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Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

Building on emerging excellence in creative writing, the MFA student should work toward increased sophistication in his/her art. Correspondingly, the MFA student should have training in literary history and the intellectual and artistic debates that inform current literature. The MFA degree features focused attention on creative writing in a specific genre combined with study of a broad and diverse range of literatures in English. This degree is not a studio degree. It offers preparation for creative publication; for expert teaching in creative writing and literature; for leadership in communication for business, education, and arts organizations; or for advanced studies in literature and creative writing on the PhD level.

Minimum Requirements for Admission

  • BA degree
  • 3.0 GPA in undergraduate studies
  • One foreign language (may be completed while in residence for the degree)

Degree Requirements

  1. 36 hours of coursework (four semesters of full-time study) in this distribution:
    • 3 hours of Writers on Literature (ENGL 7324)
    • 15 Hours in creative writing, including 9 workshop hours in the primary genre, 3 hours of Forms and Techniques (ENGL 6320 or 6321), and 3 hours of Master Workshop (ENGL 8322 or 8323)
    • 12 hours of English or American literature, divided between early and later literatures.
    • 6 hours of electives
  2. One foreign language
  3. MFA thesis

Application Materials

Consult the UH Graduate School [link to site] for detailed instructions on how to submit your application electronically. The English Department requires the following materials:

  • Online application and application fee.
  • Three letters of recommendation from people who know your creative or academic work well. Letters will be solicited by the UH Admissions Office and submitted electronically.
  • Official academic transcripts (sealed in the issuing envelope) from every university or colleges you have attended. Official transcripts should be sent directly to the UH Graduate Admissions Office (University of Houston, Graduate Admissions, P.O. Box 3947, Houston, TX 77253-3947).
  • Copies of official transcripts with degrees posted, uploaded to online application.
  • Your Statement of Intent (1000 words, double-spaced). State why you wish to pursue graduate studies in creative writing; which writers in your genre you are reading and their importance to your work; and whether you have taught before and intend to pursue teaching as a career.
  • An original creative writing sample (10 pages for poetry, 20-25 pages for prose). Fiction and nonfiction manuscripts should be double-spaced, on numbered, single-sided pages; poetry may be single-spaced and formatted as desired. Note: submitting more than the recommended amount is strongly discouraged and could adversely affect the evaluation process.

General Policies and Procedures

Program Guidelines are available here. Additional university policies may be found in the Graduate Catalog.

A sample list of graduate courses is available here