Skip to main content
Expand AU Menu

MFA Creative Writing | Degree Requirements & Admissions

AU campus quadrangle in fall

Creative Writing (MFA)

Offered by the Department of Literature, College of Arts and Sciences.

Admission to the Program

Applicants must meet the minimum university requirements for graduate study. An undergraduate major in literature is desirable, but applications from candidates who have majored in other fields will be considered. Admission is based on samples of previous writing (25 pages of prose or 15 pages of poetry), academic record, and two letters of recommendation.

Degree Requirements

  • 48 credit hours of approved graduate work
  • Advancement to candidacy is automatic on admission to the program, but subject to yearly review
  • A book-length manuscript of fiction, poetry, or nonfiction to be approved by the creative writing faculty
  • One oral examination on the candidate's manuscript: its merits, characteristics, and relations to the works of others

Course Requirements

Writing Workshops (12 credit hours)

Note: Students may concentrate on one genre or work in several.

Complete 12 credit hours in writing workshops:

Literature Courses (12 credit hours)

  • 12 credit hours in literature courses selected from among the regular graduate level literature offerings of the department

Required (12 credit hours)

Electives (6 credit hours)

Complete 6 credit hours from the following:

  • Additional writing workshops, offered at American University
  • Additional courses in literature, cinema studies, or performing arts
  • With the approval of an advisor, courses in foreign languages, journalism, or in any other discipline which seems germane to the individual student's interest and consistent with the objectives of the program

Thesis (6 credit hours)

Program Blog

Students and faculty of the Rome summer MFA program. Students and faculty of the Rome summer MFA program.

Learn more about the Creative Writing Program with our blog.

Learn More

Program Video

Creative Writing Program Video Creative Writing Program Video

Faculty, program alumni, and current students say what sets this program apart.

Watch Video