Course Descriptions


Creative Writing Workshops (15 units, required)

HUM 229 CW Children’s literature (1-3 units)

This course studies and produces literature for children, ranging from writing texts for picture books to drafting short stories and longer fiction for young adult readers. Focus of the course will be determined by the instructor. May be repeated as topic varies. 

HUM 230 CW Fiction (1-3 units)

Through both reading and writing, this class delves into considerations of elements of “style” and “voice,” exploring character development, plot, dialogue, time, place, stream of consciousness, and suspension of disbelief. Type of writing ranges from short pieces of fiction to chapters for novels. Method of instruction also varies with the instructor.

HUM 231 CW Poetry (1-3 units)

In this workshop students will write their own poems with guidance, prompts, and forms given by the instructor. They will share their work with classmates for constructive criticism.

HUM 232 CW Writing for Screen and Television (1-3 units)

An introduction to the craft of script writing for an original motion-picture screenplay or teleplay, with emphasis on story structure, character, and the language of film. Students study produced screenplays and pilots; write exercises in character development, scene construction, dialogue, and description. Students are expected to complete first act of an original screenplay or a treatment of two acts of an original television pilot by the end of the semester.

HUM 233 CW Non-Fiction Writing (1-3 units)

A form of non-fiction, essay writing was considered high art in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Today, it’s nearly a lost art. Students are re-introduced to the essay and other non-fiction forms that include memoir, journals, and letters.

HUM 234 CW Advanced Screenwriting (1-3 units)

For those students who have taken CW232 and would like to continue their writing in an intensive workshop, this course assumes knowledge of screenplay basics such as screenplay format, act structure, and treatments. Students will make significant progress in completing a screenplay or television pilot during the semester. Prerequisite: CW232 or permission of the instructor.

HUM 246 CW Playwriting (1-3 units)

An introduction to the craft of writing for the stage, based on the elements of the traditional stage. Students will draw upon classical forms to create plays that are suitable for the modern theatre.

HUM 247 CW Advanced Playwriting (1-3 units)

Students are expected to have some knowledge of the history and elements of Classical and traditional drama.  They will draw upon those forms to create plays that are marketable in today’s theatre. Prerequisite: CW246 or permission of the instructor.

HUM 248 CW Special Topics in Creative Writing (1-3 units)

May be repeated as topic varies.

Elective Courses (12 units, required)

Elective courses will be chosen from courses offered in the MA Humanities Program, at least 3 of which must be in English or American literature; comparative literature; literature in modern or classical languages; cultural studies; or history.

Professional Development Courses (3 units, required)

HUM 299A CW Approaches to Teaching (1 unit)

Provides instruction and practice in pedagogical method. Students act as Teaching Assistants during the term under the guidance of an assigned lead professor. Students also read and discuss articles on pedagogy and submit an essay at the end of the semester, covering questions posed by the instructor. In addition, successful completion of the course depends upon a positive report submitted by the lead professor. The class meets at the beginning of the semester for Teacher Training and on the final weekend for half a day. During the semester, students meet on teaching weekends with the instructor for one-hour lunches to discuss practices and issues that arise in their classrooms.

HUM 299B CW Internship (1-6 units)

The internship is designed to teach students to apply what they have learned in their Creative Writing Program to a “real world” setting. On-site experience is required, and the number of hours will determine the number of units earned. Development of a professional portfolio, including a positive report submitted by the supervisor, and a report on the experience are required at the completion of the course. Internship is selected and mutually agreed upon by student and professor.

HUM 299C CW Publication (1 unit)

Thesis Courses

HUM 296A CW Thesis (3 units, required)

HUM 296B CW Thesis (3 units, required)

Required for completion of the degree is submission of a publication-ready, book-length manuscript in one genre—poetry, short story, novel, memoir, non-fiction essays, screenplay, and teleplay—closely edited and refined with the assistance of the student’s Special Committee.  For information on policies for submitting a thesis proposal and thesis approval, contact the Creative Writing Program Office.