Kent Wascom, Graduate Program Director
The Master of Fine Arts in creative writing is widely regarded as a terminal degree. It is designed to prepare students for careers as published writers in fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction. A secondary goal is to emphasize not only preparation for college-level teaching (the practical vocational goal of most M.F.A. programs in creative writing), but also includes preparation of graduates for careers in literary editing and publishing, or as free-lance writers (magazines, newspapers, reviews, and features).
Applicants must have completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with at least a 3.0 G.P.A. Candidates must also submit writing samples in their genre (candidates should note genre on title page of submission), three letters of recommendation, academic transcripts, and a personal statement.
Students in the M.F.A. program must complete 54 total credit hours (39 hours of required courses and 15 hours of approved electives). In addition, students must also maintain a 3.00 GPA overall, satisfy a mid-program review at the end of the third semester in the program, and complete all work within three years (full-time students) or six years (part-time students). Students choose courses based upon their genre of study, and should consult the graduate program director or their advisor when selecting a schedule.
|Students must take at least 12 credit hours of ENGL 650 (CREATIVE WRITING WORKSHOP), most of these in the genre area of concentration, to count toward core requirements for the degree.||15|
|Craft of Literary Forms|
|Literature (select four of the following): **||12|
|Chaucer's Canterbury Tales|
|English Renaissance Drama|
|British Literature 1660-1800|
|The Romantic Movement in Britain|
|The Twentieth-Century British Novel|
|The American Novel to 1920|
|The American Novel 1920 to Present|
|New Literatures in English|
|American Poetry of the Early Twentieth Century|
|Asian American Literature|
|Modern World Drama|
|Contemporary World Literature|
|Topics in English|
|American Literature 1945-Present|
|Contemporary Classics: The Thesis Reading List|
|Literature for Writers (This course is specifically recommended for MFA Creative Writing students.)|
|London Calling: 20th and 21st Century British Literature|
|Eighteenth Century British Literature|
|Postcolonial Literature and Theory|
|Nineteenth Century British Literature|
|American Literature to 1810|
|Pocahontas Unplugged: Jamestown, Pocahontas and the Forging of American Identity|
|American Literature 1810-1870|
|American Literature 1870-1946|
|Seminar in Literary Studies|
|ENGL 694||Thesis Colloquium ***||3|
|Students must complete 3-9 Thesis Hours to complete curricular requirements in the program||9|
|Teaching College Composition|
|Literary Editing and Publishing|
|Total Credit Hours||54|
These are the Graduate Creative Writing Workshops in Fiction, Poetry, and Nonfiction; course may be repeated up to 6 times with 3 different topics.
Cross-genre experience is recommended (taking ENGL 650 Creative Writing Workshops in a concentration other than the student's major), but ONLY after the first year in the program. Instructor approval must be sought.
No more than 12 hours of courses at the 500 level may be counted toward the degree.
Should be taken in the last semester of the second year, or the first semester of the third year.
Additional Creative Writing Workshops, additional American, British, or World Literature Courses, or courses in other fields (approved in advance by GPD) that may count toward Electives ~
MFA Creative Writing students may also elect to take ENGL 596 Topics: Writing Tutorial (1 credit), which offers the opportunity to work in tutorials with the program's Visiting Writer in Residence. Three (3) of these 1-credit ENGL 596 Writing Tutorial courses are equivalent to one Elective (3 credits) in the MFA Creative Writing curriculum.
Students in their first year of the program, especially those with GTAs/GAAs/RAAs, are strongly encouraged to take as one of their Electives, ENGL 664 The Teaching of College Composition; this course is typically a requirement for any teaching assistantship assignments in the classroom.
Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Thesis
All candidates for the M.F.A. in creative writing must complete a thesis manuscript of publishable quality in their chosen genre (poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction). Each student will select an advisor from the graduate faculty and work with that advisor and a committee of readers to prepare the manuscript. At the completion of the thesis, students will schedule an oral defense with the advisor and the committee, at which point the thesis will be adjudged as to its readiness for final acceptance.
For more information relating to this program and its requirements, please visit https://www.odu.edu/englishdept/mfa-creative-writing