Professor Russell, Graduate Program Director, 516-463-6284
Hofstra’s MFA in Creative Writing offers a dynamic program integrating literary scholarship and focused instruction in writing, providing a terminal degree for graduate study in dramatic writing, fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction. Courses are offered during late afternoons and early evenings, Monday through Thursday. The curriculum consists of 36 s.h. of courses in creative writing and literature in English. Financial resources include tuition remissions from the following: the Hofstra University Graduate Scholarships/teaching or publishing fellowships, the Judith Jedlicka Award, and the Provost Scholarship.
- Successful completion of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited university with an overall GPA of at least 3.0.
- Twelve (12) s.h. of advanced undergraduate or graduate courses in literature with a grade of B or better. Motivated students who have concentrated in other disciplines will also be considered on the strength of their application.
- A creative writing portfolio of no more than 30 pages of original work to be evaluated by creative writing faculty.
- A personal statement describing the student’s rationale for applying, as well as the student’s interests and literary influences.
- At least two and no more than three letters of recommendation.
Program Requirements – Total Semester Hours: 36*
36 s.h. in graduate-level course work
*Students may register for no more than 12 s.h. per semester. Registration for more than 12 s.h. will require the permission of the program director.
I. Creative Writing – Semester Hours: 18
A. 12 s.h. in (Repeatable) Special Topics in Creative Writing
Special topics in creative Writing, whether in poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, or playwriting, focus on creative writing projects that may emanate from prompts or assignments and are read and discussed by the instructor and other members of the workshop. Students also read and discuss models from the respective genre. Special topics in creative writing may also be organized around a particular topic, such as character development, structuring the story, or dramatic structure. Current special topics in creative writing include CRWR 240 (Poetry Writing), 241 (Fiction Writing), 242 (Playwriting), and 243 (Creative Non-Fiction Writing).
B. 3 s.h. in a Craft Course
Craft courses, whether in poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, or playwriting, focus on how a work is made, particularly on matters of technique, structure, and style. Issues of craft are in the foreground, driving class discussion and serving as springboards for writing assignments. Some craft courses concentrate on a form (in poetry, examples would be the sonnet, the long poem, the prose poem, the dramatic monologue), or mode (satire, elegy), or genre (the epic, from Gilgamesh to Moby Dick); others on a strategy (third person, first person), or structuring principle (the lyric sequence, the epistolary novel), or feature intrinsic to a specific genre (dialogue, prosody, stanza pattern). Unlike special topics in creative writing, where incisive critique of a student’s writing is the primary focus, in craft courses the students spend most of their class time discussing published works of literature, examining the way that work has been composed – strategies and techniques that make the piece of writing what it is – and why and how these strategies and techniques have the effect they do within the work and on the audience.
C. 3 s.h. in a Creative Writing Elective
(may include an additional special topics in creative writing or craft course)
II. Literature – Semester Hours: 12
Literature electives, to include 3 s.h. of course work on an individual author and 3 s.h. of course work in literature pre-1900.
III. The MFA Project – Semester Hours: 6
A comprehensive creative writing project in one of the essential genres; a project of length and breadth, awarded a “CR” grade after successful conclusion, and, if the project is of particular merit, a designation of “Distinction.”
- Completion of all program requirements.
- A minimum GPA of 3.0 in overall graduate course work.
- Candidates for the MFA degree will be expected to complete the program within five years.