AddRan offers new writing degree following students’ requests

For students who want a future in writing, a new major has been added in the AddRan College of Humanities and Social Sciences.Writing is available as a major for the Bachelor of Arts degree and as a minor for both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees.

There are only 60 to 70 universities in the nation that offer the major, said Brad Lucas, director of undergraduate studies in the English department. In Texas, the University of Texas at El Paso is one of the schools that has a program very similar to the one offered by TCU.

“At the same time we started coming out with ideas to bring this major together, we found out that the University of Texas at El Paso was doing the exact same work,” Lucas said.

The addition came after a series of inquiries from undergraduate students wanting more writing courses than the English department offered, Lucas said. The writing major was officially added to the program in July.

Students must complete 31 hours in English for a major in writing and 18 hours for a minor. Also, each student consults with a faculty adviser in English to form a program of study.

The major was added in a collective effort to emphasize the area of interest, Lucas said.

“There’s a lot of schools that offer courses in creative writing or professional writing, but our students were asking about more writing courses in general,” Lucas said.

To attract more students, traditional advertising methods will be used as well as flyers, visits to English classes and the newspaper and radio, Lucas said.

“I think word-of-mouth will be our best method,” Lucas said.

Seven students declared the major before it was announced to the rest of the university.

Austin McCutchen, a freshmen writing major, said he switched right away after an adviser said the major was available.

“I plan on becoming a novelist, so a major that specifically focuses on the area of writing is definitely ideal,” McCutchen said. “Any old school can give a guy an English major, but most of the other universities don’t have as wide of a variety of fun and fulfilling courses as TCU.”

Diana Dunigan, a freshman writing major, said she heard of the major at orientation and immediately made the switch from an English major.

“I changed it last minute,” Dunigan said. “It came as an added bonus at orientation.”

Theresa Gaul, an associate professor and associate chair in the English department, said the major will help students focus their attention on the craft of writing for the future careers.

“Students who want to incorporate writing into their future work lives will find that a writing major will prepare them extremely well to write in a variety of circumstances,” Gaul said.