Creative Writing

Creative writing majors focus on writing poetry, fiction, or drama. In addition to the required five courses in writing, students take six or more courses in either literature or linguistics. Creative writing is appropriate for students who love to write and who do so no matter what. Many students choose to double major in creative writing and professional writing.

Points of Pride

  • The Purdue Department of English holds an annual High School Creative Writing Award which includes cash prizes presented at the annual Literary Awards Banquet.
  • The creative writing major at Purdue offers an intimate program (around 70 undergraduate students), and the creative writing faculty all know their students well.
  • The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) offers a vast library of resources ranging from style guides to instructional material to assist Purdue students. OWL also is an international resource, with a Web site that receives nearly 100 million hits a year from more than 125 different countries.
  • Sycamore Review, a nonprofit journal for the arts, was founded in 1988 and is published twice annually by Purdue University's Department of English.
  • Books and Coffee is held on campus each Thursday in February. Coffee and tea are available, followed by a half-hour talk about a selected work. The series is highly attended by faculty, staff, and students.
  • Purdue has several student organizations for English students which include the Student English Association, Haraka Writers, and the Professional Writers Club.


Most students in this major want to pursue a career as a writer of poetry, drama, or fiction. Many plan to attend graduate school to hone their skill and further develop their art.

Other students will take jobs in industry while pursuing their writing as an avocation. An English major (including the creative writing major) learns many skills that employers find desirable, which may lead them to jobs in publishing, marketing, management, etc.

Plan of Study

Department of English

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-4600

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