An aspiring writer choosing a college is a lot like a child trying to make a decision in a candy store. Cliched simile aside, the number of colleges with utterly brilliant writing programs, both at the graduate and undergraduate level, is astounding.
1. Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia): Ask anyone for the best schools for writers, and Emory will inevitably emerge. With a plethora of outstanding minds flocking to and from Emory every year (be it guest lecturers, students, or alumni), it is no wonder why Emory would be a prime place for a budding writer. Emory offers extraordinary flexibility to its students; the only required course of all English majors is Poetry. E Students looking for more personal settings with professors will be happy to find that most English classes cap at 15 students, while the largest cap at 25.
2. Hamilton College (Clinton, New York): Hamilton College is known not only for its high quality coursework or wide breadth of options for English majors but also for its nationally renowned writing center. Like Emory, Hamilton College allows English majors to concentrate in either English literature or creative writing. Hamilton’s creative writing program offers courses and workshops in poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, and playwriting (in which students will write and stage a one-act play).
3. Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, Maryland): There are few programs in Johns Hopkins that aren’t among the best in the nation. Their English department boasts a long history of producing well-received and distinguished writers. While they do offer courses in creative writing, Johns Hopkins focuses much more on literary writing, critical analysis, and literature education to improve writing skills.
4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, Massachusetts): Most people wouldn’t immediately think of MIT as a great writing school given its enormous reputation for engineering, computer science, and technology. However, MIT offers an extensive and unique writing program that not only produces great writers but prepares them to be competitive in the harsh job market of English graduates. One thing that sets MIT apart from other universities is the fact that, rather than having one English department that covers both writing and literature, they split the traditional English department into two entirely separate programs. Their writing program not only instructs creative writing but also science writing and digital media.
5. New York University (New York, New York): Beyond the acclaimed faculty and progressive coursework, the location of NYU itself is reason enough to study there. Imagine living in the heart of New York City (what some call the greatest city in the world) for four years. Surrounded by museums, parks, and huge historical landmarks, there is no way not to be inspired. Combine this with the large variety of English concentrations offered, including a creative writing program, and an English education at NYU seems unbeatable. What’s more, NYU creative writing graduate program has enormous amounts of prestige and is often ranked top five on most publications’ top creative writing programs lists.
6. Washington University in St. Louis (St. Louis, Missouri): A haven for any growing writer, Wash U’s creative writing program offers a variety of courses, taught by their talented MFA faculty as well as second-year MFA students. Beyond your traditional poetry and fiction classes, Wash U offers unique special topics such as The Short-Short, Sudden Fiction and Microfiction, Literary Journalism, and Stories From the Suburbs with plenty more in mind for increased expansion.