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Boise State Launches New Creative Writing Degrees

Boise State University School of the Arts will offer two new degrees in creative writing — a bachelor of arts and bachelor of fine arts — as well as a bachelor of fine arts in narrative arts beginning in fall 2018. Students at Boise State also now will be able to minor in creative writing. The Idaho State Board of Education approved the degrees in February.

“We’re beyond excited to be offering new creative writing degrees that will allow our students to immerse themselves in all forms of imaginative writing,” said Brady Udall, associate professor of creative writing. “Small classes, individualized instruction, and a dedication to the art and craft of writing will be key features of these programs.”

There are currently 30 bachelor of fine arts degrees in creative writing in the country. Boise State’s will be the 31st.

“The School of the Arts is built on three key principles: interdisciplinarity, entrepreneurship and engagement,” said Leslie Durham, director of the School of the Arts and the incoming interim dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “The new degrees will help us advance these ideas by exposing students to artists and techniques across disciplines and practices; by showing students how they can make a life and a living as writer; and by helping students imagine how their words and their stories can make a difference in their communities.”

The new creative writing degrees will offer students a strong foundation in traditional and contemporary letters, creative writing in the classroom and various approaches to future career goals. All creative writing students will assemble professional portfolios in either fiction, poetry or creative nonfiction. The new degree in narrative arts is aimed at students who want to explore playwriting and screenwriting, as well as other courses in production.

All of the new courses of study are designed for students who aspire to careers that emphasize strong writing skills. Classes will be taught by the esteemed faculty from the MFA program in creative writing, including Mitch Wieland, Brady Udall, Emily Ruskovich and Martin Corless-Smith. Current students will be able to adjust their course of study if they would like to pursue one of the new degrees.

The creative writing department merged with theatre arts and film to create the Department of Theatre, Film and Creative Writing in the 2017-2018 school year. Students studying in the new narrative arts and creative writing degree programs will have ample opportunities for cross-discipline work. Department faculty are excited for the myriad possibilities for collaboration. The Narrative TV Initiative, which presented its first series, “And Beyond” earlier this month, is just one example of how creative writing, film and theatre can mesh to offer exciting courses for students that produce professional results.

“The new degree programs in creative writing will offer our new majors a variety of ways to pursue their academic and career goals,” said Richard Klautsch, the chair of the Department of Theatre, Film and Creative Writing. “We are thrilled to establish the first degree programs for those who want to apply their skills and their passion to a variety of fields in which creative writing will be a significant resource. These degree programs complement our new degrees in film and will offer many interdisciplinary and innovative experiences.”

The Idaho State Board of Education also approved a bachelor of art and bachelor of fine art in film and television arts in February. Other additions include a certificate in narrative arts and a minor in arts entrepreneurship.