Twin Cities campus
 
Twin Cities Campus

Creative Writing M.F.A.

English Language & Literature
College of Liberal Arts
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Department of English, 222 Lind Hall, 207 Church Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (612-625-6366; fax: 612-624-8228)
  • Program Type: Master's
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2017
  • Length of program in credits: 45
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
  • Degree: Master of Fine Arts
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
The creative writing program in the Department of English offers the master of fine arts (MFA) degree for students committed to pursuing the writing life. This three-year degree provides advanced, graduate-level coursework in writing, language, and literature, as well as study in a related field. The third year of the program focuses on the final development of a book-length manuscript suitable for publication. At the heart of the program are writing workshops in poetry, fiction, and literary nonfiction, and courses in the "Reading as Writers" and "Topics in Advanced Writing" series, which enable writers to explore a variety of issues relating to contemporary themes in American and world literature. The program encourages experimentation across genres, fostering the discovery of new and varied forms for a developing voice. Students also have the opportunity to work editorially on "Great River Review," the graduate literary magazine.
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
The preferred undergraduate GPA for admittance to the program is 3.00.
The program does not require a graduate degree for admission.
Special Application Requirements:
The MFA in Creative Writing does not require undergraduate work in English literature or an undergraduate degree in literature. Students come from a variety of educational backgrounds and life experiences. Applicants should be aware, however, that graduate coursework in literature and language is required once admitted to the program.
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
  • TOEFL
    • Internet Based - Total Score: 79
    • Internet Based - Writing Score: 21
    • Internet Based - Reading Score: 19
    • Paper Based - Total Score: 550
  • IELTS
    • Total Score: 6.5
  • MELAB
    • Final score: 80
Key to test abbreviations (TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
Plan C: Plan C requires 42 major credits and 3 credits outside the major. There is no final exam. A capstone project is required.
Capstone Project: The capstone project is a publishable thesis manuscript of poetry, fiction, or literary nonfiction. The final exam is an oral defense of the thesis manuscript and literary essay.
This program may be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses toward program requirements is permitted under certain conditions with adviser approval.
A minimum GPA of 3.00 is required for students to remain in good standing.
At least 2 semesters must be completed before filing a Degree Program Form.
The MFA requires 45 credits distributed over a three-year period, culminating in a book-length manuscript suitable for publication, an MFA literary essay, and an MFA defense.
Required Courses
ENGW 8101 - Reading Across Genres (4.0 cr)
ENGW 8180 - Thesis Seminar: Multi-Genre (4.0 cr)
Take exactly 4 credit(s) from the following:
· ENGW 8990 - MFA Creative Thesis (2.0-8.0 cr)
Workshop Electives
Take exactly 12 credit(s) from the following:
· ENGW 4205 - Screenwriting (3.0 cr)
· ENGW 5102 - Advanced Fiction Writing (4.0 cr)
· ENGW 5104 - Advanced Poetry Writing (4.0 cr)
· ENGW 5106 - Advanced Literary Nonfiction Writing (4.0 cr)
· ENGW 5130 - Topics in Advanced Creative Writing (4.0 cr)
· TH 4115 - Intermediate Playwriting (3.0 cr)
Creative Writing Electives
Take exactly 4 credit(s) from the following:
· ENGW 4xxx
· ENGW 5xxx
· ENGW 8xxx
Seminar Elective
ENGW 8110 - Seminar: Writing of Fiction (4.0 cr)
or ENGW 8120 - Seminar: Writing of Poetry (4.0 cr)
or ENGW 8130 - Seminar: Writing of Literary Nonfiction (4.0 cr)
Literature Language Electives
Take 3 or more credit(s) from the following:
· ENGL 5xxx
· ENGL 8xxx
Other Literature Language Electives
Take 7 or more credit(s) from the following:
· ENGW 5310 - Reading as Writers (4.0 cr)
· ENGW 5130 - Topics in Advanced Creative Writing (4.0 cr)
· ENGW 8110 - Seminar: Writing of Fiction (4.0 cr)
· ENGW 8120 - Seminar: Writing of Poetry (4.0 cr)
· ENGW 8130 - Seminar: Writing of Literary Nonfiction (4.0 cr)
· ENGL 5xxx
· ENGL 8xxx
· ENGL 5701 - Great River Review (4.0 cr)
or ENGW 5701 - Great River Review (4.0 cr)
· Student can also use extra-departmental or foreign literature courses to fulfill this requirement. Courses are selected in consultation with the student's adviser and the Director of Graduate Studies.
Outside the Major or in a Supporting Program
Any graduate level course for 3 credits outside the English Department (not ENGW or ENGL).
 
