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Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing is designed to be a three-year, intensive studio arts terminal degree with a strong international emphasis and requires the writing of a book-length creative thesis in either fiction or poetry. The objectives of the M.F.A. degree are to enable the student to master the craft of writing in the chosen genre to a publishable level; to train the student in both traditional literary topics  and in writing pedagogy to the end of a teaching career at the university college, or community college level; and to provide for the student an international perspective on both the creation and publication of fiction or poetry and on the teaching an appreciation of literature.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will have the ability to compose original works of literature (either poetry or fiction) in a pure, clear voice.
  • Students will have an understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of his/her chosen genre..
  • Students will have an appreciation for the craft and theory of other genres.
  • Students will have a good grasp of the canonical contexts and history from which new writing emerges.
  • Students will have a practical appreciation for the international milieus of all new writing.
  • Students will have produced a publishable, complete manuscript of original work.

Career Possibilities

Persons with the M.F.A. in Creative Writing can go on to careers in:

  • Writing/Publishing/Editing: The UNLV M.F.A. program offers opportunities to work on two literary magazines, Witness and Interim. A person with writing skills and experience can choose to pursue a career in magazine editing, working in various capacities at publishing houses, or fee-lance copyediting and copywriting.
  • Teaching: A person with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing may teach high school English (in some cases, additional credits in Education courses will be required) or may teach English abroad. Because of the teaching experience available in the UNLV M.F.A. program as a Graduate Assistant instructor in the English department, persons holding the M.F.A. are eligible to teach composition, literature, or creative writing classes at the college level.
  • Public relations, media, communications and advertising: PR and advertising agencies need candidates with strong writing and communication skills.
  • Business, management, and beyond: In the broadest sense possible, Creative Writing M.F.A. graduates can do anything. In survey after survey, employers rank writing and communication skills as the most important credential. Graduates can go on to careers in finance, management, human resources, politics, sales, marketing, civil service, non-profit agencies, institutional analysis — the possibilities are endless.