MFA in Creative Writing

Applicants must meet the general requirements of the Graduate School, with the additional requirement of a 3.000 grade point average in their previous coursework in English. The director of creative writing evaluates the applicant’s transcript, prescribing additional undergraduate hours for those who have fewer than 24 credit hours of acceptable coursework in English. Courses in freshman composition, grammar, teaching methods, journalism, speech, etc. may not be included in the required 24 credit hours. Exceptions may be made for outstanding students who have majored in related fields. With the permission of the director of creative writing, gifted writers may study in the program as special students with no specific degree intentions. Deadline for application: January 10. Admission will be for fall only.

Applicants who earned their undergraduate degrees more than 10 years before their application for admission must be interviewed by the director of creative writing before they are admitted into the program.

Applicants who have earned their degrees in countries where English is not the native language must score at least 600 paper-based, or 100 Internet-based on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Examination or an overall band score of 7.5 on the IELTS or a score of 73 on the PTE-Academic before they may be admitted to the program.

Degree Program Status

Applicants who seek to be admitted with full standing in the degree program must submit a sample of original writing in literary fiction (approximately 20 pages), or poetry (about six poems), to the director of creative writing at the time they seek admission.


All MFA candidates in English are advised by the director of creative writing who will help the student establish a plan of study taking into account the student’s interests and future vocational plans.

Transfer of Credit

A minimum of 24 of the total 48 credit hours required for the degree must be taken at Wichita State. No more than 24 hours of credit may be counted toward the degree from other graduate work taken at Wichita State or at another school. If the credit to be transferred comes from a program in which the student took a graduate degree, the time limits imposed by the Graduate School on transfer of credit will not apply.

Program Requirements

All MFA students are required to take ENGL 700. Teaching assistants must take ENGL 681 and ENGL 780 unless specifically exempted.


The 48 credit hours of coursework are apportioned into two categories: required and elective courses.

Required Courses
ENGL 700Introduction to Graduate Study in English (or the equivalent, normally should be included in the student’s first semester of graduate study)3
Select a minimum of 3 credit hours per semester and up to a maximum of 12 credit hours of the following: 12
Creative Writing: Fiction
Creative Writing: Poetry
Select 3 credit hours of the following (with departmental consent, each course may be repeated for a maximum of 6 hours credit):3
Graduate Studies in Fiction
Graduate Studies in Poetry
Graduate Studies in Drama
Select 3 credit hours of the following (with departmental consent, seminars may be repeated for a maximum of 12 hours credit):3
Seminar in Contemporary Literature
Graduate Seminar in Special Topics
Or another suitable seminar in literature
ENGL 875MFA Final Writing Project2-6
For purposes of enrichment, candidates must take at least 3 graduate credit hours in the humanities, fine arts or other discipline outside English. The choice is contingent upon the student’s having the proper prerequisites3
Graduate teaching assistants are required to take the following unless specifically exempted:6
Editing American English
Advanced Theory and Practice in Composition
Select 15 elective credit hours (see details below)15

Elective Courses

Elective courses may be taken to pursue historical, technical or theoretical studies that the candidate finds useful, to strengthen areas of weakness, or simply to enrich their degree program appropriately. All candidates must successfully complete a minimum of 15 elective credit hours in English courses numbered 800 and above, with the exception of English courses numbered 515 through 527, which may be taken for graduate credit. Candidates may take up to 26 elective credit hours in English courses numbered 800 and above and in the approved 500-level courses. Other exceptions may be made as approved by the director of creative writing and with the consent of the department chairperson. Graduate students in 500-, 600-, and 700-level courses are expected to meet higher standards of achievement than those imposed on undergraduates in the same courses. Within this unit, as many as 9 credit hours total of ENGL 880; ENGL 881; and ENGL 850, may be taken.

Comprehensive Examination

All candidates are required to pass a written comprehensive examination in the final semester of their coursework. This examination is based on a reading list of 30 books chosen from the creative writing program master list by the candidate’s final writing project director and the director of creative writing in consultation with the candidate.

Final Writing Project

The MFA final writing project in creative writing consists of a body of original work of publishable quality. The manuscript must be of such length as is appropriate to published books in its genre and is to be written under the direction of a member of the program staff. Candidates may preface their final writing project with a short introduction if they choose to do so.

Final Writing Project Review

Once the candidate has submitted the final writing project, a committee composed of the project director and a second reader, both creative writing faculty members in the student’s genre, will examine the work and determine whether or not the project meets the standards of acceptance.