MFA in Creative Writing

The MFA in Creative Writing is a small, intensive one-year program. The goal of the program is to help each of our students become better writers of original prose and poetry and to produce readers, critics, poets, and writers of the highest quality. The MFA in Creative Writing prepares writers to teach and to become better critics of their work and others’. The program attempts to make students scholars of literature—that is, aware of those upon whose shoulders they stand.

Course Requirements

Eight semester courses (32 credits) are required for the degree—at least half of them in workshops, with the remaining courses coming from the graduate curriculum within Boston University. At least four of the eight courses are normally taken in fiction, poetry, or a combination thereof. The four remaining courses normally are graduate-level literature courses. Courses may come from among the vast offerings of the University, from the English Department or another department that offers courses that are essentially literary in nature. Courses are usually completed within one year, though they may be completed in two.

A limited number of courses are offered in Metropolitan College under the auspices of the Department of English and are approved for graduate credit for students enrolled in the MA and PhD programs. For further information, see the Metropolitan College Bulletin.

Language Requirement

All students pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing are required to demonstrate graduate-level reading proficiency in a foreign language prior to completion of the degree. Language proficiency can be demonstrated either through a language examination, satisfactory completion of CAS XL 540: Theory and Practice of Literary Translation, successful completion of a non-credit, graduate-level foreign language reading course offered by Boston University, or the equivalent of two years of undergraduate study of the language at Boston University.


A substantial master’s thesis in fiction or poetry is required. The thesis should consist of a minimum of 90 pages of prose or 30 pages of poetry.