Degree Requirements

In addition to the requirements of the Graduate School, the following must be met:

  • The CWL M.F.A degree requires 45 hours of FTCA and English courses, 18 hours of which must be in residence.
  • A total of 18 hours of creative writing workshops at the 6000 level to be divided as follows: Twelve hours in the thesis genre, 3 hours in any genre and 3 hours outside the genre. For all but those whose thesis genre is nonfiction, ENGL 6174/6194 (nonfiction workshop), which is a Core Course, can serve as a student's workshop outside their genre.
  • Residency workshop hours requirements: 6 hours in thesis genre and 3 hours in any genre for a total of 9 hours of creative writing workshops in residence. These required courses are: for fiction writing, Engl 6171 or 6191; for poetry writing, Engl 6173 or 6193; for nonfiction writing, Engl 6174 or 6194; for playwriting, FTCA 6207 or 6209; and for screenwriting, FTCA 6257 or 6259.
  • Core Courses: CWL students must take 3 hours of Form and Idea (FTCA 6020) and 3 hours in nonfiction writing (ENGL 6174 or 6194). Students whose thesis genre is nonfiction will substitute a sixth workshop outside of their thesis genre.
  • CWL students will also take 9 hours of background courses: Fiction and poetry students must meet this through a literature class of their genre. Screenwriting and playwriting students will be required to take 6 hours of techniques courses and a three-hour history course in their genre area.
  • Students must earn a grade of B or better in all required coursework.
  • 9 hours of approved electives are required. Electives are expected to conform to a cohesive program of study. Students must maintain an overall 3.0 GPA in elective courses.
  • Students must defend a creative thesis for which they may receive 6 hours of preparation credit. The creative writing thesis will be prepared under the supervision of a committee approved by the dean of the Graduate School. This committee will ordinarily consist of three members of the graduate faculties of the departments of Film & Theatre and English.
  • Students must also take a comprehensive exam in their respective genres. The exam will be prepared, administered, and graded by the thesis committee. It will concern itself with the literature of the student's genre area.

Summary of Residency Requirements

Hours for summer residency requirements are included above. This is merely a breakdown of those requirements.

  • A student must take a total of 18 hours of credits at the Summer Residencies Abroad.
  • Those credits MUST include: 6 hours of workshop in the genre thesis and 3 hours of workshop in any genre.
  • Most students take 3 summers to finish these requirements, but it is possible to finish in two by taking 9 hours of the courses required in residency each summer.

Who may apply to the Program: Applicants must have an undergraduate degree to be accepted into our program. Students who hold master's degrees from other institutions or from other UNO programs may apply for admission, but upon acceptance they must meet all requirements for the M.F.A. degree listed above and must complete 36 hours of resident or low-resident work at UNO, including all 18 hours in writing workshop courses.