MFA creative writing program that last three years gives potential poets and fiction writers an opportunity to train their skills with dedicated fellow writers. The community addresses the challenges of the literary process and focuses on their quality and craft of literary writing. One of the main strengths of the program is the excellence of students. The program is usually based on a strict enrollment process and admits about six fiction writers and six poets every year. Students are guaranteed to work together with the faculty that works with a few full-time writers of national acclaim. In addition, every year one renowned writer is visiting a program.
To enter the program, students need to present their writing samples and academic credentials. A small size of a class and high admission standards make sure that students get a thorough and consistent attention from the faculty to their writing skills.
The program creates a supportive environment for all students. Its goal is to nurture new writers. Students are also given opportunities to teach in the writing program.
Overview of the program
MFA creative writing program offers the MFA degree concentrating either in fiction or poetry. MFA students implement intensive study with distinguished faculty devoted to intellectual and creative achievement.
Every year, the department enrolls only a few students for each concentration. The small size of a group allows to offer a financial support package for every student. Students are engaged in different literary, cultural, and theoretical areas. Every student selects a special committee of two members of the faculty who work closely together with the student to create a study course within the broad framework set by the department.
Students also take part in graduate writing workshop every semester 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 of creative writing or courses in creative writing
- Tracks in for poetry, fiction, scriptwriting, and non-fiction
- An obligatory secondary area in literature, rhetoric and composition, or teaching English as a second language
Every student chooses a special committee of advisors of the faculty who works closely with the student in preparation and revising the theses as well as selecting courses. The committee consists of two members of creative writing faculty. There may be a third member who represents interdisciplinary field. The system of committee gives students a chance to create their own courses of study and encourages a close working environment between students and professors promoting flexibility and freedom in the implementation of the graduate degree. The committee supervises and guides all academic work of every student and evaluates progress in a row of meetings with the students.
Teaching is an important part of training for a career in writing. The field requires a supervised teaching experience of at least one year for every MFA applicant as a part of the requirements of the program. The department of English together with the First-Year Writing Program offers great training for novice teachers and an opportunity of teaching in a university program. These are full-fledged academic seminars offered and created by graduate students themselves. The course is a writing intensive 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 an undergraduate lecture course taught by a member of the department of the English faculty.
All MFA degree applicants are guaranteed to get two years of funding 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 editorial responsibilities.
- Summer teaching assistance related to the training program of teachers.
Your two includes:
- Teaching assistance
- Summer fellowship
Application procedure and admission
In order to be eligible to apply for the MFA creative writing program, applicants should have at least a BA or BS, or the equivalent 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 GRE test.
In order to apply all supplemental materials and applications must be submitted online through the application system of the school. When completing an application, students have the opportunity to save and edit their data. Once they click the submit button, the application will not be available for any changes. Before submitting your application, proofread all the information you provided thoroughly. Once you pay and click submit, revisions or changes won’t be available.
The deadline for application is usually December 15. After this date, no additional materials, applications, or revisions will be accepted.
The checklist for MFA program application
You need to provide the following for the program:
- Three recommendation letters. You need to submit three recommendation letters from people who know you and your work. Submitting an extra letter will not make your application stronger. When submitting the recommendations, you need to include the email address of every recommender. Once you save the information in the application, the system will automatically create a recommendation request email to your recommender with the guidelines for submitting the letter electronically. If you can’t submit a letter online, you may send them in paper to the postal address of the school.
- A purpose statement. You also need to provide a statement one or two pages long with a single space where you need to describe the reasons you are committing to graduate work and explain your academic interests and how they connect to your professional goals and an academic graduate study.
- English language proficiency. If you are an international student, you must show proficiency in the English language by sending an official test score from IELTS or TOEFL.
- You need to submit the transcript from every institution you have attended. Scan them and upload them into your application in the appropriate section. Make sure to remove your Social Security number from all documents before scanning them. Once you are admitted and accepted to the school you will be required to provide an official paper transcript from the institution where you got your degree before being involved in the school.
- A writing sample. You need to submit a writing sample in accordance with the limits. Extra pages will not be reviewed. All the samples must be original written in the English language. No translation work will be accepted. If you are applying for a fiction concentration, your sample must be from 6,000 to 10,000 words long, double spaced, typed, in the usual 12 or 14-point font. You may submit an expert from a bigger work or combination of a few works. If you are applying for a poetry concentration, you need to submit a sample 10 pages long and include a few poems in it.
Opportunities for graduate students
Students who graduate the program are offered the following opportunities:
- 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 can demonstrate their own work. A close connection with the MA in publishing program allows students to enhance their professional skills (like book publishing or copyediting) and develop long connections with the editorial and publishing world. Students are offered everything they need to improve their talents and craft their skills in the city that offers a lot of artistic and professional opportunities.
Information for all applicants
Once you submit your application, you will get a confirmation email. You will also be able to check the status of completion of your application in your account. If important sections of your application are missing, you will be notified about it via email after December 15 and you will have time to provide the materials that are missing. All the information about the application fees, fee waivers, and payment options can be found on the website of the school.
When the submission deadline is over, the application review begins. Admissions notifications about the decisions will be made by phone or email by the end of February. The review committee members of the admission cannot review application materials or credentials of the applicant before the official submission of applications. Once your application is reviewed and the decision is made, the results won’t be discussed and no recommendations will be made for enhancing the strength of your credentials. If you are looking for feedback, you should consult with your undergraduate advisor.
The requirements of the program consist of 48 hours of learning evenly split between the literature courses and the writing courses created to address the writing. While you are supposed to meet the requirements in the genre you were accepted in, the program supports the cross-genre learning and encourages you to take the courses outside of the writing program and even the department of English.
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