Creative Writing (M.F.A.)

Master of Fine Arts. Major in Creative Writing.

The M.F.A. is the terminal degree for those wishing to teach creative writing at the college or university level; it is also among the credentials expected of those seeking employment in arts administration, editing, and related fields. The curriculum provides theoretical and practical training in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and editing and publishing.

The program’s principle aim is to teach aspiring writers their craft and at the highest possible level. We gladly speak to students about publishing their work, or about teaching or editing, but our first concern is teaching and learning the craft of writing. While we encourage applicants to apply only in one genre, once they are admitted, we encourage them to cross-pollinate: we like to see poets working on narrative pacing in a fiction or nonfiction class, and we like to see prose writers attentive to individual syllables in poetry. We encourage students to experiment and to push themselves in new directions. We also insist that they know where they fit in the continuum of writers, and that they understand and can speak with conviction of where they might place themselves in any of several literary traditions.

A minimum of four semesters in residence is required in addition to the following:

ENGL 500Master's Research and Thesis10
Twelve credits of workshops12
Nine credits in literature courses9
Twelve credits of electives 112
Two credits in Internship2
Choose nine credits of techniques/traditions courses9
Creative Writing Technique
Creative Writing Tradition
Total Hours54

Electives must be relevant to the degree, but they can come from other departments as agreed upon by the student and MP.

Upon completion of the thesis—a collection of poetry, short stories, creative nonfiction, or a novel—in acceptable form, each student will take an oral examination designed to test the student's ability to articulately discuss their creative process, intellectual and creative influences, chosen genre, aesthetic perspective, design, and intent.

Please see the English graduate handbook for details and program requirements on earning the Master of Fine Arts in English degree.