School Finder

What’s the difference: English vs. Creative Writing?

literature degree vs english degree

In high school your favorite class was English, you loved to write, and you loved to read.  Now it’s time for college and your deciding which of our top Bachelor’s in English or Creative Writing degrees is best for you.  But the only problem is that your not quite sure exactly what the difference is between a Bachelor of Arts in English or a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing.  We decided to take the time to answer the question: What’s the different between a Bachelor’s of English and a Bachelor’s of Creative Writing.

Bachelor’s of English

As a student studying for a Bachelor of Arts in English degree, you will primarily be working with a variety of different types of literature.  English majors deal in the close reading, analysis, and interpretation of literature.  Students who are studying a Bachelor of English will more often than not be asked to critically think about and dissect works of literature.  If you were a student who enjoyed reading different types of books and stories in high school, a Bachelor’s of English will be right up your alley.  Through this type of program, students will develop soft skills including critical thinking, critical analysis, communication, and an appreciation and understanding of culture.  Typically, English majors will not be asked to create original works very often.

Bachelor’s of Creative Writing

By pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing, students will be more concerned with the generation of writing.  Students will study works of literature but from the perspective of learning the craft of writing as to apply different techniques of the trade to their own writing.  Creative Writing majors will be tasked with writing a great deal of different pieces throughout their studies.  They will focus on honing their prose and their grammar.  In these programs, students will experiment with a variety of different genres and types of literature in order to get a feel for and find which is best for them.  Those in this type of degree program will find that most of their time is spent writing versus reading.  However, a large part of this program is learning to critique and review the works of your peers.

So what’s the difference?

Whether your choosing to study a Bachelor of Arts in English or a Bachelor of Arts in Creative writing, you will be following a degree program that is quite similar to one another save for a few nuances.  Those who choose to study English will be focused more on the study of existing literature.  They will learn to analyze, interpret, and understand a variety of different types of writings.  Those who choose to pursue a Creative Writing degree will be focused more on the generation of new literature.  They will still read and study existing works, but a large amount of the curriculum will focus on the development of one’s own writing ability.

Bottom line:

A Bachelor’s of English and a Bachelor’s of Creative Writing are like two different sides of the same coin. By pursuing either of these degrees, you will gain a skillset of interpreting, analyzing, and writing literature.  The main difference is whether your ambition lies in the academic pursuit of studying literature or the creative pursuit of producing literature.