Creative Writing Program Requirements
The Creative Writing MFA program requires 52 credit hours, including:
- A minimum of 20 credits of writing workshop courses (16 credits of which must be in the chosen thesis-genre)
- 12 credits of literature courses
- 12 credits of department electives
- 8-credit master’s thesis
Students are admitted into the program in a particular genre: poetry, nonfiction, or fiction. Students may explore other genres by using their remaining 4-credit required workshop and elective credits. Students can take courses in any of the following areas: poetry, fiction, nonfiction, drama, or screenwriting.
At the conclusion of their coursework, students submit and defend a manuscript in one genre to be approved by a thesis committee. MFA students must complete at least 16 credits (four courses) of their required 20 credits of workshops in the genre of the thesis. Students are expected to complete the degree requirements within seven years.
Required Workshop Courses
Poetry students are required to take 16 credits in any of the following workshops (students may take genre workshops more than once):
|WR 605||Poetry Workshop|
|WR 610||Form in Poetry|
Nonfiction students are required to take 16 credits in any of the following workshops (students may take genre workshops more than once):
|WR 613||Nonfiction Workshop|
|WR 655||Writing the Nonfiction Book|
|PB 687||Column Writing|
|PB 676||Magazine Writing|
|WR 515||Topics in Nonfiction|
Fiction students are required to take 16 credits in any of the following workshops (students may take genre workshops more than once):
|WR 606||Fiction Workshop|
|WR 607||Advanced Fiction Workshop|
|WR 652||Novel Workshop|
|WR 629||Playwriting Workshop|
|WR 640||Screenwriting Workshop|
For completion of the MFA degree, students are required to write a thesis of “near publishable” quality. The thesis may consist of a collection of poems, short stories, essays, a script or play, a novel or novel excerpt, or a nonfiction book or excerpt. Minimum required lengths for MFA theses vary according to genre.
It is strongly suggested that the student begin planning the thesis early and develop a work that approaches a publishable book in concept and form. When nearing completion of the program, a student applies for a thesis committee with a chair who works closely with that student to make a work plan, develop the final manuscript, and schedule a thesis defense.
CREATIVE WRITING (MFA) AT A GLANCE
Full-time or part-time enrollment. Full-time enrollment is typically 8 or 12 credits per semester.
Full-time students usually complete the degree in two and a half years; part-time students usually complete the degree in three and a half years.
Professor and MFA Graduate Program Director Steve Yarbrough is the author of nine books. His recently completed novel The Realm of Last Chances will be published by Alfred A. Knopf in 2013. His previous novel, Safe from the Neighbors (Knopf), appeared in 2010. His 2006 novel The End of California (Knopf) was a finalist for the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for fiction.