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Online Professional & Creative Writing Major

Do you want to graduate with an adaptable, tech-savvy, professional degree?  Our writing program is designed to prepare students for success in the contemporary work environment. It combines the rigor of creative writing in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, playwriting, and screenwriting with the practical elements of professional and technical writing and editing.  The major's interdisciplinary range allows students to shape their major with courses that best suit their interests and goals.

Students in the program gain an in-depth understanding of multiple genres.  They learn how to give helpful, good-spirited feedback to fellow writers.  They gain valuable experience writing for their audiences, editing for content and correctness, practicing genre-specific craft, thinking critically, working on the web and making a strong impression with language.  These skills are easily transferred to any career involving written communication skills, and our graduates work for businesses, agencies, publications, government offices, and non-profit organizations.

Students in the program gain an in-depth understanding of multiple genres. They learn how to give helpful, good-spirited feedback to fellow writers. In practicums and internships, they gain valuable experience writing, creating websites, and editing for companies, government offices, and organizations.

Applying for and beginning the major:

Apply for the major here. Plan to take ENG 263, ENG 302, and ENG 303 early in your program because they are pre-requisites for many upper-division literature and writing courses. Take ENG 320 (English Grammar) early in your program.

Transfer students may be able to substitute an Introduction to Creative Writing course that will substitute for ENG 263, and 200-level Communication courses comparable to those listed in our Professional Writing and Editing electives.

Questions about advising? Please contact CAHAdvising@cwu.edu.

Course of Study

Required Courses Credits: 32

  • ENG 263 – Introduction to Creative Writing (5) Prerequisite: Academic Writing I and Academic Writing II
  • OR ENG 264 – Introduction to Creative Writing and Environment (5) Prerequisite: Academic Writing I and Academic Writing II
  • OR ENG 265 – Introduction to Creative Writing as "Mindfulness, Health and Well-Being" (5) Prerequisite: Academic Writing I and Academic Writing II
  • ENG 301 – Rhetoric for Professional Writers (5) Prerequisite: Academic Writing I and Academic Writing II
  • ENG 302 – Poetry and Poetics (5) Prerequisite: Academic Writing I and Academic Writing II
  • ENG 303 – Principles of English Studies (5) Prerequisite: Academic Writing I and Academic Writing II
  • ENG 320 – English Grammar (5)
  • ENG 323 – Writing and Editing for Publication (5) Prerequisite: ENG 320
  • ENG 489 – Senior Colloquium (2) Prerequisite: 48 credits of English courses

Approved Writing Electives – Credits: 27

Select 27 credits from a combination of creative writing, professional writing, and practicum courses. At least 2 credits must be practicum credits and at least one 400-level creative writing or professional writing elective class is required.

Creative Writing Courses

  • ENG 364 – Fiction Writing (5) Prerequisite: ENG 263 or ENG 264 or ENG 265
  • ENG 365 – Poetry Writing (5) Prerequisite: ENG 263 or ENG 264 or ENG 265
  • ENG 366 – Creative Nonfiction Writing (5) Prerequisite: ENG 263 or ENG 264 or ENG 265
  • ENG 368 – Multi-Genre Writing Workshop (5) Prerequisite: ENG 263 or ENG 264 or ENG 265
  • ENG 369 – Variable Topics Writing Workshop (5) Prerequisite: ENG 263 or ENG 264 or ENG 265
  • ENG 464 – Advanced Fiction Writing (5) Prerequisite: ENG 364
  • ENG 465 – Advanced Poetry Writing (5) Prerequisite: ENG 365
  • ENG 466 – Advanced Creative Nonfiction Writing (5) Prerequisite: ENG 366
  • ENG 468 – Contemporary Writers Colloquium (5) Prerequisite: ENG 364 or ENG 365
  • FILM 267 or ENG 267 – Screenwriting Fundamentals (4) Prerequisite: ENG 102 or FILM 250
  • FILM 357 or ENG 357 – Scriptwriting for Serial Media (4) Prerequisite: ENG/FILM 267 and admission to the Communication, ENG PCW, or FILM major
  • FILM 457 – Narrative Screenwriting II Prerequisite: FILM 447 or instructor permission.
  • TH 313 – Writing for Children's Theatre (Put on Reserve 9/16/16) (3)
  • TH 330 – Introduction to Playwriting (4) Prerequisite: TH 107 and TH 166, or admission to the English writing specialization

