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Ba creative writing online

Creative Writing Degree Online Bachelor of Arts Major

If you have a passion for storytelling and want to pursue a career using your writing talents, the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Creative Writing and English program can help you get on the right path.

You’ll develop your writing skills alongside students from across the country, who represent an incredible range of voices and experiences. Together, you’ll participate in workshops, producing work and presenting it to your peers for commentary and discussion.

Additional courses focus on the publishing industry and provide students the chance to reflect and build their writer’s platform. With a catalog of courses in literature, students will also use literary analysis to inform their imaginative application of storytelling elements.

After advanced study in our creative writing program, graduates will have essential writing and critical-thinking skill sets that can translate to a wide range of professions, including journalism, content writing, editing, copywriting, publishing, filmmaking, communications and more.

Learn how to:

  • Analyze and appreciate literary form, genre, structure and style
  • Employ the conventions and techniques of genres to shape your work
  • Create advanced work using skills developed during your workshop training

“Everything I learned during my degree journey added to my understanding of how to write and boosted my creativity,” said Aubrie Arnold ’20, a graduate of the creative writing program. “I now feel like I can and will write novels – I’m working on that now – and I feel like I have the correct tools to make those novels successful.”

When you choose to study creative writing at SNHU, you have the option to stay with the general track – which gives you the flexibility to study a variety of genres – or you can opt to add one of our 4 concentrations to your degree: fiction, nonfiction, poetry or screenwriting.

Concentration Options

Aspiring authors and storytellers who are looking for a way to gain inspiration and foster their imaginations will find the online Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and English with a concentration in Fiction Writing to be the perfect balance of craft and critical analysis.

This BA program emphasizes the craft of fiction writing and helps you develop an appreciation for all forms of fiction while honing your writing skills and philosophy of composition. You’ll gain insights into publishing technologies and the industry as you enhance your fundamental knowledge of fiction writing’s most crucial elements.

This comprehensive program gives you a powerful understanding of plot, character development, narrative voice and other mechanics of creative writing.

Studying fiction writing at Southern New Hampshire University doesn’t just focus on developing your skill and technique. This program also gives you the opportunity to explore your creative boundaries, perfect your craft and dive deeper into your preferred genre. From fantasy to sci-fi and mystery to young adult, you can embrace the style of writing that you’re drawn to and bring your original stories to life.

The format of this BA program encourages collaboration and direct interaction with faculty and peers. You’ll also have the chance to get published and learn from experienced authors through The Penmen Review, our own online journal for writers.

Nicholas Patterson, a student in the fiction writing concentration, has found peer interaction through writing workshops to be a favorite part of his program.

“I have learned tons of new skills,” he said, “but most importantly learned how to grow from constructive criticism.”

Career outlook:

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median 2020 salary for writers and authors was $67,120. 1

The BLS notes that a degree and publication is typically required for a full-time writing position. Writers who concentrate in fiction have career opportunities in a range of professions, including content writing, editing, copywriting, publishing, communications and more.

Courses may include:

  • New Media: Writing and Publishing
  • Fiction Writing Workshop
  • Intermediate Fiction Writing Workshop
  • Advanced Fiction Writing Workshop

Discover your niche with a nonfiction writing degree online at Southern New Hampshire University. Our online Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and English with a concentration in Nonfiction delves into a wide variety of styles and subjects – everything from the personal essay to autobiography, memoir, travel writing and magazine features.

Our creative writing online program can help you combine research and reflection with compelling storytelling. You’ll also gain insights into publishing technologies and the industry, explore your creative boundaries and develop a unique voice.

A solid foundation in the broader scope of creative writing is critical to the craft of nonfiction writing. In our comprehensive nonfiction writing program, you’ll acquire a powerful understanding of research, narrative voice and other mechanics of creative writing. The online nonfiction writing degree program’s format encourages collaboration and ongoing interaction with faculty and peers.

You’ll also have the chance to get published and learn from experienced authors through The Penmen Review, our own online journal for writers.

Career outlook:

The median 2020 salary for writers and authors was $67,120 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 1

Nonfiction writers can publish in magazines, newspapers, and literary journals, as well as find career opportunities in digital content writing, social media/communications, copywriting and editing.

Courses may include:

  • New Media: Writing and Publishing
  • Nonfiction Writing Workshop
  • Intermediate Nonfiction Writing Workshop
  • Advanced Nonfiction Writing Workshop

The online Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing with a concentration in Poetry degree program is an opportunity for aspiring poets to find inspiration, engagement and creative collaboration with peers and faculty alike. Our specialized program enables you to hone your craft and unleash your imagination, helping you create imagery in verse.

