Creative Writing (MFA)

Apply Now Print PDF

Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing degree offers the student advanced study and practice of literary craft leading to a terminal degree and a significant body of the student’s own creative work. It is a studio/research program providing the support and challenge of a workshop environment, as well as scholarly training in literary structures and techniques.

  • Why UTRGV?

    • Ranked #79 among 300+ national universities by Washington Monthly in 2018
    • Accredited, cutting edge degree program
    • Experienced, dedicated faculty
    • Affordable tuition (ranked #1 in net price among natinal universities by Washington Monthly in 2018 and #3 most affordable university in America 2018 by BestValueSchools.com)
    • Demonstrated student success in research, professional certification and career advancement
  • Admission Requirements

    Step #1: Submit a UTRGV Graduate Application at www.utrgv.edu/gradapply. The university application fee of $50 ($100 for International Applicants) can be paid online by credit card or electronic check (in the online application). All application fees are nonrefundable.

    Step #2: Request your official transcripts to be sent electronically to gradapps@utrgv.edu or mailed to:

    The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
    The Graduate College
    Marialice Shary Shivers Bldg. 1.158
    1201 W. University Drive
    Edinburg, TX 78539-2999

     
    *Please Note: If you are a graduate of UTPA, UTB/TSC, or UTRGV you do not need to request an official transcript to be sent to the Graduate College.

    Review and submit all Program Requirements:

    • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution in the United States or a recognized international equivalent in a similar or related field.
    • Undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0.
    • Official transcripts from each institution attended (must be submitted directly to UTRGV).
    • Personal  statement  detailing  professional  goals  and  reasons  for pursuing the graduate degree.
    • Three  letters  of  recommendation  from  professional  or  academic sources.
    • Portfolio of creative work.

    Additional requirements for domestic applicants who attended foreign universities:

    • TOEFL or IELTS Language Proficiency Test with minimum scores: 550 on paper-based, 213 on computer based, or 79 on Internet-based for the TOEFL; 6.5 for the IELTS. TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for 2 years. For additional information, visit the Additional Documents for Domestic Applicants who Attend Foreign Universities section of our website.
    • Certified English translation of educational records.

    Additional requirements for international applicants:

    • TOEFL or IELTS Language Proficiency Test with minimum scores: 550 on paper-based, 213 on computer based, or 79 on Internet-based for the TOEFL; 6.5 for the IELTS. For additional information, visit the English Proficiency Exam section of our website.
    • Certified English translation of educational records.
    • Financial   Documentation  showing sufficient funds to cover all expenses (living and academic) for the first year of study. For additional information, visit the Financial Documentation section of our website.
    • Immigration  documents, including a current copy of your valid passport. For additional information, visit the Immigration Documents section of our website.

    UPDATE ON INTERNATIONAL ADMISSIONS FROM U.S. IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT:

    • SEVP regulations prohibit the issuance of a Form I-20 based on conditional admission, effective July 13, 2016. University officials can only issue a Form I-20 when students have met all standards for admission for the program of study listed on the Form I-20. These standards for admission include any English proficiency requirements.

  • Program Contact

    Program Coordinator: Dr. Britt Haraway

    Phone: (956) 665-3335

    Office: Edinburg Campus, ELABS 273

    E-Mail: britt.haraway@utrgv.edu
  • Deadlines

    Deadlines:

    Applications will be accepted year round and prospective students are encouraged to apply at least 2 months before classes start to ensure a timely application review.  Applying early will also give prospective students the best opportunity to be considered for scholarships and other possible funding opportunities.

    *Note: This program only admits applicants during Fall and Spring semesters.

  • Course Requirements

    Required Courses 3
    Chosen from the following:
    ENGL 6334: Introduction to the Profession of Creative Writing 3
    ENGL 6351: Teaching Creative Writing 3
    ENGL 6325: Studies in Composition Techniques 3
     
    Workshop Courses 12
    Chosen from the following:
    ENGL 6343: Literary Translation Workshop 3
    ENGL 6344: Special Topics in Writing Literary Genres 3
    ENGL 6345: Fiction Workshop 3
    ENGL 6346: Creative Nonfiction Workshop 3
    ENGL 6347: Poetry Workshop 3
    ENGL 6348: Playwriting Workshop 3
    ENGL 6349: Screenwriting Workshop 3
    ENGL 6350: Graphic Literature Workshop 3
    ENGL 6352: Special Topics Workshop in Creative Writing 3
     
