Students who entered Johns Hopkins in the 2020-2021 academic year should refer to the current Academic Catalog for a current list of major requirements. Students who entered Johns Hopkins University in a previous academic year should refer to the catalog of that academic year.

Major Requirements

Major requirements within the department:

  • Introduction to Fiction and Poetry I (220.105) and Introduction to Fiction and Poetry II (220.106). These courses are commonly called “IFP I and II.”
  • One course of 220.200, The Craft of Fiction (previously called Introduction to Fiction)
  • One course of 220.201, The Craft of Poetry (previously called Introduction to Poetry)
  • One additional course of fiction at the 200-400 level, often named “Readings” or “Survey”
  • One additional course of poetry at the 200-400 level, often named “Readings” or “Survey”
  • One course of either Advanced Fiction Workshop (220.401) or Advanced Poetry Workshop (220.400)
  • Any three additional, elective courses beyond IFP I and II within the department. Any Writing Seminars course at the 200-level or higher may be used to fulfill this requirement, as well as courses cross-listed with The Writing Seminars.

Major requirements outside the department:

  • Four courses of literature, in the Department of English or other literature departments. The English Department’s Expository Writing courses will not fulfill this requirement, but its Introduction to Literary Studies course is accepted.
  • Two courses in the Department of Philosophy. An introductory-level course is recommended.
  • Two courses in the Department of History. May include courses from History of Art or from History of Science and Technology.
  • Foreign language proficiency through the second semester of the intermediate level. Language waivers are granted by the language departments and should be delivered to the Registrar’s office.

Courses cross-listed with The Writing Seminars may count toward history, philosophy, or literature requirements in the major as appropriate.  Creative writing workshops taken abroad will not fulfill department requirements unless approved by the department’s Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Concentration in Writing for MSH majors

Students majoring in Medicine, Science and the Humanities (MSH) can opt to fulfill their humanities requirement with a sequence of Writing Seminars classes in fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction.  Katharine Noel ( has more information for MSH majors about these options.