Jul 17, 2024  
2009-2011 Graduate Catalog 

Creative Writing M.F.A.


Admission Requirements


Applicants for the M.F.A. in Creative Writing must submit a strong manuscript of either poetry or fiction for consideration, of approximately 10-15 pages for poetry and 20-30 pages for fiction. The primary consideration for admission is the quality of the creative manuscript as judged by the Creative Writing faculty. Also, candidates must send a letter of application to the Graduate Committee that includes a statement of purpose and reasons why the applicant wants to study creative writing at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. 

A candidate must also meet the requirements of the Graduate College, including holding a B.A., B.S., or A.B. degree from an accredited college or university with an undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or better. Applicants must send two official sets of transcripts from all colleges or universities attended; one set goes to the Graduate College and one directly to the English department. In addition, two letters of recommendation must be sent directly to the department. There is a wide range of acceptability with regard to an applicant’s previous record of studies and major field of specialization as an undergraduate. But a candidate must score in the 50th percentile rank or higher on the Verbal portion of the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination to be eligible for admission.

Degree Requirements

The M.F.A. in Creative Writing requires 54 credit hours of course work, independent study, and the writing of a creative dissertation in either fiction or poetry. Course work should include 12 credits of  , composed of nine credits in the chosen genre of concentration (either poetry or fiction) and three credits in another genre. Students will be expected to take at least nine credits of 700-level courses in World Literature, and at least nine credits of 600-or 700-level graduate courses offered by the Department of English. Also required are six credits of Independent Study: three credits for the completion of a significant translation of superior quality from a language other than English, and three credits for the writing of a substantial scholarly essay of at least 5,000 words on some aspect of a major world writer or field of literary study. In addition, six credits are required for the international focus of the M.F.A. (see below) and 12 credits for the completion of a booklength creative dissertation in either poetry or fiction.

International Emphasis

The strong international emphasis of the M.F.A. in Creative Writing requires all students to spend at least one semester abroad, in a non-English speaking country, and to earn at least six credits toward the M.F.A. by enrolling in a university, school, or institute abroad and/or by Independent Study guided and monitored by a member of the Creative Writing faculty. Applicants with strong experience and demonstrable study and residency in a non-English speaking country and with significant foreign language skills may be granted credit at the time of admission for the study abroad requirement at the discretion of the Creative Writing faculty and of the Graduate College.

Creative Thesis

All candidates for the M.F.A. degree are required to write a creative thesis in either poetry or fiction and to complete at least 12 credits toward the creative thesis requirement by intensive work in conference with members of the faculty. An oral qualifying exam will be given at the end of the student’s third semester of full-time study, or upon completion of 24-27 credits toward the degree. This exam will entail a one- to two-hour review of the student’s progress in his or her creative and scholarly work, conducted by the faculty in the student’s genre. Successful completion of the oral qualifying examination is a prerequisite for beginning work on the creative thesis. The creative thesis for the M.F.A. will be a book-length manuscript and must conform to the guidelines set forth by the Graduate College in this catalog and in its Thesis and Dissertation Manual. The M.F.A. creative thesis will only be passed and the M.F.A. degree granted when the creative thesis is judged to be a substantial creative work of high seriousness and literary merit in the opinion of the Creative Writing faculty and the student’s creative thesis committee.