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Where Can I Take Writing Classes in Washington, DC?

Learn about writing classes in Washington, DC. See degree and specialization options, program requirements, and course offerings so that you can make an informed decision about your education.

Are you an aspiring writer in Washington, DC? You can hone your skills by getting a bachelor's or master's degree at a university in the area.

What You Need to Know

Writing classes are typically offered as part of a bachelor's or master's degree program offered by universities. Writing degree programs may include further specializations, such as creative writing, literature or teacher education. Some writing courses may also be offered to non-degree students at some universities. Bachelor's degree programs generally take four years to complete full time and master's degree programs take two years. Read on to learn more about writing programs offered in the Washington, DC area and see if any will fit your needs.

Undergraduate Writing Classes in Washington, DC

American University

American University is a private, Methodist-affiliated school located in the nation's capital. Through the College of Arts & Sciences, you can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Literature with an option to minor in cinema studies, literature or creative writing. The creative writing program requires a total of 24 credit hours to complete and includes classes in fiction, poetry and nonfiction writing. In addition, the school offers a College Writing Program that can help you make the transition from high school to college. Space permitting and depending on the semester, non-degree students can also take classes in college writing, creative writing, composition and poetry.

  • Program: Bachelor of Arts in Literature/Minor in Creative Writing
  • Specialization Areas: Creative writing
  • Program Length: 4 years (full-time) for undergraduate program, 15 weeks per course
  • Tuition: $48,459 per year (2018-2019)
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or its equivalent
  • Requirements: Minimum 16 college preparatory courses, including 4 credits in English, 3 credits in mathematics, 2 credits in laboratory science, 2 credits in foreign language and 2 credits in social sciences, letters of recommendation, SAT or ACT test scores
  • School Type: Private (not-for-profit), undergraduate and graduate; around 14,311 students (8,287 undergraduates)

Georgetown University

The oldest Catholic and Jesuit postsecondary school in the United States, the main campus of Georgetown University is located in a historic neighborhood in Washington, DC. The college's English department offers three Bachelor of Arts degrees: American studies, comparative literature and English. Students also have the option to minor in English. Coursework for the English major begins in the sophomore year and includes core classes and electives in creative, fiction and poetry writing; American, British and world literature and cultural studies. Non-degree students may be able to take a course or two in English or writing through Georgetown University's Special Student Program.

  • Program: Bachelor of Arts
  • Specialization Areas: English, comparative literature, American studies
  • Program Length: 4 years (full-time) for undergraduate program, 15 weeks per course
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or its equivalent
  • Requirements: SAT or ACT test scores, academic letter of recommendation
  • Tuition: $54,104 per year (2018-2019)
  • School Type: 4-year, private; about 19,204 students (7,459 undergraduates)

The George Washington University

The George Washington University is an international research institution, and its Foggy Bottom campus is located just a short walk from the White House and the U.S. Capitol Building. Through the English department at the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, you can pursue a Bachelor of Arts in English with either a major or a minor in creative writing. The major requires 39 credits of coursework, including 15 credits in creative writing and a fiction or poetry manuscript completed under the supervision of a creative writing staff member. If you are not ready to apply to a formal program, the university will allow you take creative, fiction and poetry writing classes as a non-degree student.

  • Program: Bachelor of Arts in English and Creative Writing
  • Specialization Areas: Major or minor in creative writing
  • Program Length: 4 years (full-time) for undergraduate program, 15 weeks per course
  • Tuition: $55,230 per year (2018-2019)
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or its equivalent
  • Requirements: SAT or ACT test scores, two letters of recommendation, including one from a teacher and one from a counselor
  • School Type: 4-year, private; about 28,172 students (12,546 undergraduates)

University of the District of Columbia

The University of the District of Columbia is an urban land-grant university and the only fully accredited public postsecondary school in the nation's capital. Included in the 45-credit-hour required core for the Bachelor of Arts degree are a number of language and literature classes that are designed to help you acquire and improve your analytical, research and writing skills. In addition to an introductory class in critical writing, the core curriculum offers classes in English language structure and history, advanced grammar and topics in American, African-American and British literature. If you are interested in teaching as well as writing, the school offers a teacher education program option.

  • Program: Bachelor of English
  • Specialization Areas: Teacher education
  • Program Length: 4 years (full-time) for undergraduate program, 15 weeks per course
  • Tuition: $5,888 per year for DC residents, $12,416 per year for non-residents (2018-2019)
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED, completion of a college preparatory program
  • Requirements: SAT, ACT or ACCUPLACER test scores
  • School Type: Public, undergraduate and graduate; about 4,244 students (3,867 undergraduate)

Graduate Writing Classes in Washington, DC

American University

The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, offered through American University's literature department, is a 48-credit-hour program that includes writing workshops, literature courses and a thesis. In a community-based learning environment, you will have the opportunity to pursue one or several literary genres, read and comment on the work of your peers and develop your own writing technique and style. Through the school's Visiting Writers Series, you might also get the chance to study and interact with writers and editors in small-group workshops, post-reading parties and dinners. Other creative writing activities that might be of interest include Folio, a student-run, national literary journal, fellowships and teaching internships.

  • Program: Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
  • Specialization Areas: Creative writing
  • Program Length: 15 weeks per course, 2 years of full-time study
  • Tuition: $31,446 per year (2018-2019)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree (literature preferred)
  • Requirements: Writing samples, 2 letters of recommendation
  • School Type: Private (not-for-profit), undergraduate and graduate; around 14,311 students (6,024 graduate students)

Georgetown University

The English department at Georgetown University is one of a limited number of nationally ranked universities to offer a stand-alone graduate degree in English. While designed primarily for students who are thinking of pursuing a Ph.D. or who are interested in teaching English at the postsecondary level, the master's degree program in English is a flexible, literature-based program that can also be helpful if you are planning a career in writing, editing or another related field that requires advanced communication, research and analytical skills. A total of 30 credits are needed to complete the degree, and the program culminates in either a curricular option with a capstone course or a research thesis.

  • Program: Master of Arts in English
  • Specialization Areas: Cultural, literature and media studies; teaching
  • Program Length: Approximately 2 or more years of full-time study, 15 weeks per course
  • Tuition: $50,012 per year (2018-2019)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree
  • Requirements: GRE scores, statement of purpose, three letters of recommendation, writing sample
  • School Type: Private (not-for-profit), undergraduate and graduate; around 19,204 students (about 11,745 graduate students)

In summary, you can take writing classes while getting a four-year bachelor's degree from American, Georgetown and George Washington Univresities, or UDC; American University also offers a master's degree in Creative Writing, and Georgetown offers a master's in English.