Creative Writing

 Lect. Rachel DeWoskin (right) leads students in a fiction writing course at Taft House.

Making its home south of Midway Plaisance in Taft House, The Program in Creative Writing is an intersection of imagination and critical inquiry. Creative Writing offers an array of writing-workshop-based classes in a variety of genres, from fiction and poetry to creative nonfiction and translation. In addition, MAPH students focusing in creative writing have the unique opportunity to inform their creative projects with rigorous analytic research in a variety of subjects, such as Art History , Cinema and Media Studies , Comparative Literature , English Language and Literature , Gender and Sexuality , Philosophy , and Visual Arts .

Selected Faculty

Portrait of Rachel DeWoskin standing on a rooftop

Rachel DeWoskin

Portrait of Srikanth Reddy

Srikanth Reddy

Portrait of Vu Tran

Sample Courses

There are two open spots in every Creative Writing course with a grad section; MAPH students in the Creative Writing Option get priority in these courses, and require instructor permission to register for open slots. There is no prerequisite on any grad section and all MAPH students are exempt from prerequisites. You can find the numbers for grad sections on Class Search or CIM.

If the two grad spots are already taken there is still a chance that the instructor would be interested in adding additional graduate students. In that case, students should write to the instructor, ask to be added to the waitlist and once they get the OK, plan to enroll during add/drop.

Please visit the Creative Writing page  for more details on classes and registration.

CRWR 40229 - Technical Seminar in Fiction: 3D Character Builder ( Rachel DeWoskin ) This reading and writing course will acquaint students with one of the essential tools of fiction writers, characterization. We will read works by authors including Baldwin, Guo, Nabokov, Munro, Sharma and Wharton, toward exploring how some of literatures most famous characters are rendered. How do writers of fiction create contexts in which characters must struggle, and how does each character's conflicts, choices, and use of language reveal his or her nature? How do we make characters whose behaviors are complicated enough to feel real, and why are some of the worst characters the most compelling? Students in this technical seminar will complete both creative and analytical writing exercises, reading responses, and a critical paper that focuses on characterization in a work of fiction.

CRWR 40411 - Technical Seminar in Poetry: Urban Image and Poetic Play  ( Garin Cycholl ) This technical seminar focuses on poems’ development of image through the work of urban writers. We will explore the lineage of urban lyric within the nineteenth century, then reflect on its development in the contemporary city. What impulse defines an “urban poetics?” What is urban lyric’s relationship with painting and photography? Do all city poems reflect one “city” in the end or is a more local impulse at work in cities as foci for writing? This course seeks to establish a solid, working basis in examining “image” and its lyric development through critical reflection and field work. To this end, we will work with a range of urban writers, including Paul Blackburn, Andrew Colarusso, Wanda Coleman, Kevin Killian, Frank O’Hara, Salima Rivera, Ed Roberson, and David Ulin.

CRWR 44021 - Advanced Nonfiction Workshop: The Trouble With Trauma ( Dina Peone ) In “The Body Keeps the Score” Bessel van der Kolk writes, “The greatest sources of our suffering are the lies we tell ourselves.” Many trauma survivors begin writing reluctantly, even repulsed by the impulse to query their woundedness. The process is inhibited by stigma surrounding the notion of victimhood, entities that would prefer a survivor's silence, plus our tendency to dismiss and devalue ones suffering in relation to others. Students in this class will shed some of these constricting patterns of thinking about trauma so they may freely explore their stories with confidence, compassion, curiosity, and intention. We'll read authors who have found surprise, nuance, and yes, healing through art, honoring the heart-work that happens behind the scenes. Half of class-time will include student-led workshops of original works in progress. Paramount to our success will be an atmosphere of safety, supportiveness, respect, and confidentiality. By the quarter's end each student will leave with a piece of writing that feels both true to their experience and imbued with possibility.

CRWR 49300 - Thesis/Major Projects in Poetry ( Margaret Ross ) This thesis workshop is for students writing a creative BA or MA thesis in poetry, as well as creative writing minors completing the portfolio. Because it is a thesis workshop, the course will focus on various ways of organizing larger poetic “projects.” We will consider the poetic sequence, the chapbook, and the poetry collection as ways of extending the practice of poetry beyond the individual lyric text. We will also problematize the notion of broad poetic “projects,” considering the consequences of imposing a predetermined conceptual framework on the elusive, spontaneous, and subversive act of lyric writing. Because this class is designed as a poetry workshop, your fellow students’ work will be the primary text over the course of the quarter.

A more comprehensive list of courses and descriptions is available at the Creative Writing course page . 

  • Creative Writing Courses

Creative Writing Option

Students who plan to do a creative writing thesis project in fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction can choose to pursue the MAPH Creative Writing Option. Students who complete the following requirements will receive a Creative Writing notation on their MAPH transcript:

  • The MAPH Core course (Foundations of Interpretive Theory)
  • One creative writing course in the student's chosen genre in Fall Quarter
  • Creative Writing Thesis/Major Projects workshop in Winter Quarter
  • Three academic courses relevant to the student’s proposed thesis area
  • Two elective courses to be taken in any area of student interest

Two-Year Language Option for Creative Writing

MAPH's Two-Year Language Option is a great way for students to pursue advanced work in literary translation in their second year. Some possibilities might include advanced workshops on literary translation in various genres, upper-level undergraduate seminars and graduate courses in non-Anglophone literatures across a range of geographical regions and historical periods, and courses on translation theory.

Two-Year Language Option

Lawrence Grauman Jr. Fellowship Fund

The Grauman Fellowship , made possible by a generous legacy gift from Lawrence Grauman Jr. (AM '63), supports MAPH students studying English and/or Creative Writing, with a strong preference whenever possible for students who focus their studies on nonfiction writing or literary journalism. 

MAPH applicants who plan to work on creative nonfiction or literary journalism can indicate an interest in the Grauman Fellowship on their application.

Grauman Fellowship

Recent Creative Writing Thesis Projects

"Wonders of Unsung Black Life: A Poetic Interpretation on Living in Blackness" Tia White, MAPH '21 Advisor: Margaret Ross

" Once and Future Gardens " Sarah Hobin, MAPH '21 Advisor: Lina Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas

" Love Me, Love Me Not, Love Me Again: Stories for Bibliotherapy " Casey Glynn, MAPH '20 Advisor: Rachel DeWoskin

" From the Well That Washes Itself: A Novel (Excerpt)" Hajrije Kolimja, MAPH '20 Advisor:  Rachel DeWoskin

" The Confrontation Exercises: Essays " Jiaying Liang, MAPH '19 Advisor: Daniel Raeburn

Department of English Language and Literature, The University of Chicago

Faculty and Lecturers

Sylvie-boulette

Sylvie Boulette

Adrienne Brown

Adrienne Brown

Bill Brown

Suzanne Buffam

FCV

Lina Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas

Timothy Campbell

Timothy Campbell

Jim Chandler

James Chandler

Alexis Chema

Alexis Chema

Chia

Darrel Chia

Photo © Peter Serling, 2013

Rachel Cohen

Emily Coit

Christine Fouirnaies

Rachel Galvin

Rachel Galvin

Edgar Garcia

Edgar Garcia

Elaine Hadley

Elaine Hadley

Tim Harrison

Timothy Harrison

Kirsten

Kirsten Ihns

Julie Iromuanya

Julie Iromuanya

Patrick_Jagoda

Patrick Jagoda

Jones

Danielle Jones

Heather Keenleyside

Heather Keenleyside

King

Loren Kruger

Ellen MacKay

Ellen MacKay

Oksana Maksymchuk

Oksana Maksymchuk

Agnes

Agnes Malinowska

Sarah McDaniel

Sarah McDaniel

Josephine McDonagh

Josephine McDonagh

Mark Miller

Mark Miller

Rivky Mondal

Rivky Mondal

Benjamin Morgan

Benjamin Morgan

John Muse

Noémie Ndiaye

Deborah Nelson

Deborah Nelson

Sianne

Sianne Ngai

Julie Orlemanski photo credit Jason Smith

Julie Orlemanski

Chicago

Kaneesha Parsard

Tina Post

Daniel Raeburn

Reddy

Srikanth (Chicu) Reddy

Profile Image of Mee-Ju

Augustus Rose

Benjamin A. Saltzman

Benjamin A. Saltzman

Jennifer Scappettone

Jennifer Scappettone

Robyn Schiff

Robyn Schiff

TJS

Tristan Schweiger

Eric Slauter

Eric Slauter

C. Riley Snorton

C. Riley Snorton

Stephanie Soileau

Stephanie Soileau

Hilary Strang

Hilary Strang

Christopher Taylor

Christopher Taylor

Vu Tran

Megan Tusler

Nicholas twemlow.

Velasquez

Rebeca Velasquez

Sophia Veltfort Profile Image

Sophia Veltfort

Kenneth Warren

Kenneth Warren

Williams

Korey Williams

SJ Zhang

Creative Writing

Greer Baxter and Mandy Gonzalez

The Program in Creative Writing takes a comprehensive approach to the study of contemporary literature, criticism, and theory from a writer’s perspective, and provides rigorous training in the fundamental practices of creative writing. In our courses, students work with established poets and prose writers towards these pursuits, and both the major and minor in Creative Writing provide ample opportunities for interdisciplinary work across University departments. The program’s commitment to interdisciplinary work and academic rigor, coupled with an emphasis on teaching the elements of creative writing that underlie all genres, accounts for the program's vitality and explains why Creative Writing at Chicago is currently the largest initiative in the humanities for the College. The Program in Creative Writing offers workshops and seminars in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, as well as an increasing number of translation workshops.

Students who graduate with the bachelor of arts in Creative Writing will both be skilled in writing in a major literary genre and have a theoretically informed understanding of the aesthetic, historical, social, and political context of a range of contemporary writing. Students who are not English Language and Literature or Creative Writing majors may complete a minor in English and Creative Writing.

  • Creative Writing in the College Catalog
  • Minor in Creative Writing in the College Catalog
  • Creative Writing Home Page

Creative Writing, The University of Chicago

Creative Writing Courses

Taft House

Arts Core courses and Beginning Workshops are open to all College students via the standard pre-registration process. Other courses are listed open-bid during pre-registration and prioritize students enrolled in Creative Writing degree programs. 

Arts Core Courses

These multi-genre courses are introductions to topics in creative writing and satisfy the College's general arts education requirement. Arts Core courses are generally taught under two headings—"Reading as a Writer" and "Intro to Genres"—and feature class critiques of students’ creative work. Open to all undergraduate students during pre-registration, these courses do not count towards the Creative Writing major.  

Beginning Workshops

These courses are intended for students who may or may not have previous writing experience, but are interested in gaining experience in a particular genre. Beginning Workshops focus on foundational elements of craft (such as scene-building, different forms of the essay, etc.) and feature workshops of student writing. They are open to all undergraduate students during pre-registration and are cross-listed with a graduate number. 

