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M.F.A. in Creative Writing

Program Requirements

M.F.A. students must successfully complete 45 hours, distributed as follows: fifteen hours of creative writing workshops (one outside of the student’s genre); twelve hours of graduate-level English courses (non-creative writing); three hours of creative writing pedagogy; nine thesis hours; six hours (electives) to be determined in consultation with the Creative Writing faculty. The student is required to submit a book-length manuscript (minimum of 48 pages in poetry, 150 pages in fiction or nonfiction), ideally suitable for publication on its own, that has been approved by a thesis director and two readers. Final approval is granted following an oral defense of the thesis. The core of the program is the workshop, where students submit their own writing for discussion and critique. This writing will make up the bulk of the thesis, which will be completed under the close supervision of the thesis adviser and two additional thesis committee members. The non-creative writing courses will be the same as those taken by Ph.D and M.A. students.

MFA students complete a Plan of Study when they enter the program and, again, upon graduation. The Plan can be found here.

Thesis Information

Thesis deadlines can be found here. If you haven’t scheduled a thesis defense yet, do so soon. Check with your thesis chair about the best time and work with Kelly Johnson to secure a location.

Thesis introductions (or prefaces) are usually relatively short (3-5 pages). They usually include your insights into the themes and concerns of your thesis as well as your literary influences. You might also mention how your time at WVU contributed to the work you did. But check with your thesis chair about the direction your intro/preface should go. There is room for creativity.