MFA Program

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The MFA degree offers an intensive program of writing in core workshops and seminars taught by established writers. Prospective students should apply to the genre in which they want to focus: fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. 

Core workshops are restricted to students in the strand, where they engage in close readings and critiques of their peer’s work. Seminars are generally open to all MFA students; recent topics include “The Fragment,” “Constraints in Poetry and Fiction,” and “In Translation.” The degree requirements also include sixteen credits of electives, which can be used to explore another genre. The MFA emphasizes faculty mentorship throughout each student's coursework and thesis completion. Engagement in Portland's vibrant community of writers is also central to our students’ experience.

Many students come to the MFA with a background in English literature, writing, or journalism, but others have backgrounds in the social sciences, sciences, and fine arts. Our program is further distinguished by the diversity of its student body, including a range of ages and life experience, as well as by its flexibility. The program can be completed in two years of full-time coursework, but students have up to four years to complete the degree.