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Creative Writing

Photo of Ian Campbell.


While he knows his writing skills will have practical value as he completes law school at the University of Virginia, Ian Campbell hopes to someday put them to use in a different way. His dream is to eventually become a novelist. Read more here.

Majoring in Creative Writing

College Magazine ranks Purdue’s English Department #1 in the United States, and it’s easy to see why. Our degree programs offer individualized attention and access to excellent teachers and experts who shape how people think about literature, linguistics, and writing.

While pursuing a BA in Creative Writing, students study literary texts and then produce their own poetry or fiction. The Creative Writing student is an artist. This major is perfect for those who love to write poems or stories, and who plan to do so no matter what. In addition to the required five courses in poetry or fiction writing, students must take five courses in English Literature  or English Language in a Global Context. While some creative writing students attend graduate school to hone their skills and develop their art, others practice their craft in commercial industries like marketing or publishing. Ultimately, creative writers learn many skills that employers find desirable.

Students interested in Creative Writing might also explore Professional Writing or English Education, English Literature, and English Language.


Upon completion of the program, English majors may choose graduate school or employment in an industry, which may or may not be related to their interest in English. Student experiences have included:

  • English Teacher
  • Web Publisher
  • Bilingual Educator
  • Journalist
  • Technical Writer
  • Marketing Director
  • Production Assistant
  • Youth Minister
  • Case Manager
  • Graduate or professional school

Average Starting Salary: $42,041

All Purdue University College of Liberal Arts majors prepare students with the skills identified as contributing to professional success: communicating and listening well, an understanding and appreciation of diverse points of view, creative thinking and problem solving, a collaborative mindset, the ability to synthesize complex ideas and communicate them clearly, and a Boilermaker work ethic.

Within the field of English, students develop skills that are applicable to many different careers. These skills may include, but are not limited to:

  • Exceptional writing for multiple audiences, and in multiple styles (stories, poems, reviews, reports, memos, essays, and critical analyses).
  • Deep reading (how to read patiently, with empathy and insight; how to recognize patterns in texts; and how to express your observations about them effectively).
  • Creative and literary thinking (metaphorical and other non-literal reasoning; historical and global awareness; connecting the dots and telling stories with data).
  • Analytical and research skills (how to take texts and ideas apart for a greater understanding of the whole; how to find, compile, and synthesize important information).
  • Cutting-edge presentation skills (how to produce, read, and understand images and digital texts; how to present your ideas in the most effective manner).

English majors may choose to enter into the workforce using the skills they have acquired at Purdue. They may otherwise choose to attend graduate school to either continue their degree or master in a field related to the skills they have gained from their liberal arts education. Past graduates have gone on to:


  • Tippecanoe School Corporation
  • Holbrook Early Childhood Center
  • Children's Hospital of Philadelphia 
  • Wabash Valley Alliance
  • IBM
  • Center for Global Impact

Graduate School

  • University of Connecticut
  • Purdue University
  • Syracuse University
  • Kent University
  • University of Florida

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