Degree Requirements

Our MFA in Creative Writing program has three main requirements. Students must 1) complete a minimum of 45 academic credits; 2) pass a written comprehensive exam based on a standardized reading list (this exam is typically held during the fourth full week of each student’s fourth semester); and 3) produce a creative thesis and pass an oral defense of that thesis.

Each student’s 45 credits must be distributed among specific categories, which are listed below. All credits should be at the 600 level, except as noted under “Electives.” Students must receive a grade of “A” or “B” in all 600-level courses they wish to apply toward their degree.

  • Workshop, Theory & Pedagogy (15 credits)
    ENGL 671: Writer’s Workshop (9 credits; required)
    ENGL 601: Theory, Criticism and Methods (3 credits; required)
    ENGL 685: Teaching College Composition (3 credits; required for Teaching Assistants or those who plan to teach; if a student does not take ENGL 685, they must enroll in an extra 600-level course)
  • Forms & Genre (6 credits—select two courses)
    ENGL 681: Forms of Poetry
    ENGL 682: Forms of Fiction
    ENGL 684: Forms of Non-Fiction Prose
    ENGL 688: Writing for Film and Television
  • Literature Seminars (12 credits—select four courses)
    ENGL 603: British Literature: Old and Middle English
    ENGL 604: British Literature: Renaissance and 17th Century
    ENGL 606: British Literature: Restoration and 18th Century
    ENGL 607: British Literature: 19th Century
    ENGL 608: British Literature after 1900
    ENGL 609: American Literature to 1865
    ENGL 611: American Literature from 1865 to 1918
    ENGL 612: American Literature after 1918
    ENGL 614: Comparative Literature
    ENGL 615: Contemporary Literature
    ENGL 620: Images of the North
    ENGL 692: Graduate Seminar (Selected Topics)
    (Descriptions of these courses are available in the UAF course catalog.)
  • Electives (6 credits)
    Students should take two additional 600-level courses; 400-level courses are permitted with approval from the student’s advisory committee
  • Thesis (6 credits)
    ENGL 699: Thesis