Should I get a BFA in Creative Writing?

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Should I get a BFA in Creative Writing?

litmagcolorNot a lot of universities and colleges offer a BFA in Creative Writing, but is it a good idea to get a degree like this? Will it help you be a better writer? Will a BFA give you any chance at getting a job?

I will start by saying I have a BFA in Creative Writing. I wanted to be a writer all my life. I signed up for school, found the BFA in Creative Writing and went for it. I didn’t know how lucky I was or how rare these programs.

I’ll start at the beginning. The difference between and BA in Creative Writing and BFA in Creative Writing tends to be workshop writing courses. BFAs usually focus on writing and shy away from literary courses. The programs are usually workshop heavy meaning you write a lot. You will have a writing course or more every semester, and you will study modern and contemporary writers. Things that shape writing right now, is the idea. BAs, a lot of the time, have literary courses dealing with classic or period works and do not have as many workshop courses.

If you want to write, BFAs are a great place. You can meet a lot of writers, share work, and you’ll have time to write. You’ll get much of the same information in a BFA program as in a MFA program.

With a BFA in Creative Writing you really have the same amount of job prospects as others who get an undergrad in communications. MFAs are not the same. If you get an MFA it’s a huge investment, and it’s a second degree. BFAs have a choice. They can go on to an MFA or go into law, education, media or other fields. It’s nice to have options. What I’m saying is getting a BFA is not, in my opinion as big of an investment as an MFA. You can get your feet wet and experience a little part of meeting and being a writer. You can go on to other things if you like, or move in to an MFA.

I had a blast in my BFA, and I highly recommend going through a program like this, if you can find one you like. Check the writers who are teaching the program. If you like their work, you are on the right track.

Here is a list of 30 universities that offer BFA in Creative Writing:

Arkansas Tech University, Chapman University, Brewton-Parker College, Savannah College of Art and Design, Columbia College Chicago, University of Evansville, Morehead State University, Murray State University, Spalding University, University of Maine at Farmington, Emerson College, Hamline University, Minnesota State University Mankato, Belhaven College, Stephens College, Truman State University, New Hampshire Institute of Art, New Hampshire Institute of Art, Institute of American Indian Arts, Brooklyn College of CUNY, Pratt Institute, State University of New York at Postdam, University of North Carolina-Wilmington, Bowling Green State University, Chatham University, Roger Williams University, Converse College, Stephen F. Austin State University, Goddard College, Johnson State College, University of British Columbia

Richard Edwards has a BFA in Creative Writing and Journalism from Bowling Green State University and an M.S. in Education from the University of Akron. Managing editor of Drunk Duck, poetry editor for Prairie Margins, reporter for Miscellany, Akron Journal, Lorain Journal...check our About Us page for more. Also here is info on our On Classic Articles

12 Comments

  1. Hello, thank you for the informative article…
    I have completed my BTech. in Mechanical Engineering from a University in India. I now want to pursue a full-time writing course in the United States…
    Will I be able to complete my BFA in two years having already done my Bachelors?
    Also can you list down some of the top colleges that offer BFA?
    Regards,
    Varun Pandey

  2. I think that you will find that often the writing workshops in BFA programs are being led by grad students in the MFA program. Your exposure to the big-name professors will be limited, at best.

    Linda, your experience(s) should trump having a bachelor’s degree in hand. I would think that making a simple inquiry to any program that you’re interested in attending before submitting a formal application and paying the fee would get you an honest response that they are interested in students with the best chances of succeeding in their program and reflecting well on them in the future. Your track record will speak volumes. Literally.

  3. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago offers a BFA in Writing although Columbia College Chicago only offers BA’s. Just thought I should mention.

  4. The only thing I can say is talk to the local university. I think there may be some options. If you don’t have a BFA program near you, a BA or other writing program would be good, but ask the university about your options.

  5. I’m an author with many credits to my name and some awards, but no, you’ve never heard of me. I have an associates degree in Nursing, enough credits for a bachelor’s degree, but I’ve never jumped through the hoops. I studied history and French and wrote dozens of freelance articles and essays, published in literary and mainstream magazines. I have published six books – one of them by Knopf – which was recognized by the New York Public Library as one of the Books for the Teen Age – 2007.

    So why do I want a creative writing degree? Because I love literary fiction and literary memoir. I want to make the connections and improve my craft. What I would really like is a MFA in creative writing, but since I don’t actually have a bachelor’s degree, I don’t think I can be accepted in any respected program. Yet, because of my significant writing and publishing experience, I feel I have earned the equivalent of a BA in creative writing.

    Oh, I might mention I am 60 years old.

    Any advice for this dame d’un certain age?

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