Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Creative Work: Students will produce a written creative work demonstrating growth as writers.
  2. Professional Preparation: students will demonstrate skills in fields related to literature and/or creative writing, including publishing, writing, teaching, editing, book arts, and/or arts management.
  3. Literature: Students will read, discuss, and analyze the work of a broad range of writers from diverse racial and cultural backgrounds, and explain how literature in general, and their own genre in particular, relates to larger human experience.
  4. Craft Elements: Students will write and revise creative nonfiction, fiction, plays, and/or poetry using the elements of craft to embody their individual and universal visions as well as analyze and discuss craft elements in their peers’ work.

Creative Writing (B.A)— 42 units

A. Fundamentals (6 units)

Fundamentals of Creative Writing and Fundamentals of Creative Reading are prerequisites to all other Creative Writing courses. C W 302 is also a prerequisite to all upper-division English literature courses. C W 302 must be taken at SF State. Upon completion of C W 302, courses from Section G may be taken at any time. C W 301 and C W 302 may be taken concurrently.

C W 301Fundamentals of Creative Writing3
C W 302Fundamentals of Creative Reading3

B. Craft (3 units)

One course in the Craft Area selected from the following must be taken after C W 301 and C W 302 and before the workshop course.

C W 511GWCraft of Poetry - GWAR3
C W 512GWCraft of Fiction - GWAR3
C W 513GWCraft of Playwriting - GWAR3

C. Creative Process/Workshop (12 units)

Select four courses from the following:

C W 506The Business of Creative Writing (creative process)3
C W 507Writing on the Body (creative process)3
C W 514Contemporary World Poetry (creative process)3
C W 520Writers on Writing (creative process)3
C W 550Poetry Center Workshop (creative process)3
C W 602Playwriting (workshop) 13
C W 603Short Story Writing (workshop) 13
C W 604Poetry Writing (workshop) 13
C W/TH A 605Writing and Performing Monologues (workshop) 13
C W 609Directed Writing for B.A. Students (workshop) 23
C W 640Transfer Literary Magazine (creative process)3
C W 675Community Projects in Literature (creative process) 13
C W 685Projects in the Teaching of Creative Writing (creative process)3
C W 699Independent Study (creative process or workshop)1-3

D. Variable Topics Course (3 units)

Select one:

C W 510The Creative Process3
C W 600Special Topics in Writing3

E. Revision Course (3 units)

C W 606Art of Revision: from Draft to Manuscript3

F. Capstone Course (3 units)

C W 601Work in Progress3

G. Courses in the Literature Areas (12 units)

Select four courses from the following:

