The New Writers Project offers the degree of Master of Fine Arts. Our students typically fulfill their M.F.A. requirements in two years. A total of 36 semester hours of coursework, including the Master’s Thesis, is required for the M.F.A. Students choose these hours with help from the Graduate Creative Writing Adviser.
Course requirements for M.F.A. in Creative Writing
- 12 hours E385N Fiction or E386L Poetry or WRT380 W Poetry (graduate writing workshops)
- 6 hours E380F or WRT 380 (Literature for Writers or Studies, topics vary)
- 3 (or more) additional hours in English, WRT, or Anglophone Literature at the discretion of the Graduate Adviser courses (literature or creative writing; may include graduate English, additional Literature for Writers, or additional workshops)
- Up to 6 additional hours may be taken outside of English
- Up to 3 hours of courses may be taken at the upper-division undergraduate level
- Up to 6 hours of Conference Courses for thesis preparation in the first year
- Up to 6 hours Thesis (698A & B, or E398R) in the second year
ABOUT THE THESIS
Students admitted to the New Writers Project must complete a thesis, as well as other detailed program requirements, to receive the degree. For the M.F.A. degree, the thesis must consist of a body of creative work. Our students generally complete their graduate training with Thesis (E698A & B) taken in the second year OR Master’s Report (E398R) in their final (fourth) semester. To meet all the M.F.A. requirements, candidates need to register for E 698B or E398R during the same semester in which they receive the degree.
Two members of the creative writing faculty — a supervising professor and a second reader — direct the student through the thesis. The supervisor must be a member of the core MFA faculty in the appropriate genre. The thesis must be formatted according to the Graduate School’s specifications and receive the signatures of the supervisor and second reader. Students must apply to graduate through the Graduate School website early in the semester that they expect to complete the degree, and must submit their thesis and final paperwork to the Graduate School by the deadline at the end of the semester. For graduation deadlines and guidelines for master’s candidates, please visit the Graduate School website.
SWITCHING GENRES OR DEGREE PROGRAMS
The New Writers Project discourages its students from switching genres or degree programs, since this may lead to additional coursework and/or extended enrollment. We expect our students to submit their Thesis in the genre (fiction or poetry) they specified in their applications. Students who wish to change genres before or during their study need the approval of two members of the creative writing faculty and the director of the New Writers Project.
All courses counting for the M.F.A. degree must be taken on a letter-grade basis, with this exception: 6 hours of minor coursework, which may be taken on a CR/NC basis. Students must hold a 3.0 average to remain in the New Writers Project.
To earn the M.F.A., students must make normal progress by meeting the degree requirements within four long semesters (two years). Continued financial support by the program depends upon the timely and successful completion of coursework each semester. (The university requires that students finish all work for the master’s degree within one six-year period.)
MEETING PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES
All students admitted into the New Writers Project are expected to serve as Teaching Assistants (TAs). To maintain a good standing and continue in the program, they need to not only meet the Graduate School’s requirements but also successfully complete their professional responsibilities as TAs. Typically, if a TA fails to execute his or her responsibilities, a committee composed of the supervising professor, NWP Director, the GSC chair and the graduate adviser will meet to consider termination.
A failure to meet professional responsibilities can include, but is not limited to, such things as the following: failure to grade and return student papers and exams in a timely manner; failure to meet classes; failure to attend faculty lectures (as a TA); failure to turn in grades at the end of the semester; and conducting a discussion section in a way that undermines the purpose of the class.