Oregon State University

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the MFA, students will be able to:

1) Demonstrate mastery of the discipline by engaging in extensive study of genre and literary analysis.

2) Produce original work in a specified genre, culminating in a thesis of publishable quality and of high literary merit. The student and thesis advisor confer to determine length, form, and content, but typically a thesis will be 75 pages minimum, and will be a short story, essay, or poetry collection (or part of one); a novel (or part of one); or a sustained non-fiction work (or part of one). 

3) Develop and employ methods of intensive revision.

4) Demonstrate mastery of various literary theories and techniques.  Mastery will be achieved through participation in the poetry or fiction/non-fiction workshop (24 total credit hours of WR 521 or WR 524), as well as in courses that focus on specific aspects of craft.  Craft courses concentrate on a particular theory, genre, theme, technique, author or topic. Examples include courses on dialogue, the “uncanny” novella, linked story collections, the prose poem, the lyric essay, literary imitations, etc.

5) Demonstrate an understanding of the contemporary creative writing profession.  In addition to the instruction received in workshops on the profession, students attend mandatory Visiting Writer events each year.  These events feature nationally acclaimed writers who give public readings of their work and conduct colloquia specifically designed for the MFA students.  Students engage in in-depth conversations with the writers about craft, the creative process, publishing, creative writing pedagogy, and other topics.  Students also attend the annual AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) conference, where they benefit from panels on a wide range of subjects relevant to the profession, as well as readings, roundtable discussions, and other events.

6) Develop proficiency in teaching introductory creative writing courses (WR 224 and WR 241).

7) Perform all activities in an ethical manner.  This will be demonstrated by the student’s production of original work; by the student’s ability to engage in constructive criticism and evaluation in a workshop setting, both oral and written; and by the student’s coursework in literature, where he or she will explore a diverse canon of primary and secondary literary sources and document scholarship appropriately.

Contact Info

Writing, Literature, & Film 238 Moreland Hall 541.737.3244
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