Indiana University Creative Writing Program
Creative Writing Program
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Degree Requirements

For the M.F.A. degree in Creative Writing, students must complete 60 credit hours, at least 48 of them in residence. Course requirements include 16 hours of creative writing workshops from W611-W612 (Writing Fiction I-II) or W613-W614 (Writing Poetry I-II), and one course from W664 (Topics in Current Literature) or W680 (Theory and Craft of Writing). In addition, four courses in literature, culture or language (12-16 hours), at least two of which are on the 600 level or above, are required. These are to be from offerings from English and other departments and programs including African American and African Diaspora Studies, Latino Studies, Comparative Literature and its associated fields of study, and Communication and Culture. Other courses to be approved on an individual case basis by the Director of Creative Writing in consultation with the Director of the Doctoral Program. One section of W664 (Topics in Current Literature) may count toward this requirement.

Those teaching in W103 (Introductory Creative Writing) are required to take W554 (Teaching Creative Writing) during their first semester of teaching. Students are expected to concentrate in a single genre, but they are encouraged to take courses in other genres as well: e.g. W511 (Writing Fiction), W513 (Writing Poetry), W615 (Writing Creative Nonfiction). Up to 12 hours in W699 (M.F.A. Thesis) may count toward the total 60 hours. The student is required to submit a book-length manuscript (a minimum of 48 pages in poetry, 150 pages in fiction), ideally suitable for publication on its own, that has been approved by a thesis director and two readers.

Graduate Creative Writing Courses

W511: Writing Fiction (4 cr.)
  • Either W511 or W513 may count once for the M.F.A.

W513: Writing Poetry (4 cr.)
  • Either W511 or W513 may count once for the M.F.A.

W550: Practicum In teaching Creative Writing In The Community (4 cr.)

W554: Teaching Creative Writing (2 cr.)
  • Theory and practice of teaching the writing of poetry and fiction at the college level, with attention to matters of curricular design and classroom technique. Required of those teaching W103 for the first time.

W610: Indiana Writing Workshop (2 cr.)
  • Prerequisite: acceptance to the Indiana Writers' Conference, held in June of each year. Intensive training in various forms of writing at the conference; submission of significant body of writing before the end of the last summer session.

W611-W612: Writing Fiction I and II (4-4 cr.)
  • May be repeated once for credit.

W613-W614: Writing Poetry I and II (4-4 cr.)
  • May be repeated once for credit.

W615: Writing Creative Nonfiction (4 cr.)
  • Writing workshop in such modes as personal essay, autobiography, and documentary.

W664: Topics in Current Literature (4 cr.)
  • The study of recent poetry and prose, emphasizing special formal, technical, and intellectual concerns of author and work. (May be repeated for credit.)

W680: Theory and Craft of Writing (4 cr.)
  • Elements of poetic prosody or the major fictive techniques or both: nature of stress, concepts of meter, nature of rhythm, prosodic use of syntax, theories of fictive realism, nature of fictive romance, point of view, etc. (May be repeated for credit.)

W697: Independent Study in Writing (1-4 cr.)
  • Prerequisite: two semesters of W611, W612, W613, or W614.

W699: M.F.A. Thesis (4-12 hrs., cr. arr.)

Sample Three-Year M.F.A. Student Schedule

Semester I: 10 hours

  • W611: Writing Fiction I or W613: Writing Poetry I
  • W554: Teaching Creative Writing
  • W664, W680, or graduate course in literature, culture or language

Semester II: 12 hours

  • W612: Writing Fiction II or W614: Writing Poetry II
  • W511 or W513, W664, or W680
  • A graduate course in literature, culture or language

Semester III: 10 hours

  • Repeat W611 or W613
  • W501: Teaching of Composition in College
  • W511 or W513, W615, W664, W680, or graduate course in literature, culture or language

Semester IV: 12 hours

  • Repeat W612 or W614
  • W511 or W513, W615, W664, W680, or graduate course in literature, culture or language
  • Four hours elective

Semester V: 8 hours

  • W511 or W513, W615, W664, W680 or graduate course in literature, culture or language
  • W669: M.F.A Thesis

Semester VI: 8 hours

  • W669: M.F.A. Thesis


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