The MFA Program in Creative Writing at Mount St. Mary’s College seeks to train passionate and talented writers who will commit to the daily practice of writing and who aspire to crafting work of publishable quality . The number of accepted applicants is intentionally kept small in order to ensure the high quality of the program, as well as to permit student writers to consult frequently with their faculty mentors. Though writing is often considered a solitary art, students are encouraged to participate actively in a rich campus environment of creative dialogue through student readings, thesis-writing groups, the Mount literary journal Dry River Review, and other campus and Los Angeles events, as these types of activities make up the professional writer’s life.
Mount St. Mary’s M.F.A. in Creative Writing Program is designed as a two-year weekend residency program which culminates in the submission of a creative thesis (a screenplay, novel, collection of stories, or book of poetry) and the awarding of a Master of Fine Arts degree. The MFA Program is structured to allow graduate student writers maximum time for creative and intellectual exploration. Students attend two courses per semester on weekends: a writing workshop and an elective. Elective courses will be selected from among the full offerings of the M.A. Humanities curriculum. Students may take courses in literature, history, cultural studies and philosophy, and/or by permission, may take classes offered by the MFA Film & TV Program. Students must also select three units of professional development courses such as Editorial Internships, Approaches to Teaching, and Publishing.
In the final semesters, instead of taking a workshop, graduate students work independently with a faculty advisor and complete a thesis. The thesis is a substantial work of screenwriting, television writing, fiction, creative non-fiction, or poetry. The thesis is intended to represent the student’s achievement during the two years in residency at the Mount.