AA S 322Chinese American Language and Literature3
AA S 332Japanese American Art and Literature3
AA S 352Filipina/o American Literature, Art, and Culture3
AA S 372Vietnamese American Literature3
AA S 512Asian American Children's/Adolescent Literature3
AA S 582Asian American Women's Literature and the Arts3
AFRS 400Black Arts and Humanities3
AFRS 411African and African American Literature3
AFRS 645Literature of the Harlem Renaissance3
AFRS 646Frantz Fanon's Psychology of Violence, Negation, and Liberation3
AIS 360Modern American Indian Authors3
CHIN 600Topics in Chinese Language, Literature, and Culture in English3
CHIN 601GWThe Poetic Tradition - GWAR3
CHIN 602The Narrative Tradition3
CHIN 611GWThe Revolutionary Tradition in Modern Chinese Literature - GWAR3
CLAS 410/HUM 401Ancient Greek Literature3
CLAS 415/HUM 402Ancient Roman Literature3
C W/MGS 497Modern Greek Literature3
CWL 420Studies in Comparative Literature3
CWL 421Celtic Literature3
CWL/HUM 423Going Medieval: Medieval Literature and Contemporary Adaptations3
CWL/HUM 424Multicultural Middle Ages3
CWL 432/HUM 532From Ghost Stories to Short Stories: Japanese Fiction in Comparative Contexts3
CWL 440"Typical American": Narratives of Multiculturalism in the Americas from 1492 to the Present3
CWL 450Literary Crossings3
CWL 520Modern Prose of the Americas3
ENG 418Grammar for Writers3
ENG 420Introduction to the Study of Language3
ENG 422History of the English Language3
ENG 429Stylistics3
ENG 460Literature in English to 18003
ENG 461Literature in English Since 18003
ENG 465Post-Apocalyptic Science Fiction3
ENG 495Digital Humanities and Literacies3
ENG 501Age of Chaucer3
ENG 510The Age of Wit3
ENG 514Age of the Romantics3
ENG 524Contemporary American Short Story3
ENG 525Studies in American Literature3
ENG 526Age of the American Renaissance: 1830-18603
ENG 527American Literature: 1860-19143
ENG 528American Literature: 1914-19603
ENG 535Literature and Ecology3
ENG/JS/WGS 54620th Century American Jewish Women Writers3
ENG 550The Rise of the Novel3
ENG 554Modern American Novel3
ENG 555The Short Story3
ENG 571Shakespeare's Rivals3
ENG 580Individual Authors3
ENG 581Jane Austen3
ENG 583Shakespeare: Representative Plays3
ENG 584Shakespeare: Selected Plays3
ENG 589Milton3
ENG 600Theory of Literature3
ENG 601Literature and Psychology3
ENG 602Literature, Identity, Society: Theoretical Approaches to Identity and Cultural Critique3
ENG 611Modern Criticism3
ENG 612Serial Narrative3
ENG 614Women in Literature: Authors and Characters3
ENG 615Imagery, Metaphor, and Symbol3
ENG 630Selected Studies3
ENG/SXS 633Queer(ing) Narrative Literature3
FR 310Creative Writing in French3
GER 613Weimar Literature3
GER 616Postwar German Literature: The Past as Present3
HUM 390Images of Eroticism3
HUM 415Thinking the Present: Comparative Arts and Culture3
HUM 425Thought and Image: Humanities3
HUM/PHIL 432Nietzsche and Postmodernism3
JS 437/CWL 427/ENG 533Holocaust and Literature3
JS/CWL/ENG 451Jewish Literature of the Americas3
JS/CWL 480European Jewish Writers3
JS 485Modern Israeli Literature3
LTNS 305Latina/o Studies Creative Writing Workshop3
LTNS 455Resistance Literature of the Americas3
LTNS 560Contemporary Latina/o Literature3
LTNS 679Central American Literature: Roots to the Present3
RRS 360Our Stories: Literatures of Race and Resistance3
RRS/ARAB 450Contemporary Arabic and Arab American Literature3
SPAN/LTNS 531Creative Writing in Spanish: Poetry, Fiction, and Drama3
WGS 541Women Writers and Social Change3
WGS/SXS 551Queer Literatures and Media3

 May be taken for two semesters of credit.


May be taken for three semesters of credit.

Complementary Studies

Bachelor of Arts students must complete at least 12 units of Complementary Studies outside of the primary prefix for the major. (Note: Students may not use an alternate prefix that is cross-listed with the primary prefix for the major.)

Creative Writing majors will satisfy this requirement from within the major by taking 12 units of literature classes required in the major, which are recognized in the major list of any or all of the following prefixes: ENG, AFRS, CWL, LTNS, WGS, HUM, AAS, MGS, or AIS.

Students who have earned AA-T or AS-T degrees and are pursuing a similar B.A. degree at SF State are required to fulfill the Complementary Studies requirement as defined by the major department. Students should consult with a major advisor about how transfer units and/or SF State units can best be applied to this requirement in order to ensure degree completion within 60 units.

First-Time Student Roadmap (4 Year)

The roadmaps presented in this Bulletin are intended as suggested plans of study and do not replace meeting with an advisor. For a more personalized roadmap, please use the Degree Planner tool found in your Student Center.

