The Master of Fine Arts in English with a nonfiction writing subprogram, known as the Nonfiction Writing Program, is one of the few programs in the nation that offers a full range of graduate courses in nonfiction.

The Master of Fine Arts program in English with a nonfiction writing subprogram requires a minimum of 48 s.h. of graduate credit taken at the University of Iowa. It is designed for accomplished students and writers of literary nonfiction; most complete it in three years. 

In addition to coursework, students are required to complete a thesis. The thesis may be a single extended piece of nonfiction, a collection of shorter nonfiction pieces, or a collection of essays. Whatever the project, the thesis is expected to be of publishable quality. The program culminates in a thesis of at least 75 pages. Students have plentiful room in their schedules to take advantage of a variety of electives offered by the English department and all other University of Iowa departments.

Department of English graduate courses are repeatable with the written approval of the department's director of graduate studies.

The M.F.A. in English with a nonfiction writing subprogram requires the following.

All of these:
Workshops numbered CNW:6610 to CNW:663020
Seminars numbered CNW:6650 to CNW:666015
Two courses numbered 3000 or above from any department6
CNW:6666Performance and Profession3
CNW:7950Thesis in Nonfiction Writing4-8

For more information, consult the director of the Nonfiction Writing Program.

Applications and all supporting documents for graduate admission must be submitted electronically by December 14. Applicants should submit their applications and supporting materials to the University of Iowa Office of Admissions website.

Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College; see the Manual of Rules and Regulations of the Graduate College on the Graduate College website.

Graduate scholarships, fellowships, and teaching and research assistantships are awarded on a competitive basis. The department strives to provide three years of support for students who maintain good standing, which requires a University of Iowa g.p.a. of at least 3.00, full-time enrollment, and satisfactory progress through the program.

Financial aid applications are considered only from students who have applied or been admitted to a degree program in the Graduate College. Applications and all necessary supporting material must be submitted by the end of January for the following academic year. Forms are available from the Department of English Graduate Studies Office.

An Our Alum page on the Department of English website provides information about Nonfiction Writing Program graduates. 

Sample Plan of Study

Sample plans represent one way to complete a program of study. Actual course selection and sequence will vary and should be discussed with an academic advisor. For additional sample plans, see MyUI.

English (nonfiction writing), M.F.A.

Plan of Study Grid (Manual)
Academic Career
Any SemesterHours
48 s.h. of graduate level coursework must be completed; graduate transfer credits allowed upon approval. More information is included in the General Catalog and on department website. a, b  
Maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00.  
 Hours0
First Year
Fall
CNW:6620
Nonfiction Writing Workshop c
or Essay Writing Workshop
4
CNW:6654 Forms of the Essay d, e 3
CNW:5375 Teaching in a Writing Center e, f 3
 Hours10
Spring
CNW:6620
Nonfiction Writing Workshop c
or Essay Writing Workshop
4
Seminar Elective e 3
Seminar Elective e 3
 Hours10
Second Year
Fall
CNW:6610
Essay Writing Workshop c
or Nonfiction Writing Workshop
4
Seminar Elective e 3
Seminar Elective e 3
 Hours10
Spring
CNW:6620
Nonfiction Writing Workshop c
or Essay Writing Workshop
4
CNW:6666 Performance and Profession e 3
Seminar Elective e 3
 Hours10
Third Year
Fall
CNW:7950 Thesis in Nonfiction Writing g 2
CNW:6630 Graduate Thesis Workshop c 4
 Hours6
Spring
CNW:7950 Thesis in Nonfiction Writing g 2
 Hours2
 Total Hours48