The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
Admissions to the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing are currently
suspended, and the future of the program is under review. Please contact
the department or the Office of Graduate Programs to learn the current
status of the program.
Course Requirements for the Masters Degree: 50 semester units
The MFA in Creative Writing is offered by a consortium of California State
University campuses, including Chico, Hayward, Los Angeles, Northridge,
and San Luis Obispo. A minimum of three summers of enrollment at a consortium
campus is required, as is continuous enrollment once the program is begun.
Continuous enrollment is defined as enrollment in consecutive summer sessions;
adjunct enrollment is required for any summer when the candidate does
not enroll in courses.
A maximum of 18 semester units of transfer credit from a non-consortium
campus may be applied toward the degree. All resident credit taken at consortium
campuses is considered in residence for this program.
Graduate Time Limit: All requirements for the degree are to be completed
within seven years of the end of the semester of enrollment in the oldest
course applied toward the degree. See Graduate Education in The University
Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements.
The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program is available to students
whose undergraduate record qualifies them according to the standards set
forth by the Office of Graduate Programs and the Department of English
Prerequisites for Admission to Conditionally Classified Status:
1. Satisfactory grade point average as specified in Admission to Masters Degree Programs in The University Catalog.
2. Approval by the MFA screening
committee and the Office of Graduate Programs.
3. An acceptable baccalaureate
from an accredited institution, or an equivalent approved by the Office
of Graduate Programs.
4. Completion of the Test of English as a Foreign
Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 237 (580 on the paper-based test)
by all applicants who have not attended post-secondary educational institutions
for at least three years where English is the principal language of instruction.
Further, a score below 23 for the listening and 24 for the structure and
reading sections of the TOEFL (or 58 for any section on the paper-based
test) will require that a student enroll in remedial courses appropriate
to the area of weakness; the Graduate Coordinator will specify the number
of semesters of remedial work.
5. Submission of a portfolio of recent original
writing (from the last three years), a critical essay about the work of
an author in the genre of the applicants major interest, and a brief statement
of the applicants reasons for wishing to obtain an MFA in Creative Writing.
Prerequisites for Admission to Classified Status:
In addition to any requirements listed above:
1. Two letters of recommendation from faculty or professionals familiar
with the applicants writing.
2. Completion of the graduate literacy requirement.
Completion of the aptitude portion of the Graduate Record Examination,
with a minimum score of 500 on the verbal portion of the exam.
of any requirements prescribed as a result of evaluation.
Advancement to Candidacy:
In addition to any requirements listed above:
1. Classified graduate standing and completion of at least 9 units of the
2. Formation of the graduate advisory committee, composed
of at least two faculty, in consultation with the MFA Graduate Coordinator.
Development of an approved program in consultation with the MFA Graduate
Coordinator and the graduate advisory committee. Continuation in the degree
program will require maintaining a B average in all courses on the approved
MFA degree program as well as in all course work taken subsequent to admission
to conditionally classified status.
4. Approval by the MFA Graduate Coordinator.
Requirements for the MFA Degree in Creative Writing:
Completion of all requirements as established by the graduate advisory
committee and the Office of Graduate Programs, to include:
1. Completion of an approved program consisting of 50 semester units which
include the following minimum requirements:
a. 15 units of writers workshop.
Equivalent courses may be repeated to the maximum established by individual
campuses and the degree program. For example, ENGL 320 may be repeated
for a maximum of 6 units at the Chico campus and, in addition, ENGL 513
may be repeated for a maximum of 12 units (which convert to 8 semester
units) at the San Luis Obispo campus.
b. 12 units literature courses;
9 units form/creative process;
d. 6 units special topics;
e. 3 units interdisciplinary
f. 2 units literary arts in the community;
g. 3 units creative project.
Minimum of three summers of enrollment on the Chico or other consortium
3. No more than 9 semester units of extension and/or Open
University credit (correspondence courses and U.C. extension course work
are not acceptable) may be applied toward the degree.
4. A maximum of 18
semester units of transfer work may be counted toward the MFA.
5. Not more
than a total of 10 units of independent study and creative project; not
more than 6 units of creative project.
6. Students are required to sit before
their graduate advisory committee for an oral examination on their creative
project. The oral examination may be held electronically. Students are
required to present publicly portions of their creative project. The public
presentation may also be delivered electronically.
Course substitutions may be permitted by the MFA Graduate Coordinator.
A minimum of 35 units (i.e., at least 70 percent of all units taken for
the degree) must be in courses designed primarily for graduate students.
Applying Course Work from Another Degree Program
A maximum of 18 units from a graduate degree program at a nonconsortium
campus may be counted toward the MFA; a maximum of 24 units from another
graduate degree program at a consortium campus may be counted toward the
MFA. The maximum total units from another degree program that may be counted
toward the degree is 24. Consult the MFA Graduate Coordinator or the Office
of Graduate Studies at CSU, Chico early in your program about the applicability
of previous course work.
Graduate Literacy Requirement:
Writing proficiency is a graduation requirement.
MFA in Creative Writing degree candidates will demonstrate their writing
competence through successful completion of the portfolio review process.
Graduate Grading Requirements:
All courses in the major (with the exceptions of Independent Study, Creative
Project, and courses to fulfill the literary arts in the community requirement)
must be taken for a letter grade. A maximum of 10 units combined of Credit/No
Credit grading may be used on the approved program.
Students must maintain a 3.0 grade point average in all course work on
the approved masters degree program as well as in all course work taken
subsequent to admission to conditionally classified status.
Graduate Advising Requirement:
Advising is mandatory for all MFA majors.
Consult the MFA Graduate Coordinator