My name is Mary Sheffield-Gentry (you can call me Mary), and I’m your devoted advisor. The MFA program here at FAU is small – this means we have a close community and small classes with dedicated faculty. While you are here, I urge you to join your community – take part in the Reading events and consider throwing your own. Enroll in the Sanders Writer in Residence class held each Spring term. Submit your work to Coastlines and consider applying for an editorial position. Take on an Internship for at least one summer. Travel and go to writing conferences. Read and submit to our blog, add us on Facebook, and take advantage of all the opportunities we offer here!
Now, then. Let’s get into the nuts and bolts of the degree, shall we?
The MFA here at FAU is a 48 credit hour degree. If you take classes full time, it should take three years to complete the degree. You are not required to attend the program full time unless you have a Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) position.
Please take a look at the advising checklist. You’ll see that the degree has one required course, ENC 6009: Principles & Problems of Lit Study. We suggest that you take this course close to the beginning of your study here (if you have a GTA, then you should take it during your second semester and if you don’t have a GTA, take it during the first semester – you can also take a look at the degree maps for MFAs with or without a GTA.). You will also take 21 credit hours of creative writing workshops. While your creative thesis will be within the genre you’ve chosen, we encourage you to take workshops outside your genre as each kind of writing feeds the others.
You’ll also take 18 credit hours of literature and/or theory classes. ENC 6009: Principles & Problems of Lit Study does not count toward this requirement; however, if you have a GTA, ENC 6700: Stdy Comp Methodology & Theory will count towards the literature/theory requirement. Basically, any class that’s listed under the English Department Graduate courses will count. At times, courses from other departments will be cross-listed with the English Department. As long as they are cross-listed, they’ll automatically count toward this requirement. If they aren’t, please check with me before registering and I’ll let you know if the course can count. In certain cases, you’ll be asked to provide a syllabus from the course that the Director of the Creative Writing Program, Becka McKay, will check. In any case, if you ever have questions about whether or not a course counts, please get in touch with me.
There is no foreign language requirement for the MFA degree.
This blog by an MFA alumna gives a good idea of what you should be thinking about as you take classes and work towards your degree.