This page outlines requirements for the BA in Literary Studies with a concentration in Writing. Students can also study Writing as a minor or as part of a self-designed major (BA or BS, Liberal Arts).
Students in Writing develop a unique authorial voice informed by a practiced familiarity with contemporary and classic styles. Courses emphasize essential communicative and research skills, a profound understanding of craft, and the development of personal voice in an encouraging atmosphere. Students have opportunities to attend public readings and lectures throughout the city and in the New School graduate writing program. Elective courses, as well as internships, introduce the qualified student to the professional standards and opportunities they may encounter after graduation. Master classes allow contemporary writers to teach their own work to students (satisfies Reading for Writers requirement). Students interested in journalism are encouraged to consider Journalism + Design. Note that upper-level students who substituted writing workshops in journalism for writing workshops in nonfiction in previous years (prior to fall 2014) will have those substitutions fully honored.
The New School Free Press, the student newspaper, is also a credit-bearing course in which students write, edit, and produce the newspaper. Release, the Writing program's literary magazine, is edited and produced by students as well.
Faculty members in Literary Studies regard critical and theoretical writing as a process that is as creative as writing poetry, fiction, and drama. Students are encouraged to begin with 2000-level courses in Literature (LLSL) and Writing (LLSW) as they consider one of these two concentrations. Two required Literary Introductions courses (The Invention of Literature, offered every fall, and Literary Reinvention, offered every spring), focusing on texts from the classic to the contemporary, enable students to build a solid foundation in literary studies and provide them with a common language and literary experience as they proceed to more advanced study. Literary Studies students can also apply to continue their writing and literature coursework abroad beginning in their sophomore year, in Paris, London, Rome, or Verona. In their junior or senior year, all students are required to take an intensive single-text course in which both critics and practitioners of writing explore the nuances of a major work, as well as a Reading for Writers course combining the reading of great works with creative writing.
Students who enrolled in spring 2008 or earlier may follow the rules for the old Writing or Literature areas of study (BA in Liberal Arts) or may opt to follow the new, more rigorous requirements for the BA in Literary Studies (Literature or Writing Concentration). Only specific courses satisfy the major requirements, including electives. Courses should be chosen carefully, in consultation with the chair of the program, James Fuerst. For a semester-by-semester example of writing and literature tracks for a degree in literary studies, download this sample curricular path form (PDF).
Track your progress using the program requirement worksheet (PDF) for the year in which you declared your major in Literary Studies:
For worksheets for years earlier than 2011, please see your academic advisor.
The Writing concentration within Literary Studies requires the completion of the following courses, at least four of which must be 3000 level or higher. Schools of Public Engagement writing workshops (SPE Adult Bachelor's program) do not count toward the five writing courses for Lang Writing. Students may not take an Intermediate Writing Workshop unless they received a grade of B or higher in the Introduction Workshop in the same genre. Students who did not receive a B may retake the Introduction Workshop again. A minimum grade of C is required for all other courses taken toward the major. Students who do not meet the minimum grade requirement to advance through the major and who cannot retake the necessary course must meet with the chair to determine their options. (Lang recommends that students who are unable to meet the grade minimums in their workshops consider changing majors or switching to the Literature track in Literary Studies.)
To see which courses fulfill requirements, visit the Lang course finder.
NOTE: Literary Introductions courses are co/prerequisites for all 3000-level Literary Studies courses, unless waived by the chair.
Total credits: 52
*Playwriting, offered in conjunction with The Arts, may be chosen in Writing as a secondary genre only. Students may use playwriting toward either The Arts or the Literary Studies Writing concentration. If it is used toward The Arts, all Arts requirements govern, except that all LLSW prerequisites and minimum grade requirements apply for all students. If it is used toward the Literary Studies writing concentration, all Literary Studies requirements apply, including core requirements, and writing concentrators may elect playwriting only as a secondary genre.
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Admission ContactOffice of AdmissionEugene Lang College of Liberal Arts
79 Fifth Avenue, 5th floor
New York, NY 10003
Phone: 212.229.5150 or 800.292.3040
For general questions about Literary Studies, email
Literary Studies faculty and advisors.
Juan E. De Castro
Literary Studies Department Advisor
Literature Capstone Coordinator
Carolyn Vellenga Berman
Writing Capstone Coordinator
Program Requirements WorksheetsFind your worksheet at your department's curricular page:Literature concentrationsWriting concentrationsSenior CapstonesDownload Senior Capstone in LiteratureDownload Senior Capstone in Writing