Creative and Professional Writing (MFA)
Degree Offered: Master of Fine Arts in Creative and Professional Writing
In the master of fine arts (MFA) program in creative and professional writing at William Paterson University, you will study in a supportive academic environment focused on the production of high-caliber writing. Designed to hone essential creative skills and nourish talent in poetry, fiction, memoir, literary biography, TV/film/theater scripts, cultural reviews, and more, the program will advance your writing to a professionally competitive level. You will also gain valuable experience in manuscript evaluation and editing, up-to-date methodologies of teaching writing, and the advanced interpretation of literature.
The MFA’s rigorous course of study prepares you for a wide variety of careers, including secondary education and university-level teaching, book and magazine publishing and editing, journalism, copywriting, public relations, and professional writing. In addition, you will benefit from the program’s applied focus on developing a substantial manuscript portfolio, targeting appropriate markets, and submitting work for publication according to professional standards.
In addition to the University’s admission requirements:
- Cumulative grade point average of no less than 3.00 on 4.00 scale.
- Minimum score of 400 on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or minimum of 150 verbal and 4.5 analytical on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test.
- Two letters of recommendation attesting to your writing skills.
- Brief written statement of purpose.
- Ten-page writing sample in the genre you intend to pursue. A hard copy of the writing sample must accompany the application to the Graduate Admissions office, and an electronic copy should be sent to MFAdirector_English@wpunj.edu.
The 41-credit combined studio/research MFA program of 41 credits encompasses four major components:
- Writing workshops (18 credits)
- Literature courses (12 credits)
- Teaching course with an optional publishing/editing internship opportunity (3 credits)
- Master’s thesis – a substantial manuscript of publishable quality, accompanied by an essay on writing craft (8 credits)
|MFA Creative and Professional Writing||41 credits|
|I. Required Writing Courses||18 credits|
|A.ENG 6160 Creative Writing||3 credits|
|B.Five other writing courses chosen from the following:||15 credits|
|ENG 5990 Selected Topics (with approval)||3|
|ENG 6150 Advanced Critical Writing||3|
|ENG 6190 Writing for the Magazine Market||3|
|ENG 6210 Fiction Writing Seminar I||3|
|ENG 6220 Fiction Writing Seminar II||3|
|ENG 6230 Poetry Writing Seminar||3|
|ENG 6240 Contemporary Poetry Writing Seminar||3|
|ENG 6260 Creative Writing II||3|
|ENG 6270 Writing Scripts for Movies and Television||3|
|ENG 6280 Short Story Writing||3|
|ENG 6290 Playwriting||3|
|ENG 6300 Book and Magazine Editing||3|
|ENG 6310 Creative Nonfiction||3|
|ENG 6780 Modern Literary Biography||3|
|COM 6000 Survey in Professional Writing||3|
|COM 6100 Writing for Digital Media||3|
|II. Four literature courses||12 credits|
|At least one literature course must be devoted to work after 1900. ENG 6560 Modes of Contemporary Criticism or a linguistics course may (with the director’s approval) substitute for one of the literature courses.|
|III. Teaching Component (with Internship Option)||3 Credits|
|A. ENG 6170 Modern Techniques of Composition||3|
|ENG 6200 Teaching Writing as Process||3|
|ENG 6250 Teaching Writing as Process II||3|
|ENG 5900 Graduate Internship||3|
|B. Writing Across the Curriculum Workshop:|
|Students will attend a three-day workshop focusing on various techniques of teaching writing.|
|IV. MFA Thesis||8 credits|
|A. MFA Thesis Seminar||4|
|B. Thesis Project, supervised by Thesis Advisor||4|