There are a few different types of poetry courses offered in colleges and universities for students who want to study the field in more depth. Online courses are common as well, which may be taken independently or as part of an online degree program. In general, there are two broad categories of poetry courses: the first is one in which students will practice writing their own poetry, and the second is one in which students will study poems written by other people in depth. Within these two categories, there are additional specialized, more advanced classes as students progress through their coursework.
Though traditional colleges and universities are the most common place to find different types of poetry courses, whether they are two year community colleges or traditional four year plus colleges. There are other options as well. Local community organizations or adult education programs often offer poetry courses for people in the community who are interested in learning more or who simply desire to broaden their horizons. Another option is to take courses online. Often these are fairly low cost.
Poetry courses intended to teach people how to write their own poetry are some of the most common. These will include discussions of the different types of poetry, as well as more technical issues such as meter and rhyme, theme and symbolism, and so on. These courses will generally also include poetry readings and critiques of other people's work, such as in a workshop setting. Poetry courses such as these are often given at different levels, for beginning writers or for more experienced poets who require more in-depth feedback from fellow students and the instructor.
Plenty of poetry courses do not feature any writing on the part of the students, however. These simply analyze poems written by other authors, as well as studying the art of poetry criticism. A general poetry survey course might be common for students just beginning college, but those majoring in literature should expect to take more specific poetry courses. Some might focus solely on one style of writing poetry, one period of time, or even just one author. Individuals who get a master's degree in poetry, for example, will take a number of courses that are quite specific like this, and will generally choose to focus on one time period or one writer in order to produce a thesis at the end of the program.