College of Arts and Letters2012-2013

Department of English

Creative Writing, Master of Fine Arts

This program, which involves completing a creative thesis, allows you to balance academic course work in English with the serious study of creative writing.


What Can I Do with a Master of Fine Arts in English - Creative Writing?

Are you a budding author? Do you have a strong desire to earn a graduate degree that allows you to be creative while educating you in practical job skills? Critical reading skills are crucial in any job, and writing skills are in demand from employers in many fields. Our degree will allow you to balance academic coursework in English with the serious study of creative writing.

You’ll be offered instruction from excellent faculty in a collaborative and diverse atmosphere. Creative writing students have the opportunity to work in various editorial roles with the university’s literary magazine and to read their work at several area venues.

Career opportunities that might be pursued:
  • Advertising copywriter
  • Freelance writer
  • Blogger
  • Literary agent
  • Fundraiser/Development coordinator
  • Program coordinator
  • Grant writer
  • Writing instructor
  • Poet
  • Essayist
  • Magazine writer
  • Novelist
  • Editor
  • Technical writer

University Requirements

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. (Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.)

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.
    The full policy can be viewed here.



In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 36
Additional Admission Requirements Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
Thesis Thesis is required.
Oral Defense Oral Defense is required.
Research Individualized research is required.


Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
Master's Requirements
  • Take the following 36 units, which involves completing a creative thesis:
    • 500- and 600-level creative writing courses, some of which may be repeated for 9 units of credit (12 units)
    • Coursework in literature, literary criticism, literary theory, and/or readings in creative writing (12 units) 
    • Electives chosen with your advisor's approval (6-9 units)
    • ENG 699, for the research, writing, and revision of an approved thesis. Please note: You may end up taking more than the 6 units of thesis credit you can count toward your degree because you must register for it each semester while you are working on your thesis. (3-6 units)
    • Up to 6 units of 400-level literature courses may count toward degree, with advisor approval
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

Campus Availability

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