Write the stories you’re passionate about. Your admittance into the program is based on your genre of choice: poetry, nonfiction, or fiction. Focus on your genre during your required workshops and thesis, and explore different genres along the way through your elective courses.
Our Creative Writing MFA program requires 48 credit hours, including:
- 20 credits of Writing Workshop Courses
- 16 credits must be in your chosen genre
- 12 credits of Literature Courses
- 12 credits of Department Electives
- 4-credit Master’s Thesis
Writing Workshop Courses (20 Credits Required)
|WR 605||*Poetry Workshop||4|
|WR 610||Form in Poetry||4|
|WR 613||*Nonfiction Workshop||4|
|WR 655||Writing the Nonfiction Book||4|
|PB 687||Column Writing||4|
|PB 676||Magazine Writing||4|
|WR 515||Topics in Nonfiction (summer offering)||4|
|WR 606||*Fiction Workshop||4|
|WR 608||Special Topics in Fiction||4|
|WR 652||Novel Workshop||4|
*Genre Workshops may be taken more than once
Electives Course Sampling (12 credits)
|PB 679||The Editor/Writer Relationship||4|
|WR 652||Novel Workshop||4|
|PB 621||Fundamentals of Content Strategy||4|
|PB 683||Book Publishing Overview||4|
Literature Course Sampling (12 credits)
|LI 615||Topics in Multiple Genres and Hybrid Forms: Cities and Citizenry: Writing the City of the Present||4|
|LI 625||Topics in Fiction: Comedy, Humor, and Craft in Contemporary Fiction and Nonfiction||4|
|LI 635||Travel Literature||4|
|LI 637||Construction of Taste||4|
MFA Thesis (4 credits)
|WR 699||MFA Thesis||4|
Elective Alternative: Focus in Translation*
Translation / Global Engagement Focus, 8 credits
You can fulfill elective requirements by taking two classes from the following options:
- A class offered at the Emerson campus, such as the Translation Seminar or the Translating Cultures course (both listed under the Topics LI 615 number)
- A course from one of the Global Pathways Programs
- Directed study. You will complete a required translation project as part of this focus; You can do so as part of the work in one of the classes and options listed above.
*Approval from the Graduate Program Director is required for this focus
Elective Alternative: Teaching College Composition*
Each year, a select number of graduate students in Writing, Literature, and Publishing learn to teach writing at the undergraduate level.
Teaching College Composition is a 4-credit, one-semester course that prepares you to teach at Emerson and other institutions after graduation.
Although taking the course does not guarantee a part-time teaching position at Emerson, students who have completed the course are interviewed by faculty and may be offered appointments. Many students find this elective as a valuable tool when pursuing jobs after graduation.
At the conclusion of your coursework, you will submit and defend a “near publishable” manuscript in one genre to be approved by a thesis committee. You must complete at least 16 credits (four courses) of the required 20 credits of workshops in the genre of your thesis.
Your thesis may consist of a collection of poems, short stories, essays, a novel, a novel excerpt, or a nonfiction book or excerpt. Minimum required lengths for MFA theses vary according to genre.