Located in the center of San Francisco, USF's Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program offers graduate students an intimate personalized learning experience, while taking advantage of San Francisco's position as a vital center of literary expression. The MFA is a two-year, 33-credit program designed to instruct writers in creative techniques, to nurture their individual development and vision, and to help prepare them for entry into the public life of literature.
MFA students work in fiction, poetry, nonfiction, or a combination of these genres. Classes are small, and are led by faculty members who are practicing writers. The program offers workshops and courses that combine theory with practice, and writing with reading literature. The program emphasizes issues in craft not only in its workshops, where the student's work is the focus, but also in the courses in literature and style, where published works of literature are studied to learn how meaning is made.
The tone is intimate throughout. Students work in community with one another, but they also work independently with mentors. Creativity is fostered by small classes, and so is the detail to craft needed to bring projects to fruition.
A weekly newsletter alerts students to ongoing literary events, readings, colloquia, publishing opportunities, and awards. Students and faculty edit and publish Switchback, the program's online literary journal. Lone Mountain Readings brings acclaimed writers to campus to read from their work and discuss contemporary issues in writing. A teaching writing course is offered for those interested in pursuing the profession, with TAships available in conjunction with undergraduate courses in creative writing. Alumni events are open to writers who have graduated from the program.
All new students begin their coursework together in a six-week summer intensive focused on first-person writing. In their second and third summers in the Program, students work one-on-one with mentors on their book-length writing projects (Major Project I and II). The Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program consists of the first-person course (3 credits), four reading-based seminars (12 credits), four workshops (12 credits), and two major project studies, conducted with individual faculty members (6 credits).
MFA Admission Requirements and Application Procedures
To be eligible for the Master of Fine Arts in Writing, you must have completed a Bachelor's degree at an accredited college or university. The degree may be in any field.
All application materials should be submitted online or postmarked by February 1.
Admission to the Master of Fine Arts in Writing is based on:
- Application Form
- Writing Sample
- Statement of Purpose
- Transcripts of Grades
- Letters of Recommendation
- Interview (Recommended)
The Writing Sample is 10-15 pages in length and may consist of fiction, nonfiction or poetry. The sample can be a single piece in one genre, or several shorter pieces in different genres. The sample demonstrates your imaginative and creative talents, and your serious interest in writing, as well as your understanding of grammar and syntax. It should not include school or work assignments, or work previously published. Prose should be double-spaced and set in 12 pt. type
The Statement of Purpose is a 3 to 5 page description of
your reasons for pursuing an MFA degree in writing, and for choosing the Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program at USF. Please discuss your writing interests, goals, and
influences; you may also address the strengths and weaknesses of your writing sample. The statement should be double-spaced and set in 12 pt. type
Transcripts must be submitted from all post-secondary institutions you have attended. You should have a cumulative G.P.A. of at least 2.7. Transcripts should be sent directly from your institution(s) to the USF Admissions Office.
Letters of Recommendation, academic and/or professional, should be submitted by two individuals who can attest to your competence and ability to persevere and to do well in the Program.
Your résumé includes work and life experience, outside interests, and any writing, published or unpublished, that you would like the Admissions Committee to know about.
An interview with a Program representative is recommended before you submit your application. The purpose of the interview is to provide you with more knowledge about the Program, to have personal contact with
someone associated with the Program, and to help you articulate your goals in attending USF. Interviews by telephone can be arranged for out-of-area applicants. Contact the
MFA in Writing program office at email@example.com