The Writing program offers a Master of Fine Arts in Writing (MFA) in three genres — creative nonfiction, fiction and poetry. Applicants must apply to each genre separately and will be enrolled in only one. However, through themed craft courses, MFA students may take courses with faculty and students in other genres. The MFA in Writing is a two-year program.
Master of Fine Arts in Writing
The Writing program leads to the Master of Fine Arts in Writing (MFA). It is a two-year program, requiring satisfactory completion of 42 semester hours, a thesis, and an oral examination dealing principally with the thesis.
Of the 42 credit units required, 24 consist of the graduate nonfiction, fiction, or poetry workshop taken every semester. The remainder are primarily literature and craft courses from the English department; however, in consultation with the director of the program, graduate-level courses from any department are acceptable as long as the student has the appropriate preparation and the permission of the instructor, and the course will enrich the student's writing.
In the first year, students enroll for 24 units: the graduate workshop in their genre (6 units) plus two additional 3-unit courses each semester. In the second year, while teaching, students typically take a total of 18 units: the workshop each semester again (12 units), thesis hours (3 units), and an additional course.
The required work for the MFA culminates in a thesis, which may take different forms but is usually a volume (or most of a volume) of poems, stories or essays, or a novel (or most of a novel), or a memoir or other long-form CNF work (or most of one).
Near the end of the second year, after the thesis has been submitted in final form, the department will schedule an oral examination, dealing principally with the thesis.
Mary Jo Bang
MFA, Columbia University
MA, Boston University
PhD, University of Denver
MFA, University of Minnesota–Twin Cities
BA, Goddard University
BA, Washington University
MFA, Bowling Green State University
Director of Creative Writing Program
MFA, Washington University