MFA - Frequently Asked Questions
Q. When is my application due?
A. Applications are due January 15. We don't accept students for spring or summers. See the Admission Procedures page for more details.
Q. How do I turn in my application documents (two letters of recommendation, a statement of intent, and writing sample)?
A. These documents can be uploaded electronically as part of the online submission process. If you have trouble with this, you can contact the Graduate College or firstname.lastname@example.org) or you are welcome to send application materials to the English Department directly. See the Admissions Procedures page for the address.
Q. How much will it cost?
A. Full time status for graduate students is nine credit hours (three classes). Tuition costs vary year to year. See FAU's tuition breakdown. To find out how much classes cost, multiply the total fee by the number of credits for which you'd like to enroll. See our Tuition page for more information.
Q. How long will it take to earn my MFA?
A. The MFA in Creative Writing degree (Program Requirements) at FAU is a three-year program (with full-time attendance). It is comprised of 48 credit hours. See the advising checklist; MFA students must take 21 credit hours of creative writing workshops and 18 credit hours of literature/theory classes, plus one required course, ENG 6009: Principles and Problems of Literary Study. At the end of your time in the program, you'll enroll in six thesis hours, during which time you'll complete the thesis project.
Q. What is the thesis?
A. The thesis project is a creative work. For fiction students this means a novel, novella, or collection of short stories; poetry students complete a collection of poems; and creative nonfiction students write an essay collection, memoir, or work of literary journalism. The thesis project is discussed at length with your thesis committee chair.
Q. How many students do you accept each academic year?
A. Typically, we accept about 10 students.
Q. What kind of teaching opportunities do you have?
A. All of our MFA students qualify for a position as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, which typically entails teaching two sections of English Composition per semester (Fall and Spring only – a limited number of courses are available during the summer). Students who have taken CRW 6024: Teaching Creative Writing also qualify to apply to teach our Community Creative Writing Workshops and to assist in teaching the undergraduate course CRW 3010: Creative Writing.
Q. Are there other types of funding available?
A. The GTA position comes with a tuition waiver (however, students are still responsible for paying university fees) and a stipend. The standard stipend is $9,000, but some enhanced stipends are available. All students who indicate that they would like to be considered for a Graduate Teaching Assistantship will automatically be considered for these enhanced stipends. Some students opt to work at the University Center for Excellence in Writing. Students can also search for student employment at FAU.
Q. What specializations do the faculty have?
A. Please see our Faculty Information page for information on the current projects, interests, and publishing of our faculty.
Q. What courses are typically offered?
A. Each semester there are between four and five creative writing workshops offered, as well as five to ten literature and theory classes. MFA students must take 21 credit hours of creative writing workshops and 18 credit hours of literature/theory classes, plus one required course, ENG 6009: Principles and Problems of Literary Study. Please check out our course descriptions , course schedule, and advising checklist.
Q. What opportunities are available to FAU MFA students?
A. See our page on Student Opportunities
Q. Do you have a literary magazine for graduate students to work on?
A. Yes! Please check out Swamp Ape Review, our national literary magazine. Our MFA students produce this magaizne with the help of Professor Becka McKay, the faculty advisor.
Q. What does it mean that the MFA in Creative Writing is a terminal degree?
A. Terminal means that it's the final degree of specialization in a field. With a terminal degree, you will be qualified to teach at the collegiate level and apply for tenure track positions. While there are some doctoral programs in Creative Writing, this is a relatively new trend, and at this point an MFA suffices as a terminal degree. A terminal degree often also means that you will be paid more at the collegiate level than a peer candidate with an MA degree.
Q. What is there to do in South Florida?
A: Take a look at our New Student information Guide for information on Boca Raton and our surrounding areas.
Q. Do most students live off campus?
A. Yes, most graduate students live off campus. However, on campus housing is available. You can check it out here.
Q. How much does it cost to live in Boca Raton?
A. The cost of living in Boca Raton is somewhat high, so we recommend finding a roommate to help with rent. (Please feel free to contact Mary Sheffield-Gentry to get in touch with current students if you are accepted into the program.) Students also live in nearby towns; Delray Beach has a very active downtown strip and is a popular night spot. You can read a little about it here and here.
Q. What can I do with my MFA?
A. An MFA degree qualifies you for any kind of work that requires critical thinking, reading, and writing skills. Our graduates have gone on to tenure track, professorial positions as well as jobs in curriculum construction, technical writing, and law; they have been literary magazine founders and editors, middle and high school teachers, and worked for nonprofit organizations. With an MFA degree, you are qualified to seek employment in editing, business management, content development, teaching, and many other fields. Our Internship Program will introduce you to jobs outside of academia and help you make connections with businesses in our community.