Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Why study Creative Writing at UBC’s Okanagan campus?
join a strong writing community
Engage in lively discussions with fellow writers and faculty at community events, readings, and workshops where students are warmly welcomed.
learn from the best
Study under a faculty of award-winning writers dedicated to helping students experiment with their prose and grow as writers. A visiting writer’s series and Writer-in-Residence program provide additional opportunities to meet, and learn from, accomplished writers.
build your portfolio
Create a varied body of work and build your portfolio during hands-on projects. Students are actively involved in writing projects, chapbook production, magazine editing, student anthology production, and community learning projects.
Put your classroom learning to the test with Co-op job placements throughout the region and beyond. Co-op helps you to gain beneficial skills such as how to build your resumé, apply for jobs, expand your professional network and earn money to pay for tuition.
what you need to know
The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Creative Writing is a four-year UBC degree with courses in poetry, creative non-fiction, short fiction, novel, playwriting, screenplay, writing with media, editing and publishing, spoken word, and writing and community learning. It is designed to build students’ range and confidence to the professional level, while familiarizing them with practical aspects of the writing life. Students apply to major in Creative Writing after the completion of their first year.
Students also have the opportunity to study Creative Writing as a minor in combination with another discipline or to combine their major in Creative Writing and the requirements of another BA program that offers a combined major (currently Art History and Visual Culture, Cultural Studies, and English).
Additionally, courses are offered that appeal to and benefit students in a variety of disciplines, including management, science, and medicine. The Power of Story and The Power of Metaphor offer creative tools for framing and understanding human experience and perception.
The Creative Writing program provides students with the opportunity to study literature and literary criticism as well as key aspects of the writing process—from crafting a scene, to pacing a story, working with imagery, and hooking a reader’s interest. Classes are taught by professional writers with a wealth of knowledge and experience they share with students at intimate workshops designed to build students’ range and confidence as they grow as writers. Students are encouraged to share their work and hone their skills with faculty who are actively involved in the editing process.
An intimate learning community is a hallmark of our program. Upper-year classes are capped at 15 students.
UBC Okanagan’s Creative Writing program offers a wide variety of foundational and advanced courses in poetry, creative non-fiction, short fiction, novel, playwriting, screenplay, writing with media, and editing and publishing. Several intensive summer courses are offered on campus and at the Woodhaven Eco Culture Centre in Kelowna.
- CRWR 150 – Introduction to Writing Poetry and Non-fiction
- CRWR 250 – Writing Workshop in Creative Writing: Screenwriting
- CRWR 472 – Editing and publishing
The following links take you to Creative Writing program details in the Okanagan Academic Calendar, a comprehensive guide to all programs, courses, services, and academic policies at The University of British Columbia:
Prospective Majors in Creative Writing can declare a major at the end of first year. to declare your major, contact the Creative Writing Program Coordinator Matt Rader to set up an appointment.
Refer to the Academic Calendar for required courses to major or minor in Creative Writing.
For your application to be considered, you’ll need to do three things:
- Meet general requirements (e.g., graduate from secondary school)
- Demonstrate a certain level of English competency
- Meet specific requirements for the degree you’re applying to.
Then, UBC will take a closer look at your application. We’ll read your Personal Profile to get a sense of who you are and what you’ve achieved. We’ll also look at all of your Grade 11 (junior level) and Grade 12 (senior level) courses, paying special attention to the courses that relate to the degree you’re applying to.
Find your specific requirements at you.ubc.ca
Students are encouraged to apply for a major or minor in Creative Writing at the end of their first year, provided they have a combined average of 70% (B-) in 6 credits of 100-level Creative Writing courses and 3 credits of 100-level English. Refer to the Academic Calendar for required courses to major or minor in Creative Writing.
Review the First-Year English Requirements.
Plan ahead to ensure you meet important deadlines and other target dates listed at you.ubc.ca.
UBC Okanagan’s fees compare favourably with universities of the same high calibre. See Financial Planning for helpful resources, and add up your first-year costs with our Cost Calculator.
Apply to UBC at you.ubc.ca—there are just five steps in the application process. Soon you could be studying at one of the world’s top universities.
Check out the steps to apply to UBC, and be sure to choose “Okanagan campus.”
Or let our Student Recruitment & Advising experts guide you: call 1-877-807-8521.
Declaring your major
Students can enrol at UBC for their first year as a general BA student, to declare your major after the first year, simply book an appointment with Creative Writing Program Coordinator.
Your Career Options
Earn a UBC degree respected by employers around the globe. Build a broad foundation and great career potential with undergraduate studies in Creative Writing. Job opportunities range from arts journalist and web writer, to novelist and publisher.
- Abstract Writer
- Advertising Copywriter
- Arts Administrator
- Arts Journalist
- Communications/public relations professional
- Copy editor
- Fundraising/grant writer
- Video game writer
- Historical museum assistant
- Literary agent
- Manuscript reader
- Market research analyst
- Media planner
- Newspaper/magazine journalist
- Office manager
- Policy and procedures analyst
- Radio/TV program assistant
- Reviewer for newspapers and magazines
- Screen/television script writer
- Script consultant
- Song writer
- Speech writer
- Technical writer
- Writing instructor
- Web writer
- Writing centre director
- Advertising agencies
- Book Publishers
- Corporate and consulting firms
- Federal, provincial and municipal governments
- Industry, political, professional, social and trade organizations
- Publishers of national, regional or specialty magazines
- Radio and television stations
Learn and earn with Co-op, a paid opportunity for students to enrich their education with work experience. At UBC’s Okanagan campus, sign up for Co-op to: build your resumé with professional experience; learn valuable tips on how to successfully apply for jobs; expand your network of industry contacts; and earn money to pay for tuition. Inquire about Co-op by phone at 250.807.9623 or by email.
