Seminars major should be able to:

  • Analyze works of literature with an eye to form, voice, development, closure, conflict, structure, and ornament, as well as historical context
  • Demonstrate competence in the formatting and presentation (verse line, stanza, rhythm, meter; narrative exposition, dialogue, argument) of his/her own original writing
  • Possess critical capabilities in the evaluation of creative work-in-progress, and experience in the protocol of the workshop method
  • Acquire the substance of a liberal-arts education through the distribution requirements in the major, including history, philosophy, and foreign language study
  • Compose a portfolio of original writing (poems, stories, or essays) that would meet the standards for application to MFA programs, but also serve as the foundation for careers in communication, law, teaching, or other fields where success is a function of skills in close analysis conveyed through lucid and intelligent writing.

Related Links

Undergraduate Handbook