Creative Writing

M.F.A. in Creative Writing

An M.F.A. in Creative Writing is a terminal degree program designed to help meet the needs of students as they seek to become published writers and teachers. This program offers a solid foundation and practice through courses in literature, writing workshops and writing process and technique courses designed for the aspiring writer. In this vigorous and innovative program, students will have opportunities to work with a host of visiting writers and poets, as well as to participate in the vibrant writing and performing arts communities of both Brooklyn and Manhattan.

In the 36-credit M.F.A. in Creative Writing, the focal point of the curriculum is the writing workshop. Students have opportunities to work in poetry, fiction, playwriting, creative non-fiction and on cross-genre projects. They explore a wide range of literary styles, from traditional narratives to the experimental, contemplative and avant-garde. In literature and theory classes, students look closely at the links between contemporary writing and literary traditions, writing and theory, and between writing, reading, music, and the visual arts. Students are encouraged to take artistic risks while moving in the context of multiple traditions. A small intimate program setting allows for easy access to, and strong mentoring by faculty members who are deeply committed to their students.

Graduates of the M.F.A. in Creative Writing will be prepared to seek publishing and performance venues for their work and thus participate more widely in the ongoing conversations that make up literary traditions and lineages. In addition to experimenting with varying styles and honing their skills as writers in varied imaginative genres, students will have the opportunity to tutor undergraduates and teach composition; skills that in combination with the M.F.A. degree, will serve them well in future writing and teaching jobs.

See our blog, The Longest Island, for up-to-date information about this program and news about the English Department and its events. For example, you will find a list of MFA program faculty and visiting writers.

Course of Study (36 credits)

This page provides a detailed course of study for the Creative Writing MFA program. For more information about the program, contact the Director of Polk School of Communication Robin Hemley



Required: All three of the following.

  • WRIT 502 Writers on Writing (3 credits)
  • WRIT 503 Theory of Writing (3 credits)
  • WRIT 504 Traditions & Lineages (3 credits)


Required: 12 credits from the following.

  • WRIT 520 Nonfiction Writing Workshop (3 credits / may be taken only once)
  • WRIT 523 Fiction Writing Workshop (3 credits / may be taken three times)
  • WRIT 524 Poetry Writing Workshop (3 credits / may be taken three times)
  • WRIT 525 Play Writing Workshop (3 credits / may be taken three times)
  • WRIT 526 Writing for Media I: The Story (3 credits / may be taken only once)
  • WRIT 528 Seminar in Creative Writing (3 credits / may be taken three times)
  • WRIT 529 Topics in Creative Writing (3 credits / may be taken three times)


  • Required: Three Literature courses (3 credits each).


  • Required: One English elective (3 credits), chosen in consultation with Graduate Advisor and MFA Director.


  • Required: English 708 Thesis (3 credits).


In addition to the course requirements listed above, Teaching Assistants are required to take English 646 Individual & Small Group Writing Instruction. Teaching Fellows are required to take English 700 Practicum in the Teaching of Writing.

Internships and Volunteering

Students in the MFA Program have the opportunity to intern or volunteer at a variety of cultural organizations and events, such as the PEN World Voices Festival, the National Book Foundation, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and others. Contact Jessica Hagedorn for further information.

Students also have the opportunity to work in a variety of volunteer positions at the Poetry Project. Contact Lewis Warsh for more information.

Literary Events and Awards

The following are literary events and awards specifically relevant to the Creative Writing MFA Program: