Graduate Creative Writing
Because of funding limitations, Penn State's MFA program is not currently accepting applications. The teaching and nurturing of creative writing has long been a vital mission for the English department.
The English Department is now offering an integrated undergraduate/graduate degree in English with a creative writing concentration to select Penn State undergraduates. The degree is offered in Poetry and Prose (fiction and creative nonfiction). This is a full-residency program that can be completed in two years—the student’s senior year and an additional MA year. Many students receive some combination of tuition release, teaching stipend, and fellowship or scholarship.
Some features of our program include: a great student-to-faculty ratio; the opportunity for students to teach; a cross-genre approach (prose writers can choose a course of study including both fiction and nonfiction; poets and prose writers can take one workshop outside of their genre as a part of their requirements); a craft-of-genres seminar exposing all students to the three genres; and a special emphasis on mentoring writers who are honing their MFA portfolios.
Our program also features a reading series by prominent writers. Recent visitors include George Saunders, Sandra Cisneros, Aimee Bender, Stuart Dybek, Susan Orlean, John Edgar Wideman, Melanie Thernstrom, Sharon Olds, and Mark Doty.
core creative writing faculty
In poetry: Robin Becker and Julia Kasdorf; in prose, William J. Cobb, Charlotte Holmes, Toni Jensen, Elizabeth Kadetsky, and Toby Thompson.
Successful authors who received their MFA degrees at Penn State include: Peter Chilson, Rita Ciresi, Cary Holladay, Cathleen Miller, Rebecca Rasmussen, Lisa Roney, Anjana Sharma, and Lyrae Van Clief Stefanon.
Some notable writers who have gone through our undergraduate program are: Diane Ackerman, Jillian Cantor, Jane Miller, Ruth Ellen Kocher, and Ryan Teitman.
Internal applications are vetted in the spring of the student’s junior year (deadline March 22--see "Application for the BA-MA Program"). Once accepted into the program by the English Department and creative writing faculty, students file an official application with the Graduate School during their senior year. This carries an application fee of $50 and consists of the same materials as submitted for the original application. GRE scores are not required.
for information please contact
Director of Creative Writing
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