Fundamentals in Creative Writing

The Fundamentals in Creative Writing course is an introductory multi-genre seminar to be taken by all students in the major and minor. Each section of the course focuses on a theme that is relevant to all forms of literary practice and introduces students to a group of core texts from the genres of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

Courses may center around a range of topics—such as truth, literary empathy, or creative research—meant to draw attention to relationships across genres and to establish a deeper understanding of fundamental issues and questions in contemporary writing. Further aims of the course are to develop cohort solidarity, promote a culture of articulate exchange, and to foster a reflection on practice that will serve students’ artistic and professional development.

Fundamentals in Creative Writing is restricted to undergraduate students who have declared the major or minor. The course is taught in a seminar format and requires a final paper that analyzes one or more contemporary works in the context of a question or problem discussed in the class. Students should plan to take the course as early as possible after declaring the major or minor, ideally during their first or second quarter in the Program.  

Technical Seminars

Technical Seminars are designed to give students a deep grounding in core technical elements of their primary genre. In these courses, students examine works of contemporary literature to deepen their understanding of a particular literary technique central to the genre. A Technical Seminar in Fiction might concentrate on point of view in several novels and short stories; a Technical Seminar in Poetry might look closely at the line in a range of poems.

Technical Seminars act as a “bridge” between the literature courses included in the major and the creative writing workshops. While literature courses offered through other departments may take a distinctly scholarly approach to literature from a range of time periods, Technical Seminars ask students to approach contemporary literature as critics and, crucially, as practitioners.

These courses prepare students for the writing and critiquing they will do in workshops, but with a focus on published work and critical texts rather than original student material. Instructors may include creative exercises in the syllabus, but core writing assignments focus on analysis of assigned readings with a specific technical element in mind.

These courses give priority to students in the major and are cross-listed with a graduate number. Students in the minor may take Technical Seminars as electives (meaning they can count towards the minor but not towards the workshop requirement).

Advanced Workshops

These courses are intended for students with substantive writing experience in a particular genre. Students are required to complete a fundamentals in creative writing course and a beginning workshop prior to enrolling in an advanced workshop. Advanced Workshops focus on class critiques of student writing with accompanying readings from exemplary literary texts. Priority is given to students in the major, minor, or the MAPH Creative Writing Option. These courses are cross-listed with a graduate number. 

Thesis/Major Projects Workshops

The Thesis/Major Projects Workshop is only offered during Winter Quarter and centers on workshops of Creative Writing major, minor, and MAPH Creative Writing Option student work. Priority is given to students in the major, minor, or the MAPH Creative Writing Option. These courses are cross-listed with a graduate number. 

university of chicago creative writing phd

Where writers come to revise

The Writing Program at the University of Chicago is like no other academic writing center.

Little Red Schoolhouse

Our flagship course, Academic and Professional Writing, is open to graduate students and 3rd- and 4th-year undergradates.

Writing support

We offer one-on-one  tutoring for undergraduate students as well as writing consultations for faculty and staff . We also offer courses to teach graduate students at the University of Chicago how to become effective writers.

Welcome to the University of Chicago Writing Program

The Writing Program offers credit and non-credit courses, seminars and workshops focused on writing for readers in academic and professional contexts. We offer writing support to all University divisions, schools, and programs, including tutoring for undergraduates, specialized coursework for graduate students, and individualized consultations for staff and faculty. We also provide training in writing pedagogy, as well as employment and professional development opportunities for graduate students interested in the teaching of writing.

Located in the Cathey Learning Center North Reading Room

Our office and many of our teaching activities are based out of the Arley D. Cathey Learning Center North Reading Room, accessible via the third floor of Harper Memorial Library.

Announcements

LRS in Spring 2022

LRS in Spring 2022

We will be offering Academic and Professional Writing for both undergraduates (ENGL 13000) and graduate students (ENGL 33000) in Spring 2022. Please see this page for more information on how to register or place yourself on the waitlist. Undergraduate students may...

Writing Pedagogy Workshops for Winter 2021!

Writing Pedagogy Workshops for Winter 2021!

The Writing Program will be offering two writing pedagogy workshops in Winter 2021! These workshops are part of our programming for the College Teaching Certificate with Emphasis in Writing Pedagogy. However, you don't need to be enrolled in the Certificate in order...

Teach with WP: Winter Applications are Open!

Teach with WP: Winter Applications are Open!

Looking for pedagogical training and paid teaching experience? Looking to enhance your CV?  The University Writing Program is hiring for opportunities in the 2021-22 Academic Year! We welcome grad student applicants from across the University - no matter what...

What are you looking for?

Suggested search, phd in creative writing & literature, at home in usc’s department of english,.

the Ph.D. in CREATIVE WRITING & LITERATURE PROGRAM is one of the few dual Ph.D. programs in the country that weaves the disciplines of literature and creative work into a single educational experience. Students complete coursework in both creative writing and literature. The dissertation project is comprised of creative and critical manuscripts, both of which are essential for completion of the degree.

USC CREATIVE WRITING FACULTY include recipients of the Pulitzer Prize, Guggenheim Fellowships, the National Book Award, National Endowment for the Arts grants, Pushcart Prizes and other prestigious recognitions for their exemplary writing and dedication to their creative and scholarly work. As professors, the faculty are committed to developing innovative seminars and guiding students in the cultivation of their abilities as writers and scholars. Each incoming student is assigned a faculty mentor, with whom the student will work closely during their years at USC. While Creative Writing faculty teach critical courses from time to time, most of these literature and theory-based seminars are led by the faculty in the Department of English, all of whom are impressively accomplished scholars who are devoted to the scholarly growth of their graduate students.

Our program prizes INTERDISCIPLINARY SCHOLARSHIP, so students are encouraged to cultivate their diverse interests with courses outside of the English Department. Many students choose to pursue a complimentary graduate certificate concurrent with the Ph.D. degree. The Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences offers graduate certificate programs in Gender Studies, Visual Studies, East Asian Studies and Visual Anthropology, among others.

IN ADDITION TO COURSEWORK, students have the opportunity to participate in Ph.D. student-run projects such as The Loudest Voice, a reading series, and Gold Line Press , a publisher of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry chapbooks.

Though known for its competitive sports teams, USC also organizes an array of stimulating events throughout the year, including the English Department’s Boudreaux Visiting Writers Series and Frank N. Magill Poetry Series, as well as the University-wide Visions & Voices series, which features diverse and dynamic performances, lectures, and discussions that extend the arts and humanities beyond the classroom.

USC also hosts the annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books — one of the largest literary events in the nation. USC itself is located in the heart of beautiful Los Angeles, an international city with a vibrant arts scene, just miles from the beach or hiking trails; students will never be at a loss for something to do.

ADMISSION is extremely competitive: the program accepts 2 or 3 writers per genre every year from hundreds of applicants. All incoming students receive five years of guaranteed funding — three years of fellowship and two of teaching assistantship. Fellowship years are granted during the first, second, and fourth years of study. Funding packages also cover full tuition remission and health insurance.

OUR STUDENTS and ALUMNI have published book-length works and collections with Alice James Books, Anhinga Press, Black Lawrence Press, Copper Canyon Press, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Hogarth, Northwestern University Press, Other Press, Penguin, Red Hen Press, Saturnalia, Siglio Press, Slope Editions, Tebot Bach, Ugly Duckling Presse, University of Iowa Press, and White Pine Press, among others. Their books, poems, stories, and essays have garnered an impressive array of accolades.

For information concerning admission, please visit our Application page.

Many questions concerning the Creative Writing & Literature Program are answered on our FAQ page.

If you do not find the information you are looking for on our website, please feel free to contact us.

Ph.D. in Creative Writing & Literature

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Taper Hall of Humanities 431

Los Angeles, CA  90089-0354

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Times may adjust in accordance with university holidays.

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Ph.D. Creative Writing

Ph.d. in creative writing.

A rigorous program that combines creative writing and literary studies, the Ph.D. in Creative Writing prepares graduates for both scholarly and creative publication and teaching. With faculty guidance, students admitted to the Ph.D. program may tailor their programs to their goals and interests.

The creative writing faculty at KU has been widely published and anthologized, winning both critical and popular acclaim. Faculty awards include such distinctions as the Nebula Award, Hugo Award, Osborn Award, Shelley Memorial Award, Gertrude Stein Award, the Kenyon Review Prize, the Kentucky Center Gold Medallion, and the Pushcart Prize.

Regarding admission to both our doctoral and MFA creative writing programs, we will prioritize applicants who are interested in engaging with multiple faculty members to practice writing across genres and forms, from speculative fiction and realism to poetry and playwriting/screenwriting, etc.

The University of Kansas' Graduate Program in Creative Writing also offers an  M.F.A degree .

Opportunities

A GTA appointment includes a tuition waiver for ten semesters plus a competitive stipend. In the first year, GTA appointees teach English 101 (first year composition) and English 102 (a required reading and writing course). Creative Writing Ph.D. students may have the opportunity to teach an introductory course in creative writing after passing the doctoral examination, and opportunities are available for a limited number of advanced GTAs to teach in the summer.

Department Resources

  • Graduate Admissions
  • Graduate Contacts
  • Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)

Affiliated Programs

  • LandLocked Literary Magazine
  • The Project on the History of Black Writing
  • Center for the Study of Science Fiction
  • Ad-Hoc African/Americanists and Affiliates

Degree Requirements

  • At least 24 hours of credit in appropriate formal graduate courses beyond the M.A. or M.F.A. At least 15 hours (in addition to ENGL 800 if not taken for the M.A.) of this course work must be taken from among courses offered by the Department of English at the 700-level and above. English 997 and 999 credits cannot be included among the 24 hours. Students may petition to take up to 6 hours outside the Department.
  • ENGL 800: Methods, Theory, and Professionalism (counts toward the 24 required credit hours).
  • The ENGL 801/ENGL 802 pedagogy sequence (counts toward the 24 required credit hours).
  • Two seminars (courses numbered 900 or above) offered by the Department of English at the University of Kansas, beyond the M.A. or M.F.A. ENGL 998 does not fulfill this requirement.
  • ENGL 999, Dissertation (at least 12 hours).

If the M.A. or M.F.A. was completed in KU’s Department of English, a doctoral student may petition the DGS to have up to 12 hours of the coursework taken in the English Department reduced toward the Ph.D.

For Doctoral students,  the university requires completion of a course in responsible scholarship . For the English department, this would be ENGL 800, 780, or the equivalent). In addition, the Department requires reading knowledge of one approved foreign language: Old English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Greek, Latin, or Hebrew. Upon successful petition, a candidate may substitute reading knowledge of another language or research skill that is studied at the University or is demonstrably appropriate to the candidate’s program of study.

