Curriculum Overview and Courses

Use the accordions (+) below to learn more about the Undergrad and Graduate curriculum for the Department of Writing.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) with an Emphasis in Writing students follow an individualized curricular pathway that allows them to explore a wide range of possibilities for writing and integrating text with the visual arts. Here are the requirements you must meet to earn a BFA with an Emphasis in Writing.

Total Credit Hours  126
Writing Core Curriculum 24 
  • HUM 2001 Literature Survey I (3)
  • HUM 3002 Literature Survey II (3)
  • WRIT 1102 Intro to Writing as Art (3)
  • WRIT 2040 Writing Workshop (3)
  • WRIT 3140 Advanced Writing Workshop (3)
  • WRIT 4001 Generative Seminar (6)
  • CAPSTONE 4900 Undergraduate Thesis for BFAW Seminar (3)
Studio  39
  • CP 1010 Core Studio Practice I (3)
  • CP 1011 Core Studio Practice II (3)
  • CP 1020 Research Studio I (3)
  • CP 1022 Research Studio II (3)
  • SOPHSEM 2900 (3)
  • PROFPRAC 3900 (3)
  • Studio Electives—May include additional Writing courses (21)
Liberal Arts  39
  • ENGLISH 1001 First Year Seminar I (3)
  • ENGLISH 1005 First Year Seminar II (3)
  • Humanities (12)
  • Social Sciences (9)
  • Natural Sciences (6)
  • Liberal Arts Electives (6)
Art History   12
  • ARTHI 1001 World Cultures/Civilizations: Pre-History to 19th Century Art and Architecture (3)
  • Art History Elective at 1000 level (3)
  • Art History Electives (6)
General Electives—Studio, Liberal Arts, Art History, and/or BFAW courses  12

Transfer Students

Total credits required for minimum residency: 66
Minimum Writing Studio credit: 42

WRIT 5001 Writing Workshop  12  
WRIT 5500 Topics in Writing Seminar 12  
MFA 6009 Graduate Projects 
(minimum of 12 credits with writing advisors)
Courses at the 3000 level or above. Art History courses must be at the 4000 level or above.
Participation in four graduate critiques   
Inclusion in graduate publication or participation in the Graduate Exhibition or equivalent   
Completion of the thesis   
Total Credit Hours 60  

Students may elect internships to satisfy up to 6 hours of elective credit.

Degree requirements and specifications

  1. Completion schedule: Students have a maximum of four years to complete the degree (this includes time off for leaves-of-absence).
  2. Transfer credits: A minimum of 45 credit hours must be completed at SAIC. Up to 15 transfer credits may be requested at the time of application for admission and are subject to approval at that time. No transfer credit will be permitted after a student is admitted.
  3. Thesis requirement: During their final semester, students are required to submit a thesis of appropriate length in any genre.
  4. Exhibition requirements: MFAW students planning to participate in the Graduate Thesis Exhibition or Time Arts events are required to complete at least 6 studio credits by the end of the third semester AND to advise with a studio faculty member in their final semester.
  5. Studio space: Individual studio space is not provided automatically to students in the MFA in Writing; however, Writing students with a visual arts practice in addition to their writing may apply for a space through the Administrative Director, Graduate Division, at
  6. Graduate Projects: MFA 6009 Graduate Projects enrollments must be in increments of 3 credit hours. No more than two advisors and a total of 6 credit hours may be scheduled for a given semester. The number of credits earned by the student has no correlation with length or frequency of the advising sessions or to faculty assessment of student work.

Full-time status minimum requirement: 12 credit hours

BFAW students participate in the BFAW Thesis Reading in their final spring semester; those students who demonstrate a visual art practice may also apply to exhibit in the fall semester BFA Thesis Exhibition. BFAW students collaboratively conceptualize, edit and produce an annual publication in the Writing Program’s own BookLab, in addition to producing many other independent print, web and performance-based projects.

The information below updates twice a week--it is possible that changes may occur between updates. Up-to-the-minute information for enrolled students can always be found at PeopleSoft Self-Service.