Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

The Literary Incubator in the Heart of Silicon Valley



Our Program and Literary Community

A 44 semester-unit, 2-year studio/research program: 

  • A dual-genre program with concentrations in fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and playwriting/screenwriting.
  • Curriculum includes writing workshops in primary and secondary genres, literature seminars, professional training courses, and internships.  
  • Funding: First YearAll applicants to the MFA/Creative Writing program are considered for the Graduate Steinbeck Fellowships, offered by the Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies. No additional application is required. These awards are offered to exceptional incoming students in the two graduate programs of the Department of English & Comparative Literature, the MFA in Creative Writing and the MA in English. Graduate Fellows receive a stipend equivalent to full-time, in-state SJSU tuition and fees for the academic year of their appointment. The Fellowship lasts for one academic year and is non-renewable. Second Year: Students can apply to be Teaching Associates in the English Department with a salary and tuition remittance.
  • Connie L. Lurie Distinguished Visiting Author-in-ResidenceDon George, Andrew Sean Greer, Nayomi Munaweera, and Faith Adiele (Spring 2020). Past visitors include: Vendela Vida, Cristina García, Ursula K. Le Guin, Ishmael Reed, Kim Addonizio, Simon Winchester, Tim Cahill, and Daniel Alarcón.
  • Reed Magazine, the oldest literary journal west of the Mississippi.
  • Center for Literary Arts holds readings, discussions, and master classes with writers of exceptional voice and vision in San Jose since 1986. Guests since 2007 include E.L. Doctorow, Denis Johnson, ZZ Packer, Mary Roach, Salman Rushdie, Tracy K. Smith, Juan Felipe Herrera, Joy Harjo, T. C. Boyle, Viet Thanh Nguyen, William Finnegan, Paul Beatty, Marilyn Chin (Fall 2019), and Jonathan Franzen (Fall 2019).


Admission: Fall 2020 admission will open October 1, 2019.


Important Dates for current MFA Students 


Sept. 1: December graduates - application for graduation due.

Sept. 10: Deadline for Fall 2018 graduates to submit MFA or MA Thesis completed draft to Thesis Director.

Sept. 10: Deadline for December 2018 graduates to file or reactivate application

for graduation with GAPE.

Sept. 21: Reed Magazine 150th Anniversary Issue Launch.

Sept. 27: MFA Comprehensive Exam distributed (9 AM).

Sept. 30: MFA Comprehensive Exam due (5 PM).

Oct. 1: Deadline for December 2018 graduates to submit MFA and MA theses to second and third readers.

Oct. 1: Deadline for May 2019 graduates to file Departmental Request for Candidacy form.

Oct. 25: Deadline to submit thesis proposals for Spring 2019 credits to Grad Committee.

Nov. 1: Deadline for December 2018 graduates to submit thesis for review by Grad Studies College or English Department.

Nov. 4 – 7: Creative Writing Week—workshops open to perspective MFA students to observe.

Dec. 18: Last Day to sign up for the MFA Comprehensive Exam.

Jan. 13, 2020: Thesis publication final date; request electronic thesis depository embargo deadline.

Feb. 7, 2020: Deadline for May 2020 graduates to file or reactivate application

for graduation with GAPE. 


Alan Soldofsky, Director of Creative Writing 
(408) 924-4432 
Faculty Offices 106