Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing degree programs usually consist of both writing workshops and graduate-level English courses in literature and theory. Depending on the program, you will also be able to choose a writing concentration, such as fiction, poetry, or non-fiction. Below, we will explore some Oregon-based MFA in Creative Writing programs, including their coursework and admittance requirements as well as other opportunities these programs offer.
Oregon-Based MFA in Creative Writing Programs
Eastern Oregon University
In La Grande, Eastern Oregon University has a 2-year low-residency MFA program that features a Wilderness, Ecology, and Community program, which includes wilderness retreats, guest lectures by leading scientists, and will connect you with the major writers of the Pacific Northwest. In this program, you will be required to earn 60 total credits with coursework that will include writing workshops, craft seminars, classes on writing and rhetoric, and literature classes. You will also need to complete a book-length thesis and present it at a public reading. The residency requirement will consist of a summer conference of workshops, readings, and panels as well as a week-long on-campus residency that will include coursework, craft talks, and outdoor activities.
Oregon State University
Oregon State University, which is located in Corvallis, offers a 48-hour MFA program that will include craft workshops and literature courses. This program allows you to choose a concentration in fiction, non-fiction, or poetry, and at the end of your second year, you will be required to produce a thesis that is usually a novel, a story collection, a work of non-fiction, or a poetry collection. If you have an interest in teaching, this program also offers a graduate student teaching option as well as opportunities to work in the university's writing center. You could also help edit and manage the program's literary journal 45th Parallel.
Located in Forest Grove, Pacific University has a low-residency MFA program that will require five 10-day residencies held on campus that include writing workshops, lectures, classes, and panels. Outside of the residencies, you will be required to read and create an annotated bibliography of at least 80 works of literature, write an analytic paper based on a literary theme or author, and write a book-length thesis. You will also need to publicly present your thesis in the context of a critical lens. This program will also pair you with a mentor, who will guide you through your studies and provide feedback on your creative works.
University of Oregon
The University of Oregon in Eugene offers an MFA in Creative Writing with an emphasis in fiction or poetry. This program will require writing workshops, seminars on craft, and individual tutorials that allow you to be mentored by faculty. Along with the required creative thesis project, you will also be required to pass an exam that centers on theory, craft, or a specific genre. In this program, you will also have the opportunity to teach writing at the university level.
Portland State University
Portland State University's MFA program is a 48-credit hour program that allows you to choose fiction, non-fiction, or poetry concentration. In this program, you will take writing workshops, seminars, and elective literature courses. To earn your degree, you will be required to complete a creative thesis within your chosen genre. Also, this program requires a written and oral exam that is based on your thesis. This program will offer opportunities for you to become a graduate teaching assistant or work as a graduate peer mentor.
Common Admittance Requirements
Most MFA in Creative Writing programs have a common set of application materials that will include an application, letters of recommendation, and transcripts. Also, you will likely need to submit a personal statement that centers on your interest in studying writing at a graduate-level. GRE scores are also usually a requirement of most MFA in Creative Writing programs. Last, you will also need to submit a writing sample in your chosen genre, whether that is prose or poetry.
The coursework of most MFA in Creative Writing programs is usually a mix of writing workshops that allow you to hone your writing craft as well as literature courses. At the end of your program, you will be required to complete a book-length thesis in your chosen genre.