Master of Fine Arts in Creative and Professional Writing

Anthony D’Aries, Graduate Coordinator, HI 205G Phone: (203) 837-3252
Fax: (203) 837-3953
Department Secretary, HI 205 Phone: (203) 837-8878
Fax: (636) 246-7589


Faculty:  B. Clements; K. Custer; A. D’Aries, O. De Los Santos; E. Hagan; M. Lewis, J. Roche, P. Ryan.


Creative and Professional Writing Overview

The Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Creative and Professional Writing is a terminal degree program founded on the belief that writers who can work in multiple genres are best equipped for professional careers and that writing across genres has both practical and systemic benefits for the writer. The low-residency structure of the program offers a convenient course of study for traditional students coming directly out of undergraduate programs as well as for nontraditional students who have decided to return to school after a short or long hiatus due to family, career, or other commitments.

Program Goals

The MFA in Creative and Professional Writing seeks to provide writers with the skills they need to maintain professional writing careers.


Students in the MFA in Creative and Professional Writing program will:

1.  acquire the ability to produce publishable-quality writing,

2.  will engage in experiential learning in the fields of writing, publishing, or teaching, and

3.  will acquire familiarity with professional expectations of flexible and adaptive career writers.  

Learning Outcomes

1.  Students will demonstrate ongoing competence in one creative and one pratical genre.

2.  Students will produce publishable work in one creative and one practical genre.

3.  Students will demonstrate either proficiency to teach writing or practical knowledge of a professional application in the writing world.

4.  Students will demonstrate awareness of traditions, conventions, and innovations in one creative and one practical genre.

Admission Requirements

A student who wishes to obtain an M.F.A. in Creative and Professional Writing must hold a baccalaureate degree from an institution of higher education. The program welcomes students from diverse educational backgrounds; no degree in English or in any humanities field is required.

In addition to the application, each prospective student must submit two writing samples: a 20 to 50 page portfolio of previous writing and a brief essay. The portfolio may consist of writing in any genre, but the department prefers a combination of creative and practical writing samples, if possible.

Graduate Application

MFA Additional Admission Documentation

MFA Genre and Schedule Questionnaire

Essay Form

All materials should be forwarded to the Office of Graduate Admissions, Western Connecticut State University, 181 Write Street, Danbury, CT 06810 or sent as an attachment to Graduate Admissions

Degree Requirements

The student will select one creative genre (such as fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, or drama) and one practical genre (such as public relations/marketing, technical writing, or magazine feature writing). The student will designate one of those genres as the primary genre and the other as a secondary genre. Additionally, the student will work in a multigenre workshop each semester, which will involve reading, critiquing, and possibly writing in disciplines other than the two specializations. All course work other than the online multigenre workshop follows the mentorship model, where each course consists of one-on-one consultation between one mentor and one student.

The student may opt for a two, three, or four year plan for completion of the degree. In the three and four year options, the student will declare at the outset of the program the residencies and corresponding semesters in which s/he plans to enroll. The student will attend four residencies over the course of the program. All residencies are held in Danbury.

Master of Fine Arts in Creative and Professional Writing

First Semester
WRT 543 Online Multi-Genre Workshop I 4 SH
WRT 536 Reading for Writers I (Primary Genre) 4 SH
WRT 539 Genre History, Criticism, and Theory 4 SH
WRT 542 Writing in the Primary Genre I 4 SH
Second Semester
WRT 579 Online Multi-Genre Workshop II 4 SH
WRT 537 Reading for Writers II (Second Genre) 4 SH
WRT 576 Writing in the Primary Genre II 4 SH
WRT 578 Writing in the Second Genre 4 SH
Third Semester
WRT 582 Online Multi-Genre Workshop III 4 SH
WRT 569 Internship or Teaching Practicum 4 SH
WRT 571 The Individual Aesthetic and Process 4 SH
WRT 577 Writing in the Primary Genre III 4 SH
Fourth Semester
WRT 583 Online Multi-Genre Workshop IV 4 SH
WRT 584 Thesis/PDE 8 SH


Additionally, the student will be required to complete an enrichment project that complements the course of study. Such a project might involve starting a new publication, volunteering at a nonprofit literary center, working as a contract writer, or learning a foreign language.