In the state of Michigan, there are a handful of universities that offer Master of Fine Arts (MFA) programs in the field of creative writing, which may be of interest to students seeking to further improve their writing skills and advance their career options. Below, we will look at three of the best available programs in the state by covering curriculum requirements, any unique program attributes, and admissions standards.
Overview of the Best MFA Programs in Creative Writing in Michigan
Northern Michigan University
Northern Michigan University offers an MFA degree in creative writing that students can complete over the span of three years. Within this program, students can choose from three concentration areas: poetry, creative nonfiction, or fiction. Students who are interested in more than one of these options can also take courses from multiple concentrations by pursuing a hybrid degree option. In addition to the courses required according to the selected concentration, the curriculum also covers topics like literary movements, British and American literature, and critical investigation. Students in the program can receive funding by becoming either teaching assistants or graduate assistants, which involves teaching undergraduate courses or performing various other tasks for professors. The program culminates with the master's thesis, which entails writing and presenting a book-length manuscript.
Western Michigan University
Another option for students is the MFA program in creative writing offered by Western Michigan University. This program requires that students complete a total of 48 credit hours, 12 of which are completed through attending workshops in the student's chosen genre. The rest of the credits are completed through taking literature courses, electives, literary forms courses, other workshop courses, and through the writing of the master's thesis. This program prepares students for success as professional writers as well as for teaching positions at the postsecondary level. Other students may also choose to continue their studies after completing the MFA degree by enrolling in a Ph.D. program.
University of Michigan
Students may also be interested in the MFA program in creative writing that students can complete in two years at the University of Michigan, which is formally referred to as the Helen Zell Writers' Program. During these two years, which are fully funded for accepted students, students will take courses and attend writing workshops according to the concentration they select, which can either be fiction writing or poetry. During the second year of the program, students will begin working on their final thesis project, which they will defend before graduating from the program. After a successful defense, students are eligible for a third-year fellowships, which are paid positions that involve staying in residence at the University of Michigan while working on writing.
Admissions Standards for MFA Programs in Creative Writing
When applying to an MFA program in creative writing, there are a couple of components of the admissions process that are unique to these programs. All programs require that students submit a substantial writing sample so that the admissions committee can evaluate the talent and potential of each applicant. Depending on the applicant's interest, they may be required to submit either a sample of poetry or prose. Students are advised to check with each program they apply to for specific submission requirements in regard to length and acceptable content. The application process also involves submitting academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and a professional CV or resume.
To summarize, there are a few options available to students seeking MFA programs in creative writing in Michigan. These programs prepare students for careers as professional writers or teachers of writing through curriculum that focuses on different types of creative writing and various workshops.