Writing MFA

The program is 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.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • demonstrate a working knowledge of the fundamentals of artistic composition and craft
  • ability to read as writers, analyzing in works by published authors the ways in which literary meaning is made
  • ability to evaluate and analyze the techniques and intentions of literary manuscripts and to participate in constructive critical discussion of such works
  • preparation for entry into the public life of literature, which includes locating their own work in the context of contemporary literary practice, preparing their work according to professional standards, teaching creative writing, and participating in diverse literary communities

Requirements

33 units

All courses are 3 units.

Fiction Concentration

  • MFA - 651 Developments in the Novel
  • MFA - 655 The Architecture of Prose
  • MFA - 661 Evolution of the Short Story
  • MFA - 662 Contemporary Experiments in Fiction
  • MFA - 671 The Techniques of Long Fiction
  • MFA - 672 The Craft of Short Fiction
  • MFA - 680 Style in Fiction
  • MFA - 687 Point of View and Characterization
  • MFA - 688 Finding Form: Novellas and Story Cycles
  • MFA - 692 Strategies in Contemporary International Fiction

Nonfiction Concentration

  • MFA - 673 Truth, Ethics, and Memory
  • MFA - 682 Nonfiction Theory & Technique
  • MFA - 683 The History of Nonfiction
  • MFA - 684 Contemporary Experiments in Nonfiction
  • MFA - 690 Special Topics in Nonfiction

Poetry Concentration

  • MFA - 654 Contemporary American Poetry
  • MFA - 664 Poetry International
  • MFA - 674 Prosody: The Meaning of Poetic Form
  • MFA - 686 Poetics
  • MFA - 690 Special Topics in Poetry

Cross Genre

  • MFA - 650 Word for Word: The Texture of Language
  • MFA - 653 Research for Writers
  • MFA - 663 Ethical Issues in Writing
  • MFA - 670 Intention and Design in Prose
  • MFA - 681 Blurred Boundaries: Writing Beyond Genre
  • MFA - 675 Teaching Creative Writing
  • MFA - 690 Professional Development
  • MFA - 690 Special Topics

Workshops

long fiction, short fiction, mixed fiction, nonfiction, and poetry workshops

  • MFA - 612 Writing Workshop I
  • MFA - 622 Writing Workshop II
  • MFA - 632 Writing Workshop III
  • MFA - 642 Writing Workshop IV

Thesis

  • MFA - 689 Thesis I
  • MFA - 699 Thesis II

In Thesis I and Thesis II, students work one-on-one with a faculty mentor who provides extensive feedback on their work in a series of scheduled meetings. The thesis may be a:

  • novel
  • collection of stories
  • poetry collection
  • collection of creative nonfiction
  • purposeful combination of these genres

Contact Info

MFA in Writing

Micah Ballard, Administrative Director

Kalmanovitz Hall 302 (415) 422-6066 (415) 422-6996