Doctoral students must fulfill the requirement  before  they take their doctoral examination, or be enrolled in a reading course the same semester as the exam. Students are permitted three attempts at passing each foreign language or research skill. Three methods of demonstrating reading knowledge for all approved languages except Old English are acceptable:

  • Presenting 16 hours, four semesters, or the equivalent of undergraduate credit, earned with an average of C or better.
  • Passing a graduate reading course at the University of Kansas or peer institution (e.g., French 100, German 100, etc.) with a grade of C or higher. In the past, some of these reading courses have been given by correspondence; check with the Division of Continuing Education for availability.
  • Passing a translation examination given by a designated member of the English Department faculty or by the appropriate foreign language department at KU. The exam is graded pass/fail and requires the student to translate as much as possible of a representative text in the foreign language in a one-hour period, using a bilingual dictionary.
  • Passing a translation examination given by the appropriate foreign language department at the M.A.-granting institution. Successful completion must be reflected either on the M.A. transcript or by a letter from the degree-granting department.

To fulfill the language requirement using Old English, students must successfully complete ENGL 710 (Introduction to Old English) and ENGL 712 (Beowulf).

Post-Coursework Ph.D. students must submit, with their committee chair(s), an annual review form to the DGS and Graduate Committee.

Doctoral students must take their doctoral examination within three semesters (excluding summers) of the end of the semester in which they took their final required course. If a student has an Incomplete, the timeline is not postponed until the Incomplete is resolved. For example, a student completing doctoral course work in Spring 2018 will need to schedule their doctoral exam no later than the end of Fall semester 2019. Delays may be granted by petition to the Graduate Director in highly unusual circumstances. Failure to take the exam within this time limit without an approved delay will result in the student’s falling out of good standing. For details on the consequences of falling out of good standing, see “Falling Out of Good Standing,” in General Department Policies and Best Practices.

A student may not take their doctoral exam until the university’s Research Skills and Responsible Scholarship requirement is fulfilled (ENGL 800 or equivalent and reading knowledge of one foreign language or equivalent).

Requirements for Doctoral Exams

Reading Lists: 

All students are required to submit three reading lists, based on the requirements below, to their committee for approval. The doctoral exam will be held on a date at least twelve weeks after the approval from the whole committee is received. To facilitate quick committee approval, students may copy the graduate program coordinator on the email to the committee that contains the final version of the lists. Committee members may then respond to the email in lieu of signing a printed copy. Students should work with their committee chair and graduate program coordinator to schedule the exam at the same time as they finalize the lists.

During the two-hour oral examination (plus an additional 15-30 minutes for a break and committee deliberation), a student will be tested on their comprehension of a literary period or movement, including multiple genres and groups of authors within that period or movement. In addition, the student will be tested on two of the following six areas of study:

  • An adjacent or parallel literary period or movement,
  • An author or group of related authors,
  • Criticism and literary theory,
  • Composition theory, and
  • English language.

No title from any field list may appear on either of the other two lists. See Best Practices section for more details on these six areas. See below for a description of the Review of the Dissertation Proposal (RDP), which the candidate takes the semester after passing the doctoral exam. 

While many students confer with the DGS as they begin the process of developing their lists, they are also required to submit a copy of their final exam list to the DGS. Most lists will be left intact, but the DGS might request that overly long lists be condensed, or extremely short lists be expanded.

Review of Literature

The purpose of the Review of Literature is to develop and demonstrate an advanced awareness of the critical landscape for each list. The student will write an overview of the defining attributes of the field, identifying two or three broad questions that animate scholarly discussion, while using specific noteworthy texts from their list ( but not all texts on the list ) as examples.

The review also must accomplish the following:

  • consider the historical context of major issues, debates, and trends that factor into the emergence of the field
  • offer a historical overview of scholarship in the field that connects the present to the past
  • note recent trends and emergent lines of inquiry
  • propose questions about (develop critiques of, and/or identify gaps in) the field and how they might be pursued in future study (but not actually proposing or referencing a dissertation project)

For example, for a literary period, the student might include an overview of primary formal and thematic elements, of the relationship between literary and social/historical developments, of prominent movements, (etc.), as well as of recent critical debates and topics.

For a genre list, the Review of Literature might include major theories of its constitution and significance, while outlining the evolution of these theories over time.

For a Rhetoric and Composition list, the review would give an overview of major historical developments, research, theories, methods, debates, and trends of scholarship in the field.

For an English Language Studies (ELS) list, the review would give an overview of the subfields that make up ELS, the various methodological approaches to language study, the type of sources used, and major aims and goals of ELS. The review also usually involves a focus on one subfield of particular interest to the student (such as stylistics, sociolinguistics, or World/Postcolonial Englishes).

Students are encouraged to divide reviews into smaller sections that enhance clarity and organization. Students are not expected to interact with every text on their lists.

The review of literature might be used to prepare students for identifying the most important texts in the field, along with why those texts are important to the field, for the oral exam. It is recommended for students to have completed reading the bulk of (if not all) texts on their lists before writing the ROL.

The Reviews of Literature will not be produced in an exam context, but in the manner of papers that are researched and developed in consultation with all advisors/committee members,  with final drafts being distributed within a reasonable time for all members to review and approve in advance of the 3-week deadline . While the Review of Literature generally is not the focus of the oral examination, it is frequently used as a point of departure for questions and discussion during the oral examination.

Doctoral Exam Committee

Exam committees typically consist of 3 faculty members from the department—one of whom serves as the Committee Chair—plus a Graduate Studies Representative.  University policy dictates the composition of exam committees . Students may petition for an exception for several committee member situations, with the exception of  the Graduate Studies Representative .

If a student wants to have as a committee member a person outside the university, or a person who is not in a full-time tenure-track professorship at KU, the student must contact the Graduate Secretary as early as possible. Applications for special graduate faculty status must be reviewed by the College and Graduate Studies. Requests for exam/defense approval will not be approved unless all committee members currently hold either regular or special graduate faculty status

Remote participation of committee members via technology

Students with committee members who plan to attend the defense via remote technology must be aware of  college policy on teleconferencing/remote participation of committee members .

A majority of committee members must be physically present for an examination to commence; for doctoral oral examinations this requirement is 2 of the 4 members, for master’s oral examinations the requirement is 2 of the 3 members. In addition, it is required that the student being examined, the chair of the committee, and the Graduate Studies Representative all be physically present at the examination or defense. Mediated attendance by the student, chair and Grad Studies Rep is prohibited.

The recommended time between completion of coursework and the doctoral examination is two semesters.

Final exam lists need to be approved and signed by the committee at least 12 weeks prior to the prospective exam date. This includes summers/summer semesters. The lists should then be submitted to the Graduate Program Coordinator. Reviews of Literature need to be approved and signed by the committee at least 3 weeks prior to the exam date. Failure to meet this deadline will result in rescheduling the exam. No further changes to lists or Reviews of Literature will be allowed after official approval. The three-week deadline is the faculty deadline--the last date for them to confirm receipt of the ROLs and confer approval--not necessarily the student deadline for submitting the documents to the faculty. Please keep that timing in mind and allow your committee adequate time to review the materials and provide feedback.

Students taking the Doctoral Exam are allowed to bring their text lists, the approved Reviews of Literature, scratch paper, a writing utensil, and notes/writing for an approximately 5-minute introductory statement to the exam. (This statement does not need to lay out ideas or any aspect of the dissertation project.)

Each portion of the oral examination must be deemed passing before the student can proceed to the Review of the Dissertation Proposal. If a majority of the committee judges that the student has not answered adequately on one of the three areas of the exam, the student must repeat that portion in a separate oral exam of one hour, to be taken as expeditiously as possible.  Failure in two areas constitutes failure of the exam and requires a retake of the whole.  The doctoral examining committee will render a judgment of Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory on the entire examination. A student who fails the exam twice may, upon successful petition to the Graduate Committee, take it a third and final time.

Students cannot bring snacks, drinks, treats, or gifts for committee members to the exam. Professors should avoid the appearance of favoritism that may occur if they bring treats to some student exams but not others.

The doctoral oral examination has the following purposes:

  • To establish goals, tone, and direction for the pursuit of the Ph.D. in English for the Department and for individual programs of study;
  • To make clear the kinds of knowledge and skills that, in the opinion of the Department, all well-prepared holders of the degree should have attained;
  • To provide a means for the Department to assess each candidate’s control of such knowledge and skills in order to certify that the candidate is prepared to write a significant dissertation and enter the profession; and
  • To enable the Department to recommend to the candidate areas of strength or weakness that should be addressed.

In consultation with the Graduate Director, a student will ask a member of the Department’s graduate faculty (preferably their advisor) to be the chairperson of the examining committee. The choice of examination committee chair is very important, for that person’s role is to assist the candidate in designing the examination structure, preparing the Review of Literature (see below), negotiating reading lists and clarifying their purposes, and generally following procedures here outlined. The other three English Department members of the committee will be chosen in consultation with the committee chair. (At some point an additional examiner from outside the Department, who serves as the Graduate School representative, will be invited to join the committee). Any unresolved problems in negotiation between a candidate and their committee should be brought to the attention of the Graduate Director, who may choose to involve the Graduate Committee. A student may request a substitution in, or a faculty member may ask to be dismissed from, the membership of the examining committee. Such requests must be approved, in writing, by the faculty member leaving the committee and by the Graduate Director.

Reading Lists

Copies of some approved reading lists and Reviews of Literature are available from the Graduate Secretary and can be found on the U: drive if you are using a computer on campus. Despite the goal of fairness and equity, some unavoidable unevenness and disparity will appear in the length of these lists. It remains, however, the responsibility of the examining committee, and especially the student’s chair, to aim toward consonance with the most rigorous standards and expectations and to insure that areas of study are not unduly narrow.

To facilitate quick committee approval, students may copy the graduate secretary on the email to the committee that contains the final version of the lists and reviews of literature. Committee members may then respond to the email in lieu of signing a printed copy.

Comprehension of a literary period (e.g., British literature of the 18th century; Romanticism; US literature of the 19th century; Modernism) entails sufficient intellectual grasp of both the important primary works of and secondary works on the period or movement to indicate a student’s ability to teach the period or movement and undertake respectable scholarship on it.

Comprehension of an author or group of related authors (e.g., Donne, the Brontës, the Bloomsbury Group, the Black Mountain Poets) entails knowledge, both primary and secondary, of a figure or figures whose writing has generated a significant body of interrelated biographical, historical, and critical scholarship.

Comprehension of one of several genres (the short story, the lyric poem, the epistolary novel). To demonstrate comprehension of a genre, a student should possess sufficient depth and breadth of knowledge, both primary and secondary, of the genre to explain its formal characteristics and account for its historical development.

