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Course Checklist|Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

MFA in Creative Writing Course Checklist

You will need a minimum of 34 class credits in order to graduate, plus 6 thesis credits. If you are teaching first-year composition, the ENGL 5010 requirement and ENGL 5900 requirement will count as elective credit; MFA Project hours are also counted towards elective credit. If you wish to take more than 4 workshops/creative writing seminars, they may also count towards the elective total. Only 6 credits of 4000-level coursework may count towards the degree; the rest must be 5000-level. Only 6 thesis credits will count towards the degree, although you may take more if needed. Courses counted towards the degree must be taken on a graded basis (except for the MFA project and ENGL 5900 or other courses offered only as S/U).  See the student handbook for more details regarding electives, independent studies, and workshop/seminar expectations and credit limits.

A minimum of 4 Workshops (5560) and Creative Writing Seminars (5540) (you may take whatever mix you’d like to reach the 4-course total, typically for a total of 16 credit hours. We strongly encourage a cross-genre component in that mix.)

Elective Courses (typically taken for a total of 18 credit hours)

  • MFA Project (5990): typically taken for 3-4 credit hours

  • ENGL 5900, taken in semesters teaching 1010, one credit per semester

  • ENGL 5010, taken in first semester teaching 1010, 4 credits (can be waived if you have taken a comparable graduate-level course in a prior program)

  • Other electives: free to be taken in any UW program or department across campus

Thesis Hours (5960): 6 credit hours

Total credit hours must be a minimum of 40 (students typically take up to 48 total hours).


** Work towards the MFA Project (5990) may be completed in the summer, but please keep in mind that summer course credits are not covered by the assistantship tuition waiver. Students may register for credits to reflect work completed in the summer during a subsequent fall or spring semester with prior approval of the MFA director.

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