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Educational Programs

Associate of Arts with an Emphasis in Creative Writing


Program description

Looking for a more creative way to earn a college degree? MCTC’s Creative Writing program offers students access to a vibrant world of creative skills through intensive practice as writers and readers in three literary genres: poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. Whether you aspire to become a professional writer or to apply these creative skills to a wide range of jobs in the creative economy, the MCTC Creative Writing program can help you fire up your imagination and make a deeper, more meaningful connection to your education.

Program start and location

Students accepted into program year-round. Courses are taught on MCTC’s main campus. Some online-only courses available.

Degree options and requirements

  • Any three English creative writing courses (choose from Intro to Creative Writing, Intro to Fiction, Intro to Poetry, and Intro to Creative Nonfiction).
  • Any one 1xxx-level English literature course & any two 2xxx-level English literature courses.
  • Additional courses not mentioned above are required for completion of this AA degree.

What you will learn

  • You will learn how to write poems, stories, and creative essays—by exploring a range of forms and techniques that are connected to each of these genres.
  • You will learn more general creative literacy skills (e.g. metaphorical thinking, storytelling, character development, aesthetic composition) that can also be applied to a wide range of jobs in the creative economy.
  • You will learn critical literacy skills, particularly by analyzing a wide range of literary texts through various theoretical lenses and by understanding their historical contexts.
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  • You will learn critical social awareness, responsibility and empathy by understanding the social contexts (e.g. race, gender, class) of literary texts and how they are made and read.
  • You will learn collaborative skills by practicing actively as writer and reader with other students in a workshop environment.
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Points of pride

  • Enthusiastic, highly-skilled faculty who love teaching creative writing, who have strong experience as teachers, who have earned graduate degrees in creative writing, and who have published their work as full-length books and in many magazines and anthologies.
  • Great students who are passionate about writing and being creative, who want to associate with other creative students, and who want to earn a legitimate academic degree that’s also exciting and personally fulfilling.
  • A student writer’s group called WANDA, sponsored and funded by MCTC Student Life, and advised by creative writing instructors. This group is run by MCTC creative writing students who meet regularly to do writing activities and discuss their writing; they also organize literary events on campus and publish an anthology of MCTC student and faculty writing.

Where you could work

  • Digital or print publisher
  • Newspaper or magazine
  • Broadcasting company
  • K-12 school or college/university
  • Arts organization
  • Advertising agency

Potential job titles

  • Professional writer
  • Journalist, publisher, editor
  • English teacher, creative writing teacher
  • Arts administrator
  • Copy writer, creative director
  • Public relations specialist

Occupational outlook

The creative economy is booming, especially with the rise of new digital technology and social media, and the Twin Cities area is considered one of the national hot-spots for business related to creativity, arts and culture. The demand for those who have strong language skills and can think creatively has never been higher. Earning a living solely through professional literary writing has always been a challenge, but the opportunities in related fields are abundant and continue to grow.

Beyond-the-classroom opportunities

Great opportunity for internships, grants, attending or participating in literary events, community-building. The Twin Cities area has a nationally-recognized literary scene with great institutions and agencies to support it, including The Loft Literary Center, the Minnesota State Arts Board, Minnesota Center for Book Arts, Rain Taxi Review of Books & the annual Twin Cities Book Festival, along with well-known literary book publishers, such as Graywolf Press, Coffee House Press and Milkweed Editions. MCTC creative writing instructors are very active in this literary scene and are happy to help students make connections to it.


This program is part of the School of Liberal Arts and Cultures.

Additional resources

Tish Jones

Tish Jones - B FRESH Photography

For Tish Jones, the art of Spoken Word provides an opportunity to share her thoughts and emotions with others through the lens of her own life experiences. At MCTC, she found time and space to develop her own creativity, along with the chance to bring a deeper understanding of the Spoken Word art form to her community.

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Liberal Arts / General Education

MCTC's Liberal Arts and General Education courses and programs are ideal for satisfying requirements and for transferring to other four-year institutions.

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