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Overview of the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Writing Program

Write for the love of it; write for a living! That is how you will spend your time in the BFA program. In creative writing workshops* you hone your writing talent. In professional writing workshops** you learn how to translate your passion into a career. The BFA in writing at Bemidji is one of only fifteen in the United States. When you join the fastest growing program in the English Department, you join a community of "mine own kind" (American poet Ezra Pound).

* Fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, scriptwriting.
** Web/electronic, technical, freelance.

But what can you do, really, with a degree in writing?  

A common myth many people hold is that an English degree translates into teaching English as a career; not true. In fact, an English degree translates into, perhaps the most flexibility in career choices, ranging from writing grants, marketing and advertising (content writing and copy editing), and naturally, English educators. The truth is, this is only the tip of the iceberg. The skills and facets of English courses/degrees people learn and commit to everyday practice are found in nearly all job professions. Technical writers, collaborating with scientists, innovators, and/or mechanics, write the manuals for various things. That manual that you used to assemble your five-shelf bookcase was written by someone who studied for an English degree.

Lawyers use rhetoric each and every day in their court cases; journalists rely on playful syntax and grammatical accuracy to write powerful articles. Not to mention, you have the always present fields of educators and authors. English is unique that it doesn't necessarily build you up for one career path, contrary to popular belief, but with the ever-changing aspects of technology, your choices are limited to only your imagination.

The US Department of Labor Statistics predicts a ten to twenty percent increase in the opportunities for writers and editors over the next ten years, especially in writing for the Web. Someone will get those jobs. Why shouldn?t it be you?

The BFA also prepares you for graduate study for a Master of Arts in English or a Master of Fine Arts in Writing. Our graduates have been accepted in many MFA programs including those at Bowling Green State University, Notre Dame University, the Iowa Writers Workshop, Rutger's University, Emerson University and, of course, Bemidji State.

Steps to the BFA Degree

  • Talk to your advisor about your interest in the BFA Writing program.
  • Plan your studies according to your interests. Possible concentrations could include freelancing, web content writing, or media writing.
  • Take all required courses.
  • Complete your Grad Plans a year before graduation.

Not interested in a full writing major? Add an Emphasis in Writing, Electronic Writing, or a Minor - these programs allow you develop valuable writing skills no matter what field you've chosen.