BFA Degree Requirements

BFA candidates must complete a minimum of 124 hours of undergraduate study. In addition to meeting UNCW's Basic Studies requirements, the students must complete 54 hours toward the major in creative writing:

  • 30 hours of courses in the Department of Creative Writing. These hours must include one course in forms of creative writing. At least 18 of these hours must be in workshop courses in at least two different genres of creative writing, and must include CRW 496, Senior Seminar in Writing, as well as a three-course writing sequence in fiction, poetry or creative nonfiction. In addition, our majors are required to complete Editing for Publication, a course that focuses on grammar, spelling, self-editing, and the mechanics of writing.
  • 15 hours of approved literature or forms courses in the Department of English, the Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures, and/or the Department of Creative Writing. At least three of the five literature courses must be at the 300-400 level. At least one course must be in literature before 1800 and at least one in literature after 1800.
  • 3 hours in course work beyond the Basic Studies level in Art, Art History, Film Studies, Music, or Theater.
  • 6 hours in course work beyond the Basic Studies level in one of the following areas: Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, or Humanities.

The Minor in Creative Writing

The minor in creative writing requires completion of 18 credit hours in creative writing and literature, arranged as follows:

  • Fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction: completion of workshops through the 300 level in one genre and 200 level in a separate genre;
  • 3 hours in CRW 203: Forms of Creative Writing, or CRW 304: Forms of Dramatic Writing. CRW 302, 303, and 306 are not open to minors;
  • 3 hours in literature in the Department of English. CRW 305: Creative Process and CRW 314: Literature in Translation also meet this requirement;
  • 3 hours of electives in the Department of Creative Writing. Most students take CRW 201 to meet this requirement.

Creative writing minors must earn an overall GPA of 2.0 or higher.

The Certificate in Publishing

The Certificate in Publishing is available to interested students who have been admitted to the full BFA major. For students interested in pursuing careers in book or journal publishing, or graduate school in a related field, the Certificate in Publishing enhances professional credentials. The certificate is an optional program that requires completion of four or more courses, for a minimum of 12 credit hours, as follows:

  • CRW 321: Books and Publishing (required)
  • CRW 322: Editing for Publication (required)
  • CRW 323: Bookbuilding (required)
  • CRW 324: Special Topics in Publishing
  • CRW 460: Publishing Practicum (by application only, may be repeated once)

To receive permission to enroll in CRW 460: Publishing Practicum, students must have been admitted to the BFA major and Publishing Certificate Program and must have completed all three of the preliminary publishing courses—CRW 321, CRW 322, and CRW 323.

If you have questions about the Publishing Certificate, contact Emily Smith, Director of the Publishing Laboratory:

Departmental Honors

Departmental Honors in Creative Writing will consist of a project with a specific theme designed by the student after consultation with the creative writing faculty member who will act as the Honors project director. This project will include an academic/research component to complement or provide the foundation for the creative portion of the project (for example, should the student choose to write creative nonfiction centered on the local marshlands, the student would first research the marshlands and read work by professional environmental writers). This academic component will be negotiated between the student and the Honors project director, with oversight by the Honors Scholars Program.

The Honors Project will be completed over three two-credit-hour semesters or two three-credit-hour semesters, for a total of six hours of credit through CRW 499. All Honors Scholars requirements, including thesis writing and oral defense, must be fulfilled. Note that this thesis is separate from, and in addition to, the thesis required for the BFA degree. The length requirement for the Honors project is as follows: poetry, 10-15 pages; fiction or creative nonfiction, 20-30 pages. A mixed-genre project would require the approval of the faculty member who serves as the Honors project director.

If you have questions about the Honors Scholars Program, contact Dr. Kate Bruce, Director of the Honors Scholars Program:, or visit

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