A Creative Writing Minor Complements Any Major
At NYU, anyone can become a writer. Across the University’s Abu Dhabi, New York City, and Shanghai campuses, students find the rigor and inspiration necessary to hone their craft. And they’re not all aspiring journalists, poets, or novelists. Students studying a range of disciplines find that a creative writing minor can enrich any field of study.
“Creative writing can teach anyone to express themselves confidently, creatively, and effectively,” affirms NYU Abu Dhabi assistant professor of practice, literature, and creative writing Miguel Syjuco. “If you become a biologist, you can write op-eds to tell the world why your research is important. If you’re a politician, you can give the best speeches. That makes creative writing possibly the single most important, unexpected thing a student can take.”
Psychology and Poetry in Shanghai
When Yixuan Cui, a Social Science major, started at NYU Shanghai, creative writing was a foreign concept. “I just knew I loved reading and writing down random thoughts in my journal,” she says. “It was hard at the beginning. Since I was writing in my second language, I struggled to find the right words. But my professor encouraged me to keep going, and eventually, I realized my passion.” While Yixuan has completed all her minor requirements, she intends to continue writing through an independent study.
Because NYU Shanghai’s Creative Writing minor program is still growing, “Students have a real opportunity to lead and shape what kinds of programming we offer,” explains Professor Jennifer Tomscha, director of NYU Shanghai’s Writing Program. The program is “both of the city and of the world,” she adds. “Nearly all of our students are fluent in or learning Chinese and English. So, the writers we read reflect the diversity of our students.” Living and learning in such a vibrant city, students have access to a variety of programming, from readings by Pulitzer Prize–winning writers to student-run poetry slams.
Additionally, due to the program’s small size, writers of all stripes have ample opportunity to share their work. For example, the Reading Series brings together students and faculty to read their poetry, short stories, or drafts in an intimate setting. Students also take advantage of location-specific programming. In March 2019, students attended a writers’ retreat at Jiuhuashan, one of Chinaʼs four holy Buddhist mountains. There, they read, wrote poetry, hiked to temples, and reflected on their place in the world. Yixuan says, “Storytelling is a critical tool to communicate, connect, and influence people. My Creative Writing minor has made me a storyteller. And more than that, it’s given me space to recharge. It’s given me joy.”
Program in Creative Writing
The New York University Program in Creative Writing, among the most distinguished programs in the country, is a leading national center for the study of writing and literature. The undergraduate and graduate programs provide students with an opportunity to develop their craft while working closely with some of the finest poets and novelists writing today. The creative writing program occupies a lovely townhouse on West 10th Street in the same Greenwich Village neighborhood where so many writers have lived and worked. The Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House allows writers—both established and emerging—to share their work in an inspiring setting.
The program’s distinguished faculty of award-winning poets and prose writers represents a wide array of contemporary aesthetics. Our instructors have been the recipients of Pulitzer Prizes, MacArthur Genius, Guggenheim, and NEA fellowships, National Book and National Book Critics Circle awards, Pushcart Prizes, the Whiting Writer’s Award, and more.
Undergraduates are encouraged to attend the program’s reading series, which brings both established and new writers to NYU. Writing prizes, special events, and our undergraduate literary journal, West 10th, further complement our course offerings and provide a sense of community for undergraduate writers. If you have questions about the minor in creative writing, please contact us at [email protected].
Creative Writing (2022 – 2024)
The minor in creative writing offers undergraduates the opportunity to sharpen their skills while exploring the full range of literary genres, including poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. All students must complete 16 points of coursework in creative writing in order to fulfill the requirements of the minor.
The introductory workshop Creative Writing: Introduction to Prose and Poetry (CRWRI-UA 815, 4 points) or the study away course Creative Writing (CRWRI-UA 9815, 4 points) is generally the required foundational course, to be followed by 12 additional points from the program’s CRWRI-UA course offerings.
However, students who begin their minor by taking one of the program’s 8-point summer intensives—Writers in New York (CRWRI-UA 818, 819, or 835), Writers in Paris (CRWRI-UA 9818 or 9819), or Writers in Florence (CRWRI-UA 9828 or 9829)—are not required to take the introductory workshop (CRWRI-UA 815, CRWRI-UA 9815, or equivalent). Following completion of one of these 8-point intensives, students may take advanced coursework in the same genre as their summer intensive and/or move directly into an intermediate workshop in an alternative genre. Students may also repeat an 8-credit summer intensive to complete the 16-credit minor. Intermediate and advanced workshops may be taken three times for credit.
The creative writing minor must be completed with a minimum grade point average of 2.0 (C). No credit toward the minor is granted for grades of C- or lower, although such grades will be computed into the grade point average of the minor, as well as into the overall grade point average. No course to be counted toward the minor may be taken on a Pass/Fail basis.
To declare the minor: Students in the College of Arts and Science may declare a creative writing minor by completing the minor declaration form on the program’s website. Students in other NYU schools may declare their minors on Albert or as directed by their home schools. The program recommends that all creative writing minors contact the undergraduate programs manager in the semester prior to graduation to verify that their minor declaration is on record and that they have fulfilled (or have enrolled in) all of the appropriate courses for the minor.
Policy on Course Substitutions
Students may petition to apply a maximum of one outside course toward the minor, either as the introductory prerequisite (equivalent to CRWRI-UA 815 or 9815) or as an elective. An outside course is any NYU creative writing course without a CRWRI-UA rubric. To petition to substitute an outside course, students must complete the course substitution petition form (available on the program’s website) and provide the course syllabus (as described on the petition form). The undergraduate programs manager will review the submitted syllabus to verify course level and determine substitution eligibility. Students must petition for course substitution prior to registration.
If the program pre-approves a non-NYU course for substitution, it can only be counted toward the minor if 1. the Office of the Associate Dean for Students in CAS has also approved the course credit for transfer, and 2. the student receives a grade of C or better.
Students wishing to begin the creative writing minor while studying away at an NYU site should register for Creative Writing (CRWRI-UA 9815) or, if studying away in the summer, for one of the 8-point intensives offered in Paris and Florence (CRWRI-UA 9818, 9819, 9828, or 9829). These courses are not considered outside courses and will automatically be counted toward the creative writing minor. All other creative writing courses taken away require a petition for substitution and are subject to approval by the program.