Jun 23, 2018  
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog 
2015-2016 Graduate Catalog

Creative Writing, MFA

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Degree Requirements

The MFA degree requires 48 credits. In each of their first four semesters, MFA students enroll in one six-credit creative writing workshop appropriate to their genre and one other three-credit course, either a required literature course offered through the MFA or English MA program, or an elective. In their final year, students enroll in a three-credit MFA thesis class, working under the supervision of a thesis advisor, and one three-credit requirement or elective each semester.

Creative Writing Workshop (24 credits)

Each student must take either 

  (MFA Poetry Workshop) or   (MFA Fiction Workshop) three times during their first two years in the program. In addition, each student must take   (Craft Workshop in Poetry) or   (Craft Workshop in Fiction) once during their first two years, as appropriate to their genre.


Students must take 3 three-credit graduate classes in literature over three years. The English MA Program offers 20-25 graduate seminars each year; 2/3 of these are literature seminars that fulfill the MFA literature requirement. Some courses offered by the Graduate Consortium in Women’s Studies may also fulfill the literature requirement, depending on course materials. The MFA program also offers classes in literature that fulfill this requirement.


Students must take 3 three-credit electives to complete their degree. CW electives include

  (Memoir),   (Literary Editing and Publishing),   (The Teaching of Creative Writing),   (Creative Writing Internship), and   (Special Topics in Creative Writing). Seminars in the English MA Program, including literature classes, may also be used to fulfill this requirement. Students may elect courses offered by other graduate programs in the university and by the Graduate Consortium in Women’s Studies with the approval of the program director.

ENGL 459 Seminar for Tutors   may be taken for graduate credit, and counts as an elective.

Students wishing to take a creative writing workshop in a genre other than the one in which they plan to write their thesis may use elective credits to do so. The English MA Program offers three-credit courses in

 (Reading and Writing Poetry);  (Reading and Writing Fiction);  (Advanced Poetry Workshop);  (Advanced Fiction Workshop); and  (Life Writing).

Thesis (6 credits)

In their third year, all students enroll in

 (MFA Thesis) each semester, culminating in a capstone MFA thesis of 48-64 pages of poetry, or 100-200 pages of fiction. The thesis is written under the supervision of a thesis advisor, read by a thesis committee of at least three members, and subject to a public thesis defense.

Admission Requirements

  1. Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, with a minimum 3.0 GPA overall and in the student’s major.
  2. Three substantive and detailed letters of recommendation, at least two from former teachers familiar with the applicant’s most recent academic and creative work.
  3. A 3–5-page personal statement focusing on the role of the candidate’s reading life in his or her development as a writer.
  4. A writing sample of 10 manuscript pages of poetry or 20 manuscript pages of fiction.
  5. GREs are encouraged but not required.

The priority application deadline is January 15; later applications may be considered as space allows.

The final deadline is June 1.

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