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English Master's Degree Requirements

Program | Faculty | Master's | Doctoral | Courses

For students who specify their candidacy in a doctoral degree program, the following is required for a master’s degree:
1. Ten graduate courses successfully completed with a cumulative average of 3.5 or above. Of these ten courses, two may be taken in a department other than English.
2. Proficiency in a foreign language;
3. Performance in an advising session.

For students who specify their candidacy in a terminal master’s degree program, the following is required:
1. Ten graduate courses successfully completed with a cumulative average of B or above. Of these ten courses, two may be taken in a department other than English.
2. Proficiency in a foreign language.

For students who choose to write a master’s thesis, the following is required:
1. Eight graduate courses, as defined by the regulation (in 1.) above;
2. Proficiency in a foreign language;
3. Submission of an acceptable master’s thesis.

Master of Fine Arts in English
The University of Massachusetts Amherst M.F.A. Program for Poets and Writers is dedicated to the creation of new and important writing. For almost half a century, it has been a place for writers to concentrate on their work and to write their books. The program provides opportunities for writers to gain experience in the fields of literary publishing, scholarship, arts administration, and the practice of teaching. Graduates of the program make significant contributions to contemporary letters through the publication of their work and in their roles as publishers, editors, educators, and in various fields in which writing and imagination are central.

The program is built around intensive writing workshops, seminars, private conferences, independent study, internships, and the completion and presentation of a book-length manuscript.

M.F.A. candidates may specialize in poetry or fiction. Usually a three-year program, the degree requires 60 credit hours:
1. A minimum of four writing workshops
2. A minimum of three courses in modern and contemporary poetry and fiction
3. Six or more thesis credits
4. With the balance of their credits hours, all writers pursue an individualized course of study designed to make the best use of their time in the program.

Admission is based on writing samples and other standards. For more information, visit the program website: www.umass.edu/english/eng/mfa/mfaIndex.html.