Professional Writing Courses

  • ADMG 385 – Business Communications and Report Writing (5) Prerequisite: Academic Writing II or a direct transfer degree, and junior standing or above
  • ASP 435 – Accessible Information Design (5) Prerequisite: Academic Writing II (or CWU TOEFL score required by CWU for undergraduate study by international students) and ASP 305 or ENG 301
  • COM 208 – Introduction to Public Relations Writing (4)
  • COM 347 – Copy Editing (4)
  • COM 348 – Publication Design (4) Prerequisite: Admission to either the English writing specialization, communication studies, public relations, film, or journalism major
  • ENG 310 – Technical Writing (4) Prerequisite: Academic Writing I and Academic Writing II, and at least junior standing
  • ENG 311 – Business Writing (3) Prerequisite: ENG 102 or Academic Writing II, or a direct transfer degree
  • ENG 315 – Visual Rhetoric and Document Design (5) Prerequisite: ENG 102
  • ENG 404 – Advanced Technical Writing (5) Prerequisite: ENG 310
  • ENG 472 – Research Methods for Workplace Writers (5) Prerequisite: ENG 301 and ENG 310
  • ENG 473 – Grant Writing Theory and Practice (5) Prerequisite: ENG 301 or ENG 310
  • ENG 474 – Professional Writing with New Media (5) Prerequisite: ENG 310 or ENG 315 (with a grade of C or higher) or by instructor permission.
  • IT 248 – Web Fundamentals (4)
  • IT 288 – Business Presentation Applications (2)
  • LAJ 410 – Legal Writing (4) Prerequisite: DTA or satisfaction of all Gen Ed components (First Year Experience, 184, Academic Writing I, and Quantitative Reasoning) and Academic Writing II.

Select One Literature Course  Credits: 5

  • ENG 329 Cultural Studies in Literature (5) Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above and Academic Writing II (with grade of C- or higher)
  • ENG 330 – African American Literature (5) Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above and Academic Writing II (with grade of C- or higher)
  • ENG 331 – Latina/o Literature (5) Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above and Academic Writing II (with grade of C- or higher)
  • ENG 332 – American Indian Literature (5) Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above and Academic Writing II (with grade of C- or higher)
  • ENG 333 – Asian American Literature (5) Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above and Academic Writing II (with grade of C- or higher)
  • ENG 334 – American Indian Oral and Nonfiction Literature (5) Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above and Academic Writing II (with grade of C- or higher)
  • ENG 335 – Women's Literature (5) Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above and Academic Writing II (with grade of C- or higher)
  • ENG 336 – Race and Literature (5) Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above and Academic Writing II (with grade of C- or higher)
  • ENG 337 – LGBTQ+ Literature (5) Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or above and Academic Writing II (with grade of C- or higher)
  • ENG 363 – Shakespeare (5) Prerequisite: ENG 302 and ENG 303
  • ENG 371 – Literature and History I (5) Prerequisite: ENG 302 and ENG 303
  • ENG 372 – Literature and History II (5) Prerequisite: ENG 302 and ENG 303
  • ENG 373 – Literature and History III (5) Prerequisite: ENG 302 and ENG 303
  • ENG 374 – Literature and History IV (5) Prerequisite: ENG 302 and ENG 303
  • ENG 380 – Studies in Drama (5) Prerequisite: ENG 302 and ENG 303
  • ENG 418 – Advanced Literary and Critical Theory (5) Prerequisite: ENG 302 and ENG 303
  • ENG 453 – Studies in Fiction (5) Prerequisite: ENG 302 and ENG 303, or instructor permission
  • ENG 454 – Studies in Nonfiction (5) Prerequisite: ENG 302, ENG 303, or instructor permission
  • ENG 455 – Studies in Poetry (5) Prerequisite: ENG 302 and ENG 303
  • ENG 456 – Studies in Rhetoric (5) Prerequisite: ENG 301

Electives in Literature, Linguistics, and Film Credits: 10

Select 10 additional credits of literature, linguistics, and film studies courses at or above the 300-level. No more than 5 credits of film may be counted as elective credits in the professional and creative writing major.