    OR
     
    Up to 6 hours chosen from the following:
    SPAN 6330: Spanish Creative Writing: Short Story 3
    SPAN 6331: Spanish Creative Writing: Poetry 3
    SPAN 6332: Spanish Creative Writing: Playwriting 3
    SPAN 6333: Special Studies in Creative Writing 3
    TRSP 6343/SPAN 6343: Translation Workshop: English‐Spanish 3
    TRSP 6347/SPAN 6347: Translation Technologies 3
     
    Form and Theory Seminars 6
    Chosen from the following:
    ENGL 6335: Special Topics in Form and Theory of Creative Writing 3
    ENGL 6336: Form and Theory – Short Fiction 3
    ENGL 6337: Form and Theory – Nonfiction 3
    ENGL 6338: Form and Theory – Poetry 3
    ENGL 6339: Form and Theory – The Novel 3
    ENGL 6340: Form and Theory – Playwriting 3
    ENGL 6341: Form and Theory – Screenwriting 3
    ENGL 6342: Form and Theory – Graphic Literature 3
     
    Literature Seminars 9
    Required:
    ENGL 6353: Diversity Writing and Reading 3
    Chosen from the following:
    ENGL 6301: Studies in Literary Theory 3
    ENGL 6303: Studies in Genre 3
    ENGL 6304: Studies in British Literature 3
    ENGL 6305: Studies in American Literature 3
    ENGL 6308: Studies in Mexican American Literature 3
    ENGL 6310: Studies in Ethnic Literature 3
    ENGL 6311: Studies in Gender and Literature 3
    ENGL 6316: Special Topics in Literature 3
     
    OR
     
    Up to 6 hours chosen from the following:
    SPAN 6320: Latin American Prose 3
    SPAN 6321: Latin American Poetry and Drama 3
    SPAN 6323: Spanish Peninsular Poetry and Drama 3
    SPAN 6326: Transatlantic Literatures 3
    SPAN 6327: Special Studies in Latin American Literature 3
    SPAN 6328: Special Topics in Spanish Peninsular Literature 3
    SPAN 6352: Latin American Prose 3
    SPAN 6353: Latin American Poetry and Drama 3
     
    Free Electives 6
    Chosen in conjunction with an advisor
     
    Capstone Requirement 6
    Thesis
    ENGL 7310: Thesis I 6
    ENGL 7311: Thesis II 6
     
    Total graduate hours for degree: 42
     
    Course Descriptions

    ENGL 6334: Introduction to the Profession of Creative Writing               [3‐0]

    A course designed to orient students to the profession of creative writers and creative writing teachers covering such issues as journal and book publication, conference attendance, job hunting, professional presentation through CVs and query letters, and success within the profession

    ENGL 6335: Special Topics in Creative Writing Form and Theory              [3‐0]

    A Form and Theory course devoted to a particular special topic in a genre. Students read, write and critique work in that genre or subgenre. May be repeated when topic changes.

    ENGL 6336: Form and Theory – Short Fiction              [3‐0]

    A workshop course devoted to the craft of fiction writing. Students read, write and critique literary fiction.

    Prerequisite: MFA Candidates only.

    ENGL 6337: Form and Theory – Nonfiction              [3‐0]

    Advanced study of creative nonfiction. Includes workshops of student writing, along with close analysis of published literary nonfiction and craft commentary by contemporary writers of creative nonfiction.

    Prerequisite: MFA Candidates only.

    ENGL 6338: Form and Theory – Poetry              [3‐0]

    Advances study of contemporary poetry, with an emphasis on writing original poems and discussing them in a workshop format, along with the close reading and analysis of published poems and poetry collections.

    Prerequisite: MFA Candidates only.

    ENGL 6339: Form and Theory – The Novel              [3‐0]

    Studies in the elements and structure of the novel, including narrative design, character development, voice, tone, dialogue, point of view, imagery, and plot.

    Prerequisite: MFA Candidates only.

    ENGL 6340: Form and Theory – Playwriting              [3‐0]

    A graduate level Form and Theory course designed to strengthen and enhance the student’s writing while reading widely in the many forms of dramatic literature.

    Prerequisite: MFA Candidates only.

    ENGL 6341: Form and Theory – Screenwriting              [3‐0]

    A graduate level Form and Theory course designed to strengthen and enhance the student’s writing while reading widely in the many forms of film literature.

