- Linfield College

Requirements for Majors and Minors

The literature and creative writing majors are available as bachelor of arts degrees only, as defined in the section on degree requirements for all majors in this course catalog.

For a major in literature: 42 credits including 240, 241, 250, 275, 279, 285, 385, 479, 486; one upper division British literature class (e.g. 340, 341, 343, 344, 345, 350, 351, 365); one course addressing U.S. pluralisms (e.g. 270, 285, 385); one course addressing global pluralisms (e.g. 260, 300, 301, 305, 345, 365). One creative writing course may be counted toward the literature major. Up to 2 credits in 120 may be counted toward the major.

For a minor in literature: 20 credits, to include at least one methods class (250 or 275); one historical introduction (241 or 285); and a 300-level course. Students may include one creative writing course in the minor.

For a major in creative writing: 42 credits consisting of 24 credits in creative writing and 16 in literature. Creative writing: 200 or 289; 279; 421; 479; 485; 12 additional credits chosen from 316, 317, 318, 319 (each repeatable once for credit). Literature: 250; a course in US literary traditions (either 270, 285, 304, 385 or an alternate approved by the director of creative writing); 2 additional literature classes or a course from another field that supports the student’s creative writing interests (e.g. mass communications, art, philosophy, anthropology, or history). Students must submit a formal Intent to Declare document to the program director before declaring the creative writing major; this becomes the first document in the 279 portfolio.

For a minor in creative writing: 21 credits, including: 200 or 289, 12 other credits chosen from 316, 317, 318, 319, 421, and 485 (for 485, instructor consent required one semester before beginning the project), 389 (minor portfolio); one literature class, chosen from 250, 270, 300, 301, 304, 305, 307, 325, 330, and 385. Minors are strongly recommended to take literature courses (excluding 315 and 327) in addition to the one required above. On-campus students will choose an advisor from among creative writing faculty before declaring the minor. They will normally register for the portfolio course, 389, with the advisor as the instructor, in the final semester of study. OCE students also will register for 389 in the final semester of study and will consult their OCE advisor to choose an appropriate instructor.

For Oregon Preliminary Teaching Licensure in Language Arts, a student must complete the Linfield Teacher Education Program requirements. In order to complete these requirements, a student must begin taking education courses no later than his/her sophomore year. The student must be advised by an Education Department faculty member each semester prior to registration.

Student Outcomes

In successfully completing a major in Literature, students will have:

  • a clearer understanding of the ways literature at once articulates and reflects social, political, and cultural contexts;
  • deeper aesthetic appreciation of poems, drama, fiction, nonfiction, and/or films as manifestations of imagination;
  • familiarity with the methods, theories, and issues of literary criticism;
  • the ability to advocate critical responses in classroom discussion and to listen to and consider the critical analyses of others; 
  • the ability to analyze narrative and literary motifs and to present those understandings in critical papers.

Goals for the Creative Writing Major

In completing courses for the creative writing major, students should develop and deepen the ability to:

  • conduct close reading of a variety of literary texts, seeking a deep and broad understanding of the range of worldwide literary precedent;
  • name literary techniques across the genres, and make use of them both in analyzing the work of others and writing original texts;
  • compose, revise, edit and share original work in several genres, seeking a distinct style and distinctive, personal material;
  • give, receive, and make use of pertinent, constructive critique;
  • display curiosity about literary questions and pursue well founded answers to those questions, using textual and other evidence, in critical essays or reviews;
  • interrogate and develop one’s own imagination and habits of mind and craft within an often messy, challenging and rewarding writing process;
  • generate, revise, effectively order and reflect upon a sustained capstone project of original work;
  • display a command of standard English in writing, with the skill to address various goals and audiences.

In successfully completing a major in Creative Writing, students have:

  • Writing skills in a variety of literary genres and familiarity with the craft of writing in its formal aspects.
  • Substantial experience with group discussion and writing work-shops and the ability to benefit from workshop discussion.
  • Broad familiarity with literature, with emphasis on English and American but not excluding world literature, and recognition of the influence of literary precursors on contemporary writing.
  • The ability to critique a manuscript-in-progress in a constructive way and apply editing skills at each stage of the writing process.
  • Familiarity with various stages of the writing process, from gathering of material and free writing to revision and completion of a final polished manuscript.
  • The ability to complete successfully a polished, sustained manuscript in the genre of a student's choice and to present that manuscript in an appropriate format.