Course Requirements

The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing is a 36-credit program whose course requirements include both writing workshops and literature courses. The program offers concentrations in fiction and poetry, and requires a creative thesis.

Course Requirements

  • Four graduate writing workshops (12 credits)
  • Four English literature courses (12 credits).
    • Literature courses are divided into 600-level courses and 700-level seminars. Readings (600-level) courses are designed to introduce you to a broad range of readings in the area. Seminars usually focus on a specific theme, period or group of authors, and they have no more than twelve students in the class. Seminars, also, usually require a long essay (approximately 20 pages).
  • English 788 or 789, Studies in Narrative or Poetic Form (3 credits).
    • A class in poetic or narrative forms designed specifically for MFA students and taught by MFA faculty.
  • Humanities elective (3 credits).  

The remaining six+ credits are devoted to the thesis. Students register for at least six hours of English 799 (Master's Thesis Research) and, under the direction of a member of the creative writing faculty, write as a thesis a book-length manuscript of fiction or poetry during years two and three.

Note: Before taking a 700-level course other than English 788/9, students should take English 601/2 and/or a 600-level readings course in the general area of the 700-level course that interests them. If unsure about prerequisites for 700-level courses, consult the instructor of the course or Lindsay Bernal (lbernal@umd.edu).