While a poetry degree is valuable in and of itself, it can also prepare you for many professional paths. You can explore careers in creative writing, advertising, journalism, publishing and advertising copywriting. Southern New Hampshire University also offers an online Master of Arts in English and Creative Writing with a concentration in Poetry.

As a student in our poetry degree online program, you’ll begin taking writing courses during your first year. You’ll also have the chance to get published and learn from experienced authors through The Penmen Review, our own online journal for writers.

Career outlook:

Career paths with a BA in creative writing include work as a creative writer, advertising copywriter, journalist, publisher or poet. Writers have also found careers in communications, digital content writing and editing.

Courses may include:

  • New Media: Writing and Publishing
  • Poetry Writing Workshop
  • Intermediate Poetry Writing Workshop
  • Advanced Poetry Writing Workshop

Whether you have dreams of writing blockbusters, developing documentaries or working with other writers on sitcoms, the online BA in Creative Writing and English with a concentration in Screenwriting is an excellent way to hone your writing skills and put your passion to work.

The classes in this specialized online screenwriting degree are based on a comprehensive study of creative writing, with a special focus on story structure, character development and the visual medium of film. You’ll have the opportunity to explore all of the forms that screenwriting takes – feature-length and short films, television episodes and miniseries, commercial and internet-based video.

While creative writing is at the core of this program, your screenwriting classes will place a special emphasis on visual storytelling. Designed by experienced and distinguished faculty, this creative writing program will give you a powerful understanding of how story, character, theme, action, visuals and dialogue intertwine to create a compelling moment in time.

The format for the screenwriting degree online program encourages collaboration and direct interaction with faculty and peers. You’ll also have the chance to get published and learn from experienced authors through The Penmen Review, our own online journal for writers.

Career outlook:

Blockbuster movies, independent films and shorts, commercials, television dramas and sitcoms all rest their success on the backbone of their scripts.

Screenwriters have lots of options when it comes to navigating their careers. You could pursue independent work and make your stories come to life – or you could develop scripts for specific projects that need a writer’s touch.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, writers and authors earned a median salary of $67,120 in 2020. 1

Courses may include:

  • New Media: Writing and Publishing
  • Introduction to Screenwriting Workshop
  • Intermediate Screenwriting Workshop
  • Advanced Screenwriting Workshop

Career Outlook

If exploring creative careers sounds appealing, an online creative writing degree can prepare you for a variety of positions, including author, advertising copywriter, editor, ghostwriter, journalist, playwright, screenwriter and speechwriter.

The BLS notes that writers and authors held about 143,200 jobs in 2020. 1 The largest employers of writers and authors were:

  • Self-employed workers: 68%
  • Professional, scientific and technical services: 9%
  • Information: 8%
  • Performing arts, spectator sports and related industries: 3%
  • Religious, grantmaking, civic, professional or similar: 2%

And with today’s technology, it’s easy for writers and authors to work from just about anywhere as long as they have internet access – meaning jobs aren’t limited to major cities anymore.

In addition to the writing skills you’ll develop in a creative writing degree program, you could also pick up a handful of other career skills 1 the workforce desperately needs, like:

  • Adaptability: Adapt to updates in software platforms and programs, including various content management systems (CMS).
  • Creativity: Develop interesting plots, characters or ideas for new stories.
  • Critical-thinking skills: Understand concepts that must be conveyed through writing.
  • Determination: Gain the focus to meet deadlines.
  • Persuasion: Convince others to feel a certain way about a good or service – especially if you choose a career in advertising.
  • Social perceptiveness: Develop an understanding of how readers respond to and connect with your work.

“I came [to SNHU] originally to have more freedoms and explore my creativity in a new environment,” said Nicholas Patterson, Class of 2022. “This program has given me that and more – this program has enabled me to improve myself in every facet of writing, from brainstorming a new idea to learning about genres and even how to market myself and my writing,” he said.

“This [program] not only allowed me to explore my creativity through writing, it taught me the fundamentals of the industry and how to pursue a career in it.”

Start Your Journey Toward an Online Creative Writing Degree


With no set class meeting times, you can learn on your schedule and access online course materials 24/7.


Take advantage of some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation, plus financial aid for those who qualify. We also make it easy to transfer to SNHU by accepting up to 90 credits from your previous institution.


Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution with over 100,000 graduates across the country. SNHU is institutionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), which advocates for institutional improvement and public assurance of quality.

