BA in Liberal Studies: Creative Writing
Location: AU Los Angeles
Credits for Degree: 180 quarter credits
Standard Mode of Instruction: Classroom
Standard time to completion: 36 months
The BA in Liberal Studies Program uses an interdisciplinary approach toward learning and emphasizes critical thinking, creative problem-solving, awareness of multiple perspectives, social and intercultural awareness, civic and community engagement, and an ability to connect learning to one’s lived experience. The Liberal Studies program is particularly structured to give students flexibility while designing their path to a meaningful degree. For this degree program, students can transfer in units from across a wide range of general education subjects without needing to follow a specific pattern of prerequisites. The core curriculum is recommended, rather than required, so that students can easily individualize their learning experience.
Although all students in the BA in Liberal Studies Program graduate with the same degree, students can choose an area of concentration to focus their studies. Students select a Major Area of Concentration from the following:
- Addiction Studies
- Business and Management Studies
- Creative Writing
- Liberal Studies
- Urban Studies
Students can also choose a Minor Area of Concentration in any of the above specialized areas, as well as the following:
- Child Studies
- Queer Studies
Areas of Concentration
Students must complete a minimum of 40 units and a maximum of 80 units in a Major Area of Concentration. The BA in Liberal Studies Program currently offers six Major Areas of Concentration with a wide variety of core courses, electives, internships, and independent study opportunities for each.
Note that units counted toward an Area of Concentration cannot be used to meet the domains of knowledge requirements and vice versa.
Students may also opt for a Minor Area of Concentration in any of the above-listed specialized Major Areas of Concentration, except for Liberal Studies. To earn a Minor Area of Concentration, a student must accrue at least 20 units in the concentration.
Students are encouraged to work closely with their faculty advisors as they develop degree plans appropriate to their educational and career goals. The faculty strongly recommends that at least half of the units in the student’s chosen Major or Minor Area of Concentration be upper division. Students who are not able to accrue 20 upper-division units in one of the specialized Major Areas of Concentration should opt for Liberal Studies as their Major Area of Concentration. Students are also strongly advised to take as many of the core courses in the specialized Major Area of Concentration, as listed in this catalog and as identified on the quarterly course schedule. Students who take the recommended core courses acquire a strong foundation in their chosen discipline.
The student should choose and declare the Major Area of Concentration in the first two quarters of enrollment and work closely with his or her advisor to identify internship opportunities and independent studies that will reinforce the learning in the chosen discipline. If a student has not completed 40 credits in a specialized Major Area of Concentration by the time of candidacy review, the Major Area of Concentration will be designated as Liberal Studies.
Creative Writing: Major or Minor Area of Concentration
The Creative Writing concentration encourages students to explore literary expression in order to achieve greater proficiency in their own craft. Since creative writing is a highly rigorous practice with a history of diverse conventions, methods, and forms, the concentration also encourages students to learn a critical vocabulary for talking about and reflecting on texts. Creative Writing students are encouraged to gain a strong familiarity with the literature of various genres as a means of expanding their appreciation of the complexities of language. The concentration introduces students to traditional writing concerns, such as language, form and expression, to theory and literary models, to practical concerns shared by working writers, and, through the Two Hawks Quarterly internship, to experiential learning in literary publishing. With these competencies in hand, Creative Writing students are encouraged to experiment with form by blurring the lines between traditional genres as well as working in multi-generic modes and considering alternate narratives strategies. AULA’s Creative Writing concentration is distinguished by its emphasis on the ethical import of language and story, attention to the socio-political context within which work is produced, and the role of the writer in society.
Students in the Creative Writing Concentration develop and demonstrate the following:
- The craft of writing in multiple genres. This objective encourages students to explore literary expression in order to achieve greater proficiency in their own craft as writers. The practice of writing in multiple genres introduces students to different forms of creative writing, including (but not limited to) fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, playwriting, and the blurring of genres often found in more experimental forms of creative writing.
- The ability to do a close reading of literature. This objective cultivates students’ ability to examine the craft of other writers (both historical and contemporary), looking at formal elements of the work, including the elements of language, character, story, theme, rhythm, and tone. Exposure to different styles and content often expands a writer’s own sense of voice, style, and creative interests. Identifying literary models among historical and contemporary writers can also help students begin to understand the work within a context of time, place, and culture.
- The ability to analyze writers’ roles in local and global communities. This objective calls upon students to consider the impact that creative writing has in our world. Students are encouraged to consider the importance of writers in community, society, and culture-to move toward a contextual understanding of one’s own voice in a continuum of writers. In doing so, students may consider political issues that affect writers, such as censorship, the role of activist literature, independent versus corporate publishing and bookselling, and the inclusion of previously marginalized voices in the canonization of literature. Students are also called to consider personal responsibilities in their work, such as questions of representation, identification of self in society, agency, and considerations of truth in writing.
- The ability to apply foundational skills of a creative writer. These skills include the ability to comment on the work of other writers, participate in a writing community, and apply best practices of editing and grammar. These abilities help establish the foundation for professional effectiveness and continued academic study.
Current Tuition and Fees
University Tuition and Fees
The core curriculum serves as a guide to students in the concentration for establishing a strong foundation in the history, theory, and practice of creative writing. The faculty strongly recommends that Creative Writing students take as many of the core courses as possible during their enrollment.Emphasis is on a balance between courses that focus on craft and those that focus on texts, contexts, and critiques. These courses are offered in regular rotation:
ENG 4900A , Advanced Multi-Genre Workshop in Creative Writing, is an on-going seminar that provides Creative Writing students with an opportunity to workshop their writing in a structured and supportive environment while exploring craft in poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. Students are encouraged to work in multiple genres, to press the boundaries of genre, form, intertextuality, and narrative. In workshop, students are challenged to use various approaches in critique and close reading of a text. The workshop requires permission of the creative writing faculty advisor; it can be taken multiple times for credit. LIT 4370 , Special Topics in Contemporary Literature, is designed to explore a range of topics in post-World War II literature, such as sexual politics, literary journalism, and others. Students may take this course multiple times for credit in order to sample the varying special topics offered.
Creative Writing students are also advised to take a broad range of liberal arts courses in literature, the arts, religion, philosophy, and history in addition to the courses listed above.
Creative Writing concentration students may take advantage of a broad array of internship and independent study opportunities. A number of community partners such as WriteGirl, POPS the Club and 826LA are engaged in creative writing education and literacy for underserved sectors of the local population, First Amendment advocacy, and production of public literary events such as readings and symposia. Internships in these areas provide opportunities for Creative Writing students to extend their writing practice beyond the discipline of writing into the larger community where they have the opportunity to facilitate the emergence of the voices of others. Students may also gain practical experience in the day-to-day operations of literary publication by serving on the editorial board of Two Hawks Quarterly: A Literary Uprising by the BA Students of Antioch University Los Angeles, an online journal sponsored by the Undergraduate Studies Program.
Creative Writing students may also design an array of independent studies including ongoing work on creative writing projects such as novels, memoirs, and collections of short stories, essays, and poetry. Students who have written professionally prior to their matriculation may be eligible to receive credit for college-level learning through prior learning projects. This process allows students to apply a critical, analytical lens to their own published and unpublished works of fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction and to analyze their own body of work in comparison to the work of other published writers. For each of these prior learning activities, students will select a qualified evaluator who will join them in the process of compilation and reflection.