Writing, MFA

48 credit hours

This degree is offered online as well as on-ground.

The Master of Fine Arts in writing focuses on the study and practice of the craft of creative writing. We offer craft classes, literature classes, and writing workshops in small class settings. Coursework can be taken fully online or through a combination of online and on-campus courses.

Admission to the MFA in writing program is based on a creative writing sample and a statement of purpose. Both items should be included in the admissions application. The writing sample should be 7-10 pages of creative writing (Fiction, Poetry, Creative Nonfiction, or Young Adult and Middle Grade). The statement of purpose should describe why the applicant would like to pursue the MFA degree and the role writing has played in their personal life. The program seeks students who clearly demonstrate strong writing skills, an understanding of the craft of literary creative writing, and a willingness to continue growing as a writer. Students must also meet all university admissions requirements.

The MFA in writing is a 48-credit-hour degree program. In the first two terms, students must take an Orientation course and are expected to also take a Foundations course in one of four genres: fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, or young adult and middle grade writing. The six-credit graduate thesis, in which students produce a creative thesis in the student's genre(s) of choice, should be taken in the final semester of the student’s program. Students select the remainder of their coursework from the MFA in writing curriculum in whatever order they wish.

Students have the option to declare an emphasis in one of four areas: Fiction, Poetry, Creative Nonfiction, or Young Adult and Middle Grade writing. An emphasis requires a minimum of 27 credit hours of coursework in the emphasis area, including at least one Foundations course from the list below for the declared genre; the six credit-hour thesis must focus primarily on the emphasis genre. Note that Multigenre courses may count as part of your 27 credits in your Emphasis area, as determined by the MFA program director.

Emphasis students may choose any IMF course numbers for their 9 remaining credit hours. Students work with an advisor to ensure proper emphasis coursework is completed. MFA classes may be offered online, on-campus, or both.


Major Coursework

9 credit hours of coursework from the following options:

IMF 50000MFA Lindenways


IMF 65000MFA Thesis


Foundations Coursework

All students, regardless of whether they declare an emphasis track, must complete 3 credit hours of coursework from Foundations course in one of four genres: Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, or Young Adult and Middle Grade Writing.

Note that students pursuing an emphasis must take the foundations course that matches their emphasis designation.

Elective Coursework

36 credit hours of IMF coursework from any of the courses for students who are not completing an emphasis track. Emphasis students must take 27 credits in their emphasis area, as well as, 9 additional elective credits. Note that students in the Young Adult-Middle Grade (YA-MG) emphasis track may count 9 credits of (non-YA-MG) Fiction as part of their required 27 credits of YA-MG Fiction.