Select One Practicum Course Credits: 2+ 

  • COM 444 – Observer Student Newspaper (3-6 credits)
  • COM 446 – PULSE Student Magazine (3-6 credits)
  • ENG 484 – Manastash: Literary Editing (3) Prerequisite: ENG 301 and ENG 303
  • ENG 485 – Manastash: Literary Design and Production (2) Prerequisite: ENG 301 and ENG 303
  • ENG 490 – Cooperative Education/Internship (1-12 credits) Prerequisite: Prior approval
  • ENG 493 – Online Practicum (3-5 credits) Prerequisite: 45 credits of English courses

Total Credits: 74


2020-2022 Course Schedule

The Online Professional and Creative Writing Major can be completed in two years. See below for planned course offerings.

(The courses and course rotations are subject to change. For courses offered by other departments, check with the originating department for scheduled offerings.)

Required Courses (32 credits) 2020-2021 2021-2022
5 Credits of 200-level Creative Writing (Pick one):            
     ENG 263 Intro to Creative Writing (5) F W S F W S
     ENG 264 Creative Writing and the Environment (5) F     F W S
     ENG 265 Creative Writing for Well-being (5) F   S F W S
ENG 301 Rhetoric for Professional Writers (5) F W   F W  
ENG 302 Poetry and Poetics (5) F W S F W S
ENG 303 Principles of Eng. Studies (5) F   S F W S
ENG 320 English Grammar (5) F     F W S
ENG 323 Writing & Editing for Publ. (5) F W   F   S
ENG 489 Senior Colloquium (2) F W S F W S

Sections in bold reserved for online majors

Creative Writing Electives 2020-2021 2021-2022
COM/ENG 267 Screenwriting Fundamentals (4)            
ENG 364 Fiction Writing (5) F W S F W S
ENG 365 Poetry Writing (5) F W   F W S
ENG 366 Creative Nonfiction Writing (5)     S   W S
ENG 368 Multi-Genre Writing Workshop     S     S
ENG 464 Advanced Fiction Writing (5)     S     S
ENG 465 Advanced Poetry Writing (5) F W   F W  
ENG 466 Advanced Creative Nonfiction (5) F     F W  
ENG 468 Contemporary Writer's Colloquium (5)               S     S
Sections in bold reserved for online majors
Professional Writing Electives 2020-2021 2021-2022
ENG 310 Technical Writing (4) F W S F W S
ENG 311 Business Writing (3) F W S F W S
ENG 315 Visual Rhetoric and Document Design (5)      W     W  
ENG 404 Advanced Technical Writing (5)   W     W  
ENG 472 Research Methods for Workplace Writers (5)           S
ENG 473 Grant Writing Theory and Practice (5)     S      
ENG 474 Professional Writing with New Media (5)     S     S
Sections in bold reserved for online majors
Practicum Courses (min. 2 credits) 2020-2021 2021-2022
ENG 490 Cooperative Education (Var) F W S F W S
ENG 493 Online Writing Practicum (3-5) F   S     S
ENG 484 Manastash Literary Editing (3)   W     W  
ENG 485 Manastash Literary Design & Production (2)       S     S
COM 444 Observer Student Newspaper (3-6) F W S F W S
COM 446 PULSE Student Magazine (3-6) F W S F W S
Sections in bold reserved for online majors
Literature Electives (5 credits) 2020-2021 2021-2022
ENG 347 Global Perspectives in Literature (5) F   S F W S
ENG 373 Literature & History III (5)            
ENG 415 Critical Studies in American Literature (5)           S
ENG 417 Critical Studies in World Literature (5)         W  
ENG 453 Studies in Fiction (5)     S   W  
ENG 454 Studies in Nonfiction (5)   W     W  
ENG 455 Studies in Poetry (5) F     F    
ENG 456 Studies in Rhetoric (5)  F     F    
Sections in bold reserved for online majors

Total Credits: 74

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