The Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing is the recognized terminal degree which offers the minimum professional training deemed necessary by the major schools in the United States for university and college teaching and for positions in the publishing industry. It is also the degree most frequently held by professional writers.
1. Students applying for admission to the MFA degree program generally have completed a bachelor's or master's degree in English from an accredited institution with a 3.2 GPA in upper-division English courses, meet university admission requirements, and submit evidence of creative ability in fiction or poetry (10 pages poetry, 20-30 pages fiction). For each annual cycle, applications are due by January 15, when review will begin.
2. When an undergraduate degree has been completed in a program having different requirements from those of CSULB or in some field other than English, additional preparation may be required before the student can be considered for classified status in the degree program.
3. At the time of the student's conditional classification into the program, an examining diagnostic committee consisting of at least two instructors in the student's field of specialization and at least one other faculty member must approve and evaluate the student's work no later than the end of his/her first full year in residence and judge whether the student should continue in the program.
4. In order to obtain a full classified status, the student must obtain satisfactory evaluation from his/her committee at the end of the first full year in residence. Both the student's coursework and the student's portfolio will be evaluated.
The appeals procedure for unfavorable portfolio evaluation is as follows:
If the student feels that his/her work has been unfairly evaluated, that student has recourse any time to discuss the matter informally with the MFA Coordinator in order to resolve the issue. If the issue cannot be resolved on that basis, the following procedure shall be followed:
5. Advancement to candidacy
6. Up to 24 units of credit from a Master of Arts program in Creative Writing may be acceptable after review and approval by the faculty evaluation committee.
7. Requirements for the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. The MFA degree is a sixty-unit degree normally requiring full-time residency. Course requirements are arranged according to the following structure.
A. Core (32 units chosen in consultation with faculty advisor):
Take one of the following pairs in Year 1:
Take one of the following pairs in Year 2:
Take in both fall and spring of Year 2:
Electives: (28 units chosen in consultation with a faculty advisor) from 500- and 600-level English Department courses.
B. Both fiction and poetry specializations share a common core of courses which offer study in literary history, theory, and research. The remainder of the courses offer students the opportunity to develop additional skills in their particular area of related interest. The program culminates in a major creative project (novel, short story collection, or poetry collection) of publishable quality.