Creative Studies

BAAS Concentration in Creative Studies
Creative Studies

About the concentration in Creative Studies

By studying the transformative creations of others in the social, cultural, and historical contexts in which they were produced, you can nurture your own creative expression and develop a deeper understanding of the creative process in action. A concentration in Creative Studies combines experiential and applied humanities through the study of the creative arts, expanding your ability to critically analyze, compare and evaluate the meanings and significance of creativity as expressed across a variety of media. In this degree concentration, you engage in individual and collaborative creative writing and explore a range of creative accomplishments in fields including literature, music, cinema studies, theater, and other arts.

You may also enroll in individual courses within this concentration without committing to a degree, or complete a course block for transcript credit; the flexibility and expertise offered by Penn LPS Online will fit your schedule and interests.

The concentration in Creative Studies prepares you to:

  • Understand how text conveys meaning across a variety of literary genres and styles
  • Use innovation, flexibility, and collaboration to cultivate a creative writing practice
  • Create, revise, and edit original writing in multiple literary genres, including poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and screenwriting
  • Understand how artistic practices and traditions are produced, transformed, and re-contextualized over time and space
  • Analyze works of art (visual, musical, cinematic, theatrical, and literary) with attention to their historical and cultural context, paying particular attention to their intersections with gender, politics, religion, and history


Students in the Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree will choose a concentration to tailor their undergraduate education to specific personal and professional goals. Courses within each concentration may be taken in any order.

Students must complete foundational courses for the Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree. In addition, students in this concentration focus their studies toward three of the four Creative Studies course blocks (Creative Writing, Cinema Studies, Music, or English) and complete four courses in each of those blocks for a total of 12 courses (12 c.u.*). 

Course options

Creative Writing course block

  • The Craft of Creative Writing
  • Modern and Contemporary US Poetry
  • Poetry Workshop
  • Fiction Workshop
  • Writing About Place
  • Screenwriting
  • Advanced Nonfiction
  • Journalism

Cinema Studies course block

  • Screenwriting
  • History of Hollywood
  • Introduction to Film and Media Studies
  • World Cinema

Music course block

  • Music of the World
  • Music of Africa
  • Jazz
  • Popular Music
  • Music and Technology

English Literature course block

  • Medieval and Renaissance Literature
  • Survey of British Poetry
  • The Global Novel
  • African American Literature and Culture
  • Asian American Literature and Culture
  • Latino/a Literature and Culture
  • Study of a Major Author
  • Study of a Major Work
  • Conflict in Print: Civil Rights in American Literature and Culture
  • Digital Humanities and Literature
  • Modernist and Contemporary Literature
  • Gender and Literature
  • Introduction to Feminist and Queer Theory
  • Introduction to Literary Theory

Courses are subject to change.

*Academic credit is defined by the University of Pennsylvania as a course unit (c.u.). A course unit (c.u.) is a general measure of academic work over a period of time, typically a term (semester or summer). A c.u. (or a fraction of a c.u.) represents different types of academic work across different types of academic programs and is the basic unit of progress toward a degree. One c.u. is usually converted to a four-semester-hour course.

Careers related to Creative Studies

The skills acquired in the Creative Studies concentration are applicable to a wide variety of communications-related fields as well as the creative arts. Career options include:

  • Advertising and promotions manager
  • Public relations and fundraising professional
  • Editor
  • Author and journalist
  • Educator and librarian
  • Museum administrator

Course Registration

Summer 2019 registration is now open

Fall 2019 registration opens April 10

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