New Creative Writing Minor is Open to All UCLA Undergraduates

December 6, 2023
Sean Brenner | UCLA

A newly established minor will expand the opportunity for UCLA students to receive official credit for their creative writing pursuits.

In replacing UCLA’s concentration in creative writing — which had been accessible only to English majors — the new creative writing minor will be open to all undergraduates, making it one of only a few UCLA minors in a creative practice.

The minor also is more expansive in subject matter than the concentration was. While the minor requires students to complete two workshops in a core genre —fiction or poetry — students in the minor can pursue such diverse practices as writing for computer games, songwriting and screenwriting.

Establishing the discipline as a minor will enable students who complete the program to list the achievement on their transcripts, a benefit that academic concentrations don’t offer.

The minor was designed, in part, to provide useful skills for students whether their post-graduate plans include advanced degrees or careers, even if those plans aren’t specifically focused on writing.

“We see it as excellent preparation for students going into creative industries,” said Reed Wilson, a continuing lecturer in the English department. “But we also are always hearing that creative thinking is a skill that potential employers are interested in. When we have alumni come back to campus, they talk about how useful thinking creatively is for their careers — even in the business world.”

To complete the minor, students must also finish a one- or two-quarter capstone project. Writing-focused internships — writing work at a literary agency or summarizing screenplays for a film studio, for example — could also satisfy the requirements for a capstone project.

Students must apply for the minor; entry is available to those who have completed English 4W, 4HW or 4WX; English 10C, 11, 20 or 20W; and at least one core workshop. In early winter quarter, applications will be accepted from students who will graduate in winter or spring 2024.

Wilson said the minor was also designed to ensure it would be accessible to transfer students. For one thing, the initial required courses will routinely be offered during fall quarter, so transfer students will have ample opportunity to enroll in the successive courses during the same academic year. In addition, students who have taken introductory-level writing or literature courses at a previous institution would likely have satisfied one of the prerequisites for entry into the minor.

Visit the UCLA Registrar’s website for additional details on the requirements for the creative writing minor.

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