Comprehension of criticism and literary theory entails a grasp of fundamental conceptual problems inherent in a major school of literary study (e.g., historicist, psychoanalytic, feminist, poststructuralist, etc.). To demonstrate comprehension of that school of criticism and literary theory, a student should be able to discuss changes in its conventions and standards of interpretation and evaluation of literature from its beginning to the present. Students will be expected to possess sufficient depth and breadth of theoretical knowledge to bring appropriate texts and issues to bear on questions of literary study.

Comprehension of composition theory entails an intellectual grasp of fundamental concepts, issues, and theories pertaining to the study of writing. To demonstrate comprehension of composition theory, students should be able to discuss traditional and current issues from a variety of perspectives, as well as the field’s historical development from classical rhetoric to the present.

Comprehension of the broad field of English language studies entails a grasp of the field’s theoretical concepts and current issues, as well as a familiarity with significant works within given subareas. Such subareas will normally involve formal structures (syntax, etc.) and history of the English language, along with other subareas such as social linguistics, discourse analysis, lexicography, etc. Areas of emphasis and specific sets of topics will be arranged through consultation with relevant faculty.

Ph.D. candidates must be continuously enrolled in Dissertation hours each Fall and Spring semester from the time they pass the doctoral examination until successful completion of the final oral examination (defense of dissertation).

  • Students enroll for a minimum of 6 hours each Fall and Spring semester until the total of post-doctoral exam Dissertation hours is 18. One hour each semester must be ENGL 999. In order to more quickly reach the 18-hour minimum, and to be sooner eligible for GRAships, it is highly recommended that students enroll in 9 hours of Dissertation in the Spring and Fall semesters. 
  • Once a student has accumulated 18 post-doctoral exam  hours, each subsequent enrollment will be for a number of hours agreed upon as appropriate between the student and their advisor, the minimal enrollment each semester being 1 hour of ENGL 999.
  • A student must be enrolled in at least one hour of credit at KU during the semester they graduate. Although doctoral students must be enrolled in ENGL 999 while working on their dissertations, per current CLAS regulations, there is no absolute minimum number of ENGL 999 hours required for graduation.
  • Students who live and work outside the Lawrence area may, under current University regulations, have their fees assessed at the Field Work rate, which is somewhat lower than the on-campus rate. Students must petition the College Office of Graduate Affairs before campus fees will be waived.

Please also refer to  the COGA policy on post-exam enrollment  or the  Graduate School’s policy .

As soon as possible following successful completion of the doctoral exam, the candidate should establish their three-person core dissertation committee, and then expeditiously proceed to the preparation of a dissertation proposal.  Within the semester following completion of the doctoral exam , the student will present to their core dissertation committee a written narrative of approximately  10-15 pages , not including bibliography, of the dissertation proposal. While the exam schedule is always contingent on student progress, in the first two weeks of the semester in which they intend to take the review , students will work with their committee chair and the graduate program coordinator to schedule the 90-minute RDP. Copies of this proposal must be submitted to the members of the dissertation committee and Graduate Program Coordinator no later than  three weeks prior  to the scheduled examination date.

In the proposal, students will be expected to define: the guiding question or set of questions; a basic thesis (or hypothesis); how the works to be studied or the creative writing produced relate to that (hypo)thesis; the theoretical/methodological model to be followed; the overall formal divisions of the dissertation; and how the study will be situated in the context of prior scholarship (i.e., its importance to the field). The narrative section should be followed by a bibliography demonstrating that the candidate is conversant with the basic theoretical and critical works pertinent to the study. For creative writing students, the proposal may serve as a draft of the critical introduction to the creative dissertation. Students are expected to consult with their projected dissertation committee concerning the preparation of the proposal.

The review will focus on the proposal, although it could also entail determining whether or not the candidate’s knowledge of the field is adequate to begin the composition process. The examination will be graded pass/fail. If it is failed, the committee will suggest areas of weakness to be addressed by the candidate, who will rewrite the proposal and retake the review  by the end of the following semester . If the candidate abandons the entire dissertation project for another, a new RDP will be taken. (For such a step to be taken, the change would need to be drastic, such as a move to a new field or topic. A change in thesis or the addition or subtraction of one or even several works to be examined would not necessitate a new proposal and defense.)  If the student fails to complete the Review of the Dissertation Proposal within a year of the completion of the doctoral exams, they will have fallen out of departmental good standing.  For details on the consequences of falling out of good standing, see “Falling Out of Good Standing,” in General Department Policies and Best Practices.

After passing the Review of the Dissertation Proposal, the student should forward one signed copy of the proposal to the Graduate Program Coordinator. The RDP may last no longer than 90 minutes.

Students cannot bring snacks, drinks, treats, or gifts for committee members to the review. Professors should avoid the appearance of favoritism that may occur if they bring treats to some student exams but not others.

The Graduate Catalog states that the doctoral candidate “must present a dissertation showing the planning, conduct and results of original research, and scholarly creativity.” While most Ph.D. candidates in the Department of English write dissertations of a traditional, research-oriented nature, a creative writing candidate may elect to do a creative-writing dissertation involving fiction, poetry, drama or nonfiction prose.  Such a dissertation must also contain a substantial section of scholarly research related to the creative writing.  The precise nature of the scholarly research component should be determined by the candidate in consultation with the dissertation committee and the Graduate Director. Candidates wishing to undertake such a dissertation must complete all Departmental requirements demanded for the research-oriented Ph.D. degree.

Scholarly Research Component (SRC)

The Scholarly Research Component (SRC) of the creative-writing dissertation is a separate section of the dissertation than the creative work. It involves substantial research and is written in the style of academic prose. It should be 15-20 pages and should cite at least 20 sources, some of which should be primary texts, and many of which should be from the peer-reviewed secondary literature. The topic must relate, in some way, to the topic, themes, ideas, or style of the creative portion of the dissertation; this relation should be stated in the Dissertation Proposal, which should include a section describing the student’s plans for the SRC. The SRC may be based on a seminar paper or other work the student has completed prior to the dissertation; but the research should be augmented, and the writing revised, per these guidelines. The SRC is a part of the dissertation, and as such will be included in the dissertation defense.

The SRC may take two general forms:

1.) An article, publishable in a peer-reviewed journal or collection, on a specific topic related to an author, movement, theoretical issue, taxonomic issue, etc. that has bearing on the creative portion. The quality of this article should be high enough that the manuscript could be submitted to a peer-reviewed publication, with a plausible chance of acceptance.

2.) A survey . This survey may take several different forms:

  • A survey of a particular aspect of the genre of the creative portion of the dissertation (stylistic, national, historical, etc.)
  • An introduction to the creative portion of the dissertation that explores the influences on, and the theoretical or philosophical foundations or implications of the creative work
  • An exploration of a particular technical problem or craft issue that is salient in the creative portion of the dissertation
  • If the creative portion of the dissertation includes the results of research (e.g., historical novel, documentary poetry, research-based creative nonfiction), a descriptive overview of the research undertaken already for the dissertation itself
  • A combination of the above, with the prior approval of the student’s dissertation director.

The dissertation committee will consist of at least four members—two “core” English faculty members, a third faculty member (usually from English), and one faculty member from a different department who serves as the Graduate Studies representative. The committee may include (with the Graduate Director’s approval) members from other departments and, with the approval of the University’s Graduate Council, members from outside the University. If a student wants to have a committee member from outside the university, or a person who is not in a full-time tenure-track professorship at KU, the student must contact the Graduate Secretary as early as possible. Applications for special graduate faculty status must be reviewed by the College and the Office of Graduate Studies. Requests for defense approval will not be approved unless all committee members currently hold either regular or special graduate faculty status.

The candidate’s preferences as to the membership of the dissertation committee will be carefully considered; the final decision, however, rests with the Department and with the Office of Graduate Studies. All dissertation committees must get approval from the Director of Graduate Studies before scheduling the final oral exam (defense). Furthermore, any changes in the make-up of the dissertation committee from the Review of the Dissertation Proposal committee must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.

Once the dissertation proposal has passed and the writing of the dissertation begins, membership of the dissertation committee should remain constant. However, under extraordinary circumstances, a student may request a substitution in, or a faculty member may ask to be dismissed from, the membership of the dissertation committee. Such requests must be approved, in writing, by the faculty member leaving the committee and by the Graduate Director.

If a student does not make progress during the dissertation-writing stage, and accumulates more than one “Limited Progress” and/or “No Progress” grade on their transcript, they will fall out of good standing in the department. For details on the consequences of falling out of good standing, see “Falling Out of Good Standing,” in General Department Policies and Best Practices

Final Oral Exam (Dissertation Defense)

When the dissertation has been tentatively accepted by the dissertation committee (not including the Graduate Studies Representative), the final oral examination will be held, on the recommendation of the Department. While the exam schedule is always contingent on student progress, in the first two weeks of the semester in which they intend to defend the dissertation, students should work with their committee chair and graduate program coordinator to schedule it.

Although the dissertation committee is responsible for certification of the candidate, any member of the graduate faculty may be present at the examination and participate in the questioning, and one examiner—the Graduate Studies Representative—must be from outside the Department. The Graduate Secretary can help students locate an appropriate Grad Studies Rep. The examination normally lasts no more than two hours. It is the obligation of the candidate to advise the Graduate Director that they plan to take the oral examination; this must be done at least one month before the date proposed for the examination.

At least three calendar weeks prior to the defense date, the student will submit the final draft of the dissertation to all the committee members (including the GSR) and inform the Graduate Program Coordinator. Failure to meet this deadline will necessitate rescheduling the defense.  The final oral examination for the Ph.D. in English is, essentially, a defense of the dissertation. When it is passed, the dissertation itself is graded by the dissertation director, in consultation with the student’s committee; the student’s performance in the final examination (defense) is graded by the entire five-person committee

Students cannot bring snacks, drinks, treats, or gifts for committee members to the defense. Professors should avoid the appearance of favoritism that may occur if they bring treats to some student defenses but not others

These sets of attributes are adapted from the Graduate Learner Outcomes that are a part of our Assessment portfolio. “Honors” should only be given to dissertations that are rated “Outstanding” in all or most of the following categories:

  • Significant and innovative plot/structure/idea/focus. The writer clearly places plot/structure/idea/focus in context.
  • Thorough knowledge of literary traditions. Clear/flexible vision of the creative work produced in relation to those literary traditions.
  • Introduction/Afterword is clear, concise, and insightful. A detailed discussion of the implications of the project and future writing projects exists.
  • The creative dissertation reveals the doctoral candidate’s comprehensive understanding of poetics and/or aesthetic approach. The application of the aesthetic approach is innovative and convincing.
  • The creative dissertation represents original and sophisticated creative work.
  • The creative dissertation demonstrates thematic and/or aesthetic unity.

