Creative Writing, MFA

The Master of Fine Arts in creative writing program at Arizona State University has always been an unswervingly student-first program. Through small classes, intimate workshops and practicum, the centuries-old apprenticeship model thrives within the New American University. Poets and fiction writers work with outstanding faculty members who’ve published more than 80 books and have garnered national and international attention.

Ranked within the top 20 MFA programs in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, the master’s program in creative writing has an energetic intellectual atmosphere that enables poets and fiction writers to share their love for the craft. The program’s alumni are equally impressive and have won the Iowa Short Fiction Award, the Pen Southwest Book Award, the Prairie Schooner Book Prize, the May Swenson Poetry Award and many Pushcart Prizes.

3 years to degree
4 fiction faculty
4 poetry faculty

Degree Overview

The program requires 48 hours of study – which includes 6 hours of research and 3 hours toward the student’s culminating experience – evenly divided between writing courses and literature courses designed to inform that writing. While students are expected to satisfy requirements in the genre in which they were accepted, the program encourages cross-genre study. The GRE is not required for the application.

How to apply

All applications for admission to the program must be approved by the admissions committee in the Department of English and by the Graduate College. There are several requirements for admission, none of which will be arbitrarily disregarded, and the best applicants will meet or exceed all of these criteria. However, the admissions committee will consider the individual aspects of each application.

For details, see the Application Procedures link or the Apply Now button in the left menu.

10
Average number of books published by alumni per year.

The community that I have been welcomed into the past two years is full of dedicated artists who are brimming with passion and grit.

—Susan Nguyen, MFA candidate, class of 2018

Curriculum

The creative writing program requires 48 credit hours of study evenly divided between writing courses, and literature courses designed to inform that writing.

A written comprehensive exam and an applied project are required.

Requirements and electives

Hours

Courses in English

39

Research

6

Culminating Experience

3

Courses and electives

While students are expected to satisfy these requirements in the genre in which they were accepted, the program encourages cross-genre study and electives can include courses taken outside of the creative writing program, even outside the English department.

WRITING COURSES (24 hours)

Students are expected to satisfy the degree requirements in the genre in which they are accepted. Exceptions must be approved by the director of creative writing, the chair of the student’s supervisory committee, the dean of the Graduate College, and the instructor. Electives may be taken out of genre, with the permission of the instructor.

Required (15 hours)
  • ENG 592 Research (Fiction) (6 hours)*
  • ENG 593 Applied Project (Fiction) (3 hours)
  • ENG 594 Conference and Workshop (Fiction) (3 hours)
  • ENG 563 Forms of Fiction (3 hours)

*Research Hours are dedicated to the development of a student's creative thesis with the support of their committee.

Electives (choose 9 hours)
  • ENG 505 Writing Workshops (Special Topics)(3 hours)
  • ENG 591 Seminar, Selected Topics* (3 hours)
  • ENG 594 Conference and Workshop (Fiction) (3-6 hours)
  • ENG 663 Fiction Genres* (3 hours)
  • ENG 680 First Book Seminar (3 hours)
LITERATURE COURSES (24 hours)
Required (9 hours)
  • ENG 538 Studies in Modern and Contemporary American Literature (3 hours)
  • ENG 539 Studies in Modernist and Postmodern Literature and Theory (fiction topics, 3 hours)
  • ENG 665 Creative Methods, Fiction (3 hours)
Electives (choose 15 hours)

Any 400, 500, or 600 level English course relevant to the student’s program of study, and up to six hours of credit in class work outside the department of English (for example, courses at the 400, 500, or 600 level in theater, music, dance, photography, fine printing and bookbinding, papermaking, or editing and publishing), subject to the approval of the director of creative writing, the chair of the student’s supervisory committee (if designated), and the dean of the Graduate College.

Possible English courses include:

  • ENG 537 Studies in Modern and Contemporary British Literature (3 hours)
  • ENG 543 Studies in Anglophone Literatures (3 hours)
  • ENG 545 Studies in Women’s Literature (3 hours)
  • ENG 550 Translation (3 hours)
  • ENG 584 Internship* (3-6 hours)
  • ENG 591 Seminar (Selected Topics, 3 hours)
  • ENG 593 Pedagogy (3 hours)
  • ENG 594 Conference and Workshop (TA Seminar) (4 hours)
  • ENG 598 Special Topics* (3 hours)
  • ENG 667 Writing for the Professions (3 hours)

*May be repeated for credit if topics are distinct.

WRITING COURSES (24 hours)

Students are expected to satisfy the degree requirements in the genre in which they are accepted. Exceptions must be approved by the director of creative writing, the chair of the student’s supervisory committee, the dean of the Graduate College, and the instructor. Electives may be taken out of genre, with the permission of the instructor.

Required (15 hours)
  • ENG 592 Research Hours (6hours)*
  • ENG 593 Applied Project (3 hours)
  • ENG 594 Graduate Poetry Workshop (3 hours)
  • ENG 562 Forms of Poetry (3 hours)

*Research Hours are dedicated the development of a student's creative thesis with the support of their committee.

Electives (choose 9 hours)
  • ENG 505 Writing Workshop (3 hours)
  • ENG 591 Seminar, Selected Topics* (3 hours)
  • ENG 594 Conference and Workshop (Poetry) (3-6 hours)
  • ENG 662 Poetic Genres* (3 hours)
  • ENG 680 First Book Seminar (3 hours)
LITERATURE COURSES (24 hours)
Required (9 hours)
  • ENG 538 Studies in Modern and Contemporary American Literature (3 hours)
  • ENG 539 Studies in Modernist and Postmodern Literature and Theory (poetry topics, 3 hours)
  • ENG 665 Creative Methods, Poetry (3 hours)
Electives (choose 15 hours)

Any 400, 500, or 600 level English course relevant to the student’s program of study, and up to six hours of credit in class work outside the department of English (for example, courses at the 400, 500, or 600 level in theater, music, dance, photography, fine printing and bookbinding, papermaking, or editing and publishing), subject to the approval of the director of creative writing, the chair of the student’s supervisory committee (if designated), and the dean of the Graduate College.

Possible English courses might include:

  • ENG 537 Studies in Modern and Contemporary British Literature (3 hours)
  • ENG 543 Studies in Anglophone Literatures (3 hours)
  • ENG 545 Studies in Women’s Literature (3 hours)
  • ENG 550 Translation (3 hours)
  • ENG 584 Internship* (3-6 hours)
  • ENG 591 Seminar (Selected Topics, 3 hours)
  • ENG 593 Pedagogy (3 hours)
  • ENG 594 Conference and Workshop (TA Seminar) (4 hours)
  • ENG 598 Special Topics* (3 hours)
  • ENG 667 Writing for the Professions (3 hours)

*May be repeated for credit if topics are distinct.

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