Kresge College photo by Don Kenny.


*UCSC does not offer this as an undergraduate major.

The Literature Department and the Writing Program at UC Santa Cruz offer courses in creative writing and in composition and rhetoric. The creative writing concentration within the literature major supports students in developing their craft alongside their peers and with the guidance of a faculty adviser. The courses offered through the Writing Program assist students in improving research and writing skills.

Degrees Offered

  • B.A.

Study and Research Opportunities

  • B.A. in literature with a concentration in creative writing, with selective admission to the concentration
  • Introductory writing courses with topical foci and courses with disciplinary foci involving significant amounts of reading, formal and informal weekly writing, and peer and instructor review
  • A range of courses for students at all class levels offered through the Writing Program
  • Student media that include award-winning student publications; KZSC, a public radio station serving three counties; campus newsmagazines; and annual literary journals scstudentmedia.org/organizations/

Information for First-Year Students (Freshmen)

In addition to completing the courses required for UC admission, high school students planning to major in literature with the creative writing concentration at UC Santa Cruz should emphasize reading and writing skills in high school. Some background in a foreign language is helpful. The Literature Department faculty requires that all literature majors have proficiency in a second language.

Information for Transfers

Transfer students planning to major in literature with the creative writing concentration should have some training in analytical and expository writing; an introductory course in literary interpretation and one additional literature course are especially desirable. Transfer students are urged to complete the Literature language proficiency requirement before transferring to UC Santa Cruz. The Literature language proficiency requirement is as follows: one year (three quarters or equivalent) of college-level study of a non-English language OR demonstrated reading ability at this level.

Awards, Honors, and Recognitions

Professor Karen Tei Yamashita, also co-director of the UCSC Creative Writing Program, won the 2011 California Book Award for her novel I Hotel, a portrait of the Asian American community in San Francisco in the 60s and 70s.

Creative Writing faculty awards and honors may be viewed here.

Alumni Focus

William Finnegan ('74), Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life.

Reyna Grande ('99), award-winning author of Across a Hundred Mountains and Dancing with Butterflies.

Martha Mendoza (’88), Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter.

Azadeh Moaveni ('98), award-winning author of Lipstick Jihad and Honeymoon in Tehran.

Michael Scherer ('98), Washington Post national political reporter.

Hector Tobar (’85)Los Angeles Times reporter, part of the team that won a Pulitzer for coverage of the 1992 Los Angeles riots.

Department Website

General Catalog Information

More Information

209 Humanities 1
University of California, Santa Cruz
1156 High Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95064

(831) 459-2431