2014-2015 Graduate Course Catalog 
    
    May 23, 2022  
2014-2015 Graduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Creative Writing, MFA


Contact:

Sarah Harwell, Associate Director, 420 Hall of Languages, scharwel@syr.edu,
315-443-9480

Faculty

Michael Burkard, Arthur Flowers, Brooks Haxton, Mary Karr, Christopher Kennedy, George Saunders, Bruce Smith, Dana Spiotta

The Syracuse program in creative writing has long been regarded as one of the best in the country. Each year six students are admitted in poetry and six in fiction to work closely in small workshops with an accomplished group of writers. Coursework includes a strong emphasis on the study of literature. Six semesters are usually needed to complete the M.F.A.

Submit online Graduate Application by January 9th. https://apply.embark.com/grad/syracuse/37/

  • FICTION APPLICANTS: The fiction writing sample is due by December 15 and The Basic Information Sheet (found below or in your Embark application) is to accompany your fiction writing sample. Send fiction writing sample directly to Sarah Harwell, Associate Director of Creative Writing, Department of English, Syracuse University, 401 Hall of Languages, Syracuse NY 13244-1170.
  • POETRY APPLICANTS: UPLOAD your 10-12 POEMS with EMBARK application by January 9.
    Do NOT mail in your poetry writing sample.

Admission is based primarily on the writing sample, but also upon the academic record. Thus, letters of recommendation should address not only the student’s creative work, but also his or her general preparedness for advanced graduate study. Likewise in their personal statements on the application for graduate study, students should state their reasons for pursuing an M.F.A. in creative writing as well as describe their own backgrounds as writers.

Requirements Candidates must complete 48 credits of coursework, which includes 9 credits of workshop, a minimum of 9 credits in forms courses, a 3-credit third-year essay seminar, 12 to 15 credits in other English department courses, 6 to 9 credits of electives outside the department, and 6 credits for the preparation of the thesis (a collection of poems or stories or a novel).

The Department of English offers a range of graduate programs: the M.A. in English, the M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and the Ph.D. in English. The department welcomes students who plan to become writers and scholar/teachers, and it makes a serious effort to tailor its programs to each student’s interests. Classes are small, usually from 5 to 15 students, and there is ample opportunity for independent study and supervised research.

One of the department’s greatest strengths is its faculty, which includes distinguished scholar- teachers and internationally known writers.

The graduate programs in English have in the recent past been reconfigured. Although students are asked to attain some coverage of literary periods, genres, and major authors, the department gives substantial attention to those modes of theoretical inquiry that have disrupted and enlivened the study of literature in recent years. Our current course offerings, therefore, represent both traditional approaches to English and important work in contemporary theory and cultural studies.

For more information about our graduate programs, visit our department web site at english.syr.edu.

Graduate Awards


Teaching assistantships, include tuition scholarships for nine credits per semester (plus six credits in the summer) as well as stipends from $14,034 to $14,951. New teaching assistants at the M.A. level are assigned to courses offered by the Writing Program. Teaching assistants have full responsibility for three sections a year, are expected to attend regular staff meetings and workshops, and participate in a coordinating group. There is also an ongoing mentorship and review of each teaching assistant’s performance as a teacher. New teaching assistants take a teaching practicum (WRT 670 ) closely related to their classroom duties.

Beginning Ph.D. students serve as teaching assistants in undergraduate lecture courses taught by full-time faculty in the English Department for two to three years. They receive ongoing mentorship and faculty review of their performance.

Advanced Ph.D. students teach independent courses of their own design in the English department for one or two years, and participate in the Future Professoriate Project. This project offers mentored teaching and participation in teaching seminars every semester. Students who fulfill all the requirements receive at graduation a certificate in university teaching.

The department also competes for University Fellowships, awarded annually to outstanding applicants, and it offers six one-year creative writing fellowships. All fellowships include tuition scholarships for full-time study as well as stipends from $12,660 to $21,170.

M.F.A., M.A., and Ph.D. applicants should apply for financial aid as early as possible, preferably during the fall semester, but no later than January 9.

M.F.A. in Creative Writing


The Syracuse program in creative writing has long been regarded as one of the best in the country. Each year about six students are admitted in poetry and six in fiction to work closely in small workshops with an accomplished group of writers. Coursework includes a strong emphasis on the study of literature. Six semesters are usually needed to complete the M.F.A.

Applicants must fill out the basic information sheet and submit a sample of poetry or fiction no later than January 1, as well as complete the regular application for graduate study. Admission is based primarily on this sample, but also upon the academic record. Thus, letters of recommendation should address not only the student’s creative work, but also his or her general preparedness for advanced graduate study. Likewise in their personal statements on the application for graduate study, students should state their reasons for pursuing an M.F.A. in creative writing as well as describe their own backgrounds as writers. The writing sample (consisting of either a set of 10-12 poems or 30 pages, maximum, for fiction writing) should be sent directly to the Director of Creative Writing, 401 Hall of Languages, Syracuse NY 13244-1170.