Good writers and communicators are needed everywhere in the workplace now as never before. The demand increases as fewer individuals attend to the written word as a vital tool. As a vice president of a major insurance company recently said, Send us people who can write well and speak well. We can teach them the machines they need to know.”   St. Andrews was one of the first schools in the country to implement a Bachelor of Fine Arts program in Creative Writing.

To study English or Creative Writing is to comprehend and identify with a vital part of human society. At St. Andrews, we offer students the opportunity to engage in ideas which have shaped a culture through the study of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry and drama. By reading and discussing a wide variety of literature, students gain a broad historical perspective as well as critical skills and cultural awareness needed in a global community.

Brunnenburg Castle

Brunnenburg Castle, Italy. A semester-long study abroad opportunity.

St. Andrews English or Creative Writing major is unique since it can be designed to accommodate a wide range of interests, career goals, and post-graduate plans. Opportunities commonly arise for students to study abroad in Italy, participate in internships, conduct research, and enroll in guided independent studies courses. While the student to faculty ratio is 10:1, students are given personal attention emphasizing writing skills, critical thinking skills and verbal skills. This personal attention given from renowned faculty members is rare at the undergraduate level.

Resident faculty in Creative Writing include prize-winning fiction writer Ted Wojtasik and prize-winning poet Beth Copeland.

The AWP, an international organization for creative writing at colleges and universities, advocates the following for an excellent undergraduate program in Creative Writing: “Because a writer must first become a voracious and expert reader before he or she can master a difficult art, a strong undergraduate program emphasizes a wide range of study in literature and other disciplines to provide students with the foundation they need to become resourceful writers—resourceful in techniques, styles, models, ideas, and subject matter.”

So there you have it. St. Andrews has a terrific undergraduate program in Creative Writing that meets all the requirements outlined in the Associated Writing Programs’ criteria for excellence.


Reading Between the Stacks

The goal of an undergraduate program is to teach students how to read critically as writers and to give students the practice of writing frequently so that, by creating their own works, they may apply what they have learned about the elements of literature. A successful undergraduate program accomplishes all this through a rigorous and diverse curriculum, through excellent support for students, through the administration’s effective management, and through the institution’s extracurricular activities, general assets, and infrastructure.

St. Andrews has all that and more including the Writers’ Forum, a reading series, featuring students reading their own work as well as professional writers: visiting writers have included Richard Blanco, Dana Gioia, Marjory Wentworth, Shelby Stephenson, Jaki Shelton Green, Anthony Abbott, and many more.

A St. Andrews student also has the opportunity to work in the St. Andrews University Press Office to learn the intricacies of a small publishing house, to be the host of the Writers’ Forum, or to be the student editor of our literary journal Gravity Hill.


Click Here to learn more about the Creative Writing and English curriculum.