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CREATIVE WRITING

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the application deadline?
Applications must begin online by the Feb. 1 deadline. A written portion of the application must be postmarked on or before Feb. 1.

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What do I write on Line 12 of the Graduate School application?
Write G13E, the code for the MFA in Creative Writing degree.

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Where can I read more about the Graduate School?
Visit the Graduate School’s website and their FAQs

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What do GTAs teach?
GTAs usually teach English 101 their first semester. By the time they leave most have other courses to list on their CVs, including English as a Second Language, business writing, and introduction to creative writing.

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Do I need to submit GRE scores?
No.

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Do I need recommendation letters to get into the MFA program?
No.

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Do I need recommendation letters to get a GTA position?
Yes. In addition, as a part of the hiring process at WSU, all graduate assistants are required to submit to a criminal background check before employment commences.

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Can I mail the GTA recommendation letters to Wichita State?
No. Have your recommenders mail the letters to the address given in Part 3 or use a service like Interfolio which, for a fee, will keep a file of your materials and mail it out to the offices that need them.

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What are the requirements to be accepted into the MFA Program?
You need to have a B.A. Applicants must meet the general requirements of the Graduate School, with the additional requirement of a 3.000 grade point average in their previous coursework in English.

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Must I have majored in English?
No. But we do like our MFA students to have 24 credit hours in English. If you have fewer, you can still be accepted. The creative writing program director evaluates the applicant’s transcript and prescribes additional undergraduate hours for those who have fewer than 24 credits of acceptable coursework in English. Courses in freshman composition, grammar, teaching methods, journalism, speech, etc. may not be included in the required 24 hours.

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Is it possible to transfer credit hours?
Yes. But no more than 24 hours of credit may be counted toward the degree from other graduate work taken at Wichita State or at another school.

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What are the requirements to be a GTA?
Once you’ve been admitted by the Graduate School and the MFA program, you need three (3) recommendation letters and an expository writing sample to demonstrate your writing skills.

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If I’m an international student, can I be admitted to the MFA program?
Yes. The Office of International Education will help. (Wichita.edu/international) If you have earned your degree in a country where English is not the native language, you must score at least 600 paper-based, 25-computer-based, or 100 Internet-based on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or an overall band score of 7.5 on the IELTS before you may be admitted to the program.

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Can I submit a creative writing sample that’s neither fiction nor poetry? Can I submit a screenplay or creative nonfiction or journalism or an academic essay?
No, on all counts. Submit a writing sample in the genre in which you intend to study. We offer a program in fiction or a program in poetry.

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Can I study screenwriting at Wichita State?
No.

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Can I study creative nonfiction writing at Wichita State?
A little. We do not offer a degree in creative nonfiction; however, we offer a course in it fairly often.

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Can I commute long distance and get my MFA at Wichita State?
No. You have to live close enough to attend classes which are scheduled Monday through Thursday every week.

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Who should I ask to write me a recommendation to be a GTA?
Ask a professor who you’ve studied with. Ask someone who supervised you at work. Above all, ask someone whose own writing represents YOU well.

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How much is tuition at Wichita State?
For fall 2012 the average cost for an academic year is

In-state $5,224
Out-of-state $12,148

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What’s the cost of living in Wichita?
Average monthly cost of a one bedroom apartment is $500.

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If I’m a GTA, do I get an office?
Yes. You share it with two other GTAs.

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Do I get help teaching writing to undergraduates as a GTA?
Yes. You have faculty mentors who meet with you regularly and help you in the classroom. You also are required to take English 780 Theory and Practice of Composition and English 681 Editing American English, both 3-credit courses.

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Do I have to write a thesis?
Yes. We call it a final writing project. Fiction writers write a minimum 100-page work of fiction and poets write a minimum of 40 pages.

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Do I get faculty help writing my final project?
Yes. You meet one-on-one with your final writing project director over the course of two semesters to finish your work.

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Do I take a comprehensive exam?
Yes. You write a three-essay exam usually at the end of your last year. It covers a list of 30 books you and your final project director have chosen from a central list.

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What writing faculty do I study with?

You study with the MFA faculty and with our visiting distinguished writer or visiting distinguished poet. We invite a fiction writer and a poet each year to stay on campus for a month and offer one-on-one tutorials to our MFA students. These tutorials are regular courses and count for three (3) credits toward your MFA degree. Some of those who have visited in the past are Lee Abbott, Renee Ashley, Russell Banks, Marvin Bell, Michael Blumenthal, Scott Blackwood, Sharon Bryan, Scott Cairns, Peter Cameron, Brock Clarke, Ann Copeland, George Cuomo, Richard Currey, Phil Dacey, Robert Dana, Madeline DeFrees, Rick Demarinis, Stephen Dunn, Richard Elman, Carol Frost, Greg Glazner, Deborah Greger, Ron Hansen, Michael Harper, William Hathaway, Shelby Hearon, Laura Kalpakian, Elizabeth Libbey, Jack Matthews, Michael McGriff, Jay Meek, Peter Meinke, Lisel Mueller, Richard Murphy, Jack Myers, Antonya Nelson, Kent Nelson, Achy Obejas, Ed Ochester, Robert Olmstead, Eric Pankey, Bette Pesetsky, Leslie Pietrzyk, Stanley Plumley, Kevin Prufer, Bin Ramke, Nancy Roberts, Mary Elsie Robertson, William Pitt Root, Abraham Rothberg, Hugh Seidman, Bob Shacochis, Terese Svoboda, Mark Smith, Henry Taylor, Katherine Vaz, Michael Waters, Paul West, James Wilcox, C.K. Williams, Hilma Wolitzer, Richard Yates, and Paul Zimmer.

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What would a typical three years in the MFA program look like?

First Year: 9 hours each semester of course work

Fall:

  • English 700: Introduction to Graduate Studies
  • English 780: Theory and Practice of Composition
  • English 801 or 805: Graduate Workshop in Fiction or Poetry

Spring:

  • English 681: Editing American English
  • English 7XX: Literature course
  • English 801 or 805: Graduate Workshop in Fiction or Poetry

Second Year: 9 hours each semester of course work

Fall:

  • English 7XX: Literature course
  • English 880 or 881 Tutorial with Visiting Writer
  • English 801 or 805: Graduate Workshop in Fiction or Poetry

Spring:

  • English 7XX: Literature course
  • Non-English Department Graduate course (called the Enrichment Course)
  • English 801 or 805: Graduate Workshop in Fiction or Poetry

Third Year: 6 hours each semester of course work

Fall:

  • English 875: Final Writing Project
  • English 880 or 881: Tutorial with Visiting Writer

Spring:

  • English 875: Final Writing Project
  • English 7XX: Literature course

During this spring, you would take your Comprehensive Exam and you would finish your Final Project.

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If I receive a rejection from the MFA Program based on my manuscript, can I find out why?
No, and we’re sorry about that, but the program receives too many applications to offer critiques.

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