One of the few such programs in the country, and the only one at Penn State, the Creative Writing major provides an intensive course of study in the art of imaginative writing. Extensive classes in literature and theory are supported by a series of workshops that allow personal attention to student writing, a reading series that brings writers of national stature to Penn State Behrend, and the opportunity to serve on the editorial staff of Lake Effect, an international literary journal. Creative Writing majors often write for and edit the college’s weekly student newspaper, The Behrend Beacon, and its accompanying webpage. The Roundtable Society, a student-led organization, sponsors readings, student-run workshops, and excursions to literary events in the area.
The program culminates in a senior thesis, a two-semester project to produce a coherent collection of one’s creative writing, including a substantive critical preface. The senior thesis process requires close interaction with a mentoring professor and concludes with the student’s thesis defense and a public reading.