The Writing program offers a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Writing 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 (MFA) in Writing. This is a two-year program that requires 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 that will enrich the student's writing are acceptable, as long as the student has the appropriate preparation and the permission of the instructor.
During their first year, students enroll for 24 units: the graduate workshop in their genre (6 units) plus two additional 3-unit courses each semester. During the second year, while participating in the mentored teaching experience, students typically take a total of 18 units: the workshop each semester (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; a novel (or most of a novel); or a memoir or other long-form creative nonfiction work (or most of one).
Near the end of the second year, after the thesis has been submitted in its final form, the department will schedule an oral examination that deals principally with the thesis.