After much discussion about whether the “honors” designation assigned after the dissertation defense should be for the written product only, for the defense/discussion only, for both together, weighted equally, or eradicated altogether, the department voted to accept the Graduate Committee recommendation that “honors” only apply to the written dissertation. "Honors" will be given to dissertations that are rated "Outstanding" in all or most of the categories on the dissertation rubric.

Normally, the dissertation will present the results of the writer’s own research, carried on under the direction of the dissertation committee. This means that the candidate should be in regular contact with all members of the committee during the dissertation research and writing process, providing multiple drafts of chapters, or sections of chapters, according to the arrangements made between the student and each faculty member. Though accepted primarily for its scholarly merit rather than for its rhetorical qualities, the dissertation must be stylistically competent. The Department has accepted the MLA Handbook as the authority in matters of style. The writer may wish to consult also  the Chicago Manual of Style  and Kate L. Turabian’s  A Manual for Writers of Dissertations, Theses, and Term Papers .

Naturally, both the student and the dissertation committee have responsibilities and obligations to each other concerning the submitting and returning of materials. The student should plan on working steadily on the dissertation; if they do so, they should expect from the dissertation committee a reasonably quick reading and assessment of material submitted.

Students preparing their dissertation should be showing chapters to their committee members as they go along, for feedback and revision suggestions. They should also meet periodically with committee members to assess their progress. Prior to scheduling a defense, the student is encouraged to ask committee members whether they feel that the student is ready to defend the dissertation. Ideally, the student should hold the defense only when they have consulted with committee members sufficiently to feel confident that they have revised the dissertation successfully to meet the expectations of all committee members.

Students should expect that they will need to revise each chapter at least once. This means that all chapters (including introduction and conclusion) are shown to committee members once, revised, then shown to committee members again in revised form to assess whether further revisions are needed, prior to the submitting of the final dissertation as a whole. It is not unusual for further revisions to be required and necessary after the second draft of a chapter; students should not therefore simply assume that a second draft is necessarily “final” and passing work.

If a substantial amount of work still needs to be completed or revised at the point that the dissertation defense is scheduled, such a defense date should be regarded as tentative, pending the successful completion, revision, and receipt of feedback on all work. Several weeks prior to the defense, students should consult closely with their dissertation director and committee members about whether the dissertation as a whole is in a final and defensible stage. A project is ready for defense when it is coherent, cohesive, well researched, engages in sophisticated analysis (in its entirety or in the critical introduction of creative dissertations), and makes a significant contribution to the field. In other words, it passes each of the categories laid out in the Dissertation Rubric.

If the dissertation has not clearly reached a final stage, the student and dissertation director are advised to reschedule the defense.

Prior Publication of the Doctoral Dissertation

Portions of the material written by the doctoral candidate may appear in article form before completion of the dissertation. Prior publication does not ensure the acceptance of the dissertation by the dissertation committee. Final acceptance of the dissertation is subject to the approval of the dissertation committee. Previously published material by other authors included in the dissertation must be properly documented.

Each student beyond the master’s degree should confer regularly with the Graduate Director regarding their progress toward the doctoral examination and the doctorate.

Doctoral students may take graduate courses outside the English Department if, in their opinion and that of the Graduate Director, acting on behalf of the Graduate Committee, those courses will be of value to them. Their taking such courses will not, of course, absolve them of the responsibility for meeting all the normal departmental and Graduate School requirements.

Doctoral students in creative writing are strongly encouraged to take formal literature classes in addition to forms classes. Formal literature classes, by providing training in literary analysis, theory, and/or literary history, will help to prepare students for doctoral exams (and future teaching at the college level).

FALL SEMESTER            

  • GTAs take 2 courses (801 + one), teach 2 courses; GRAs take 3 courses.
  • Visit assigned advisor once a month to update on progress & perceptions. 1st-year advisors can assist with selecting classes for the Spring semester, solidifying and articulating a field of specialization, advice about publishing, conferences, professionalization issues, etc.

SPRING SEMESTER

  • GTAs take 2 courses (780/800/880 + one), teach 2 courses. GTAs also take ENGL 802 for 1 credit hour. GRAs take 3 courses.
  • Visit assigned advisor or DGS once during the semester; discuss best advisor choices for Year 2.

SUMMER SEMESTER

  • Enroll in Summer Institute if topic and/or methodology matches interests.
  • Consider conferences suited to your field and schedule; choose a local one for attendance in Year 2 and draft an Abstract for a conference paper (preferably with ideas/materials/ writing drawn from a seminar paper).  Even if abstract is not accepted, you can attend the conference without the pressure of presenting.
  • Attend at least one conference to familiarize yourself with procedure, network with other grad students and scholars in your field, AND/OR present a paper.

FALL SEMESTER

  • Take 2 courses, teach 2 courses.
  • Visit advisor in person at least once during the semester.

WINTER BREAK

  • Begin revising one of your seminar papers/independent study projects/creative pieces for submission to a journal; research the journals most suited to placement of your piece.
  • Begin thinking about fields and texts for comprehensive examinations.
  • Choose an advisor to supervise you through the doctoral examination process.
  • Visit assigned 1st-year advisor in person at least once during the semester (at least to formally request doctoral exam supervision OR to notify that you are changing advisors).
  • Summer teaching, if eligible.
  • Continue revising paper/creative writing for submission to a journal.
  • Begin reading for comprehensive exams.
  • Attend one conference and present a paper. Apply for one-time funding for out-of-state travel  from Graduate Studies .
  • Teach 2 courses; take 997 (exam prep).
  • Finalize comps list by end of September; begin drafting rationales.
  • Circulate the draft of your article/creative piece to your advisor, other faculty in the field, and/or advanced grad students in the field for suggestions.
  • Revise article/creative piece with feedback from readers.
  • Teach 2 courses; take 997 or 999 (dissertation hours). Enroll in 999 if you plan to take your comps this semester, even if you don’t take them until the last day of classes.
  • Take comps sometime between January and May.
  • Summer teaching, if available.
  • Submit article/creative work for publication.
  • Continuous enrollment after completing doctoral exam (full policy on p. 20)
  • Research deadlines for grant applications—note deadlines come early in the year.
  • Attend one conference and present a paper.
  • Teach 2 courses, take 999.
  • Compose dissertation proposal by November.
  • Schedule Review of Dissertation Proposal (RDP—formerly DPR).
  • Apply for at least one grant or fellowship, such as a departmental-level GRAship or dissertation fellowship. (Winning a full-year, non-teaching fellowship can cut down your years-to-degree to 5 ½, or even 5 years.)
  • Conduct research for and draft at least 1 dissertation chapter.
  • Conduct research and complete a draft of at least 1 dissertation chapter.
  • Revise & resubmit journal article, if necessary.
  • Attend 1st round of job market meetings with Job Placement Advisor (JPA) to start drafting materials and thinking about the process.
  • Research and complete a draft of at least 1 dissertation chapter, if teaching (1-2 chapters if not).
  • Visit dissertation chair  and  committee members in person at least once during the semester.
  • Research and complete a draft of at least 1 dissertation chapter (1-2 chapters if not teaching).
  • Apply for a departmental grant or fellowship, or, if already held, try applying for one from outside the department, such as those offered by KU’s Hall Center for the Humanities or the Office of Graduate Studies. For  a monthly list of funding opportunities , visit the Graduate Studies website.
  • Research and complete a draft of at least 1 dissertation chapter.
  • Attend job market meetings with JPA in earnest.
  • Apply for external grants, research fellowships, postdoctoral positions with fall deadlines (previous fellowship applications, your dissertation proposal, and subsequent writing should provide a frame so that much of the application can be filled out with the “cut & paste” function).
  • Research and complete a draft of at least 1 dissertation chapter (1-2 if not teaching).
  • Visit dissertation chair and committee members in person at least once during the semester.
  • Polish dissertation chapters.
  • Apply for grants and fellowships with spring deadlines.
  • Defend dissertation.

Creative Writing Faculty

Darren Canady

  • Associate Professor

Megan Kaminski

  • Professor of English & Environmental Studies

Laura Moriarty

  • Assistant Professor

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Our MFA in Creative Writing

Our three-year MFA program provides students with graduate study and professional training in the writing of fiction and poetry with our distinguished graduate faculty.

AWP Reading

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing is a terminal degree awarded by the University of Illinois. Our three-year MFA program provides students with graduate study and professional training in the writing of fiction and poetry with our distinguished graduate faculty :  Ángel García , Janice Harrington , Amy Hassinger , Christopher Kempf ,  Ted Sanders , Alex Shakar , Corey Van Landingham,  and David Wright .

The primary goal of the MFA in Creative Writing is to give literary artists time and space to work on perfecting their art. Students will teach creative writing and produce a book-length, publishable manuscript. Students will also gain extensive experience in literary editing and publishing while enrolled in the program.

MFA voice reading

Teaching Assistantships, Fellowships, and Tuition Waivers

The MFA program at the University of Illinois is fully funded. Students accepted into the program will receive full tuition waivers, guaranteed teaching assistantships, and partial-fee waivers for the duration of the program, as long as they remain in good standing and make reasonable progress toward their degree.

Stipends for MFA students are competitive and the low cost of living in the area is quite reasonable. In their first year, all entering MFA candidates will receive a 1/1 teaching assistantship (one class each semester). In their second year, students will receive a 2/1 assistantship, with opportunities for teaching-load reduction in the form of publishing-job-training graduate assistantships with our award-winning literary magazine,  Ninth Letter.  In their third year, students will again receive a 1/1 teaching assistantship.

Most semesters, teaching assignments will be in the undergraduate rhetoric program. MFA students will also teach at least one undergraduate creative-writing workshop, with an opportunity to teach additional undergraduate classes in creative writing. In recent semesters, MFA students have taught CW 104 Fiction Writing I, CW 106 Poetry Writing I, and CW 200 Reading for Writers, among other courses. 

For application requirements and instructions, please visit  Application Requirements for Prospective Students .

Life in Champaign-Urbana

Life in C-U combines some of the best aspects of life in a city with the benefits of a small-town environment.

Accessibility :

  • Low cost of living, affordable housing, and green spaces within half a mile of every home
  • Free, award-winning mass transit for all U of I students
  • Proximity to major cities with Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis only a few hours away

Arts & Culture:

  • Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and Krannert Art Museum
  • Vibrant local live music scene
  • Public art and murals throughout the area, seasonal fairs and festivals

Food & Drink:

  • A food scene reflecting the diversity of the country’s second largest international population at a public university
  • A wide range of bars and local breweries to suit anyone’s taste

The faculty of the Creative Writing Program represent a diverse range of writing and teaching styles and interests. Faculty members work and teach actively in a wide variety of genres and media, including poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, juvenile fiction, theater, and film. Faculty members have received numerous awards and fellowships, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Fiction, the O’Henry Prize in fiction, the Pushcart Prize, the A. Poulin Jr. Poetry Prize, the Kate Tufts Discovery Prize, the Levis Prize, the William Peden Prize, the FC2 National Fiction Competition, the Academy of American Poets Award, the Bakeless Prize, the Wallace Stegner fellowship, and fellowships from the NEA, Guggenheim Foundation, Yaddo, MacDowell, CantoMundo, Bread Loaf, Sewanee, and many others.

