Program Overview

The MFA in Creative Writing is a low-residency program in which students work closely with published authors who serve as their mentors and teachers. The program is arranged into 8-week online modules and 10-day on-campus residencies (in the summer session at FDU’s Madison, New Jersey campus and in the winter session at FDU’s Wroxton, England campus). The MFA degree is offered in five disciplines—Poetry, Fiction, Young Adult and Children’s Literature, Creative Nonfiction, and Literary Translation. Students are accepted into the discipline in which they apply.  The program is flexible – new students begin the program with a residency and take two modules in their first semester. After that, students can choose to take their modules at a slower pace or take their residencies at one location only.

Our program offers a single genre and dual genre degree.

Student work is evaluated on a pass-fail system.

Online Modules

Two 8-week modules run consecutively each semester.

Each module is directed by a faculty mentor. In addition to producing their own original creative and critical work, students are expected to actively participate in online writing workshops during each module. Students are expected to devote approximately 25 hours a week to their writing and other academic work for the program.

The modules require a measure of independence on the student’s part and a disciplined writing schedule. In each module, the student will create and revise work under the guidance of a faculty member. Generally, work in any module consists of 1) creative work submitted at three points each module; 2) active, thoughtful, constructive contributions to the online workshop; and 3) two Close Readings/Reviews of relevant texts. Mentors respond to creative work within a week of submission. Other work may be required according to the wishes of the mentor. At the end of the module, the mentor will prepare a Final Assessment, evaluating each student’s work and progress.

Residencies

Two residencies are held each year, one in late July at FDU’s Madison, New Jersey campus and the other in early January at FDU’s Wroxton, England campus. All new students begin the program with a residency. During the 10-day residencies, students participate in workshops; they meet with their mentors, visiting writers, and fellow students; attend lectures and a variety of other literary events.

Single Genre Degree

Students complete eight modules and three residencies for a single genre degree. Six modules are taken in the chosen genre (including the thesis module), one module in Craft, and the remaining module is an elective in which students work in another genre.

Dual Genre Degree

Students complete their primary genre as explained above (Single Genre Degree) taking their elective in the secondary genre. Once completed, they take four additional modules (including a second thesis module) in their secondary genre and attend one additional residency.

Thesis

The thesis should reflect a culmination of all the work the student has completed during the program, and as such, it should represent the student’s best possible writing. The thesis may be comprised of poems, short stories, essays, a novella, the beginning portion of a novel, or the beginning portion of a memoir. The length should be approximately 25,000 words for prose. For poetry, the thesis should include approximately 375 lines. The thesis must be in the student’s declared genre. During the Thesis module, the thesis is written and revised by working closely with a mentor. Each thesis will undergo a formal evaluation and critique by the thesis mentor and second reader.