As someone who is an English major solely because I love creative writing (and there wasn’t a Creative Writing minor when I first enrolled at UCLA), I feel it is my duty to announce that, as of this fall quarter, UCLA is offering a Creative Writing minor. Previously, the university only offered a concentration in Creative Writing for English majors, where students would either specialize in poetry or fiction by applying for and completing three upper-division creative writing workshops. The catch was that in order to complete the concentration, you had to be an English major (and take a whole lot of courses with more literary analysis than creative writing). Now, for students solely interested in creative writing, you no longer need to take extensive courses on Chaucer or Shakespeare to study creative writing.
The minor is quite simple: practically the only non-creative writing course necessary is an English 4 course (which is basically an introductory, lower-division critical writing course), and the rest are elective courses and creative writing workshops in your chosen “core” genre, either poetry or short story. You must also complete a capstone, either through a capstone English seminar, an internship or a directed research or creative writing project.
Creative writing seminars at UCLA are incredible, and I honestly think everyone should take one if they’re even slightly interested in creative writing (I even wrote an article about it). Not only are the professors extremely helpful and encouraging, but the opportunity to discuss and get feedback on creative writing with other students in a warm, welcoming environment is unparalleled. For UCLA students of all majors, from South Campus to North Campus, the Creative Writing minor provides an opportunity to take these courses without feeling out of place because you are not an English major.
That said, for English majors like me who are particularly interested in Creative Writing, the minor is a super easy addition to the English major. Many of the courses overlap with the English major, including the required lower-division courses and some of the upper-division electives. Plus, the minor provides the opportunity to highlight your engagement in creative writing on your diploma, whereas the concentration did not.
From Entrepreneurship to Digital Humanities to Creative Writing, UCLA continues to expand and diversify its catalog of minors, enabling students of diverse majors to explore their interests beyond their core class schedule. As a Creative Writing enthusiast, I am especially excited about this opportunity to focus entirely on the subject through hands-on writing experience, close mentoring with professors and collaboration with fellow students. I highly recommend anyone interested in Creative Writing to take a class to see if the minor might be for you!