Creative Writing & Poetics MFA

The MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics is a two-year, 48-credit graduate degree. Students typically enroll in 9 credit hours per semester and 12 credit hours in the Summer Writing Program (over two summers).
The program offers an open-genre curriculum within a contemplative academic environment, providing MFA students maximum flexibility within the degree. Graduate students are encouraged to take classes across genres, enabling them to investigate a personal, intensely original writing process and style. We challenge the notion of safe or generic works and create a space for radical exploration and experimentation.


Degree Requirements

The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing & Poetics requires a total of 48 credit hours distributed among the following courses:

Summer Writing Program: 12 credits

  • WRI651–653 Summer Writing Program I (6)
  • WRI751–753 Summer Writing Program II (6)

Writing Workshops: 9 credits

Semester-long courses in creative writing workshops require regular submission of original work for critique, oral presentation, and editing. Creative reading and writing courses have distinct literature and creative writing components.

Poetics Seminars: 9 credits

These examine a single writer’s work or specific topics in literary history, or encompass a survey of historical or theoretical orientations, and require critical papers in standard academic format. Students must take WRI617 in their first semester.

Electives: 6 credits

Students have ample choices to fulfill the 6-credit elective requirement and may choose courses from a wide range of offerings (including taking extra poetics and workshop courses). The Creative Writing and Poetics program also offers the following electives:

Professional Development Requirement: 3 credits

There are a variety of courses available that provide professional development in teaching and publishing.

Contemplative Requirement: 3 credits

There are a variety of courses available that satisfy this requirement, including, but not limited to, Taijiquan, sitting meditation, aikido, ikebana, sumi brushstroke, thangka painting, and yoga. Each of these disciplines provides training in an art form that cultivates mindful awareness.

The Creative Writing and Poetics program offers the following 3-credit contemplative courses:

MFA Thesis: 6 credits

In their last semester, MFA students submit an MFA thesis, which includes creative and critical components. Additional information about the MFA thesis and extended thesis is available in the JKS office.

Total Credits: 48