The Master of Fine Arts in Writing is part of The Creative Writing Programs (CWP) at Hamline University. The MFA is a terminal degree for students who wish to pursue careers as writers and want to teach writing at the college level or seek professional work in the literary marketplace. Hamline’s MFA program, established in 1994, was the first MFA degree in creative writing in Minnesota.
The program, offered full- or part-time, allows students to develop the process and craft of writing in a rigorous, engaged, and supportive environment. Faculty who teach in the program are all accomplished, working writers. Our small class sizes provide an intimate setting in which students will establish trust and rapport with classmates and receive one-on-one advising and feedback from their professors. Students have the option of serving on the editorial board of Water~Stone Review and experiencing first-hand what it’s like to put together a national literary magazine. They also are able to work one-on-one with nationally known visiting writers who visit campus and teach in our annual Water~Stone Review Summer Writing Workshop.
Many students will focus primarily on one genre in the advanced stage of the program as they move toward thesis. Students can choose from poetry, fiction (e.g, realistic, speculative, mystery, etc.), creative nonfiction (e.g., personal and lyric essay, memoir, biography, etc.), or any combination of genres. Elective courses are offered on topics such as composition theory & pedagogy, point of view in fiction, graphic novel, hybrid narratives, and shorts shorts (fiction and CNF), to name a few.
MFA Degree Requirements (48 credits and 3.0 GPA):
NOTE: At most, 4 credits of independent study coursework may be counted toward the MFA degree.
Core Seminar (4 credits):
Required Craft Courses (20 credits):
Two Groundings Courses
Students take two of the following fundamentals courses, which cover craft techniques in depth in the genre.
Two of the three workshops must be in the student’s chosen genre.
Pre-Professional Course (4 credits):
Students choose one of the following options.
Elective Courses (12 credits):
Elective course options include topics courses and additional Groundings, Workshops, and Pre-Professional courses.
Capstone (8 credits):
The MFA capstone is a two-part process, Thesis I and Thesis II. Each is one semester long. If necessary, Thesis I or II can be extended to two semesters, although the student will have to register again for the course.
After completion of six courses, MFA students meet with their faculty advisor to discuss their goals and progress in the program. Under consideration are the student’s plans for thesis, including the choice of genre(s), prospective thesis advisors, and timeline for completion of degree requirements.