Creative Writing

BFA Academic Advising

The first responsibility for advising rests with the student. Students must track their own progress toward graduation. This involves reading your degree audit on SeaNet at least once a semester. SeaNet is accessible through each student's My SeaPort account.

The degree audit is the document the Registrar uses to determine your progress to graduation. The audit might appear complicated at first, but it is arranged systematically and provides an orderly listing of courses-those you have completed and those you still must take. Students who spend time with the degree audit will understand its logic-and its value in choosing courses, meeting degree requirements, and graduating on time.

As a major in Creative Writing or pre-CRW, you have an assigned advisor in the department: Tim Bass, the coordinator of the Bachelor of Fine Arts Program. He holds advising sessions during office hours in Kenan Hall, Suite 1102. You must have an online appointment in Starfish for advising. The link will take you to a system for making an advising appointment (see Tim's office hours below). Appointment times will run 20 minutes.

It takes just three steps:

  1. Make an appointment, using the online link.
  2. Read your degree audit in Seanet. This document will tell you the courses you still need to take.
  3. Write a list of the classes you plan to take, with alternates. Tim needs prefix and course number, not course title. The list for the semester should look simple but clear, like this:

Sample Advising Course List:

Main list:
CRW 204 (required for the major)
CRW 209 (required for the major)
CRW 308 (required for the major)
CRW 322 (required for the major)
ENG 205 (required for ENG minor)

CRW 307 (required for the major)
CRW 305 (for related study)
CRW 321 (for publishing certificate and related study)
CRW 323 (for publishing certificate and related study)
ENG 358 (literature, for ENG minor)

Total hours: 15

You do not need to bring a copy of your degree audit to the advising meeting, but you must consult it beforehand. If you have questions, bring them to the advising meeting.
Tim will take notes and e-mail them to you.


Tim Bass Office Hours, Spring 2019—by appointment
Mondays: 2:30—5 p.m.
Tuesdays: 1—3:30 p.m.
Wednesdays: 2:30—5 p.m.
Thursdays: 1—3:30 p.m.

Make An Advising Appointment: 

Use Chrome or Firefox to access the Starfish appointment system. You will use your UNCW login credentials to access the site.

To log in:

  1. Open a private browser or incognito window – this will prevent you from needing to clear your cache.
  2. Log into
  3. Your Student Success Network appears, allowing you to make the appointment.

If you get a login error, clear your internet browser cache and try again



BFA Degree Requirements


How do I become a major in Creative Writing? First, declare the Pre-CRW major with the help of your first academic advisor. You will then be assigned to the Department of Creative Writing, and your advisor will become Tim Bass, the coordinator of the Bachelor of Fine Arts Program.

I transferred to UNCW from another college and want to major in CRW. What do I do? As a transfer student to our program, you were admitted as Pre-CRW major. Follow the application process.

The CRW class I want is full. What should I do? Use the waitlist system provided through My SeaPort/SeaNet. The Department of Creative Writing does not permit students to take closed classes.

I want to get into a closed class. Should I e-mail the instructor? No. Use the wait list system provided through My SeaPort/SeaNet. It is the proper and most efficient way of trying to get into a closed class.

I'm a double major. Do I still have an advisor in CRW? Yes. Tim Bass will advise you for CRW courses.

I'm a double major. Do I still have to come for CRW advising? Yes. All CRW and Pre-CRW majors are required to attend an advising session each semester.

I'm a double major. Who has my registration PIN? Likely, the advisor in your primary major-the first department you listed when you declared the double major.

What is the senior seminar? The senior seminar is CRW 496, the capstone course for undergraduate students in the Department of Creative Writing. Students take CRW 496 in their final semester of college-after they have completed the advanced (400-level) course in their writing genre. The course focuses on your graduation thesis, a public reading of your work, professional standards for writers, and career planning. CRW 496 is not a writing workshop. The course carries 6 credit hours.

May I take the senior seminar at the same time as my advanced workshop in fiction (or poetry, or creative nonfiction)? No. You must complete the advanced workshop first. Take the senior seminar in your final semester of college.
I'm a double-major. I don't want to take two senior seminars in my last semester.
This is not a problem. You should discuss the situation with the advisors in both of your major departments.

I applied to the BFA Program in one genre (such as fiction), but I want to write my senior thesis in another genre (such as poetry or creative nonfiction). May I do this? No.

May I take the senior seminar twice? No.

What is a forms course? Forms courses track the development of literature in specific writing genres-fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. To earn the BFA degree, you must take a forms course in one of the genres: CRW 302: Forms of Creative Nonfiction, CRW 303: Forms of Poetry, or CRW 306: Forms of Fiction. CRW 304: Forms of the Narrative also counts toward the degree; it is suitable for writers of fiction or creative nonfiction.

I took CRW 203: Forms of Creative Writing. Does that count as my required forms course? No. CRW 203 counts toward the BFA degree, but you must also take a forms course at the 300 level: CRW 302 (nonfiction), CRW 303 (poetry), CRW 304 (forms of dramatic writing), or 306 (fiction). Choose the forms course in your writing genre (CRW 306 for fiction writers, etc.).

Can I get a degree in screenwriting? No. The Department of Creative Writing and the Film Studies Department offer two courses in screenwriting. You may take them as writing electives for the BFA degree, but we do not offer a degree in screenwriting.

Can I get a degree in playwriting? No. The Department of Creative Writing and the Theatre Department offer one course in playwriting. You may take it as a writing elective for the BFA degree, but we do not offer a degree in playwriting.

To get my degree, am I required to take literature courses? Yes. You must take at least 15 credit hours of literature courses. At least 6 of these hours must be at the 300 level or higher. Literature courses are generally available through the English Department, though the Department of Creative Writing offers courses that help meet the literature requirement: CRW 203, CRW 305, and CRW 315.

I have to take an early literature, right? Yes. CRW majors must take at least one course in literature before 1800. The most logical courses to take are ENG 211 (early British literature), ENG 223 (early American literature), or ENG 332 or 333 (both are Shakespeare courses).

What is the Publishing Certificate? The certificate program offers training in book-building, publishing, layout/design of books, and editing. This is a hands-on curriculum offered through the Publishing Laboratory (second floor of Kenan Hall). The certificate program requires a minimum of 12 hours from these publishing courses:
CRW 321: Books and Publishing (offer Fall semester only),
CRW 322: Editing for Publication,
CRW 323: Bookbuilding,
CRW 324: Special Topics in Publishing (when offered),
CRW 461: The Publishing Practicum.
There is an application process for the Publishing Certificate. Note: All of these courses count toward the BFA degree, and CRW 322 is required of all creative writing majors.

Is the Publishing Certificate required? No. The certificate is optional.

Is CRW 322: Editing for Publication required for graduation? Yes.

I want to add a minor in poetry or creative nonfiction. How do I do that? You may do this yourself through My SeaPort.

I want to change my major. How do I do that? You may do this yourself through My SeaPort.

I want to add a second major. How do I do that?
You may do this yourself through My SeaPort.