May 24, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Creative Writing, M.F.A.

College of Arts and Sciences  
Department: English 


The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing is a graduate-level major that emphasizes the craft of writing and concentrates on the student’s original work. The MFA typically will take three years for the student to complete. Our goal is to help MFA students to produce publishable theses and secure teaching or editing positions upon graduation.

Admission Information

Must meet University Admission and English Proficiency requirements as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below. Students accepted into the program will begin coursework in the fall. No applications will be considered for spring or summer admission.

  • Bachelor’s degree in English or related field, with a 3.20 average, or its equivalent
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation, preferably from former English instructors, assessing the student’s potential to do graduate level work
  • A writing sample consisting of 12-20 pages:
    • Prose should be double spaced.  Indicate genre (fiction, memoir)
    • Poetry should be single spaced
    • A sample that includes both prose and poetry is permitted if the student plans to specialize in more than one genre
    • Hybrid, graphic, text/image works and comics are invited (format is left up to the author)
  • A two-to-three page personal statement, describing the student’s background, purpose for attending graduate studies, and career goals
  • Interest in a Graduate Assistantship should be noted in the personal statement
  • Candidates with a BA degree in a field other than English may be required to take undergraduate surveys in English and American Literature.  Coursework will be determined by the Graduate Director in consultation with the student

Curriculum Requirements

Total Minimum Hours: 45 Credit Hours

  • Core Requirements - 6 Credit Hours
  • Additional Required Courses - 30 Credit Hours
  • Thesis - 9 Credit Hours Minimum


The distribution of the requirements includes

  • 18 hours in writing workshops and craft seminars and
  • 12 hours in pedagogy and literature courses

Core Requirements (6 Credit Hours Minimum)

Must be taken in the student’s first or second semester of graduate studies.

Additional Required Courses (30 Credit Hours)

Select six courses (18 Credit Hours) from the following:

Comprehensive Exam

Students do not take a written comprehensive exam.  The thesis introduction serves in lieu of the comprehensive exam.

Thesis (9 Credit Hours Minimum)

The student must be registered in at least 3 hours of ENG 6971  during the semester prior to graduation.

Complete a book-length manuscript in creative nonfiction, fiction, poetry ,comics, or hybrid work that will meet departmental and university requirements for the thesis.  The thesis shall consist of at least 40 pages of poems (single-or double-spaced), at least 100 pages of prose, or , in a hybrid work, a length determined in consultation with the thesis director.  All students must write a three-to-ten-page introduction to their thesis that explains their goals for the work.