Graduate Program in Creative Writing
English MFA and PhD
The University of Kansas' MFA is a three-year program with tracks in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and playwriting. Typically, students in the program take course work for the first two years of the program and then write for the third year on their creative thesis. Students may take up to 15 credit hours to complete the thesis, and by the time they graduate they will have produced a book-length manuscript of poetry or prose.
In addition to the Master of Fine Arts degree, the University of Kansas offers a PhD in Creative Writing, a rigorous program that combines creative writing and literary studies and prepares graduates for both scholarly and creative publication and teaching. After two years of coursework, students prepare for the comprehensive oral examination covering three areas of focus. Upon successful completion of the comprehensive exam, candidates will begin work on the creative writing dissertation, which includes a book-length work of creative writing and a scholarly research component.
A GTA appointment includes a tuition waiver for ten semesters plus a competitive stipend. In the first year, GTA appointees teach English 101 (first year composition) and English 102 (a required reading and writing course). MFA and Creative Writing PhD students have the opportunity to teach an introductory course in creative writing in their third year, and opportunities are available for a limited number of advanced GTAs to teach in the summer.
The creative writing faculty at KU has been widely published and anthologized, winning both critical and popular acclaim. Faculty awards include such distinctions as the Nebula Award, Hugo Award, Osborn Award, Shelley Memorial Award, Gertrude Stein Award, the Kenyon Review Prize, the Kentucky Center Gold Medallion, and the Pushcart Prize.
Our program's award-winning students and graduates publish widely in journals and have published books with numerous presses, including Black Lawrence Press, Black Balloon Publishing, and the University of Massachusetts Press.