Becoming a great writer is at once an intensely personal and a deeply collaborative process. This new program is designed to help writers find their voices and find their audiences. It is built around poetry and prose workshops led by award-winning published authors. Faculty take a holistic approach to teaching that merges rigorous literary study with a communal, writer’s retreat-style experience.
This 30-credit program is the only public, graduate creative writing option in the Hudson Valley. Complete it in two years or less or design a part-time course load to fit into a busy schedule. We can also accommodate future teachers with creative writing electives that fulfill MAT degree requirements.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply to the new MA program?
What do I need to provide in the application?
To apply you’ll need:
- A BA in English with at least a 3.0 GPA
- A 10-20 page Critical Writing sample, which can be 1 or 2 essays showing your research and analytic abilities.
- Three letters of recommendation.
- A 10-20 page Creative Writing sample, which can be a collection of poems, a personal essay, a short story, an excerpt from a longer work of prose, or some combination of these.
- An essay stating intent and objective of your graduate studies.
When is the deadline to apply?
We ask that your application be submitted by March 15th. We will accept applications on a rolling basis after that date, but you may not receive priority consideration.
What if I am already in the MA English Literature program, but would like to switch to the new Creative Writing concentration?
If you currently have fewer than 12 credits in the MA program, it is possible to switch concentrations. Please contact Professor Cyrus Mulready with the 10-20 page Creative Writing sample, and to go over the change in the plan of study.
Is this new concentration compatible with the 4+1 BA/MA program?
While we hope to set up a new plan of study to allow this soon, it is not currently possible.
Can I still apply for the MA Teaching Assistantship program if I concentrate in Creative Writing?
Yes! You can still apply as usual (by April 1st) to be a part of the TA program.
What about the Graduate Assistantship program?
Yes, this is also compatible with the new concentration, and MA Creative Writing students can apply for funding through the GA program as positions become available.
Is this an MFA degree?
No. The MFA, which is considered the terminal degree in the Creative Writing field, is a little different than our MA degree, which is really a concentration of the English MA, but which allows students to concentrate more on their own creative writing. However, our MA degree may be a useful stepping stone towards an MFA degree elsewhere, as it will provide writers with the chance to hone their craft, develop a writing sample, and gain valuable education about teaching creative writing.
Do I need to specify my focus in one specific genre of creative writing?
Our program is designed for cross-genre study, meaning that all students will take a mixture of poetry and prose (fiction/nonfiction) workshops.
What is a “Creative Thesis”?
Our writing students will produce a creative thesis in their final semester of study, while meeting for individual advising with a professor to guide the process. The final thesis will consist of at least fifty pages of prose or a collection of poetry.
What is a “Teaching Writing” course?
One of the unique aspects of our MA program is a special course to train students in the techniques behind teaching creative writing, as this is a common path for many working writers.
Why do I still need to take Literature & Critical Theory courses as a Creative Writing student?
Our program is still an MA in English, and half of the required courses are in our literature/theory areas, and it is crucial for all creative writers to also be good readers, and to know more about the many varieties of literature.