Creative Writing
Mount Saint Mary's College

Degree Requirements

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (minimum of 36 units required)


The master of fine arts in creative writing degree provides aspiring, practicing, and published writers with a terminal degree that allows them to teach and write at the college level. A cross-genre focus that offers workshops in fiction, non-fiction, poetry, screenwriting and playwriting allows students to explore more than one creative writing path. Students have the opportunity to create a model for the life of a professional writer and/or instructor by participation in community and campus internships, teaching internships, writer’s conferences, open forum readings, and the Mount literary journal, the Dry River Review.

The MFA in Creative Writing is a 36-unit terminal degree program. Students will participate in a graduate creative writing workshop each semester and take additional academic courses for credit. Typically, the student will take two courses per semester.

The course of study leading to the degree is comprised of four major elements:

  1. Creative Writing: Workshop Classes (15 Units).
  2. Academic: Humanities classes in English, Cultural Studies, and History (12 Units).
  3. Professional: Internships and Teaching Assistantships that prepare students for the demands of the marketplace. These may include participation in campus events such as the open forum readings, writers’ conference, and the online publication of the >Dry River Review (3 Units).
  4. Thesis (6 Units).

Requirements – 36 Units Total:

  1. Completion of fifteen (15) units of Creative Writing Workshops. (15 units required)

    CRW229 Children’s Literature (3)

    CRW230 Fiction (3)

    CRW231 Poetry (3)

    CRW232 Writing for Screen

    And Television (3)

    CRW233 Creative Non-Fiction (3)

    CRW234 Advanced Writing for

    Screen and Television (3)

    CRW246 Playwriting (3)

    CRW248 Special Topics in

    Creative Writing (3)

  2. Completion of twelve (12) units of Humanities (HUM) Electives. (12 units required).

    Students will take additional Humanities courses for credit, at least one each in English, History and Cultural studies. See Masters in Humanities course list for course offerings and descriptions.

  3. Professional Development (3 units required).

    CRW299A Approaches to

    Teaching (2 units)

    CRW299B Internship (1-6 units)

    CRW299C Publishing Seminar (1 unit)

  4. Thesis CRW 296A (1 unit) and Thesis CRW 296B (5 units)

    Required for completion of the degree is submission of a publication-ready, 100-page manuscript in one genre – fiction, creative nonfiction, play, screen play or teleplay; or 50 pages of poetry – closely reviewed, edited and refined with the assistance of the student’s Thesis Committee. For more information on the Thesis proposal and approval process, contact the MFA in Creative Writing Program office.