Creative Writing

[1] Objectives

The MFA degree is recognized as a terminal degree in the area of creative writing. This program  emphasizes full-time, professionally oriented study that will uniquely prepare graduates for careers in writing pedagogy and publishing.

[2] Program Admission Requirements

In addition to the graduate school application and fee, GRE scores, and transcripts, students applying to the MFA program in Creative Writing must also submit the following:

  • a brief statement on why he/she desires an MFA in Creative Writing.
  • a 10 to 30 page portfolio for review in any of the following four areas: poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, or other.
  • applicants must have at least two upper-level undergraduate courses in Creative Writing on their transcripts.

Up to 9 credits of graduate work from other accredited institutions may be transferable, pending approval of the Writing Department Chair and the Dean of the Graduate School. Students admitted with a master’s degree in Creative Writing (or a closely related area) may transfer up to 15 hours of graduate coursework, subject to the approval of the Graduate Dean and Writing Department Chair. All transfer hours must be in courses for which an equivalent graduate course exists at UCA. Students may be requested to provide support materials, including relevant course syllabi. Thesis hours may not be transferred.

In accordance with the Graduate Bulletin, a minimum of 24 hours credit in residence at UCA is required.

[3] Degree Requirements

The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing is a three-year, 60 credit hour terminal degree. It includes 42 hours of core coursework (including 9 credits of thesis work) and 15 hours of electives from the list below. Full time students are expected to take nine credits a semester. 

[3.1] Required Courses

MFA students must take 45 hours from the list below. Generally, each course listed below is 3 credits.

Advanced Forms and Theory Courses – 6 hours

WRTG 6325  Advanced Forms and Theory of Poetry
WRTG 6335  Advanced Forms and Theory of Fiction
WRTG 6345  Advanced Forms and Theory of Creative Nonfiction

Advanced Workshop Courses – 9 hours

WRTG 6370  Advanced Poetry Workshop
WRTG 6371  Advanced Fiction Workshop
WRTG 6372  Advanced Creative Nonfiction Workshop

Advanced Special Topics Courses – 6 hours

WRTG 5324  Advanced Special Topics in Creative Writing

(These courses will vary according to the expertise of the professor. Possible topics may include environmental writing, screenplay writing, literary translation, the illustrated narrative, genre writing, writing for children, travel writing, writing for new media, etc.)

Advanced Internship or Advanced Directed Study – 3 hours

WRTG 6180/6280/6380  Advanced Directed Study in Creative Writing
WRTG 6185/6285/6385  Advanced Internship in Creative Writing

Required Courses – 12 hours

WRTG 5320  Teaching Creative Writing: History, Theory and Practice
WRTG 5330  Contemporary Composition: Theory and Practice
WRTG 6300  The MFA Experience: A Professional Development Seminar
WRTG 6390  Editing and Publishing

Elective Coursework – 15 hours

Students must take at least 15 hours from the list below.

WRTG 5310  Advanced Creative Writing with Hypertexts
LING 5310  Linguistics for Educators
LING 5345  Advanced Analytical Methods of Morphology and Syntax
LING 5350  Advanced Phonology

LING 5355  Advanced Special Topics in Linguistics
WRTG 6310  Advanced Topics in Discourse Analysis
WRTG 6610  Great Bear Writing Project Summer Institute

Additional 5000 or 6000 level workshop, forms and theory, special topics, internship or directed study courses may also be used to satisfy the elective requirement. One 5000- or 6000-level course offered in another department will be allowed, pending approval by the Writing Department Chair.

Note: Courses designated LING are offered within the Department of Writing at UCA.

Thesis Hours – 9 hours

WRTG 7180/7280/7380/7480/7580/7680/7780/7880/7980  Thesis Research

[3.2] Thesis Project

This is the culminating required project for candidates for the Creative Writing MFA degree. Each student will be responsible for researching, writing and ultimately creating a creative book-length manuscript appropriate to the genre of choice, with a critical introduction. Students will work independently while periodically seeking the assistance and approval of members of their thesis committee. Enrollment is contingent upon the successful completion of 36 credits of course work and preapproval of the thesis committee. MFA candidates are expected to enroll for a total of 9 hours minimum and must enroll for thesis research credit each term until they successfully defend their theses, typically in their final semester. If the thesis committee does not approve the thesis, a student may register for this course again, provided he or she does not receive a D or less in the course. The learning outcome of thesis research is naturally and literally a mastery of the fine arts in Creative Writing. Offered every semester for variable credit.

[4]  Graduate courses in Writing (LING) and (WRTG)

Follow this link for LING and WRTG course descriptions: course link.