First-Time Student Roadmap

Transfer Student Roadmap (2 Year)

For students with an AA-T in English.
ENGL ADT Roadmap

This degree program is an approved pathway (“similar” major) for students earning the ADT in English

California legislation SB 1440 (2009) mandated the creation of the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) to be awarded by the California Community Colleges. Two types of ADTs are awarded: Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) and Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T). 

Note: no specific degree is required for admission as an upper-division student. However, the ADT includes specific guarantees related to admission and graduation and is designed to clarify the transfer process and strengthen lower-division preparation for the major.

An ADT totals 60 units and in most cases includes completion of all lower-division General Education requirements and at least 18 units in a specific major. (The Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Science AS-T degrees defer 3 units in lower-division GE area C and 3 units in lower-division GE area D until after transfer.) Students pursuing an ADT are guaranteed admission to the CSU if minimum eligibility requirements are met, though not necessarily to the CSU campus of primary choice.

Upon verification that the ADT has been awarded prior to matriculation at SF State, students are guaranteed B.A. or B.S. completion in 60 units if pursuing a “similar” major after transfer. Determinations about “similar” majors at SF State are made by faculty in the discipline.

Degree completion in 60 units cannot be guaranteed when a student simultaneously pursues an additional major, a minor, certificate, or credential.

A sample advising roadmap for students who have earned an ADT and continue in a "similar" major at SF State is available on the Roadmaps tab on the degree requirements page for the major. The roadmap displays:

  • How many lower-division units required for the major have been completed upon entry based on the award of a specific ADT;
  • Which lower-division requirements are considered complete upon entry based on the award of a specific ADT;
  • How to complete the remaining 60 units for the degree in four semesters.

Students who have earned an ADT should seek advising in the major department during the first semester of attendance.

General Advising Information for Transfer Students

  1. Before transfer, complete as many lower-division requirements or electives for this major as possible.
  2. The following courses are not required for admission but are required for graduation. Students are strongly encouraged to complete these units before transfer; doing so will provide more flexibility in course selection after transfer.
    • a course in U.S. History
    • a course in U.S. & California Government

For information about satisfying the requirements described in (1) and (2) above at a California Community College (CCC), please visit Check any geographically accessible CCCs; sometimes options include more than one college. Use ASSIST to determine:

  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy any lower-division major requirements for this major;
  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy CSU GE, US History, and US & CA Government requirements.

Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 semester units/90 quarter units required for admission.

Additional units for courses that are repeated do not apply to the minimum 60 units required for upper-division transfer (for example, if a course was not passed on the first attempt or was taken to earn a better grade).

Before leaving the last California Community College of attendance, obtain a summary of completion of lower-division General Education units (IGETC or CSU GE Breadth). This is often referred to as a GE certification worksheet. SF State does not require delivery of this certification to Admissions, but students should retain this document for verifying degree progress after transfer.

Credit for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or College-Level Examination Program courses: AP/IB/CLEP credit is not automatically transferred from the previous institution. Units are transferred only when an official score report is delivered to SF State. Credit is based on the academic year during which exams were taken. Refer to the University Bulletin in effect during the year of AP/IB/CLEP examination(s) for details regarding the award of credit for AP/IB/CLEP.

Students pursuing majors in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines often defer 6-9 units of lower-division General Education in Areas C and D until after transfer to focus on preparation courses for the major. This advice does not apply to students pursuing associate degree completion before transfer.

Transferring From Institutions Other Than CCCs or CSUs

Review SF State's lower-division General Education requirements. Note that, as described below, the four basic skills courses required for admission meet A1, A2, A3, and B4 in the SF State GE pattern. Courses that fulfill the remaining areas of SF State’s lower-division GE pattern are available at most two-year and four-year colleges and universities.

Of the four required basic skills courses, a course in critical thinking (A3) may not be widely offered outside the CCC and CSU systems. Students should attempt to identify and take an appropriate course no later than the term of application to the CSU. To review more information about the A3 requirement, please visit

Waiting until after transfer to take a single course at SF State that meets both US and CA/local government requirements may be an appropriate option, particularly if transferring from outside of California.