Creative Writing (MFA)

Summary

The Creative Writing MFA meets the needs of students who want to strike a balance between the development of individual creative talent and the close study of literature and language. Students will find appropriate training for careers in freelance writing, college-level teaching, editing and publishing, arts administration, and several other areas. 

Catalog Year

2024-2025

Degree

Master of Fine Arts

Major Credits

46

Total Credits

46

Locations

Mankato

Career Cluster

Languages and Literature

Program Requirements

Common Core

In this course, students develop skills in editing, close reading, process implementation, and community building meant to sustain their writing careers after leaving the MFA program. To be taken in students' third year.

Prerequisites: none

Analyze and explain the relationship between form and content in prose genres. Create own works by applying the craft elements studied.

Prerequisites: none

Analyze and explain the relationship between form and content in poetic genres. Create own works by applying the craft elements studied.

Prerequisites: none

Exploration of the business of creative writing and the tools for writing and research in the field.

Prerequisites: none

Restricted Electives

Writing Seminars/Workshops - Choose 12 Credit(s). 549 and 594 are acceptable in this category when offered as writing workshops. Courses are repeatable with new content.

Topics in Creative Writing Form and Technique is a variable-title course that explores special topics relating to the writing of one or more creative genres, or the technical achievement of one or more practitioners. May be repeated with different topics.

Prerequisites: none

Specialized workshop focusing on a specific genre, such as flash fiction, true crime, hybrid writing, or auto-fiction.

Prerequisites: none

Workshop in creative nonfiction, including personal essays and literary journalism.

Prerequisites: none

Workshop in short fiction.

Prerequisites: none

Workshop in poetry writing.

Prerequisites: none

Novel workshop, with an emphasis on generating a minimum of 50,000 words of a first draft.

Prerequisites: none

This course familiarizes students with various approaches and strategies to the teaching of creative writing. Discussions of classroom practices and pedagogical theories as well as teaching demonstrations prepare students to plan and develop an introductory-level creative writing course.

Prerequisites: none

Topics relating to creative writing. May be repeated with different subject matter.

Prerequisites: none

Creative Writing Electives - Choose 6 Credit(s). 594 and 649 are repeatable with new content. (Other courses acceptable with consent of advisor)

Specialized workshop focusing on a specific genre, such as flash fiction, true crime, hybrid writing, or auto-fiction.

Prerequisites: none

Topics relating to creative writing. May be repeated with different subject matter.

Prerequisites: none

On-site field experience in creative writing, the nature of which is determined by the specific needs of the student's program option.

Prerequisites: none

Unrestricted Electives

Additional English courses - Choose 12 Credit(s). Select an additional 12 credits from creative writing classes above or from the broader English offerings. Examples below.

Analysis and training focused on concepts and practices of visual design as they relate to technical and professional communication.

Prerequisites: none

Editing the content, organization, format, style, and mechanics of documents; managing the production cycle of documents, and discovering and learning microcomputer and software applications for technical editing tasks.

Prerequisites: none

Continued workshop in composition pedagogy for first-year teaching assistants.

Prerequisites: none

Introduction to the major theories of the nature of composition and their pedagogical application.

Prerequisites: none

This course aims to develop students┬┐ understanding of the interdisciplinary field of second language (L2) writing and, more specifically, the unique characteristics and instructional needs of L2 writers across multiple contexts.

Prerequisites: none

This course will examine current instructional practices used to teach writing in academic settings. This course can be repeated for credits as the topic changes each time it is offered.

Prerequisites: none

This course will explore the theoretical and practical implications of integrating literature into the composition classroom.

Prerequisites: none

Trends in film theory and criticism. Practice in critical analysis.

Prerequisites: none

Capstone Course

* 4 thesis credits required with at least 1 in the student's final semester.

Independent capstone experience, guidelines of which are determined by the requirements of a particular program option.

Prerequisites: none

Other Graduation Requirements

In consultation with their advisor, students will compile and read a booklist of 40-60 titles. Students will present an oral defense of their thesis (a book-length collection of writing in the student's chosen genre) and reading list in their final year. All courses must be in Creative Writing with the exception of those specifically approved by the Graduate Committee; 75% of all coursework must be taken at the 600-level.

Degree Plan

The Degree Plan is a model for completing your degree in a timely manner. Your individual degree plan may change based on a number of variables including transfer courses and the semester/year you start your major. Carefully work with your academic advisors to devise your own unique plan.
* Please meet with your advisor on appropriate course selection to meet your educational and degree goals.

First Year

Fall - 9 Credits

Continued workshop in composition pedagogy for first-year teaching assistants.

Prerequisites: none

Analyze and explain the relationship between form and content in prose genres. Create own works by applying the craft elements studied.

Prerequisites: none

Workshop in short fiction.

Prerequisites: none

Spring - 9 Credits

Analyze and explain the relationship between form and content in poetic genres. Create own works by applying the craft elements studied.

Prerequisites: none

Second Year

Fall - 9 Credits

Workshop in poetry writing.

Prerequisites: none

Novel workshop, with an emphasis on generating a minimum of 50,000 words of a first draft.

Prerequisites: none

This course familiarizes students with various approaches and strategies to the teaching of creative writing. Discussions of classroom practices and pedagogical theories as well as teaching demonstrations prepare students to plan and develop an introductory-level creative writing course.

Prerequisites: none

Spring - 6 Credits

Introduction to the major theories of the nature of composition and their pedagogical application.

Prerequisites: none

Third Year

Fall - 9 Credits

In this course, students develop skills in editing, close reading, process implementation, and community building meant to sustain their writing careers after leaving the MFA program. To be taken in students' third year.

Prerequisites: none

Workshop in creative nonfiction, including personal essays and literary journalism.

Prerequisites: none

Independent capstone experience, guidelines of which are determined by the requirements of a particular program option.

Prerequisites: none

Spring - 6 Credits

Exploration of the business of creative writing and the tools for writing and research in the field.

Prerequisites: none

Independent capstone experience, guidelines of which are determined by the requirements of a particular program option.

Prerequisites: none

Policies

Admission to the MFA is competitive. To apply, submit a writing sample, personal statement, undergraduate transcripts, and CV. 

GPA Policy: A 3.0 grade point average minimum must be maintained for all graduate work to be counted toward the  MFA. Courses that are assigned a C- or below will not be counted for graduation credit. Transfer credits assigned a B- or below will not be accepted.

Transfer Credits: A maximum of 10-semester credits of graduate credit, all of which must be related to the program and completed with a B or better, may be transferred from other appropriately accredited universities. A maximum of 16-semester credits may be transferred from other MinnState universities. 

Full-time Status: To be considered full-time, graduate students must be enrolled for a minimum of 6 graduate-level credits per semester. The maximum course load is 12 graduate-level credits each semester.

Time Limit: All work, including approved transfer credits, must be completed within a 6-year period. 

Student Advising. Students are encouraged to consult the Program Director and/or their advisor on a regular basis for advice about course selection, thesis direction, and career planning.