A Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing is uniquely suited to students seeking to further develop their craft as writers in an academic setting. Be it in poetry or prose, drama or experimental work, an MFA in creative writing enables students to explore their craft with the help of experienced writers and professors. Students looking to pursue a creative writing program in the Portland, Oregon, area will find information in the following article on admission requirements and general program information for the schools in the region.
Common Admission Requirements
Schools in the Portland area offering a creative writing MFA tend to expect a personal essay or statement of purpose piece, two to three pages in length, that serves as an introduction to the student and their goals with regards to their development as writers, as well as a portfolio of creative writing samples. Depending on the program, this portfolio may emphasize one particular area or form of writing, or it may include many, from poetry to prose and beyond. Students will also need to produce transcripts from their undergraduate degree indicating good standing, though their undergraduate degree need not necessarily be entirely relevant to creative writing. Finally, schools may also ask students to include a brief critical writing sample in their portfolio that demonstrates an understanding of literary theory and the genre they wish to pursue in their writing.
Schools in Portland, OR, with MFA in Creative Writing Programs
Pacific Northwest College of Art
The Pacific Northwest College Art offers a MFA in Creative Writing program that is interdisciplinary in nature. Being an institution that also emphasizes the visual arts, the program explores writing as it intersects with visual work and pushes students to view writing as a visual medium. The program supports students in creating their own path in their education, be it in pursuing experimentation in their work or more typical literary modes; the main program specializations range from prose and poetry, to cross-genre and literary translation. The MFA program at the Pacific Northwest College Art takes a low-residency model as its structure, meaning that students need only attend campus for two 14-day periods, after which they will work privately with a mentor.
Pacific University of Oregon
At the Pacific University of Oregon, student will work with award winning writers and creatives to hone their developing craft and carve out their unique voice while earning an MFA in Writing. As another low-residency program, the Pacific's MFA will have students start their learning with a 10-day attendance on campus for various workshops and panels. Students will then find the work shifts towards a more independent study as they share writing samples with their course supervisor and refine their craft based on personalized feedback. Students in this program can choose from focuses in fiction, nonfiction, or poetry.
Portland State University
The MFA in Creative Writing at Portland State University offers a focused, deliberate study in the genre and form of the student's choice. Working with established writers, students work exclusively within their study path to produce course work as well as a final thesis project, and they will share course and thesis work with faculty for feedback. Portland's program is accessible to students with diverse academic backgrounds, ranging from literature and journalism, to the social sciences and fine arts. With a student body reflecting all different ages and backgrounds, the Portland State University creative writing program exposes their students to all manner of different life experiences that will broaden their horizons.
Portland, Oregon, offers several comprehensive Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing that will suit graduate students of all different needs. Prospective students should expect to complete a brief writing portfolio and a personal essay when applying to these programs and should possess an undergraduate degree of some kind.