Monday, August 22, 2005

What is a Creative Writing Graduate Degree?

A graduate program in creative writing offers either an M.A. (Master of Arts, one to two years), an M.F.A (Master of Fine Arts, two to three years) or a Ph.D. (Doctorate, five or more years) degree where students take writing workshops, craft and literature classes, and work on a book-length thesis of writing. Students explore their writing craft, interact within a community of peers and teachers, and most importantly take advantage of that greatest of gifts: time to write.

There are over 100 creative writing MFA programs in the United States, over 100 M.A. programs with some sort of creative writing emphasis, and a handful, though a growing handful, of creative writing Ph.D. programs. These programs offer degrees primarily in fiction and poetry, though there are a number of universities that offer degrees in creative nonfiction, screenwriting, playwriting, children’s literature, and even science writing.