    Prerequisite: MFA Candidates only.

    ENGL 6342: Form and Theory – Graphic Literature              [3‐0]

    A graduate level Form and Theory course designed to strengthen and enhance the student’s writing while reading widely in the many forms of graphic literature.

    ENGl 6343: Literary Translation Workshop              [3‐0]

    A workshop devoted to the craft of literary translation, primarily Spanish/English.

    Prerequisite: MFA Candidates only.

    ENGl 6344: Special Topics in Writing Literary Genres              [3‐0]

    A graduate level course in reading literature as a writer whether in a single genre, across genres or defined by an historical moment or literary moment. May be repeated as topic changes.

    ENGl 6345: Fiction Workshop              [3‐0]

    A workshop devoted to the craft of fiction writing. Students read, write and critique literary fiction.

    Prerequisite: MFA Candidates only.

    ENGL 6346: Creative Nonfiction Workshop              [3‐0]

    Advanced study of creative nonfiction. Includes workshops of student writing, along with close analysis of published literary nonfiction and craft commentary by contemporary writers of creative nonfiction.

    Prerequisite: MFA Candidates only.

    ENGL 6347: Poetry Workshop              [3‐0]

    Advances study of contemporary poetry, with an emphasis on writing original poems and discussing them in a workshop format, along with the close reading and analysis of published poems and poetry collections.

    Prerequisite: MFA Candidates only.

    ENGL 6348: Playwriting Workshop              [3‐0]

    A workshop devoted to the craft of playwriting. Students will read, write, and critique dramatic fiction. The first time they take the course they will write (and rewrite) a one act play. The second time they take the course they will write (and rewrite) a full length play.

    Prerequisite: MFA Candidates only.

    ENGL 6349: Screenwriting Workshop              [3‐0]

    A workshop course devoted to the craft of screenwriting. Students will read, write, and critique screenplays. The first time they take the course they will write (and rewrite) a 60 page screenplay. The second and third time they will write (and rewrite) a full length screenplay (120 pages).

    Prerequisite: MFA Candidates only.

    ENGL 6350: Graphic Literature Workshop              [3‐0]

    A workshop course devoted to the writing of graphic literature with emphasis on students writing original graphic literature and discussing them in a workshop format along with the study of contemporary published writers in the field.

    ENGL 6351: Teaching Creative Writing              [3‐0]

    The course will prepare potential creative writing instructors to teach creative writing at various education levels (the primary focus will be secondary education).

    ENGL 6352: Special Topics Workshop in Creative Writing              [3‐0]

    Advanced study for creative writing with emphasis on a specific genre, includes workshops of student work and formal study of craft and genre.

    Prerequisite: MFA Candidates only.

    ENGL 6353: Diversity Writing and Reading              [3‐0]

    A course that could cover study in Queer Studies, Jewish Literature, Mexican American Literature, African American Literature, Native American Drama, etc. depending upon the expertise and interest of the instructor.

    ENGL 7100: Completion of Graduate Thesis              [3‐0]

    When a student has completed thesis hours (ENGL 7300 and ENGL 7301) but has not completed their thesis, they can take the 1 hour credit course while working towards their public defense.

    ENGL 7310: Thesis I              [3‐0]

    The student will work under the direction of his/her Thesis Chair and Committee to begin preparation of their book length Creative Thesis and Critical Introduction.

    Prerequisite: MFA Candidates only.

    ENGL 7311: Thesis II              [3‐0]

    The student will work under the direction of his/her Thesis Chair and Committee to complete their book length Creative Thesis and Critical Introduction.

    Prerequisite: MFA Candidates only.

    ENGL 6301: Studies in Literary Theory              [3‐0]

    Extensive study of major works, figures and topics in literary theory. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

    ENGL 6303: Studies in Genre              [3‐0]

    Focuses on the literary and cultural productions within the context of a particular genre, including poetry, short story, the novel, drama, autobiography, and epistolary literature. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

    ENGL 6304: Studies in British Literature              [3‐0]

    Usually offered three times per year. A study in English literature. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies. (Specific topics to be announced in schedule of classes.)

    ENGL 6305: Studies in American Literature              [3‐0]

    Usually offered three times per year. A study in American literature. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies. (Specific topics to be announced in schedule of classes.)