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ENGW 8101 - Reading Across Genres
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: OPT No Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Contemporary writing in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction. Primarily reading course rather than writing course. prereq: Students may not audit this course
ENGW 8180 - Thesis Seminar: Multi-Genre
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Thesis preparation course for advanced graduate students in the creative writing MFA program. prereq: MFA creative writing program grad student
ENGW 8990 - MFA Creative Thesis
Credits: 2.0 -8.0 [max 48.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
For students working on their creative project. prereq: 8140, 8150, 8160, creative writing MFA student, instr consent
ENGW 4205 - Screenwriting
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: OPT No Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
An introductory workshop to screenwriting basics, including formatting, style and structure. In-class and take-home exercises will assist the students in learning techniques for developing engaging characters, writing concise description and vivid dialogue, and outlining a usable plot. prereq: One EngW or EngL 3xxx course, [permission number available in creative writing office]
ENGW 5102 - Advanced Fiction Writing
Credits: 4.0 [max 8.0]
Grading Basis: OPT No Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Advanced workshop for graduate students with considerable experience in writing fiction.
ENGW 5104 - Advanced Poetry Writing
Credits: 4.0 [max 8.0]
Grading Basis: OPT No Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Advanced workshop for graduate students with considerable experience in writing poetry. Explore new poetic possibilities/read contemporary poetry/poetics.
ENGW 5106 - Advanced Literary Nonfiction Writing
Credits: 4.0 [max 8.0]
Grading Basis: OPT No Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Advanced workshop for graduate students with considerable experience in writing literary nonfiction.
ENGW 5130 - Topics in Advanced Creative Writing
Credits: 4.0 [max 16.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Workshop. Might include work in more than one genre. prereq: instr consent
TH 4115 - Intermediate Playwriting
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
New methods of play construction. How characteristic plays from particular contemporary styles create original theatrical effects by using/breaking dramatic conventions. Writing exercises, workshoping of student plays. prereq: 3115 or [writing sample, instr consent]
ENGW 8110 - Seminar: Writing of Fiction
Credits: 4.0 [max 16.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Focuses on full-length book (e.g., novel, short story collection). Assignments in common. Individual project. prereq: dept consent
ENGW 8120 - Seminar: Writing of Poetry
Credits: 4.0 [max 8.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Focuses on exploration and practice of various styles. Assignments in common and individual project. prereq: dept consent
ENGW 8130 - Seminar: Writing of Literary Nonfiction
Credits: 4.0 [max 8.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Advanced workshop. Assignments in common and individual projects. prereq: dept consent
ENGW 5310 - Reading as Writers
Credits: 4.0 [max 8.0]
Grading Basis: OPT No Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Special topics in reading fiction, literary nonfiction, poetry. Topics specified in Class Schedule.
ENGW 5130 - Topics in Advanced Creative Writing
Credits: 4.0 [max 16.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Workshop. Might include work in more than one genre. prereq: instr consent
ENGW 8110 - Seminar: Writing of Fiction
Credits: 4.0 [max 16.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Focuses on full-length book (e.g., novel, short story collection). Assignments in common. Individual project. prereq: dept consent
ENGW 8120 - Seminar: Writing of Poetry
Credits: 4.0 [max 8.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Focuses on exploration and practice of various styles. Assignments in common and individual project. prereq: dept consent
ENGW 8130 - Seminar: Writing of Literary Nonfiction
Credits: 4.0 [max 8.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Advanced workshop. Assignments in common and individual projects. prereq: dept consent
ENGL 5701 - Great River Review
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02413
Typically offered: Every Spring
Students will be assigned roles, both editorial and managerial, to assist in production of The Great River Review journal. They will explore and present on the history of the small magazine in American literature and meet with Twin Cities publishing professionals.
ENGW 5701 - Great River Review
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02413 - EngL 5701/EngW 5701
Typically offered: Every Spring
Students will be assigned roles, both editorial and managerial, to assist in production of The Great River Review journal. They will explore and present on the history of the small magazine in American literature and meet with Twin Cities publishing professionals.