English Department

Requirements for the Creative Writing Concentration English Major

Effective Fall 2020. If you started Reed before Fall 2020, see English Major Requirements

Creative Writing with Foreign Literature Emphasis

  1. At least four total units of creative writing courses, one (or more) in each genre (poetry, prose). Three units must be completed before the senior year. Two units must be at the 300 or 400 level.
  2. Two units of 200-level English courses in different genres.
  3. At least four units of 300- or 400-level Reed English courses (study abroad courses are not applicable).
  4. Two of the six units (in #2 and #3) above must be in literature prior to 1900, one of which must be in literature prior to 1700.
  5. One semester of the junior seminar.
  6. Junior qualifying examination.
  7. Two units in foreign literature not in translation (also fulfills a division requirement).
  8. English 470. (Note: in the senior year, student may not take creative writing courses in the same genre as their thesis.)
  9. If a student satisfies all requirements of both the critical and creative tracks in the major, they must choose to propose three creative or three critical thesis topics (i.e., not both).

OR

Creative Writing with Cultural Emphasis

  1. At least four units of creative writing courses, one (or more) in each genre (poetry, prose). Three units must be completed before senior year. Two units must be at the 300 or 400 level.
  2. Two units of 200-level English courses in different genres.
  3. At least four units of 300- or 400-level Reed English courses (study abroad courses are not applicable).
  4. Two of the six units (in #2 and #3) above must be in literature prior to 1900, one of which must be in literature prior to 1700.
  5. One semester of the junior seminar.
  6. Junior qualifying examination.
  7. Two units in 200-level humanities (or, by petition, courses that address questions of cultural history relevant to the student’s major.)
  8. English 470. (Note: in the senior year, student may not take creative writing courses in the same genre as their thesis.)
  9. If a student satisfies all requirements of both the critical and creative tracks in the major, they must choose to propose three creative or three critical thesis topics (i.e., not both).

Note: In addition, two units in literature in translation are required to meet part of the divisional requirements.

In consultation with their academic advisers, students majoring in English should plan to take courses from a range of genres, topics, and periods within the department. The department strongly recommends that all majors take at least one course in each of the principal literary genres: poetry, drama, and fiction.

Declaring a Major

Students may declare a major (or the intention to major) in English at any time, but College regulations require that students MUST declare a major once they have completed 16 or more units. If a student is enrolled in courses the completion of which would bring the student's total number of units to 16 or more, the student will not be allowed to register for subsequent semesters until s/he declares a major. (Students who transfer with 16 or more units must declare the major before the end of their first semester at Reed.) The major shall be declared by filing with the Registrar's Office an approved Declaration of Major form, indicating the completion of the required introductory work and outlining the remainder of the program to be taken in order to achieve graduation. The Department will review the records of all newly declared juniors and advise them whether the proposed program of study is satisfactory, or whether certain course changes are required. All upper class students must have as their official faculty advisor a member of the English Department.

Thesis Colloquim

Typically, theses are advised by Creative Writing faculty. A Thesis Colloquium in Prose and Poetry, respectively, will be instituted if thesis numbers of five or more are approved. Thesis colloquium includes: group meetings revolving around assigned readings and technical discussions; one-on-one meetings at regular, bi-weekly intervals; and individual editing and feedback.  This culminates in a Creative Thesis document (creative work and afterword).