Graduate Specialization in Creative Writing

M.A. and Ph.D. students who take this specialization will gain expertise in the areas of creative writing in the genres of poetry and fiction.


  • 9 credits from the list of courses below
    • Any course on the list can be repeated, and this will still count toward the 9 credits. Our creative writing workshops are completely different courses each semester, taught by different writers and in methodologically different ways. So a student, for example, can fulfill the specialization by taking ENGL 853 three different times.
  • A brief letter of application addressed to the Director of Creative Writing in which the student details their interests in the specialization, and their proposed thesis or dissertation plans
  • A dissertation or thesis that is firmly situated and executed in one of the genres of creative writing-fiction, poetry, or non-fiction with a critical component
    • The Director of Creative Writing and the student's advisory committee will make this determination together, but the dissertation or thesis must be approved as in area of Creative Writing by the Director of Creative Writing in consultation with the faculty sub-group in poetry or prose.

How to apply to this specialization

Once admitted into the graduate program the student can apply to the specialization by:

  • Sending a brief cover letter to the Director of Creative Writing detailing their interests/ dissertation plans in this area
  • Including a copy of their program of studies form that includes courses from the specialization
  • Once the Director of Creative Writing approves the application, the student can enter the specialization
  • The specialization will be officially granted once the dissertation is submitted in the area. 


852 Fiction Writing (workshop)
852A Writing of Literary Non-Fiction
853 Writing of Poetry (workshop)
953 Seminar in Creative Writing