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MFA in Creative Writing Programs in New Mexico

Oct 03, 2019

There are five different options for earning a master's degree in creative writing in New Mexico. Most are on campus programs, but there is a low residency option as well. Campuses stretch across the state from Santa Fe to Portales.

This article describes five different master's level programs in creative writing offered in New Mexico. Program lengths vary from 36 to 54 credit hours.

Universities in New Mexico Offering MFAs in Creative Writing

University of New Mexico

The University of New Mexico's MFA in Creative Writing is a traditional MFA in that it culminates in a dissertation after students pass a comprehensive exam. The dissertation is a novel-length creative work. MFAs structured this way are designed to be terminal degrees. The program lasts three years, and students are limited to five years to finish the dissertation portion after comprehensive exams. The program is 48 credit hours total. It does not require a foreign language like some graduate programs in creative writing do, but a traditional defense of the dissertation is required. Student to faculty ratios are small, and chances of gaining a teaching stipend are good at this university.

New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University offers an MFA in English with a creative writing emphasis. The program requires 54 credit hours. Students are required to write and defend a thesis containing their creative work. To graduate students must also do a public reading of their thesis. Admission to this program is open annually in the fall semester. Students are required to take 12 credits of workshops in their major genre and three credit hours of workshop in their secondary genre. A master workshop is completed during students' fifth semester.

New Mexico Highlands University

This is one of the shorter programs in terms of credit hours, requiring 36 total. Students earn a Master of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing. Students are required to take at least nine credits in creative writing electives, including one, three-credit-hour course in a creative writing workshop. Students write a publishable paper or thesis and must pass a qualifying exam based upon faculty selected readings. This university has a foreign language requirement for program completion.

Eastern New Mexico University

Eastern New Mexico University's English Department offers a Master of Arts in English program that allows students to focus on creative writing. Students can write and defend a creative thesis, and they must pass comprehensive exams. This university also has a foreign language requirement. Many of the masters' level students work in the Writing Center and teach composition and rhetoric courses as well. The campus is located in Portales, New Mexico.

Institute of American Indian Arts

The Institute of America Indian Arts offers a low residency MFA in Creative Writing. Students convene biannually at the campus in Santa Fe and are assigned a faculty mentor with whom they work online for the following semester. The courses are divided into 16-week online components. The focus of the program is giving voice to Native writers, but the program is open to anyone. The program was founded in 2013.

Program Admittance Requirements for an MFA in Creative Writing

Some of the programs mentioned that offer MFAs in Creative Writing require competency in a foreign language or a minimum GPA score of 3.0 to apply. All require a bachelor's degree, and applicants must commonly submit personal essays, creative work, and letters of recommendation. These programs can be highly selective. Students must be available to attend residencies if in a distance learning program.

This article discussed five different New Mexico schools offering a master's level degree in creative writing. The required credit hours and locations vary; however, all programs are highly selective and require students to complete a lengthy collection of their work.

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