Writing Majors, Minor, Concentration

Advisors

Students with questions about the Writing majors, how to declare a major, or how its requirements can be fulfilled, should make an appointment with any of following individuals.

Shariann Lewitt
Major Advisor
slewitt@mit.edu
14N-234
Junot Diaz
Minor Advisor
junot@mit.edu
14N-436
Suzanne Lane
Concentration Advisor
stlane@mit.edu
E39-369

Majors

  • Creative Writing

    The curriculum in creative writing is designed to develop expertise in writing and reading a genre of the student’s choice (e.g., fiction, poetry, or nonfiction prose forms), familiarity with related genres, and a three-subject focused exposure to an allied discipline, usually in the humanities, arts, or social sciences. This curriculum offers students flexibility in designing their courses of study for both breadth and depth.

    Required Subjects

    21W.ThT Writing and Humanistic Studies Pre-Thesis Tutorial
    21W.ThU Writing and Humanistic Studies Thesis
    One of the following (CI-M): 21W.757, 21W.758, 21W.759, 21W.762, 21W.770, 21W.771, or 21W.777

    Restricted Electives

    6 subjects centered on creative writing, of which one is normally introductory
    3 subjects in literature, one of which may be in CMS

  • Science Writing

    The curriculum in science writing is designed to enable the student to develop mastery of the craft and rhetoric of writing about the worlds of science and engineering for broad audiences. This writing major is an option for students interested in science journalism, longer forms like the science documentary, and communication issues related to the public understanding of science and technology. It is also designed to work as a complementary major for students majoring in science, engineering, or another field of study at MIT. This major includes a three-subject exposure to an allied field such as science, or comparative media studies. Students also fulfill an internship requirement, which provides in-depth practical experience.

    Required Subjects

    21W.777 Science Writing in Contemporary Society, CI-M
    21W.778 Science Journalism
    21W.792 Science Writing Internship
    21W.ThT Writing and Humanistic Studies Pre-Thesis Tutorial
    21W.ThU Writing and Humanistic Studies Thesis, CI-M

    Restricted Electives

    4 subjects in writing, approved for this major, (one is normally introductory; one is in digital media)
    One approved STS subject

  • Digital Media

    The digital media major offers in-depth study of emerging interactive and nonlinear styles of narrative, as well as individual and collaborative experience in producing digitally mediated forms, both aesthetic and utilitarian. Students gain extensive experience in using a variety of authoring systems to develop large-scale websites, web-based hypertext products, computer games, interactive fiction and poetry, and digitally mediated visual worlds. Knowledge of programming is often helpful, but not necessary.

    Required Subjects

    21W.764J The Word Made Digital
    21W.765J Interactive and Non-Linear Narrative: Theory and Practice
    21W.785 Communicating with Web-based Media
    21W.ThT Writing and Humanistic Studies Pre-Thesis Tutorial
    21W.ThU Writing and Humanistic Studies Thesis, CI-M
    One of the following (CI-M): 21W.757, 21W.758, 21W.759, 21W.762, 21W.770, 21W.771, or 21W.777

    Restricted Electives

    3 subjects in writing
    3 related subjects from another department

Joint Degree Programs in Writing

Joint degree programs are offered in writing in combination with a field in engineering or science (the 21E and 21S degrees).

Minor in Writing

The Minor in Writing consists of six subjects focusing on one of the three areas mentioned above, arranged into two tiers of study as follows:

Tier I

One subject from the following:
21W.011–21W.013 Writing and Rhetoric
21W.021–21W.024 Writing and Experience
21W.031–21W.035 Science Writing and New Media
21W.041J Writing about Literature
21W.042J Writing with Shakespeare
21W.755 Writing and Reading Short Stories
21W.756 Writing and Reading Poems

Tier II

Five subjects from among the remaining writing subjects.

Concentration in Writing

The Concentration in Writing consists of four subjects chosen in consultation with the Concentration Advisor.  Ordinarily, of these four, no more than one will be at the introductory level (21W.0xx). In addition, of the four, three will form a coherent group within one of the major categories of the curriculum (Creative Writing, Science Writing, or Digital Media–see above).

A student may choose to go beyond the Concentration requirement, and build a Minor in the field. It is not then necessary to complete a separate Concentration, but the student must still fill out the Concentration Proposal and Completion forms.

You may see a list of writing subjects offered this semester here: http://cmsw.mit.edu/education/subject-lists/writing/.