Follow the links below to learn more about our MFA program's core faculty members:

Ángel García

Janice N. Harrington

Amy Hassinger

Christopher Kempf

Ted Sanders

Alex Shakar

Corey Van Landingham

David Wright

Ángel García

Ninth Letter

Ninth Letter , the University of Illinois's award-winning literature and arts magazine, is a semi-annual publication featuring emerging and established writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and other genres undefined, as well as visual artists   working in a variety of mediums. This collaborative energy comes together in a highly-designed format, both in print and on the web.

Ninth Letter  is dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all interested MFA candidates. Students may enroll in the  Ninth Letter - based literary publishing course and will have the opportunity to work as assistants on the editorial staff alongside the journal’s faculty editors: Amy Hassinger (Fiction Editor), Ja nice N. Harrington  (Poetry Editor) and Christopher Kempf  (Creative Nonfiction Editor).

Jericho Brown and MFA

Students in UIUC's MFA in Creative Writing program hail from a wide range of educational and cultural backgrounds, and their work in prose and poetry explores an extensive range of literary styles. While enrolled in the program, students past and present have published writing in  AGNI ,  Alaska Quarterly Review ,   The Believer ,  Cincinnati Review ,  Colorado Review ,  Copper Nickel ,  Georgia Review ,  Kenyon Review ,  Missouri Review ,  Paris Review , and elsewhere.  Additionally, recent MFA book publications include Laura Adamczyk's  Island City  (Macmillan, 2023); Lillian-Yvonne Bertram's  Negative Money  (Soft Skull, 2023); Chekwube Danladi's  Semiotics  (University of Georgia Press, 2020), winner of the 2019 Cave Canem Poetry Prize; Katherine Gaffney's  Fool in a Blue House  (University of Tampa Press, 2023), winner of the 2022  Tampa Review  Prize; Matthew Minicucci's  DUAL  (Acre, 2023); and Jess Tanck's  Winter Here  (University of Georgia Press, 2024), winner of the 2022 Georgia Poetry Prize.

Carrie Johnson (Poetry)

Deon Robinson (Poetry)

Nina Sannes (Fiction)

Andrea Sielicki (Fiction)

Zach Simon (Poetry)

Second Year

Matthew Fash (Poetry)

Justine Mercado (Poetry)

David Miller (Fiction)

Jason Pfister (Fiction)

Erin Stoodley (Poetry)

Hannah Thorpe (Fiction)

Isabella Escamilla (Poetry)

David Foley (Poetry)

Gabriella Hoggatt (Fiction)

Callan Latham  (Poetry)

Tyler Moore (Fiction)

Garrett Stack (Fiction)

  • MFA Course Requirements 
  • Application Requirements for Prospective Students
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Academic Catalog

2023-2024 graduate & professional catalog.

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Admission Requirements

Applicants are considered on an individual basis. In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, applicants must meet the following program requirements:

  • Baccalaureate Field Applicants who intend to specialize in  English Studies or English Education must have an  undergraduate major in English or the equivalent that includes a  balanced program in English and American literature beyond the level of sophomore surveys. Applicants who intend to  specialize in Creative Writing may have an undergraduate major  or a graduate degree in any field, if they show substantial  evidence of ability to complete the work in literature required  for the degree in English.
  • Grade Point Average At least 3.00/4.00 for the final 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours) of undergraduate study and for all graduate work.
  • Tests Required. None, except in cases of English competency for some non-native speakers of English (see below).
  • TOEFL 95, with minimum subscores of Reading 24, Listening 24, Speaking 24, and Writing 22 (iBT Test); 60, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Writing 21 (revised Paper-Delivered Test), OR ,
  • IELTS 7.0, with subscores of 6.5 for all four subscores, OR ,
  • PTE-Academic 54, with subscores of Reading 51, Listening 47, Speaking 53, and Writing 56
  • Letters of Recommendation Three required, preferably from individuals acquainted with the applicant’s recent academic, professional, or creative work.
  • Domestic applicants must submit a statement of about 500 words presenting their reasons for wanting to take graduate work in English at UIC and the relationship of this advanced training to professional and other goals.
  • International applicants must submit a two- or three-page summary of their educational experience that emphasizes their work in English and American literature and language. They should conclude this summary with their reasons for wanting to do graduate work in the English department.
  • Coversheet: All MA and PhD applicants must submit an Admissions Review Coversheet (.docx) with application materials.
  • Applicants for the specializations in English Studies and English Education must submit a sample of no more than 20 pages appropriate to their proposed area of study.
  • Applicants for the Creative Writing (also known as the Program for Writers) must submit a sample of no more than 20 pages of material in genre of interest (at least five poems, one or more stories, a chapter from a novel, comparable work, etc.). Applicants for the Program for Writers must also submit an optional critical writing sample of no more than 20 pages.
  • Deadlines Application deadlines for this program are listed on the Graduate College website.

Additional information on the application process can be found on the Department of English website.

Degree Requirements

In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, applicants must meet the following program requirements:

  • Minimum Semester Hours Required 96 from the baccalaureate, 76 from the MA.
  • Course Work Credit toward the PhD is not given for any course in which the student receives a grade of less than B.
  • Creative Writing : Students in Creative Writing are also required to take three workshops (12 hours), not including translation and publishing workshops; students in fiction must take 8 hours in fiction workshops, students in poetry must take at least 8 hours in poetry workshops, and nonfiction writers must take 8 hours in nonfiction workshops.
  • Preliminary Examination Required; written and oral. ENGL 592 , at least 4 hours.
  • Prospectus Preparation Required; ENGL 591 , 4 hours.
  • Degree candidates in English Studies and English Education write dissertations involving innovative research in criticism, theory, rhetoric, and/or literary/cultural histories.
  • Candidates pursuing Creative Writing are expected to produce as a dissertation one of the following: a novel, a volume of short stories or poems, a play or group of plays, or a unified collection of essays.
  • Teaching : In preparation for holding a  TAship, students must take ENGL 555 , generally during their  first year. ENGL 555 may count toward the 36 hours of  course work required for the degree. It is recommended that all  students serve as teaching assistants for at least four semesters.  All teaching assistants teach sections of ENGL 160 and  ENGL 161 , as well as other lower-level courses in English  appropriate to their tracks. Teaching Assistants may also be  assigned to lead discussion sections and conduct grading for  lecture courses.

Interdepartmental Concentrations

Students earning a graduate degree in this department may complement their courses by enrolling in select concentrations after consulting with their graduate advisor. Interdepartmental concentrations available for this degree include:

  • Black Studies
  • Central and Eastern European Studies
  • Gender and Women's Studies

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College Of Liberal Arts And Sciences

Ma & phd, admissions links heading link copy link.

  • Apply Now! Go to the application portal
  • UIC Admissions (Domestic) Find information about transcripts, application fee waivers, and more
  • International Requirements Learn more about English proficiency requirements, international transcripts, and more

Admissions Requirements and Application Directions Heading link Copy link

The fields below detail the application process for Graduate programs in English and the Admissions Requirements for MA and PhD applicants.

Current UIC English MA students do not apply to the PhD program via Slate. Please contact the Graduate Program Director before December 15th to arrange for submission of materials if you are a current student in the MA program.

UIC English graduate programs do not require the GRE test.

Application Instructions

All applications are completed online . Current UIC English MA students do not apply to the PhD program via Slate. Test scores, transcripts, online application, and application fee are not required for these students. Please contact the Graduate Program Director before December 15th to arrange for submission of materials.

The application requires the following materials:

  • Official online application
  • Non-refundable application fee of US $70 (note: international students also pay a nonrefundable US $100 fee)
  • Transcripts (see the official UIC Admissions Domestic Requirements or International Requirements pages for more information on acceptable transcripts)
  • Statement of purpose: a statement of about 500 words presenting your reasons for pursuing graduate work in English, and relating that work to professional and other goals
  • English Studies candidates should upload only a standard writing sample of no more than 20 pages in an area reflective of your graduate research interests. A creative sample is not required.
  • Applications for the Program for Writers should upload one creative writing sample, approximately 20 pages of prose and/or 5 to 8 poems. Poetry may be single-spaced but prose must be double-spaced, and all samples should use a font no smaller than 12 pts. Please indicate whether the prose is creative nonfiction, short fiction or an excerpt from a novel. Program for Writers applicants for the PhD can also submit an optional 20-page critical writing sample.
  • CV / resume
  • Three letters of recommendation. These are uploaded electronically by the recommender. While completing your application, you will be prompted to add the contact information of your three references, including email and phone number.
  • Completed Admissions Review Cover Sheet (.pdf).

You may check on the status of your application by logging in to the application page after submitting.

International applicants

The deadline and requirements for international applicants are the same as they are for domestic applicants.   Please visit UIC Admissions International Requirements page for details specific to international applications, including English proficiency requirements.

Note that international applicants are assessed an extra $100 fee upon submission to help cover the cost of verifying international credentials.

All accepted students are considered automatically for university awards, so no special instructions are necessary. The Application for Graduate Appointment is used in these applications for Graduate College fellowships and awards. Admitted PhD students are offered a minimum of six years of full funding as a TA; admitted MA students have the option to pursue a TA position in the department in the second year.

For students who do not receive a Teaching Assistantship in their first year, Graduate Assistantships are often available on campus and may carry a tuition waiver.

Non-degree English students must follow the same application procedures but may take until May 15 to do so. Once accepted, they may enroll in any English class.

Non-degree (unassigned) students only need to submit unofficial transcripts and complete the online application and there is no deadline, but they must petition to join each class.

Visit our FAQ page.

MA Admissions Requirements

Baccalaureate field.

Applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree in English or the equivalent that includes a balanced program in English and American literature beyond the level of sophomore surveys. Applicants who intend to concentrate in Creative Writing may have an undergraduate major or a graduate degree in any field, if they show substantial evidence of ability to complete the work in literature required for the degree in English.

NOTE: The English Department does accept applications from prospective students who have degrees in other fields, but we place all applications in equal competition, and students with undergraduate experience in English are often better aligned with our program goals than those who have degrees in other fields.

Grade Point Average

At least 3.00/4.00 for the final 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours) of undergraduate study and for all graduate work.

Tests Required

  • TOEFL (international students only) 600 (paper-based); 250 (computer-based); 95, with minimum subscores of Reading 24, Listening 24, Speaking 24, and Writing 22 (iBT Internet-based TOEFL).
  • IELTS (international students only) 7.0, with subscores of 6.5 for all four subscores.

