English (nonfiction writing), MFA

This is the first version of the 2024–25 General Catalog. Please check back regularly for changes. The final edition and the historical PDF will be published during the fall semester.

The Master of Fine Arts in English with a nonfiction writing subprogram (emphasis in creative nonfiction) is offered through the Nonfiction Writing Program, one of the few programs in the nation that offers a full range of graduate courses in nonfiction.

Learning Outcomes

Students will:

  • develop a common understanding and appreciation of the history and range of traditions of nonfiction writing including forms such as the essay, lyric essay, memoir, journalism, and experimental writing;
  • explore and practice the range of narrative strategies, prose styles, and approaches to stylistic analysis through workshop courses;
  • develop familiarity and experience with a range of research skills necessary to support the rigorous practice of nonfiction, including major theoretical approaches, and engage in reading-intensive discussions exploring new fields of nonfiction, including new writing technologies and media;
  • develop an individual teaching philosophy and practical skills for teaching creative nonfiction writing, including designing courses for different audiences, crafting syllabi, producing exercises, maintaining vibrant classroom discussions, and learning helpful strategies for providing constructive feedback to the writing of others;
  • engage in outreach programs making nonfiction expertise and instruction available to various audiences through master classes and other public formats;
  • develop an understanding of the practical aspects of a writer's professional life, including an understanding of the basic operations of the publishing world and the necessary protocols leading to publication; and
  • craft a long-form project in nonfiction; write a thesis of at least 75 pages of publishable-quality prose, the capstone of a graduate student's career in the Nonfiction Writing Program.