Is University of Iowa's undergraduate creative writing major held in as high esteem as it seems?

I’ve seen it so far compared to several ivy leagues and other selective liberal arts colleges like Kenyon, Oberlin, Emory, etc, but because the program is fairly new it seems likely that it would be confused with the older, much more prestigious graduate program - the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, one of the best if not the best graduate writing programs in the country.

However is the undergraduate program truly of the same caliber, or worth applying for OOS tuition? I’m wondering if any can help me understand it in turns of comparison to more well known programs, (and possibly lesser known if anyone knows anything about this program and the University of Washington’s English program, not likely but worth a shot)


And can anyone compare the program to some kind of mid-tier college that are not quite as selective but still known for their undergraduate creative writing like Davidson College, University of Houston, University of Mississippi, Sewanee, University of Virginia, etc. ?

You will find Iowa’s as well as other undergraduate creative writing programs discussed within these articles:

The 10 Best Colleges for Creative Writers | The Freelancer

The 10 Best American Colleges for Writers | USA TODAY College

The 25 Most Literary Colleges in America | Flavorwire

@merc81 The first one didn’t include U of I but thanks for the references. It does seem to hold high water, but it also seems that it takes kind of a backdrop to the graduate program, what with classes being taught by graduate students over professors.

Do you know more about the program? Would you personally recommend it? I’m also looking into some LAC’s creative writing programs like Davidson, Sewanee, Oberlin, but it seems like whatever they can offer besides maybe location and a pretty campus, U of I can offer it better and for cheaper.

Look into Denison too.
LACs will offer lots of writing opportunities.

Oh yeah, sorry about that first link, but I thought you should see all the articles of which I’m familiar.

Liberal arts colleges would tend to offer you a more interactive writing experience from the inception of your studies, so generally colleges from this group would be my first recommendation. However, smaller colleges vary greatly in their writing programs, as do universities. For this reason, U of I could rival or surpass many LACs for creative writing, particularly if cost will be a consideration. I do think you’ve been insightful though in your reluctance to conflate UI’s graduate and undergraduate programs.

Overall, between a say an average LAC writing program and UI, look to UI. However, I’d suggest you continue to explore the LACs with the strongest creative writing programs, and perhaps send out applications as appropriate.