    ENGL 6306: Studies in Comparative Literature              [3‐0]

    The comparison of particular topics, motifs, or genres in the literature of two or more languages or cultures.

    ENGL 6308: Studies in Mexican American Literature              [3‐0]

    Advanced study of the literature by and about Mexican Americans, with emphasis on the literary techniques and the cultural reflections in this literature. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

    ENGL 6310: Studies in Ethnic Literature              [3‐0]

    Focuses on the literature of specific ethnic groups with special attention to critical race theory, cultural theory, and the cultural productions of traditionally underrepresented minority groups. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

    ENGL 6311: Studies in Gender and Literature              [3‐0]

    A study of literature and culture in relation to the question of gender identity, with special emphasis on feminist, gender, and queer theory as well as the literary conventions, movements, and histories that inform gender identity. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

    ENGL 6316: Special Topics in Literature              [3‐0]

    Extensive study of topics in the area of literature and cultural studies. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

    ENGL 6325: Studies in Composition Techniques              [3‐0]

    Advanced study of composition theory and techniques and methods of teaching composition, with special emphasis on teaching English composition to college freshman. Required of all English teaching assistants. May be repeated for credit when the topic varies.

    SPAN 6320: Latin American Prose              [3‐0]

    Critical study of major works of Latin American prose fiction and nonfiction from the colonial period forward.

    SPAN 6321: Latin American Poetry and Drama              [3‐0]

    Critical study of major works of Latin American poetry and drama from the colonial period forward.

    SPAN 6323: Spanish Peninsular Poetry and Drama              [3‐0]

    Critical study of major works of Spanish peninsular poetry and drama from the medieval period forward.

    SPAN 6326: Transatlantic Literatures              [3‐0]

    Critical study of literary works that explore the circulation of intellectual, political, and cultural influences among the Iberian Peninsula, Latin America, Africa, and the Caribbean.

    SPAN 6327: Special Studies in Latin American Literature              [3‐0]

    Special topics in Latin American literature, including but not limited to colonial Latin American literature, Latin American novels, Latin American short stories, specific literary trends, or single authors.

    SPAN 6328: Special Topics in Spanish Peninsular Literature              [3‐0]

    Special topics from the field of Spanish literature. This course may be taken three times as the topic varies.

    SPAN 6330: Spanish Creative Writing: Short Story              [3‐0]

    This is a class in the writing of short fiction in Spanish; including an in depth study of the genre, class criticism of students and professional work.

    SPAN 6331: Spanish Creative Writing: Poetry              [3‐0]

    This is a class in the writing of poetry in Spanish. Students will learn to read and write poetry, developing an understanding of the different literary forms and techniques employed in writing poetry.

    SPAN 6332: Spanish Creative Writing: Playwriting              [3‐0]

    A workshop course in the advance study of creative writing with emphasis in playwriting. This course is design to develop the craft of playwriting. Students will achieve experience writing in the dramatic genre. They will read, write, and analyze plays. Students will write one act plays.

    SPAN 6333: Special Studies in Creative Writing              [3‐0]

    Intensive study on different topics related to Creative Writing in Spanish including translation, testimonial, autobiographical writing, etc.

    SPAN 6352: Latin American Prose              [3‐0]

    This course will analyze the prose works required for Advanced Placement Literature Courses written by Latin American authors from the colonial period to the present.

    SPAN 6353: Latin American Poetry and Drama              [3‐0]

    This course will analyze the dramatic and poetic works required for Advanced Placement Literature Courses written by Latin American authors from the colonial period to the present.

    TRSP 6343/SPAN 6343: Translation Workshop: English‐Spanish              [3‐0]

    Intensive review of translation techniques and practice of translation from English into Spanish covering a variety of text typologies, including but not limited to general informative texts, literary texts, and technical texts. Taught in Spanish. All papers, and examinations in Spanish.

    Prerequisites: TRSP 3342/SPAN 3342 or TRSP 3343/SPAN 3343 or instructor’s approval.

    TRSP 6347/SPAN 6347: Translation Technologies              [3‐0]

    An overview of current practices in the usage of computer software for translation, including, but not limited to, computer assisted translation, terminology management, software localization and webpage translation. Taught in Spanish. All papers and examinations in Spanish.

    Prerequisites: TRSP 3342/SPAN 3342 or TRSP 3343/SPAN 3343 or TRSP 6342/SPAN 6342 or TRSP 6343/SPAN 6343.