Graduate Catalog 2023-2024

Creative Writing, Master of Fine Arts (0478)

Department website:

Program Coordinator

Nancy W. Dinan,

The MFA program provides students pursuing vocations in creative writing the opportunity to acquire the background and knowledge required to be leading citizens of what Vachel Lindsay calls the “Republic of Letters.” The program prepares students for lives as writers of novels, short fiction, creative nonfiction, scripts, and poetry and related pursuits such as teaching, literary editing and publishing.  In addition to intensive creative writing, students will complete four classes in a secondary concentration as part of the MFA. Students can select a concentration in literature, composition/rhetoric, or teaching English as a second language in order to give them additional options for employment after graduation. In total, the three year residential program consists of 48 credit hours of graduate course work, culminating in the completion of a publishable creative thesis in fiction, poetry, scriptwriting, or creative nonfiction. All applicants who meet the application deadline are automatically considered for available graduate assistantships teaching introductory writing classes for the English Department.  


  • Composition and Rhetoric (ENCR)
  • Literature (ENLI)
  • Teaching English as a Second Language (ENTL)

Program Admission

  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited university with a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • A twenty-page creative writing sample consisting of work in at least one of the following genres: fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, or screenwriting. The spacing and formatting of the writing sample should fit conventions of the selected genre.
  • A statement of purpose consisting of one or two single-spaced pages describing the applicant’s background and interest in creative writing and how the WKU MFA program could help with the applicant’s literary pursuits. Students may also briefly address interests, skills, or experiences that make them highly qualified for a graduate assistantship position teaching introductory college writing classes, although teaching skills should only be a small part of the statement of purpose (no more than 25%).  Your interest in creative writing and your literary pursuits should be the main focus. 
  • A one or two-page curriculum vita or resumé
  • Although not required, undergraduate creative writing courses are highly recommended

Graduate School Admission

Please refer to the admission section of this catalog for Graduate School admission requirements.

Program Requirements (48 hours)

Required Courses
ENG 507Introduction to Creative Writing Studies3
ENG 510Graduate Rhetoric and Writing3
ENG 512Reading as a Writer3
ENG 501Graduate Writing Workshop9
or ENG 403G Writing Memoir and Autobiography
or ENG 474G Advanced Poetry Writing
or ENG 475G Advanced Fiction Workshop
ENG 515Internship3
ENG 599Thesis Research and Writing6
Electives 1
Literature course3
Select 6 additional hours 6
Select a concentration12
Total Hours48

Students may take the six hours of elective courses from any of the concentration courses so long as they have not counted them as part of the core or secondary concentration. In order to earn TESL certification as a secondary concentration, students must complete one TESL course as one of their free electives.

Composition & Rhetoric Concentration

Select 12 hours from the following:12
Advanced Composition
Editing and Publishing
Composition Theory and Practice in Writing Instruction
Theories of Rhetoric and Persuasive Writing
Writing and Technology
Special Topics in English
Advanced Directed Study
Total Hours12

Literature Concentration

Select 12 hours from the following:12
The British Novel
American Novel
American Poetry
Southern Literature
Women's Literature
Studies in American Literature
Studies in British Literature
Studies in World Literature
Studies in Genre
Seminar in British Writers
Seminar in American Writers
Special Topics in English
Advanced Directed Study
Total Hours12

Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) Concentration

Select 12 hours from the following:12
Linguistic Analysis
Psycholinguistics and Sociolinguistics
TESL Practicum
Integrated Teaching English as a Second Language
Teaching and Testing ESL Grammar
Advanced Directed Study
Total Hours12