Master of Arts in English: Concentration in Creative Writing

Last Admit Term: Fall 2021

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Creative Work: Students will produce a publishable written creative work.
  2. Professional Preparation for fields related to literature and/or creative writing: Includes skills in publishing, writing, teaching, editing, book arts, and arts management.
  3. Literature: Students will understand and appreciate work of a broad range of writers, develop an awareness of literature in general, and his/her own genre in particular as it relates to larger human experience.
  4. Craft Elements: Students will have a working knowledge of the major elements in the craft of creative nonfiction, fiction, literary translation, playwriting, and/or poetry and consciously incorporate these elements in the revisions of their work and be able to discuss craft elements in written responses to their peers’ work.

Admission to the Program

Students interested in this program must submit, via Cal State Apply, a meaningful sample of their writing (15 to 20 pages of creative nonfiction or fiction, or 15 to 20 pages of literary translation, or a full-length stage play or two short plays, or 15 to 20 poems), three letters of recommendation, and transcripts. All application materials are to be uploaded by January 15 for the fall semester. Applicants from graduate creative writing programs at other colleges or universities may transfer six units to the M.A. program, on review and recommendation of the Creative Writing Admissions Committee and approval of the Division of Graduate Studies. For further clarification, contact the Creative Writing Department. Students accepted into the program with an undergraduate major that is not English are accepted conditionally. Admission to the M.A. does not imply admission to the M.F.A. Students who wish to earn both degrees must finish the M.A. before beginning the M.F.A. degree.

Written English Proficiency Requirement

Level One (Pre-admission)

Statement of purpose (500–1500 words) and writing sample (15 to 20 pages of creative nonfiction or fiction, or 15 to 20 pages of literary translation, or a full-length stage play or two short plays, or 15 to 20 poems) scored 8.0 or higher on a scale of one to ten based on the following criteria:

  1. fluency and precision of expression;
  2. ability to embody and illustrate ideas creatively; and
  3. appropriateness of the applicant’s interests, life experiences and goals to the program.

Level Two

Satisfactory completion of C W 893MA on the following criteria: thesis deemed by two faculty readers to be publishable in part or whole (book, chapbook and/or literary journals).

Selected upper-division courses offered by the department may be used for the master's degree upon approval of a departmental advisor. Enrollment is not required in the semester of graduation.

English (M.A.): Concentration in Creative Writing — Minimum 30 units

Program (9 units)

Writing courses selected from the following:

C W 803Advanced Short Story Writing 33
C W 804Advanced Poetry Writing 33
C W 807Developing the Novel3
C W 808Novel Writing 33
C W 809Directed Writing for Graduate Students 33
C W 899Independent Study3

Creative Process (9 units)

Creative process courses selected from the following:

C W 785Graduate Projects in the Teaching of Creative Writing3
C W 806The Business of Creative Writing3
C W 810Seminar in the Creative Process 13
C W 814Contemporary World Poetry3
C W 820Writers on Writing3
C W 825Playwright's Theatre Workshop3
C W 840Fourteen Hills Literary Magazine 23
C W 850Poetry Center Workshop3
C W 859Practicum in Teaching3
C W 860Teaching Creative Writing3
C W 866Craft of Translation3
C W 875Community Projects in Literature 23
C W 899Independent Study1-3

Upper Division/Graduate Literature Courses (9 units)

Courses in the English, Comparative and World Literature, or Theatre Arts Departments, to be taken on advisement.

Culminating Experience (3 units)

C W 893MAWritten M.A. Creative Project3