PhD Admissions Requirements

Applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree in English, or the equivalent that includes a balanced program in English and American literature beyond the level of sophomore surveys. Applicants who intend to concentrate in Creative Writing may have an undergraduate major or a graduate degree in any field, if they show substantial evidence of ability to complete the work in literature required for the degree in English.

Master’s Degree

A degree at the Master’s level is not required to apply. However, applicants with a degree at the Master’s level (MA, MS, MFA) tend to have more scholarly experience and academic goals that are more aligned with our program. Since 2000, we have only accepted two candidates to the PhD program who did not have a degree at the Master’s level.

Current UIC English MA students should contact the Graduate Program Director before December 15th to arrange for submission of materials. (They should not submit an online application.)

Get a Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature

Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature

Get a ph.d. in creative writing and literature.

Admission to the creative writing program is extremely competitive, with up to 20 new students across the two genres selected each year from the hundreds of applications received from around the world. The curriculum for Ph.D. students emphasizes creative writing and literary study. The city of Houston offers a vibrant, multi-cultural backdrop for studying creative writing at the University of Houston. With a dynamic visual and performing arts scene, the Houston metropolitan area supplies a wealth of aesthetic materials.

Overview of Admissions Requirements

Minimum requirements for admission.

  • M.A. in English or M.F.A. in Creative Writing  
  • 3.5 GPA in graduate studies 

Application Deadline

The admissions deadline for our Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature is January 15.

For more admissions information, visit the How to Apply web page for our Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature.  

History of the Creative Writing Program

CW Reading Event

Over the years many more internationally acclaimed writers have made the Program their home, including Mary Gaitskill, Richard Howard, Howard Moss, Linda Gregg, Adam Zagajewski, Daniel Stern, David Wojahn, Edward Hirsch, Alan Hollinghurst, Mark Strand, David Wagoner, Philip Levine, Charles Wright, Claudia Rankine, Kimiko Hahn, Mark Doty and Ruben Martinez.

Current faculty includes Erin Belieu, Robert Boswell, Audrey Colombe, Chitra Divakaruni, Nick Flynn, francine j. harris, Antonya Nelson, Alex Parsons, Kevin Prufer, Brenda Peynado, Martha Serpas, Roberto Tejada, and Peter Turchi.

Quick Links

Program Breakdown

Program Breakdown & Degree Requirements

Graduate Curricular Specializations

Graduate Curricular Specializations

Financial Aid

Financial Aid

How to Apply

How to Apply

Inprint Student Writing Awards

Inprint Student Writing Awards

PhD in Creative Writing

Program overview.

The PhD in Creative Writing and Literature is a four-year course of study. Following two years of course work that includes workshop, forms classes, pedagogical training, and literature, students take exams in two areas, one that examines texts through the lens of craft and another that examines them through the lens of literary history and theory. Recent examples of the genre area include Comic Fiction, History of the Love Lyric, and Fantasy; recent examples of the scholarly area include History of the Novel, 20th Century American Poetry, and Modern & Contemporary British Fiction. In the first two years, students take three courses per semester; the teaching load throughout the program is one class per semester. Every PhD student has the opportunity to teach creative writing, with many also teaching literature classes. Most students are funded by teaching, with two or three at a time funded by editorial work at  The Cincinnati Review or Acre Books, and others funded in their dissertation year by college- or university-level fellowships. Fifth-year support, while not guaranteed, has generally been available to interested students in the form of student lecturerships, which carry a 2-2 load. The Creative Writing PhD at the University of Cincinnati has maintained over the last decade more than a 75% placement rate into full-time academic jobs for its doctoral graduates. Two-thirds of these positions are tenure-track.

Application Information

  • Exam Areas and Committee
  • Doctoral Candidacy Form
  • Foreign Language
  • Exam Procedures
  • Dissertations
  • Applying for Fifth-Year Funding
  • Working for The Cincinnati Review
  • Teaching Opportunities
  • All Creative Writing Graduate Courses
  • Archive of Technique & Form Courses

Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

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The Online Writing Lab at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue. Students, members of the community, and users worldwide will find information to assist with many writing projects. Teachers and trainers may use this material for in-class and out-of-class instruction.

The Purdue On-Campus Writing Lab and Purdue Online Writing Lab assist clients in their development as writers—no matter what their skill level—with on-campus consultations, online participation, and community engagement. The Purdue Writing Lab serves the Purdue, West Lafayette, campus and coordinates with local literacy initiatives. The Purdue OWL offers global support through online reference materials and services.

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The Purdue OWL® is committed to supporting  students, instructors, and writers by offering a wide range of resources that are developed and revised with them in mind. To do this, the OWL team is always exploring possibilties for a better design, allowing accessibility and user experience to guide our process. As the OWL undergoes some changes, we welcome your feedback and suggestions by email at any time.

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Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing The Write Stuff for Writers

university of chicago creative writing phd

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100% online, 8-week courses

Transfer in up to 50% of the degree total

Grow Your Writing Passion into a Career with Liberty’s Online MFA in Creative Writing

Many people write creatively, but few hone their skills to develop their writing craft to its highest form. Even fewer learn the other skills it takes to become a successful writer, such as the steps needed to get a book published and into the hands of readers. Liberty’s 100% online Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing can help you develop your writing passion into a career so you can set your works free to impact culture and the world.

Employers in every industry need professionals who have strong writing skills, so you can be confident that your ability to write effectively can also help set you apart in your current career. With in-demand writing expertise and the ability to customize your degree with electives in literature or writing practice, Liberty’s online MFA in Creative Writing can help you achieve your professional writing goals.

Our online MFA in Creative Writing is designed to help you build on your writing skills with specific workshops dedicated to the craft of fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, or screenwriting. With a work-in-progress approach to writing practice and mentorship from our faculty of experienced writers and scholars, you can learn the specific skills you need to make your writing stand out.

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  • Private Nonprofit University
  • 600+ Online Degrees
  • No Standardized Testing for Admission
  • Transfer in up to 75% of an Undergrad Degree
  • Transfer in up to 50% of a Grad/Doctoral Degree

Why Choose Liberty’s MFA in Creative Writing?

Our online MFA in Creative Writing is mainly offered in an 8-week course format, and our tuition rate for graduate programs hasn’t increased in 9 years. Through our program, you can study the writing process and develop your creative skills through workshops with experienced writing professionals. With our flexible format, you can grow in your creative writing while continuing to do what is important to you.

As a terminal degree, the online MFA in Creative Writing can also help you pursue opportunities to teach writing at the K-12 or college level. You will gain comprehensive and in-depth exposure to writing, literature, publishing, and many other professional writing skills that you can pass on to students. Partner with the Liberty family and learn under faculty who have spent years in the field you love. Your career in professional writing starts here.

What Will You Study in Our MFA in Creative Writing?

The MFA in Creative Writing program is designed to help you become an excellent creative writer across the genres of creative fiction, nonfiction, screenwriting, and poetry. You can learn how to produce aesthetically and culturally engaged creative works while gaining professional knowledge and practice. You will also study foundational contemporary literature so that you have a background in studying important works to draw on for your writing.

To help you in your professional writing, you will also study many essential skills in editing, layout, and the business of publishing so that you can best position yourself for success in the market. Through your creative writing courses and workshops, you can develop your craft so that you will be ready for your thesis project.

Here are a few examples of the skills Liberty’s MFA in Creative Writing can help you master:

  • Marketing your projects and pursuing new writing opportunities
  • Organizing writing and adapting it to different types of writing
  • Tailoring writing to specific audiences and markets
  • Understanding what makes art effective, compelling, and impactful
  • Writing compelling stories that engage readers

Potential Career Opportunities

  • Book and magazine writer
  • Business communications specialist
  • Creative writing instructor
  • Publications editor
  • Screenwriter
  • Website copy editor and writer
  • Writing manager

Featured Courses

  • ENGL 600 – Editing, Layout, and Publishing
  • ENGL 601 – Writing as Cultural Engagement
  • ENGL 603 – Literary Theory and Practice
  • WRIT 610 – Writing Fiction

Degree Information

  • This program falls under the College of Arts and Sciences .
  • View the Graduate Arts and Sciences Course Guides (login required).
  • Download and review the Graduate Manual for MFA .

Degree Completion Plan (PDF)

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  • Tuition & Aid

Your success is our success, which is why we are committed to providing quality academics at an affordable tuition rate. While other colleges are increasing their tuition, we have frozen tuition rates for the majority of our undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs for the past 9 years – and counting.

All Tuition & Fees

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Financial Aid Forms & Eligibility

Scholarship Opportunities

Admission Information for the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (MFA)

Admission requirements.

  • A non-refundable, non-transferable $50 application fee will be posted on the current application upon enrollment (waived for qualifying service members, veterans, and military spouses – documentation verifying military status is required) .
  • Unofficial transcripts can be used for acceptance purposes with the submission of a Transcript Request Form .
  • Creative Writing Sample – A creative writing sample of one creative writing work of at least 2,500 words or a culmination of creative writing samples totaling 2,500 words.*
  • Applicants whose native language is other than English must submit official scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or an approved alternative assessment. For information on alternative assessments or TOEFL waivers, please call Admissions or view the official International Admissions policy .

*A sample of one or more poems totaling a minimum of 750 words may also be submitted. Song lyrics are not accepted at this time as writing samples.

Preliminary Acceptance

If you are sending in a preliminary transcript for acceptance, you must:

  • Be in your final term and planning to start your master’s degree after the last day of class for your bachelor’s degree.
  • Complete a Bachelor’s Self-Certification Form confirming your completion date. You may download the form from the Forms and Downloads page or contact an admissions counselor to submit the form on your behalf.
  • Submit an official/unofficial transcript to confirm that you are in your final term. The preliminary transcript must show a minimum of 105 completed credit hours.
  • If you are a current Liberty University student completing your undergraduate degree, you will need to submit a Degree/Certificate Completion Application .
  • Send in an additional, final official transcript with a conferral date on it by the end of your first semester of enrollment in the new master’s degree.

Dual Enrollment

Please see the Online Dual Enrollment page for information about starting graduate courses while finishing your bachelor’s degree.

Transcript Policies

Unofficial college transcript policy.

Unofficial transcripts combined with a Transcript Request Form can be used for admission. Official transcripts are required within 60 days of the admissions decision or before non-attendance drops for the first set of matriculated classes, whichever comes first, and will prevent enrollment into future terms until all official transcripts have been received.

Before sending unofficial college transcripts, please make sure they include the following:

  • Your previous school’s name or logo printed on the document
  • Cumulative GPA
  • A list of completed courses and earned credit broken down by semester
  • Degree and date conferred (if applicable)

Official College Transcript Policy

An acceptable official college transcript is one that has been issued directly from the institution and is in a sealed envelope. If you have one in your possession, it must meet the same requirements. If your previous institution offers electronic official transcript processing, they can send the document directly to [email protected] .

