MFA in Creative Writing

A Center for Literary Arts and Publishing Practice

Catalog Year: 2024-2025

Banner Code: LA-MFA-CW

The MFA in creative writing is a three-year residency program offering tracks in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Students in the program are members of a literary community that includes a student-organized program of readings, potluck dinners with faculty, three journals, a student-run publisher—Stillhouse Press—and the annual Fall for the Book literary festival. Resident faculty members include recipients of prestigious writing awards such as the Guggenheim Foundation, the Yale Series of Younger Poets, the Lannan Foundation, the Whiting Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, among others. 

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 48

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

Core Courses


Select two to four courses in consultation with an advisor 1 6-12
Craft Seminars
Six to twelve credits of 6-12
Craft Seminars 2
Workshop 1
Visiting Writers
Total Credits 13-25

ENGH 798 Directed Reading and Research may not be used to fulfill this requirement.


This course may be repeated for credit.

Concentration in Fiction (FIC)

ENGH 566 Forms of Fiction 3
ENGH 683 Proseminar in Fiction 3
Writing Workshops 9
Fiction Writing Workshop
Advanced Workshop in Fiction Writing
Total Credits 15

Concentration in Nonfiction Writing (NFW)

ENGH 506 Research for Narrative Writing 1 3
ENGH 565 Forms of Nonfiction 3
Writing Workshops 9
Nonfiction Writing Workshop
Advanced Workshop in Nonfiction Writing
Total Credits 15

Students should enroll the first semester it is offered after they enter the program.

Concentration in Poetry (POE)

ENGH 564 Form of Poetry 3
Writing Workshops 9
Poetry Writing Workshop
Advanced Workshop in Poetry Writing
Select at least one course in another genre (fiction or nonfiction) 1 3
Total Credits 15

This requirement may be filled by a section of ENGH 608 Craft Seminars in another genre.

Poetry Exam

Students in poetry must pass a written MFA exam based on the authors they have chosen. The authors are selected in collaboration with the writing faculty any time after completing 12 credits of course work and before completing 32 credits. The exam must be completed at least one semester before the student registers for the final 3 credits of thesis.


Select up to 15 credits from electives in consultation with the writing program faculty 1 15
Total Credits 15

The number of electives will vary according to the number of literature courses and workshops that students take. 


ENGH 798 Directed Reading and Research may not be used as thesis preparation. Students who want to register for thesis credits in the summer need the permission of the thesis committee.

Students should be aware of the university policies governing theses. They must follow the thesis enrollment policy and once enrolled in ENGH 799 Thesis, maintain continuous enrollment. These policies are specified in AP.6.9.3 Master's Thesis.

Thesis 6
Total Credits 6