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Program Requirements

The MFA in Creative Writing is a terminal degree designed for the student interested in pursuing the art of writing fiction or poetry. Students pursuing this degree will not just develop their skills as writers - they will be better prepared to teach creative writing, pursue other professional writing opportunities, conduct further research into matters of creative writing pedagogy, and publish their own creative works. The Writer in the World sequence will better prepare students for meaningful employment in or outside of academia, and help students sustain a rich writing life beyond graduation.

Completion of the program requires at least 42 hours.  However, students may enroll in an optional second unit of thesis hours for a total of 45 hours.  

Students are required to complete the following primary courses:

  • Workshop (12 hours): ENG 593 poetry workshop (taken 4 times), or ENG 592 Fiction workshop (taken 4 times)
  • ENG 530 and ENG 531 (6 hours): The Writer in the World sequence, which must be completed in consecutive semesters during the second year of study
  • Required Literature (12 hours): Students are required to complete four (4) graduate-level literature courses in consultation with their advisor.  At least one (1) of these must be in the contemporary period.
  • Electives (9 hours): Electives may be any graduate-level course offering, an additional unit of thesis hours, or a workshop in the student's minor genre (592 or 593)
  • Required Thesis (3-6 hours): ENG 599

Note: ENG 554 Contemporary Pedagogy is required of all new teaching Graduate Assistants and may not be counted as an elective.

Students will plan their course of study in close consultation with their advisor; in general students should take at least half of their literature and elective courses at the 500-level.

Year Fall Semester Spring Semester
One Workshop (3)
Literature (3)
Elective (3)

Workshop (3)
Literature (3)
Elective (3)

Two Workshop (3)
ENG 530 - Writer in the World (3)

Workshop (3)
ENG 531 - Writer in the World Practicum(3)

Three Literature (3)
Elective (3)

Elective (3)
Thesis (3)

Many variables will determine how quickly a student earns his or her degree. A student with a graduate assistantship or outside employment may find it difficult to undertake more than two courses a term. For students such as these, taking courses during the summer term is one option; literature courses and electives are offered every summer.

Students may also defend their theses after they have completed their coursework and thesis hours. (The Graduate School allows six years for completion of the degree.)

If the thesis or project is not finished after the student has enrolled in the maximum number of credit hours allowable, the student is expected to enroll in UNIV 500 each term until the work is completed. UNIV 500 is a no-credit "course" for which a fee of $37.50 is charged. This form of enrollment enables the student to maintain access to such resources as faculty, library, computers, and parking.

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