Department of English

Creative Writing Certificate

The Creative Writing Certificate is intended for any University student interested in advanced study of creative writing, both as reader and as writer.


The certificate program requires eighteen semester hours of coursework, including at least nine hours completed in residence:

I.  Six semester hours of coursework from English (E), Theatre and Dance (T D), or Radio-Television-Film (RTF).

These courses should be completed or in progress at the time of application to the program.  Many of the options below fulfill University and School/College Core requirements, and students are encouraged to choose courses accordingly.  Additionally, students should opt for courses that align with their creative writing course plans (e.g., prospective poets should consider a poetry course).  Though any six hours of E, T D, or RTF will apply, the courses below are recommended.

English 314J, Literature across the Curriculum (any topic)
English 314L, Introduction to Literary Studies (any topic) 
English 314V, Introduction to Literature and Culture (any topic)
English 316K, L, M, N, or P, Literature Survey
English 344L, Contemporary Literature and Other Media (any topic)
English 348, The Short Story English 371K, Modern and Contemporary Poetry
English 377K, American Novel After 1920
English 377L, American Novel After 1960
English 379L, Contemporary Drama
Radio-Television-Film 314, Development of the Motion Picture
Radio-Television-Film 317, Narrative Strategies
Theatre and Dance 301, Introduction to Theatre
Theatre and Dance 315, Playwriting I
Theatre and Dance 317D, Theatre History since the 18th Century

II.  A two-semester sequence in Fiction (CRW 325F, Fiction Writing; CRW 340F, Short Story Workshop) or Poetry (CRW 325P, Poetry Writing; CRW 340P, Poetry Workshop).

During the first year in the program, each Creative Writing Certificate student will enroll in a fall 325-level course and a spring 340-level course.  Special sections of these courses will be reserved exclusively for certificate students.

III.  Three semester hours of advanced coursework in the student’s sequence genre, or three hours of upper-division coursework in a second genre from the list below.

Creative Writing 325, Topics in Creative Writing
Creative Writing 325F, Fiction Writing
Creative Writing 325P, Poetry Writing
Creative Writing 355F, Advanced Fiction Workshop
Creative Writing 355P, Advanced Poetry Workshop
Radio-Television-Film 333, Introduction to Screenwriting
Theatre and Dance 325, Playwriting II

Please note that availability in some of these courses will be limited (e.g. RTF 333) and additional prerequisites do apply.  CRW 330 will be offered primarily in spring semesters, and 355-level CRW courses are only available in the fall.  Students are expected to complete all certificate coursework within two years of admission.

IV.  CRW 330, Literature for Writers

CRW 330 may be taken at any time, but is offered primarily in the spring semesters.

A grade of at least C- in each course above is required for certification.  Certificates will be awarded upon completion of both an undergraduate degree and certificate program requirements.


V.  Creative Writing 370H, Honors Creative Writing Project.

Applications for the spring Creative Writing Honors course are due in mid-October.  Nine or more hours of upper-division creative writing must be complete or in progress at the time of application.  A University Grade Point Average of GPA of at least 3.33 and a grade point average of at least 3.66 in program courses are required for the Honors Creative Writing Certificate to be awarded.


CRW 325M may substitute for either CRW 325F or CRW 325P in item II above.  Students who wish to substitute courses in transfer toward certificate requirements should provide a course syllabus to the English advising office; please note that lower-division courses (CRW 301-320 or CRW 3 HRS on a UT-Austin academic record) may NOT apply toward items II-V in the certificate.


Those who plan to pursue the certificate should begin the program by the fall of the junior year; applications are accepted each spring, beginning in March.  The Creative Writing Certificate program is a small one:  approximately 60 students will be admitted each year.

The primary criteria for admission are UT-Austin GPA and a student’s progress toward degree, with additional consideration given to writing ability.  Generally, admitted students have earned a 3.0 or higher GPA. 

The application will remain open from March 1st through July 15th.  Students who apply prior to March 21st will be notified by April 1st.  All other students will be notified throughout the spring and summer, no later than August 1st.

The application requires a short personal statement (approximately one paragraph) about your interest in the program, as well as a writing sample (any genre, maximum of three double-spaced pages).  Good luck!

Please click here to apply.  Questions about the program or application should be directed to the English Advising Office.

Additional Information