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THE MFA PROGRAM IS BUILT AROUND INTENSIVE WRITING WORKSHOPS, seminars, conferences, independent study, internships, and the completion and presentation of a book-length manuscript.

CURRICULUM
MFA candidates specialize in poetry or fiction. Most often a three-year course of study, the degree requires 60 credit hours:
A minimum of five writing workshops (27 credit hours). Four 6-credit workshops are required in your genre and one 3-credit workshop is required in a secondary genre.
A minimum of three courses (9 credit hours) in modern and contemporary poetry and fiction.
6 thesis credits
The balance of credit hours (18) is shaped with the help of the MFA faculty to pursue individualized courses of study in fields such as literary history and aesthetics, interdisciplinary studies, publishing, arts administration, and the practice of teaching. Academic classes university-wide and, as part of the Five College system, at Amherst, Smith, Mount Holyoke and Hampshire colleges, are open to our writers.

APPLIED LITERARY ARTS
Through the Juniper Initiative, the MFA Program supports a wide range of opportunities for candidates to gain experience and expertise in literary publishing, arts administration, and teaching. We are pleased to share a home with jubilat, The Massachusetts Review and the University of Massachusetts Press. These organizations, along with the Juniper Initiative and a rich array of local and regional presses, journals, schools, and arts organizations, offer accredited internships through the Applied Literary Arts program.


Highlights from the MFA’s 50th Anniversary include video by C. S. Ward

UMass MFA 50th from C.S. Ward on Vimeo.