The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree with a specialization in Creative Writing at UBC Okanagan provides students with the theoretical and practical tools involved in advanced creative writing.
UBC Okanagan also has an Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies (IGS) program in which students may have a Creative Writing department faculty member as their primary supervisor.
Gain Valuable Experience
Learning experiences beyond the classroom help prepare you for a career and life after university. Expand your horizons while studying abroad, conducting meaningful research, or working in the community with your UBC colleagues.
Get a financial boost to start your research experience and help pay for travel and other expenses. Merit-based cash awards also look impressive on your resumé.
- The Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies Undergraduate Research Awards ($2,500) provide undergraduate students support to engage in research and creative activities over the summer months.
- The FCCS Community Engagement Award recognizes activities that make a significant and positive impact on communities beyond the university.
- More scholarships and bursaries are available for Creative Writing students.
- Apply to be an undergraduate or graduate teaching assistant and gain invaluable experience managing group discussions, marking, and assisting professors with paperwork.
- Learn through doing, create strong connections, and develop professional skills with a campus job arranged by UBC’s Work Study Program.
- Meet a community need and get practical experience by volunteering for a Community Service Learning project — a life-changing experience.
- Co-op puts your classroom learning to the test, allowing you to explore career options while earning money. Inquire about Co-op by phone at 250.807.9623 pr by email.
- More Employment Opportunities in FCCS
WELCOME TO UBC’S OKANAGAN CAMPUS
The University of British Columbia is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the 40 best universities in the world. In the psychology program at UBC’s Okanagan campus, you gain all the benefits of attending a globally respected university while studying in a close-knit learning community.
- Get a glimpse into life on UBC’s Okanagan campus at you.ubc.ca.
- Take a virtual tour of our state-of-the-art labs, modern facilities, campus residences.
- Visit the campus for a personal guided tour led by a student ambassador.
- Tour the campus, city and lake with this interactive 360-degree Kelowna From Above* video.
* Best viewed in Chrome and Firefox
On the first day of university, faculties offer “Meet the Faculty” sessions where you can get to know the Dean, professors, and the staff who provide student support. It’s all part of UBC Okanagan’s new student orientation: CREATE.
Attend an orientation tailored to your needs as an aboriginal student, domestic student, international student, or student living in residence. You can even register your parents for an orientation that includes a workshop and campus tour.
- Peer mentors are a great resource — ask questions and learn from students who’ve been there, done that.
- Navigate your studies with the help of a professor, your Program Advisor.
- Use the library which offers print, audiovisual and electronic research materials, a leisure-reading collection and loaner laptops. It also offers research consultations, instruction and workshops.
- The library’s Writing and Resource Centre can help you articulate your ideas. Pursue your research in a range of subject areas and scholarly genres, including essay writing, grammar, presentation skills, punctuation, thesis development, and coursework.
- Familiarize yourself with resources designed to help you succeed. Student Services offers a variety of academic supports, from study sessions to tutoring and writing workshops.
Take advantage of the many opportunities to get involved and stay active—from workout space in the new Hangar Fitness Centre, to athletic courts, intramurals, fitness classes, and varsity athletics.
Learn more at Sports and Recreation, which includes links to fitness facilities, sport clubs, intramurals and recreation programs, as well as the nationally ranked UBC Okanagan Heat varsity teams that compete in the Canada West Universities Athletics Association.
- Make friends with similar interests, attend events, and explore career options in the Creative Writing Course Union.
- Follow our Creative Writing program on Facebook to keep up to date on events and connect with our community on campus and beyond.
- Branch out, get involved in student life, and have fun by joining a club or association.
Meet new people while living in a study-oriented environment with easy access to academic and personal support.
UBC Okanagan offers modern residence living surrounded by hiking and biking trails. One of the newest residences, Purcell, includes a rooftop patio that offers a panoramic view of the campus and the Okanagan Valley.
Find out more about living in residence at you.ubc.ca.
UBC’s Okanagan campus borders the dynamic city of Kelowna, a hub of economic development with a population of more than 150,000 people—the fourth fastest growing population in Canada. In fact, the Okanagan Valley is rated one of the best communities in Canada to grow your business.
More than 160 buses travel daily from campus to key locations such as Kelowna’s cultural district and thriving downtown waterfront. The campus is two minutes from the Kelowna International Airport, one of the Top 10 busiest airports in Canada.
UBC Okanagan is situated within the First Nations territory of the Okanagan Nation, whose spirit of stewardship for the land is reflected in the university’s respect for sustainability.
A diverse natural region with sandy beaches, beautiful farms, vineyards and orchards, and snow-capped mountains, the Okanagan Valley features sweeping stretches of lakeside and endless mountain trails for biking and hiking.
Explore the Okanagan lifestyle at you.ubc.ca.