Program Description & Admission
WKU's two-calendar-year, fully funded, residential MFA program in creative writing will prepare students for lives as writers of novels, short fiction, creative nonfiction, scripts, and poetry and related pursuits such as teaching, literary editing, and publishing. Our students also complete a secondary concentration in literature, composition/rhetoric, or teaching English as a second language in order to give them additional options for employment after graduation. The program of study consists of 48 credit hours of graduate course work, culminating in rigorous comprehensive exams and the completion of a publishable creative thesis in fiction, poetry, scriptwriting, or creative nonfiction.
Students begin the program of study with Introduction to Creative Writing Studies, which introduces them to the history and trends of creative writing as an academic discipline, creative writing pedagogy, the business and culture of creative writing, and literary citizenship. Along with three standard creative writing workshops where students will hone their craft, they will also take Reading as a Writer to discuss the techniques and history of the craft of creative writing and learn to apply various literary techniques to their own poetry, literary fiction, creative nonfiction, and scriptwriting. In addition, students will complete one thesis hour during the first summer of the program to begin thinking about their final creative project and allow for more careful planning to produce a higher quality manuscript and five additional thesis hours over the remainder of the program.
In terms of career preparation, we recognize that many students may not be able to become full-time writers on graduation, so we have developed pieces that will prepare them for supplementary employment. All students will tutor in our Writing Center, take a course in the pedagogy of composition and rhetoric, and normally teach four undergraduate classes before graduation to prepare them for possible teaching jobs and/or make them more attractive candidates for Ph.D programs. Students will complete course work in one of three secondary concentrations that are more career related: the literature concentration will prepare them for teaching jobs; the composition/rhetoric track will prepare them for work as composition teachers, editors, and professional writers; the teaching English as a second language track will prepare them for work in a high-demand field in this country or abroad.
Students will also enroll in one literature elective and two free elective courses in the English Department that will allow them to explore additional interests and customize their programs to suit their individual needs. Finally, students will complete two internships related to creative writing and/or their career interest to give them real-world experience outside of the classroom so that they may better position themselves for professional work and create opportunities for community engagement.
For more information about MFA program requirements, click here.
Applicants should write a one- to two-page letter of application in which you explain why you want to study in the MFA program at WKU and how that experience will help you with your academic and career goals. At the end of your letter, please list contact information for three references who could support your application to our program.
Applicants should have completed a minimum of four undergraduate English courses beyond general education requirements with a GPA of at least 3.0. At least two of the courses should be upper-level English courses. Undergraduate creative writing courses are highly recommended.
Applicants should have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0.
Finally, a great deal of importance will be placed on the creative writing sample as well as the application letter applicants submit. Applicants should submit up to 20 pages of prose fiction or non-fiction; 10-15 pages of poetry; or a one-page, double-spaced film treatment AND 30-40 pages of script (either a single script, multiple short scripts, or an act from a longer script). This writing sample will be evaluated by the MFA faculty.
The MFA admissions committee will consider a limited number of applications from highly qualified individuals who wish to enter the program on a part-time basis. However, those part-time students will not be eligible for funding from the English Department.
All application materials should be submitted electronically to The Graduate School at WKU by February 1, 2018. Within three days of completing The Graduate School's online application, applicants will be directed to submit letters of application/statements of purpose and writing samples to firstname.lastname@example.org.