The UBC Creative Writing Major program is unique, offering undergraduate apprentice writers in their third year or beyond the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in an advanced, self-contained studio program.
We take a limited number of students each year, basing admissions primarily on evaluation of a portfolio of original writing.
As a Major in Creative Writing, you will cover a range of writing genres in depth. You work and learn in small genre-based writing workshops, guided by faculty who are themselves published and working writers, alongside peers who are as committed and engaged as you in the process of becoming a writer. This active, collaborative and highly participatory learning environment builds skills and confidence, equipping you for a writing future, and beyond.
While building your own identity, personality and skills as a writer and adding strong new material to your portfolio, you will also develop invaluable skills in peer-working, collaborative communication and creative problem solving, skills employers love.
You will graduate with a grounding in the professional standards and expectations for your chosen genres – screen, stage, fiction, comics, and more – equipping you to work in those fields.
All CRWR 400 courses are dedicated to the Major, allowing us to offer a focused and closed studio program. The studio is the writing workshop; your original writing and that of your peers will comprise the principal text and subject for discussion in all workshop courses. Our expectation is that this material will be of high quality and interest, showing exemplary and new directions in technique that can be shared and studied.
To earn this degree, you must complete 36 credits in 400 level CRWR workshop courses, across at least four genres, plus completing the other elective courses and credits needed to meet your specific UBC degree requirements. This takes a minimum of two years; the demands of the workshop limit students to 9 workshop credits per term, and all 36 credits must be earned within the Major.
We welcome applications from current UBC students and from others; however, external applicants must have applied to UBC for admission to be considered for the BFA program. The deadline for UBC application is in mid-January each year.
Admission to the Major is by application only, and restricted to students about to enter at least their third undergraduate year, as formally determined by UBC Vancouver. Only those with formal third year standing can be enrolled into the Major. This is an official policy requirement and can’t be set aside.
If you are eligible to apply, you will submit a portfolio-based application to the program, through an online form. The application window is only open for a short period, beginning in January, and admits students to our Major for the subsequent Winter Session – for instance, students who applied in early 2023 were admitted as Majors for the 23W academic year, and started their studies in September 2023. There is only one application cycle per year.
As there are limited places available, this is a highly competitive process, and one with unique and distinct criteria and requirements. If you are interested in applying, or learning more, you should carefully read the Guidelines for Prospective CRWR Majors, which gives the most up-to-date, detailed and precise information.
The Guidelines explain how standing is determined, and give details for those outside UBC interested in applying, as well as anyone interested in applying this Major to a Double Major program. It also contains detailed information on how to put together your portfolio for submission.
External applicants, please note – you must apply to UBC as well as directly to the program, and UBC admission deadlines precede our programs deadline.
The program cannot make exceptions for students who fail to follow the guidelines, and all applications are covered by the terms set out in those guidelines.