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, open forum readings, writer’s conference, 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:

a)      Creative Writing: Workshop Classes (15 Units).

b)      Academic: Humanities classes in Literature, Cultural Studies, and History (12 Units).

c)      Professional: Internships and Teaching Assistantships that will prepare students for the demands of the marketplace. These may include participation in campus events such as the open forum readings, writer’s conference, and the online publication of the Dry River Review (3 Units).

d)      Thesis (6 Units)

Requirements—36 units total:

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

          CRW 229 Children's Literature

          CRW 230 Fiction

          CRW 231 Poetry

          CRW 232 Writing for Screen and Television

          CRW 233 Creative Nonfiction

          CRW 234 Advanced Writing for Screen and Television

          CRW 246 Playwriting

          CRW 247 Advanced Playwriting

          CRW 248 Special Topics in Creative Writing

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

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

3)      Professional development: (3 units required)

          CRW 299A Approaches to Teaching (1 unit)

          CRW 299B Internship (1-6 units) 

          CRW 299C  Publishing (1 unit) 

4)      Thesis CRW 296A (3 units) and Thesis CRW 296B (3 units).

Required for completion of the degree is submission of a publication-ready, 100-page manuscript in one genre – fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, play, screen play or teleplay – 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.