About Program Admission Requirements

Ours is one of only a few creative writing degree programs in the country.

When you commit your stories to paper you enter the realm of creative writing. Your portfolio of writing may take many forms — novels, short stories, plays and screenplays, comic books, interactive stories, hypertext documents to name a few — and involve elements that are fictional or imaginative.

The program emphasizes literary writing rather than formula writing, and aims to introduce you to the forms and styles of writing which authors, past and present, have created and explored in their works. It will expose you to the history of formal experimentation and growth in particular genres.

As you advance, you'll be encouraged to explore specialized study in one or two genres such as fiction, poetry and playwriting.

Important eligibility information: This program is intended for students with a year of undergraduate studies and is not for direct entry from high school. Students may apply after completing their first 54 credits and before completion of their first 78 credits by presenting a portfolio containing work in both poetry and prose fiction as evidence of writing experience.

Highlights of the creative writing program:

  • You can also gain practical experience through our links with TVOntario and York's literary journal, Existere, and the online poetry journal, Studio.
  • Learn more about writing by attending the "Creative Writing Series," which provides an opportunity for you to meet and hear contemporary Canadian writers read or perform their own prose or poetry. Instructors have included W.O. Mitchell, Bill Bissett, Anne Michaels and Rachel Wyatt.
  • Graduates of the program include Nino Ricci, Governor General's Award for Fiction, Eliza Clark, shortlisted for the Giller Prize, Selvadurai Shyam, winner of the W.H. Smith/Books in Canada First Novel Award, Jason Sherman, winner of the Governor General's Award for Drama and the Chalmer's Award for Drama, and poets such as Lorna Lush and Michael Redhill.
  • BP Nichol Award – annual award given to an exceptional undergraduate student writer for his or her achievement in creative writing. BP Nichol was a winner of the Governor-General's Award, Fellow of Calumet College and professor emeritus of York's Creative Writing Program.
Possible Career Paths: 
  • editor
  • novelist
  • poet
  • screenwriter

You are required to provide official evidence of academic achievement in secondary education. This can be demonstrated through:

  • Final grades under the Ontario curriculum (obtained through correspondence, night school or through TVO)
  • Credentials through other curricula, such as results from Advanced Placement (AP) or Advanced-level courses in the General Certificate of Education (Gene). (Students may register to sit for the AP and GCE examinations as private candidates.)

In the absence of final grades in courses:

  • You must submit the results of standardized tests such as the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) with a minimum of 550 (Reading) and 550 (Math) or a composite American College Testing (ACT) score of 24.
  • Your application will be reviewed by an admissions sub-committee. If admitted, you will not be eligible for entrance scholarships. You will be considered for continuing student scholarships at the end of your first year of study, if you satisfy those criteria.
You may also be required to provide proof of language proficiency. You will be considered for entrance scholarships on the basis of your overall averages in the six 4U/4M (Ontario curriculum) or equivalent courses.

We are adding to our database of admission requirements by country. Please check back in October for additional admission requirements by country. General requirements are currently available by country — note that program-specific requirements may apply in addition to general requirements.