MFA creative writing program that last three years givespotential poets and fiction writers an opportunity to train theirskills with dedicated fellow writers. The community addresses thechallenges of the literary process and focuses on their qualityand craft of literary writing. One of the main strengths of theprogram is the excellence of students. The program is usuallybased on a strict enrollment process and admits about six fictionwriters and six poets every year. Students are guaranteed to worktogether with the faculty that works with a few full-time writersof national acclaim. In addition, every year one renowned writeris visiting a program.
To enter the program, students need to present their writingsamples and academic credentials. A small size of a class andhigh admission standards make sure that students get a thoroughand consistent attention from the faculty to their writingskills.
The program creates a supportive environment for all students.Its goal is to nurture new writers. Students are also givenopportunities to teach in the writing program.
Overview of the program
MFA creative writing program offers the MFA degree concentratingeither in fiction or poetry. MFA students implement intensivestudy with distinguished faculty devoted to intellectual andcreative achievement.
Every year, the department enrolls only a few students for eachconcentration. The small size of a group allows to offer afinancial support package for every student. Students are engagedin different literary, cultural, and theoretical areas. Everystudent selects a special committee of two members of the facultywho work closely together with the student to create a studycourse within the broad framework set by the department.
Students also take part in graduate writing workshop everysemester and take additional one-semester courses for credit.Some of the courses may include:
- American or English literature
- Literature in the modern or classical languages
- Cultural studies
- Comparative literature
The program offers the things you would find anywhere else.However, it also offers the following:
- Reading courses devoted to the craft and the history ofcreative writing or courses in creative writing
- Tracks in for poetry, fiction, scriptwriting, and non-fiction
- An obligatory secondary area in literature, rhetoric andcomposition, or teaching English as a second language
Every student chooses a special committee of advisors of thefaculty who works closely with the student in preparation andrevising the theses as well as selecting courses. The committeeconsists of two members of creative writing faculty. There may bea third member who represents interdisciplinary field. The systemof committee gives students a chance to create their own coursesof study and encourages a close working environment betweenstudents and professors promoting flexibility and freedom in theimplementation of the graduate degree. The committee supervisesand guides all academic work of every student and evaluatesprogress in a row of meetings with the students.
Teaching is an important part of training for a career inwriting. The field requires a supervised teaching experience ofat least one year for every MFA applicant as a part of therequirements of the program. The department of English togetherwith the First-Year Writing Program offers great training fornovice teachers and an opportunity of teaching in a universityprogram. These are full-fledged academic seminars offered andcreated by graduate students themselves. The course is a writingintensive and may include the following:
- American literature and culture
- Portraits of the self
- Cultural studies
A graduate student may also work as a teaching assistant for anundergraduate lecture course taught by a member of the departmentof the English faculty.
All MFA degree applicants are guaranteed to get two years offunding including a full tuition fellowship, health insurance,and stipend.
Year one includes:
- Graduate assistance with Epoch. Students plan special issues,read submissions, and get other administrative and editorialresponsibilities.
- Summer teaching assistance related to the training program ofteachers.
Your two includes:
- Teaching assistance
- Summer fellowship
Application procedure and admission
In order to be eligible to apply for the MFA creative writingprogram, applicants should have at least a BA or BS, or theequivalent in any field before being enrolled in the program.International students should verify their degree equivalency.There’s no need to meet a specified GPA minimum or take the GREtest.
In order to apply all supplemental materials and applicationsmust be submitted online through the application system of theschool. When completing an application, students have theopportunity to save and edit their data. Once they click thesubmit button, the application will not be available for anychanges. Before submitting your application, proofread all theinformation you provided thoroughly. Once you pay and clicksubmit, revisions or changes won’t be available.
The deadline for application is usually December 15. After thisdate, no additional materials, applications, or revisions will beaccepted.
The checklist for MFA program application
You need to provide the following for the program:
- Three recommendation letters. You need to submit threerecommendation letters from people who know you and your work.Submitting an extra letter will not make your applicationstronger. When submitting the recommendations, you need toinclude the email address of every recommender. Once you save theinformation in the application, the system will automaticallycreate a recommendation request email to your recommender withthe guidelines for submitting the letter electronically. If youcan’t submit a letter online, you may send them in paper to thepostal address of the school.
- A purpose statement. You also need to provide a statement oneor two pages long with a single space where you need to describethe reasons you are committing to graduate work and explain youracademic interests and how they connect to your professionalgoals and an academic graduate study.
- English language proficiency. If you are an internationalstudent, you must show proficiency in the English language bysending an official test score from IELTS or TOEFL.
- You need to submit the transcript from every institution youhave attended. Scan them and upload them into your application inthe appropriate section. Make sure to remove your Social Securitynumber from all documents before scanning them. Once you areadmitted and accepted to the school you will be required toprovide an official paper transcript from the institution whereyou got your degree before being involved in the school.
- A writing sample. You need to submit a writing sample inaccordance with the limits. Extra pages will not be reviewed. Allthe samples must be original written in the English language. Notranslation work will be accepted. If you are applying for afiction concentration, your sample must be from 6,000 to 10,000words long, double spaced, typed, in the usual 12 or 14-pointfont. You may submit an expert from a bigger work or combinationof a few works. If you are applying for a poetry concentration,you need to submit a sample 10 pages long and include a few poemsin it.
Opportunities for graduate students
Students who graduate the program are offered the followingopportunities:
- Teach writing through the first-year writing program
- Work as interns at publishing houses and magazines
- Edit literary journals
- Teach creative writing to high school students
Students also take part in all the programs where they candemonstrate their own work. A close connection with the MA inpublishing program allows students to enhance their professionalskills (like book publishing or copyediting) and develop longconnections with the editorial and publishing world. Students areoffered everything they need to improve their talents and crafttheir skills in the city that offers a lot of artistic andprofessional opportunities.
Information for all applicants
Once you submit your application, you will get a confirmationemail. You will also be able to check the status of completion ofyour application in your account. If important sections of yourapplication are missing, you will be notified about it via emailafter December 15 and you will have time to provide the materialsthat are missing. All the information about the application fees,fee waivers, and payment options can be found on the website ofthe school.
When the submission deadline is over, the application reviewbegins. Admissions notifications about the decisions will be madeby phone or email by the end of February. The review committeemembers of the admission cannot review application materials orcredentials of the applicant before the official submission ofapplications. Once your application is reviewed and the decisionis made, the results won’t be discussed and no recommendationswill be made for enhancing the strength of your credentials. Ifyou are looking for feedback, you should consult with yourundergraduate advisor.
The requirements of the program consist of 48 hours of learningevenly split between the literature courses and the writingcourses created to address the writing. While you are supposed tomeet the requirements in the genre you were accepted in, theprogram supports the cross-genre learning and encourages you totake the courses outside of the writing program and even thedepartment of English.
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