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 


Feb. 1: Request for Candidacy deadline for August graduates.

Feb. 1: Graduation application deadline for May 2020 graduates.                                  

Feb. 21 – 24: MFA Exam.

Feb. 24: T.A. Application Deadline

March 1: Graduation application deadline for August 2020 graduates.

April 1: Request for Candidacy Deadline.

April 6: Thesis Submission deadline (Graduate Studies and Department).

May 9: MFA Thesis Reading and Celebration, MLK 225/229 (requested).



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