The Creative Writing Program at the University of Oregon is a two-year residency in which Master of Fine Arts (MFA) students concentrate in either poetry or fiction. The Program emphasizes the workshop, integrating concentrated time for writing with craft seminars and individualized reading tutorials.
You’ll hear our program is not for the faint of heart. It isn’t—and we’re proud of that. We hope to offer our students the rigorous apprenticeship we undertook with our own teachers.
Program Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:
- Proficiency in close reading. We expect our MFA candidates to read widely and meticulously while pursuing their studies. Our aim is for each student to encounter a variety of historical periods, aesthetic styles, and critical approaches. Any student graduating from our program should be capable of examining a single text for its many formal conventions and the style or styles with which it is conversant.
- Development of vocabularies for assessing literature, with an emphasis on craft. Our graduate students are expected to acquire the clear and sophisticated language that enables them to speak at length about a range of craft considerations for any single piece of literature. This applies to the published works they encounter in our craft seminars, but it is equally essential in the Creative Writing Workshop, when they comprehensively critique the works of their peers.
- Application of the formal elements of craft in either genre. We expect our apprentice poets and fiction writers to be able to identify, assess, and deploy many of the formal conventions they encounter in the Creative Writing workshop and craft seminar. We believe that the practice of exploring formal challenges is necessary for the MFA student in order to build on his or her own resources as an artist. We especially believe that a knowledge of such conventions is a responsibility of any writer in our MFA program.
- Familiarity with fundamental concepts, forms, modes, and traditions in literary fiction and/or poetry. At the graduate level, this outcome is particularly geared toward and measured by the MFA exam that all of our graduating students take at the end of their second year. Our expectation is that our students will demonstrate a command of the texts they have encountered while earning their degrees, along with the multitude of aesthetic concepts, compositional possibilities, and artistic concerns to which they have been exposed.
NOTE: The list of outcomes above builds on the basic expectations we also hold for
our undergraduate students in the Creative Writing Program. Because our pedagogical
goals are continuously fundamental in nature, both at the undergraduate and graduate
level of study, we view our curriculum and the varietal redundancies below as a
cumulative process, one through which our poets and fiction writers build a portfolio of
knowledge whose components are interactive. This is to say we view historical periods,
critical modalities, and aesthetic movements to be in constant conversation with one
Additionally, what distinguishes the outcomes below from their undergraduate
counterparts is that we expect all our MFA candidates to wear two hats simultaneously:
that of the apprentice writer and that of the apprentice teacher, given that all of the
people enrolled in our program teach Creative Writing classes in their first year and
Composition in their second. The following outcomes should be considered very much
in this context, in that our graduate students are expected to both pursue these goals as
scholars then contemplate the many ways these skills translate to their own pedagogical
The entirety of our curriculum is structured with the expectation that we enable our
MFA graduates to continue to grow intellectually and develop as writers and masters of
the craft once they have received their degrees, long after they have left the University
Master of Fine Arts Degree Requirements
The candidate must complete the graduate work during six consecutive terms in residence at the university. The candidate must pass a written examination on a reading list of works of fiction or poetry.
|Code ||Title ||Credits |
|CRWR 605||Writing and Conference: [Topic]||9|
|CRWR 607||Seminar: [Topic] (MFA Seminar)||18|
|CRWR 609||Terminal Project||9|
|CRWR 635||MFA Poetry Workshop||36|
|or CRWR 645|| MFA Fiction Workshop|