M.F.A. degree program in creative writing
HEGIS code 1507
NYS SED program code 02056

Program Web Site

Our small, highly personal two-year program confers a master of fine arts degree in creative writing in fiction, poetry, or playwriting. The program offers single-discipline and inter-genre workshops, literature seminars, small-group reading tutorials, and one-on-one tutorials, which all emphasize relationships between eminent faculty members and students. Additionally, students have the opportunity to work on The Brooklyn Review and give public readings/performances in Brooklyn and Manhattan. The program offers some fellowships as well as prizes and a winter writing residency at the Espy Foundation in Oysterville, Washington. Students may also teach undergraduate courses for the English Department.

Our graduates have had their work published widely and have won competitions sponsored by the Iowa Review, the Colorado Review, the Mississippi Review, and Zoetrope. They have been included in The Best New Young Poets anthology and The Best American Short Stories. Our playwrights have won Obies, started theater companies, and had their plays produced here and abroad.

Program Heads

Name
Title
Phone
Email
Office Hours
Davis, James Graduate Deputy 718-951-5197 2314 Boylan Hall jcdavis @ brooklyn.cuny.edu call/email for appointment

 

Admission Requirements

Department English
Fall Application Deadline January 15th - fixed deadline
Spring Application Deadline The program does not accept applications for Spring
Supporting Documents for Matriculation:
Submit the following items to the Office of Graduate Admissions: official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended and two letters of recommendation. Submit the following items in hard copy to the Graduate Deputy, English Department: a manuscript of original work in your intended genre (for fiction, about 30 pages; for poetry, about 20 pages; for playwriting, one full-length play, or two or more one-act plays); a personal statement (one-two pages).
TOEFL (paper, computer, internet) 650, 280, 114
Examinations

 

Students choose a concentration in one of the following: fiction, playwriting, or poetry.

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Matriculation requirements
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Fiction and Poetry: Applicants must offer at least 12 credits in advanced courses in English. Thirty pages of original fiction or twenty pages of original poetry must be submitted for evaluation.

Playwriting: Applicants must offer at least 12 credits in advanced courses in English or theater. One original full-length play or two or more original one-act plays must be submitted for evaluation.

Applicants who do not meet course requirements but whose manuscripts show unusual talent are considered for admission. Manuscripts should be submitted directly to the deputy chairperson in the English Department at the time of application. Applications are not considered for spring semester admission.

Foreign applicants for whom English is a second language are required to pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a score of 650 on the paper-based test or 280 on the computer-based test or 114 on the internet-based test before being considered for admission.

General matriculation and admission requirements of the Division of Graduate Studies are in the chapter "Admission."

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Degree requirements
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Thirty-six credits are required for the degree.

Students must complete one of the following concentrations. The fiction concentration consists of 27 credits. The poetry and playwriting concentrations consist of 24 credits.

Fiction:
English 7910X to be taken in the first semester. English 7912X to be taken four times, but not more than once in any semester; English 7911X to be taken two times in the first year, but not more than once in any semester; English 7913X to be taken two times in the second year, but not more than once in any semester.

Poetry:
English 7922X to be taken four times, but not more than once in any semester; English 7923X to be taken four times, but not more than once in any semester.

Playwriting:
English 7932X to be taken four times, but not more than once in any semester; English 7933X to be taken four times, but not more than once in any semester.

Students in the fiction concentration must complete 9 credits in three courses, and students in the poetry and playwriting concentrations must complete 12 credits in four courses chosen from the 7000-level courses in the English Department (including courses in comparative literature).

Students may substitute for no more than two such courses any two 7000-level courses from the Departments of Art, History, Modern Languages and Literatures, Philosophy, Speech, Television and Radio, or Theater, or the Conservatory of Music. Students may substitute one writing workshop or tutorial outside of their major writing concentration for one literature course.

Permission to register for any of these substitute courses may be required from the graduate deputy chairperson of the appropriate department.

A substantial manuscript must be submitted and filed according to instructions available from the deputy chairperson. Students concentrating in fiction or poetry must submit original creative writing, in publishable form, such as a novel or collection of stories or poems. Students concentrating in playwriting must submit a full-length play or a number of one-act plays, in producible form, that would constitute a theatrical production. In cooperation with the Theater Department, efforts are made to produce the student's major work.

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Recommendations
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Students are urged to take one workshop, one tutorial, and one literature course each semester in order to complete the program in four semesters. A reading knowledge of a foreign language is strongly recommended.