If the student uses unofficial transcripts with a Transcript Request Form to gain acceptance, all official transcripts must be received within 60 days of the admissions decision or before non-attendance drops for the first set of matriculated classes, whichever comes first. Failure to send all official transcripts within the 60-day period will prevent enrollment into future terms until all official transcripts have been received.

Admissions Office Contact Information

(800) 424-9596

(888) 301-3577

Email for Questions

[email protected]

Email for Documents

[email protected]

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Submit your application online or over the phone.

Apply by phone: (800) 424-9595

Liberty University is dedicated to providing world-class educational experiences to military students across the globe.

Who May Qualify?

  • Active Duty
  • Reserve/National Guard
  • Veterans/Retirees
  • Spouses of Service Members and Veterans/Retirees
  • Current Department of Defense Employees

Available Benefits:

  • Tuition discounts – $275 per credit hour for graduate courses
  • Additional discount for veterans who service in a civilian capacity as a First Responder (less than $625 per course) *
  • 8-week courses, 8 different start dates each year, and no set login times (may exclude certain courses such as practicums, internships, or field experiences)

*Not applicable to certificates.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an mfa in creative writing.

A Master of Fine Arts degree, or MFA, is a terminal degree in an artistic craft that demonstrates that you have achieved the highest level of training and skill in your discipline. Like a doctorate, an MFA often allows you to teach courses at the graduate level while also providing many opportunities for scholarship and leadership in education. If you want to grow your creative writing skills to become the best writer you can be, then the Master of Fine Arts can help you get there.

How will students work towards developing their writing skills?

With creative writing workshops and a thesis project, you will receive support and guidance to help you become the best writer you can be.

How long will it take to complete the MFA in Creative Writing?

You can complete the MFA in Creative Writing in just 48 credit hours!

Inner Navigation

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  • What Will You Study?
  • Admission Information

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university of chicago creative writing phd

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university of chicago creative writing phd

2023-2024 Writing Award Winners

Congratulations to the recipients of the 31st annual uci writing awards, the john hollowell composition program awards.

Navya M. Gowda

Navya M. Gowda

Instructor: Jennifer Geraci, Writing 40 & 45 Assistant Course Director, Department of English

Writing 40 (Intro to Writing and Rhetoric) Exemplary ePortrolio Award

Yunuo (Daisy) Ma

Yunuo (Daisy) Ma

Instructor: Tagert Ellis, Lecturer, Department of English

Jaanika Velliste

Jaanika Velliste

Instructor: Louise McCune, Associate Instructor, Department of English

Divya Boora

Divya Boora

Instructor: Javiera Letelier, Lecturer, Department of English

Writing 60 (Argument and Research) Exemplary ePortfolio Award

The Nora Folkenflik Memorial Essay Awards

Lexus Clark

Lexus Clark

Instructor: Cole Morgan, Assistant Professor, Department of English

Best Essay in English 15 Course

Simon Li

Instructor: Susan Morse, Lecturer, Humanities Core

Best Essay in Humanities Core Course

Brianna Smith

Brianna Smith

Instructor: Natasha Synycia, Lecturer, Humanities Core

The Humanities Core Outstanding Website Project in Multimodal Writing Award

Sammy Ismet Merabet

Sammy Ismet Merabet

Instructor: Claire Watkins, Professor, Department of English

The Ariel Miranda Caldwell Memorial Short Story Award

Celeste Webb

Celeste Webb

Elaine Vinh

Elaine Vinh

Clarissa Gao

Clarissa Gao

The James McMichael Prize for Excellence in Poetry

Brian Hoang Nguyen

Brian Hoang Nguyen

Instructor: Annie McClanahan, Associate Professor, Department of English

Jasmine Desai

Jasmine Desai

Instructor: Amy Wilentz, Professor, Department of English

The Literary Journalism Writing Award

The Upper-Division Writing Awards

Sky Hayden

Instructor: Kyle Grady, Assistant Professor, Department of English

Award for Excellent Upper-Division Academic Writing in Humanities and Arts

Sergio Guil

Sergio Guil

Instructor: Judith Stepan-Norris, Professor Emerita, Department of Sociology

Meili Soriano

Meili Soriano

Instructor: Celia Symons, Assistant Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Award for Excellent Upper-Division Academic Writing in Science and Technology

Babak Azadgilani

Babak Azadgilani

Award for Best Public or Professional Writing

Matt Sereno

Matt Sereno

COMMENTS

  1. Creative Writing & Poetry and Poetics

    The Program in Creative Writing is part of the Department of English Language & Literature at the University of Chicago. Students at UChicago pursue creative writing within the larger context of academic study. While the purpose of the program is, above all, to give students a rigorous background in the fundamentals of creative work by providing them with the opportunity to study with ...

  2. Creative Writing

    Creative Writing offers an array of writing-workshop-based classes in a variety of genres, from fiction and poetry to creative nonfiction and translation. In addition, MAPH students focusing in creative writing have the unique opportunity to inform their creative projects with rigorous analytic research in a variety of subjects, such as Art ...

  3. Faculty and Lecturers

    Director of Graduate Studies; Associate Professor. [email protected]. Rosenwald 415A. ... Director of the Program in Creative Writing. [email protected]. Taft 301. Tristan Schweiger. Assistant Instructional Professor, MAPH ... University of Chicago Walker Hall, 4th Floor 1115 E. 58th St. Chicago, IL 60637 ...

  4. Writing Specialists

    [email protected]. Katie joined the Writing Program as a Writing Specialist in 2020 after completing her Ph.D. in Philosophy at the University of Chicago in 2019. She currently works in the Philosophical Perspectives Core sequence, teaching first-year students the ins and outs of effective argumentative writing.

  5. Creative Writing

    The Program in Creative Writing takes a comprehensive approach to the study of contemporary literature, criticism, and theory from a writer's perspective, and provides rigorous training in the fundamental practices of creative writing. In our courses, students work with established poets and prose writers towards these pursuits, and both the ...

  6. So, You Want an MFA?

    Creative Writing faculty and recent MFA graduates will share their experiences completing graduate degrees in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and translation. ... He teaches nonfiction writing at the University of Chicago and received his MFA in Writing & Literature from the Writing Seminars at Bennington College, a 24-month low-residency program ...

  7. Creative Writing Courses

    These courses are cross-listed with a graduate number. Thesis/Major Projects Workshops. The Thesis/Major Projects Workshop is only offered during Winter Quarter and centers on workshops of Creative Writing major, minor, and MAPH Creative Writing Option student work. Priority is given to students in the major, minor, or the MAPH Creative Writing ...

  8. University of Chicago Writing Program

    The Writing Program offers credit and non-credit courses, seminars and workshops focused on writing for readers in academic and professional contexts. We offer writing support to all University divisions, schools, and programs, including tutoring for undergraduates, specialized coursework for graduate students, and individualized consultations ...

  9. - PhD in Creative Writing & Literature

    the Ph.D. in CREATIVE WRITING & LITERATURE PROGRAM is one of the few dual Ph.D. programs in the country that weaves the disciplines of literature and creative work into a single educational experience. Students complete coursework in both creative writing and literature. The dissertation project is comprised of creative and critical manuscripts ...

  10. Creative Writing

    Alex Shakar (he/him) Associate Professor, Director of Creative Writing. [email protected].

  11. Program for Writers

    Program for Writers. UIC offers a PhD in English with creative dissertation and also an MA in English with creative manuscript. The MA is considered preparation to enter an PhD program, either in literature or creative writing; or a degree to prepare a writer to enter jobs in publishing, public relations, high school or community college teaching, grant writing, corporate writing, and other ...

  12. PhD Creative Writing

    The University of Kansas' Graduate Program in Creative Writing also offers an M.F.A degree. ... Passing a graduate reading course at the University of Kansas or peer institution (e.g., French 100, German 100, etc.) with a grade of C or higher. ... The writer may wish to consult also the Chicago Manual of Style and Kate L. Turabian's A Manual ...

  13. PhD in Writing Studies

    Requirements. Center for Writing Studies Concentration: Students pursuing the PhD in English with a specialization in Writing Studies often also choose to complete the Center for Writing Studies Concentration . In consultation with the DGS, pursuing a plan of study to fulfill an alternative competency in a language such as Tagalog, Hmong, ASL ...

  14. Our MFA in Creative Writing

    The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing is a terminal degree awarded by the University of Illinois. Our three-year MFA program provides students with graduate study and professional training in the writing of fiction and poetry with our distinguished graduate faculty : Ángel García, Janice Harrington, Amy Hassinger, Christopher ...

  15. Creative Writing Faculty

    Creative Writing Faculty. CW faculty Heading link Copy link. Name Cris Mazza. Christina Pugh. ... 2027 UH Chicago, IL 60607. Phone: (312) 413-2200. [email protected]. Social Media Accounts. ... The University may also allow third parties to place Cookies on your device that collect and use anonymous information about your visits to, and ...

  16. PhD in English < University of Illinois Chicago

    Applicants who intend to specialize in Creative Writing may have an undergraduate major or a graduate degree in any field, if they show substantial evidence of ability to complete the work in literature required for the degree in English. Grade Point Average At least 3.00/4.00 for the final 60 semester hours (90 quarter hours) of undergraduate ...

  17. MA & PhD

    20-page writing sample: English Studies candidates should upload only a standard writing sample of no more than 20 pages in an area reflective of your graduate research interests. A creative sample is not required. Applications for the Program for Writers should upload one creative writing sample, approximately 20 pages of prose and/or 5 to 8 ...

  18. Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature

    The curriculum for Ph.D. students emphasizes creative writing and literary study. The city of Houston offers a vibrant, multi-cultural backdrop for studying creative writing at the University of Houston. With a dynamic visual and performing arts scene, the Houston metropolitan area supplies a wealth of aesthetic materials.

  19. PhD in Creative Writing

    Program Overview. The PhD in Creative Writing and Literature is a four-year course of study. Following two years of course work that includes workshop, forms classes, pedagogical training, and literature, students take exams in two areas, one that examines texts through the lens of craft and another that examines them through the lens of ...

  20. Welcome to the Purdue Online Writing Lab

    The Online Writing Lab at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue. Students, members of the community, and users worldwide will find information to assist with many writing projects.

  21. Online Master of Fine Arts

    Liberty University's Online MFA In Creative Writing Gives You Training And Support To Bring Your Creative Work To The World. ... Creative Writing Sample - A creative writing sample of one ...

  22. Student Upper-Division Writing Awards

    The UCI Office of the Campus Writing & Communication Coordinator, the Composition Program, the Humanities Core, and the Department of English are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2023-2024 UCI Undergraduate Writing Contests. The winners will be honored in a Writing Awards Ceremony on Thursday, May 16, 2024, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in Humanities Gateway 1030.