Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

Application Deadline March 1Program Description

  • The MFA program in Creative Writing at SJSU is a 48 semester-unit studio/research program. Graduation requirements include writing workshops in the primary and secondary genres, literature seminars, and professional training courses and/or internships. In addition, students must complete a full-length creative thesis and pass a comprehensive exam.
  • The MFA program at SJSU is a dual-genre program that provides concentrations in fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and playwriting/screenwriting. Students must declare a primary and a secondary genre to apply for admission. Click here for the MFA program learning outcomes.
  • Admission is based on a writing sample in the primary genre, in which the student will complete a full-length thesis.
  • MFA students have the opportunity to apply for teaching associate positions in the English Department in their second year. Teaching associates are limited to taking two courses (6 semester-units) while teaching one or two sections of lower-division General Education courses, usually Freshman Composition. Teaching associates receive, in addition to a modest salary, a 6-unit fee waiver.

Apply November 1Ten Reasons to Apply

  1. Small seminar classes (averaging 15-16 students) taught by actively publishing, available faculty
  2. Opportunities to study with the Lurie Visiting Writer, a visiting faculty member who teaches every Spring semester, plus opportunity to be involved in the department's Center for Literary Arts (CLA), one of the premier programs of visiting authors in California
  3. Unique MFA requiring extensive work in a primary and a secondary genre from among four emphases: fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, scriptwriting
  4. Unique MFA requiring not only extensive workshop experience in creative writing but also seminars in literary studies/research and offerings in literary production, craft and theory, rhetoric and composition, and advanced individual research/projects
  5. Teaching opportunities while completing the degree through the department's Graduate Assistant and Teaching Assistant programs
  6. Numerous cash awards for student writing
  7. Opportunities to work on Reed, one of the oldest literary journals west of the Mississippi
  8. Terminal degree with required Thesis that may lead to teaching in a junior college, college, or university setting
  9. Successful publication records of a number of recent graduates
  10. Opportunity to be part of an active intellectual, artistic, and social community


Creative Writing MFA applications open Nov. 1 (for admission fall semester the following year); close March. 1 (postmark deadline) 

Important Dates for current MFA Students



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