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- Creative Writing MFA
Further your commitment to writing as the center of your professional life.
Intensive study and practice of fiction and poetry writing with award-winning and nationally renowned faculty at the most diverse university in new england..
UMass Boston's Creative Writing MFA offers you an intense, 3-year program and focused opportunity to further your commitment to writing as the center of your professional life. Through a combination of mentoring by accomplished faculty in a series of creative writing workshops, courses focused on the study of literature offered through the English MA Program, and electives that include the practice of literary editing, the teaching of creative writing, documentary poetics, the art of memoir, and more—you will have the guidance to develop and shape your work to the full extent of your talent.
All accepted students receive funding. Graduate assistantships offer the opportunity to work with students as teaching assistants and fellows, or in editorial positions with one of our sponsors, including 826 Boston, Hanging Loose Press, Write on the Dot, Consequence Magazine, Breakwater Review, and Arrowsmith Press.
Pursue a career as a professional writer, publishing your work in literary journals, magazines. These are just a few of the possibilities. Work as an editor and collaborate with writers to refine their work and shape the final product for publication.
- Literary Agent
- Writing Instructor/Professor
Plan Your Education
How to apply.
Applicants must meet general graduate admission requirements in addition to the following program-specific requirements:
- A 3.0 GPA overall and in the student’s major
- Three substantive and detailed letters of recommendation, at least two from former teachers familiar with the applicant’s most recent academic and creative work
- A 3-5 page personal statement focusing on the role of the candidate’s reading life in his or her development as a writer. (Note: The general Graduate Admissions application refers to this as a statement of interests and intent. They are one and the same.)
- Applicants must indicate whether they are applying in FICTION or POETRY in their Statement of Purpose. If you want to apply in both genres, include one writing sample in FICTION and one in POETRY and indicate in the Statement of Purpose that the application is for both.
- A writing sample of 10 manuscript pages of poetry or 20 manuscript pages of fiction
- GREs are encouraged but not required
Deadlines & Cost
Final Deadline to apply is January 15! ** While rare, if space is available, we’ll happily consider applications after the deadline. Letters of Recommendation: 2 Writing Sample?: Yes Other: writing sample should be 10 manuscript pages of poetry or 20 manuscript pages of fiction
Program Cost Information: Bursar's website
Writing Workshops (24 Credits)
Complete one from below four times.
- CW 601 - MFA Poetry Workshop 6 Credit(s) or
- CW 602 - MFA Fiction Workshop 6 Credit(s)
Literature Courses (9 Credits)
Complete three graduate literature courses.
Electives (9 Credits)
Complete three from below.
- CW 605 - Memoir Workshop 3 Credit(s)
- CW 606 - Literary Editing and Publishing 3 Credit(s)
- CW 614 - The Teaching of Creative Writing 3 Credit(s)
- CW 675 - Creative Writing Internship 3 Credit(s)
- CW 697 - Special Topics in Creative Writing 1-6 Credit(s) Students may elect courses offered by other graduate programs with approval from the graduate program director.
- ENGL 459 Seminar for Tutors may be taken for graduate credit (see Undergraduate Catalog).
- ENGL 675 - Reading and Writing Poetry 3 Credit(s)
- ENGL 676 - Reading and Writing Fiction 3 Credit(s)
- ENGL 681 - Advanced Workshop in Poetry 3 Credit(s)
- ENGL 682 - Advanced Workshop in Fiction 3 Credit(s)
Thesis Courses (6 Credits)
Complete the course below both semesters of the third year.
- CW 699 - MFA Thesis 3 Credit(s)
The MFA degree requires: six semesters of full-time study, with 9 credits required in each of the first four semesters, and 6 credits in the final two semesters, during which students will concentrate on completing a thesis in fiction or poetry under the direction of a faculty member. MFA workshops are limited to 12 students, and seminars are limited to 15. Students have the opportunity to interact with writers in our Global Voices Visiting Writer series (recent visitors have been Raquel Salas Rivera and Carole Maso) and work with visiting prose writers; recently these have included Jane Unrue, ZZ Packer, and Fanny Howe.
Complete 48 credits from twelve courses including four writing workshops, three literature courses, three electives, and two semesters of thesis workshops.
Capstone: Completion of an MFA thesis of 48 to 64 pages of poetry or 100 to 200 pages of fiction written under the supervision of a thesis advisor, reviewed by a thesis committee, and subject to a public defense.
Statute of limitations: Five years.
Contact & Faculty
Contact the mfa program.
[email protected] 617.287.6702
John Fulton , Program Director & Associate Professor Askold Melnyczuk , Professor Eileen Pollack , Visiting Assistant Professor
Jill McDonough , Professor Shangyang Fang , Associate Lecturer
Learn more about UMass Boston's English Department, our research, and our faculty.
College of Liberal Arts
Learn more about the faculty, research, and programs that make up our College of Liberal Arts.
Creative Writing (MFA)
We are the storytellers and the poets.
Emerson’s Creative Writing (MFA) program focuses on the practice of writing and its literary foundations and is one of the longest-running programs of its kind.
We know writing is your life. That’s why our Creative Writing (MFA) focuses on the actual practice of writing, as well as its literary foundations. Our MFA program boasts some of the most impressive faculty in writing and publishing, is home to two award-winning literary journals, and is strongly connected to the Boston publishing community.
Focus on your passion, choosing from the areas of literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, and explore writing as both an art form and a professional pursuit.
Request More Information
- Curriculum Requirements
- Emerson Advantage
- Tuition & Financial Aid
New grad program designed to broaden, deepen communication leadership skills.
As Language Changes, Copy Editing Centers Inclusion
National communication association honors west for distinguished service.
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The Writing Program
We are all writers.
Writing connects us across and beyond the disciplines, allowing us to make sense of the world as it is, to imagine new possibilities, and to change what needs changing.
Topic-Based Writing Seminars
Courses on Nature & the Environment
For students interested in environmental history, nature, sustainability, and related subjects, the Writing Program offers seminars tailored to these topics. Also see the Hub Pathway on…
Courses on Social & Racial Justice
For students interested in race, institutional racism, African culture, Asian culture, social justice movements, and similar issues, the Writing Program offers seminars tailored to…
Boston-Based WR Courses
For students who want to learn about Boston, the Writing Program offers courses about the history, culture, and environment of the area--including Boston Now courses,…
Courses on Arts, Culture, & Literature
For students interested in literature, the arts, and pop culture, the Writing Program offers courses on a wide range of art forms, including poetry,…
Courses on Technology, Medicine, & Health
For students interested in technology issues, medical debates, disability and illness, or other related topics, the Writing Program offers a number of seminars on…
Courses on History, Biography, & Memoir
For students interested in how we record and remember the past, both individually and collectively, the Writing Program offers a range of seminars on…
Courses on Society, Ethics, & Politics
For students interested in philosophical or ethical debates, current events, and religion, the Writing Program offers seminars that focus on these themes. Recent…
Students can try something new with creative course formats like Boston Now and Mediated Integration. Designed by faculty who like to innovate and collaborate,…