MFA Course Requirements

The master of fine arts is a terminal degree that will serve students seeking careers in writing, higher education teaching, publishing and related fields. Candidates design, in consultation with the director of the MFA program and their adviser, a plan of study including workshops, courses and seminars at the 500 and 600 levels. The following outlines the course of study for the MFA degree. While many of the workshops and special topics listed here are offered every semester, some are offered less frequently and there are other special topics taught in their place. Students should communicate directly with their adviser about upcoming course offerings.

Total Credits Required for Degree: 48

Introduction to Critical Investigation     (4 credits required)
EN 504 Principles of Critical Investigation (4 cr.)
Note: Students who have taken a graduate course in critical theory should choose eight credits of literature seminars (see below).

Literature Seminar (4 credits required)
EN 514 Seminar in the English Language (4 cr.)
EN 530 Major Authors (4 cr.)
EN 560 Literary Movements (4 cr.)
EN 570 Seminar in American Literature (4 cr.)
EN 590 Seminar in British Literature (4 cr.)
EN 595 Special Topics (1-4 cr.)
EN 698 Directed Study (1-4 cr.)

Form and Technique (4 credits required)
EN 640 Form and Technique of Fiction and Nonfiction (1-6 cr.)
EN 641 Form and Technique of Poetry (1-6 cr.)

Electives/Cognates (8-16 credits)
Electives may be chosen from among all 500 or 600 level English courses. No more than 8 of the 16 credits may be cognates, with approval of the student’s adviser.

Thesis (Book length manuscript*) (8-12 credits)
EN 699A Thesis (1-6 cr.)

Specialty Area Workshops (12-16 credits)
Choose 12 credits from the following:

EN 500 Fiction Workshop (1-6 cr.)
EN 600 Fiction Workshop (1-6 cr.)

EN 501 Poetry Workshop (1-6 cr.)
EN 601 Poetry Workshop (1-6 cr.)

EN 502 Nonfiction Workshop (1-6 cr.)
EN 602 Creative Nonfiction Workshop (1-6 cr.)

EN 505 Genres of Writing (1-4 cr.)
EN 595 Special Topics (1-4 cr.)
EN 598 Directed Study (1-4 cr.)

EN 698 Directed Study (1-4 cr.)

*Students must meet all requirements stated in the Graduate Bulletin. Master of fine arts thesis requirements are as follows:

  1. Poetry: a minimum of 50 pages of poetry and at least one critical paper of 10 to 20 pages.
  2. Creative nonfiction and fiction: a minimum of 180 manuscript pages of the candidate’s prose and at least one critical paper of 10 to 20 pages.
  3. All thesis credits are devoted to a single project.

Prior to graduation, master of fine arts candidates will read from their theses in a celebratory event before faculty and invited guests.

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