To receive the Masters of Fine Arts degree in creative writing, a student must complete a three-year program in residence at Wichita State University that includes:
Students also take a comprehensive examination in their last semester. This is a three-part essay exam over books chosen from a master list in consultation with the student’s final project director.
Students in both genres work during their last year with one of the faculty on completing an original body of work. For poetry students, this is at least 24 pages of publishable work; for fiction writers, this is at least 100 pages of publishable work.
The MFA in creative writing at Wichita State University is a three-year graduate program that aims to admit four poetry and six fiction students each year. It is a 48-hour, studio-academic program with students in full-time residence. The program is approaching its 42nd year anniversary. All of its MFA students are funded for three years either through graduate teaching assistant positions (GTAs) or through a fellowship. In 2015 the program admitted nine new students, all funded through GTA positions. In 2015, the MFA Program has 22 students enrolled, all receiving full support through GTA positions or fellowships.
Most of our MFA students are GTAs who teach two composition classes each semester to WSU undergraduates and work one hour a week in the English Department’s Writing Center. They pay no tuition, receive $4,250 each semester and may buy discounted health insurance. The MFA program also awards two $12,500 fellowships each year, one in fiction writing and one in poetry, and it awards the Stephen F. Barr Fellowship, worth about $600.
Students admitted into the MFA program will hear by April 1 and are expected to respond by April 15. If a student does not answer by April 15, we assume the offer has been declined. We often develop a wait list, so it’s possible for an applicant to hear after April 1.
Applicants should know that the Council of Graduate Schools policy is that no student should be obliged to accept an offer of financial support before April 15. More details on that policy can be found at the Council of Graduate Schools website.
To be a Graduate Teaching Assistant, students must enroll full time, which is nine hours per semester. Our MFA students who are GTAs receive support for three years, as long as their academic record and teaching are satisfactory.