MFA Program

 

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 Year: All applicants are considered for six Graduate Steinbeck Fellowships. 
    • 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-Residence. Don 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 student-run 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 2022 admission will open October 1, 2021

Admission is based on a writing sample in the primary genre, in which the student will complete a full-length thesis.  Students must declare a primary and a secondary genre to apply for admission. 

Important Dates for current MFA Students 

Spring 2021 Important Dates

February 1: Candidacy forms due for August 2021 graduates.

March 1: Deadline for applications for 2021 – 22 TA'ships and GA'ships to the Graduate Coordinator. 

March 26: Thesis proposals for Fall 2021 299 and 298D credit due; to be submitted to the graduate committee to take Thesis units in Fall 2021.  

April 2:  Deadline for December 2021 to submit Candidacy petitions forms to GAPE.

April 12: May 2021 graduates thesis submission deadline (signed by Thesis Committee members) to the Graduate Studies College office.

May 17: Deadline to sign-up for the Fall 2021 MFA Exam.

June 7:  Last day for May 2021 graduates to submit approved MA and MFA theses for electronic publication. (Remember to select the “embargo” option.)

July 1: Deadline for August 2019 graduates to submit approved theses to Graduate Studies.

July 7: August 2021 thesis submission deadline for graduates (signed by Thesis Committee members) to the Graduate Studies College office.

Sept. 13: Last day for August 2021 graduates to submit approved MA and MFA theses for electronic publication. (Remember to select the “embargo” option.)

Reading List

For the MFA exam you should be prepared to cite approximately 8 works in the primary (approximately 4 per essay) and 4 works in the secondary on our reading list.

Past MFA Events

From MFA Theses Readings to Legacy of Poetry, you can find recordings and slide decks from our past events!

Contact

Alan Soldofsky, Director of Creative Writing 
(408) 924-4432 
Faculty Offices 106 
alan.soldofsky@sjsu.edu