⭐ English and Creative Writing
The English and Creative Writing Department offers process-oriented, technologically supported, cross-disciplinary opportunities in literature, writing, and oral communication to help you cultivate your unique voice while preparing you to be a more thoughtful, conscientious citizen. Our programs are led by renowned faculty, including esteemed scholars, well-published writers, and experienced practitioners.
Creative Writing (BA)
You’re a writer, and you want to write. In the Creative Writing bachelor’s degree program at Columbia College Chicago, you’ll write from day one, immediately discovering your creative process as you craft stories, poems, essays, and hybrid texts. Diversity: it’s the name of the game in creative writing at Columbia, where we push boundaries and redefine borders. During your time here, you’ll study works by writers from many different cultures, and you’ll develop your own writing alongside a diverse group of students and faculty members. You’ll choose a concentration in fiction, nonfiction, or poetry to focus on your favorite literary form. But you’ll work within all genres, developing transferrable skills that will help you become a more effective writer. And through our Writer’s Portfolio class and a thesis project, you’ll begin to identify career opportunities as you create a substantial manuscript.
Offering courses in literature, professional writing, and creative writing, the English bachelor’s degree program at Columbia College Chicago weaves your imagination and love of reading with the writing and communication skills that lead to success in the workplace. You’ll study different literary forms (fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and more) as you become a flexible and adaptable writer and thinker. And as a member of Columbia’s diverse creative community, you’ll have access to the college’s robust arts and media resources as you prepare for your career. You’ll graduate with sharp analytical skills, the capacity to write in different forms, and the creativity and critical thinking that are valuable assets to any employer.
Cultural Studies (BA)
As a Cultural Studies BA student at Columbia College Chicago, you’ll examine how race, ethnicity, gender, class, nationality, and more affect the power structures that inform contemporary culture, and you’ll look at arts and communications through an entirely new lens. Offering courses that address a range of theoretical, historical, and methodological issues, the Cultural Studies BA program prepares you to engage meaningfully with art and culture.
Turn your passion for communication into a career and make your mark on the world. Our classes, taught by award-winning faculty and industry professionals, apply theory to practice. From your first semester, you’ll learn how it’s done in the industry and develop a portfolio of work to show on the job market.
Understanding advertising theory is good; designing award-winning campaigns for real businesses and clients is better. You’ll do both in Columbia College Chicago’s Advertising BA program. You’ll work with real clients—from local nonprofits to national brands—and finish an internship (or two) in one of the major advertising centers in the country. Learn from faculty members who have worked with Apple, Nike, Calvin Klein, Samsung, McDonald’s, Motorola, Kraft, and others. Working closely with these industry-leading professors and your talented peers, you’ll analyze consumer behavior through creative research techniques, develop amazing concepts, execute award-winning campaigns with cutting-edge art direction and copywriting, and master the art of a perfectly timed Tweet or Instagram story. Your internship experience and professional portfolio may help you land a job as an account manager, copywriter, art director, brand manager, content strategist, content creator, media planner, project manager, or general marketing and advertising pro.
Every industry needs good communicators. The Communication bachelor’s degree program at Columbia College Chicago provides the foundations for skilled communication practice. Through coursework in collaborative teamwork, leadership, oral, visual, and written communication, multimedia production, storytelling, information analysis, and civic practice, you’ll develop the skills needed to thrive in an evolving media environment. At Columbia, you complete your class assignments in a creative environment where you’ll collaborate with students outside your major. You’ll be taught by working professionals in communication fields. You’ll graduate as a professional leader in communication and a cross-platform media practitioner ready to contribute to the intellectual, cultural, and creative fabric of your community and capable of succeeding in a broad range of communication, media, and information industries.
Journalists today need to be experienced storytellers in a variety of formats. At Columbia College Chicago, our journalism majors discover and tell compelling stories in different media: magazines, features, radio, blogs, podcasts, and broadcast news. To help you succeed in the journalism career path that best fits your interests, you’ll focus on one of our concentrations in Broadcast Journalism (TV or Radio emphasis), Magazine Journalism, and News and Features.
Columbia College Chicago is home to one of the most innovative photojournalism programs in the country. Our faculty members are Pulitzer Prize winners and photojournalists who document for the Associated Press and the Chicago Tribune. They provide a solid foundation in photography technique for equipment ranging from professional cameras to smartphones. You’ll hit the ground running, documenting people and events around Chicago and gaining experience with audio and video to complement your photography skills. In fact, roughly one-third of the curriculum focuses on audio and video, ensuring you’ll graduate as a well-rounded photo and media expert. You’ll take a class in 360 video and virtual and augmented reality and learn how to build your own portfolio website to help you land internships or jobs at places like the Washington Post, Chicago Reader, National Geographic, Vox, NPR, Ad Age, or Crain’s Chicago Business
Public Relations (BA)
From research to strategy to media relations to crisis communications, the communication skills of engaging the public and shaping perceptions are the building blocks of reputation. Our PR program is designed to prepare students for success in an exciting, fast-paced career with high growth potential. Our faculty are industry leaders who strive every day to educate you on the necessary skills, and get you networking with professionals. You’ll work with real clients, build a portfolio, and discover a curriculum that is integrated with related fields, such as communication, social media and advertising. Upon graduation, you will be ready to succeed in a career path designed to fit your unique aspirations.
Radio is about more than a voice and a microphone. It is about connecting to an audience through whatever audio media platform you use, whether it’s traditional radio broadcasting, podcasting, audio documentary, or other media formats. Columbia College Chicago’s Radio BA program will help you recognize and create dynamic and effective audio content for the audio media platforms of today and tomorrow. As part of your degree, you’ll work in our student-run professional radio station, WCRX-FM, in the country’s third-largest broadcast market. You’ll gain experience in podcasting, voiceover work for commercials, narration, and animation, and learn to develop engaging copy for radio promos, how to pace a radio story, or record an insightful interview. Supported by faculty experienced in the industry as on-air talent, voiceover talent, writers, production experts, and program and content directors, you’ll leave the program with a well-crafted audio media portfolio and be prepared to work in radio broadcasting and its related fields. Our alumni enjoy successful careers as radio personalities, radio talk show hosts, podcasters, voice actors, content managers and providers, radio station directors, and audio producers.