Why study English language and literature?

Because reading and writing shape the world.

The M.F.A. in Creative Writing provides students with a balance between the study of literature and intensive workshop experience. In the final year, students receive support and substantial feedback on a creative thesis.

Our award-winning faculty and alumni have received international recognition for their creative work; distinctions include the Pushcart Prize, the Nebula Award, the Hugo Award, the Kennedy Center Gold Medallion, the Gertrude Stein Award, the Kenyon Review Prize. Recent visiting writers include Sherman Alexie, Julia Alvarez, Margaret Atwood, Michael Chabon, Rita Dove, Naruddin Farah, Kent Haruf, Cherrie Moraga, Paul Muldoon, Salman Rushdie, George Saunders, and Natasha Trethewey. Graduate students also run a professional literary journal called Landlocked.

Admission to Graduate Studies

An applicant seeking to pursue graduate study in the College may be admitted as either a degree-seeking or non-degree seeking student. Policies and procedures of Graduate Studies govern the process of Graduate admission. These may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Please consult the Departments & Programs section of the online catalog for information regarding program-specific admissions criteria and requirements. Special admissions requirements pertain to Interdisciplinary Studies degrees, which may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Graduate Admission

To be admitted to any of the department’s graduate degree tracks, a student must have a strong undergraduate record, particularly in the humanities. Creative writing applicants need to submit writing samples that demonstrate an advanced level of writing skills in their respective genres. For complete admission information, see the English department website.

All applicants must submit their graduate application online. All supplemental materials (transcripts, writing samples, letters of recommendation, etc.) may be attached electronically and submitted with the online application. Those who cannot submit supplemental materials electronically may mail them to the department:

The University of Kansas
Department of English
Graduate Applications
1445 Jayhawk Blvd., Room 3001
Lawrence, KS 66045


Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Degree Requirements

Requirements for the M.F.A. in Creative Writing include

  1. 4 graduate courses (12 hours) in literature, English or American.
  2. 4 graduate courses (12 hours) in creative writing.
  3. No more than 2 classes (6 hours) may be taken at the 600-level.
  4. 7 to 9 hours in electives or practica, chosen from graduate courses in the Department of English, or approved courses in another department.
  5. ENGL 899, Thesis (15 hours). Original writing in prose fiction, poetry, drama, or nonfiction prose.