Recently, SNHU has been nationally recognized for leading the way toward more innovative, affordable and achievable education:

  • “Most Innovative” regional university honors from U.S. News & World Report each year since 2015
  • A $1 million grant from to explore soft skills assessments for high-need youth
  • Recognition as a 2017 Digital Learning Innovator by the Online Learning Consortium


At Southern New Hampshire University, you’ll have access to a powerful network of more than 200,000 students, alumni and staff that can help support you long after graduation. Our instructors offer relevant, real-world expertise to help you understand and navigate the field. Plus, with our growing, nationwide alumni network, you’ll have the potential to tap into a number of internship and career opportunities.


You’ll have the chance to share your work with the vibrant creative writing community at SNHU:

  • The Penmen Review, our online journal that accepts submissions 12 times a year
  • Word for Word, a bimonthly livestream event featuring published writers reading from their work
  • Fall Fiction Contest, a short-story competition that offers SNHU scholarships among its prizes
  • Student Writers Spotlight, a livestream reading showcasing the best of SNHU’s creative writing students

96.5% of students would recommend SNHU. 2 Discover why SNHU may be right for you.

Part of our mission to expand access to quality higher education means removing the barriers that may stand between you and your degree. That’s why you can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials.

Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our 6 (8-week) undergraduate terms.

Simply contact an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options, answer all your questions and walk you through the application process. Start by:

  • Completing a free undergraduate application
  • Providing previous institutions attended – so we can retrieve transcripts for you at no cost

Test scores are not required as part of your application.

Courses & Curriculum

Southern New Hampshire University is home to one of the largest creative writing programs in the country.

Our unique online creative writing degree allows you to take writing courses from the start. The program features 4 writing workshops, including an advanced workshop in which you’ll complete a polished piece in the genre of your choice.

The courses in our BA in Creative Writing can help develop your talent for creating stories, novels and characters and turning them into finished, professional pieces. Whether you choose the general track or a specific genre, you’ll learn from published writers with valuable industry insights.

In addition to the courses and electives within the major, SNHU’s online writing degree program includes 36 credits of free electives. This leaves you with room to choose courses or a minor in an area of study that you’d like to write about – like history or psychology – or the opportunity to complement your studies with career skills, such as graphic design or marketing. The amount of free electives also makes our creative writing degree an attractive option for transfer students.

Throughout your program, you’ll learn from published writers, professional editors, publishers and established literary critics – subject-matter experts who can help guide you to improving your craft.

As a bonus at SNHU, you can choose to further your study of creative writing with one of our popular graduate programs:

B.A. English, Creative Writing Emphasis

The Creative Writing Program balances writing practice and literary study in the context of a liberal arts education. Students work closely with our faculty of published writers and often have the opportunity to work with other renowned writers as part of the SMSU Visiting Writers Series. The flexibility of the program allows students to choose courses, which suit their needs, goals, and interests. Specific courses are chosen by students with the advice and approval of their advisors and the Director of Creative Writing.

Cost & Financial Aid

  • Online tuition rates are affordable and banded for full time student enrollments.
  • SMSU offers in-state tuition to nearly everyone. No out-state rates. Reciprocity rates may apply.
  • U.S. Citizens & eligible noncitizens can apply for federal aid with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Minnesota residents completing the FAFSA will also be considered for Minnesota State Grant and Federal Direct loan funds as well.
  • SMSU offers a variety of Scholarships that students can apply for!

Admission Requirements

  • First Year Students
  • Transfer Students

Students wishing to be considered for admission to Southwest Minnesota State University must present the following information:

  • Completed application for admission and a non-refundable application fee of $20.
  • Official high school transcripts(s).

Note: Final high school transcripts, complete with date of graduation, must be submitted to the Office of Admission prior to enrollment.

Transfer students wishing to be considered for admission to Southwest Minnesota State University must present the following information:

  • Completed Application for Admission and non-refundable application fee of $20.
  • Official transcripts from each post-secondary institution attended outside the MinnState System, transcripts must be sent directly from each institution to the Southwest Minnesota State University Office of Admission.

Online Student Services
Supporting Your Success!

4-Year Mustang Academic Plans (MAP)

Bachelor of Arts: English, Creative Writing Emphasis

The purpose of the Mustang Academic Plan (MAP) is to provide navigational direction or a MAP for each academic degree. The MAPs will be used to support current students during academic advising as they create their individual academic plans. The Mustang Advising Plans (MAPs) will also be used to assist potential students and transfer students as they seek program details to make decisions about becoming a future Mustang.