Department of English

Creative Writing Certificate

The Creative Writing Certificate is intended for any University student interested in advanced study of creative writing, both as reader and as writer.


The certificate program requires eighteen semester hours of coursework, including at least nine hours completed in residence:

I.  Six semester hours of coursework from English (E), Theatre and Dance (T D), or Radio-Television-Film (RTF).

These courses should be completed or in progress at the time of application to the program.  Many of the options below fulfill University and School/College Core requirements, and students are encouraged to choose courses accordingly.  Additionally, students should opt for courses that align with their creative writing course plans (e.g., prospective poets should consider a poetry course).  Though any six hours of E, T D, or RTF will apply, the courses below are recommended.

English 314J, Literature across the Curriculum (any topic)
English 314L, Introduction to Literary Studies (any topic) 
English 314V, Introduction to Literature and Culture (any topic)
English 316K, L, M, N, or P, Literature Survey
English 344L, Contemporary Literature and Other Media (any topic)
English 348, The Short Story English 371K, Modern and Contemporary Poetry
English 377K, American Novel After 1920
English 377L, American Novel After 1960
English 379L, Contemporary Drama
Radio-Television-Film 314, Development of the Motion Picture
Radio-Television-Film 317, Narrative Strategies
Theatre and Dance 301, Introduction to Theatre
Theatre and Dance 315, Playwriting I
Theatre and Dance 317D, Theatre History since the 18th Century

II.  A two-semester sequence in Fiction (CRW 325F, Fiction Writing; CRW 340F, Short Story Workshop) or Poetry (CRW 325P, Poetry Writing; CRW 340P, Poetry Workshop).

During the first year in the program, each Creative Writing Certificate student will enroll in a fall 325-level course and a spring 340-level course.  Special sections of these courses will be reserved exclusively for certificate students.

III.  Three semester hours of advanced coursework in the student’s sequence genre, or three hours of upper-division coursework in a second genre from the list below.

Creative Writing 325, Topics in Creative Writing
Creative Writing 325F, Fiction Writing
Creative Writing 325P, Poetry Writing
Creative Writing 355F, Advanced Fiction Workshop
Creative Writing 355P, Advanced Poetry Workshop
Radio-Television-Film 333, Introduction to Screenwriting
Theatre and Dance 325, Playwriting II

Please note that availability in some of these courses will be limited and additional prerequisites do apply.  CRW 330 will typically be offered in spring semesters, and 355-level CRW courses in fall.  Students are expected to complete all certificate coursework within two years of admission.

IV.  CRW 330, Literature for Writers

CRW 330 may be taken at any time, but is offered primarily in the spring semesters.

A grade of at least C- in each course above is required for certification.  Certificates will be awarded upon completion of both an undergraduate degree and certificate program requirements.


V.  Creative Writing 370H, Honors Creative Writing Project.

Admission to the honors certificate program is determined upon completion of items I-IV above.  A University Grade Point Average of GPA of at least 3.33 and a grade point average of at least 3.66 in program courses are required for the Honors Creative Writing Certificate to be awarded.


Though Creative Writing (CRW) is a new undergraduate field of study, creative writing courses were previously offered by the Department of English.  Some of those English (E) courses may apply toward certificate requirements.  E 325F and 325P may substitute for C W 325F and 325P, respectively.  E 341 and 341L may substitute for C W 340F and 340P, respectively.  E 315F, 315P, 355K, and 367K are not applicable toward the certificate, nor will substitutions for C W 330 be considered.  English majors who substitute E 325F, 325P, 341, or 341L for certificate requirements may not also apply those courses toward the English major requirements for the Bachelor of Arts degree.

Additionaly, CRW 325M may substitute for either CRW 325F or CRW 325P in item II above.


The 2015-2016 Creative Writing Certificate application is now closed. 

Those who plan to pursue the certificate should begin the program by the fall of the junior year; applications are accepted each spring, beginning in March.  The Creative Writing Certificate program is a small one:  approximately 60 students will be admitted each year. 

The primary criteria for admission are UT-Austin GPA and a student’s progress toward degree.  Additional consideration will be given to students who have completed more than the required six hours of English, Theatre and Dance, and Radio-Television-Film coursework; the short essay portion of the application may also be a factor.

Additional Information