Skip to content

Master of Fine Arts Degree Approved

cw marquee3During their July 2013 meeting, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) gave their approval to the Department of English offering a Master in Fine Arts (MFA) degree.  This degree will replace our current Masters in English with a concentration in Creative Writing degree.  The Creative Writing Program will begin accepting applications for the new MFA program this fall, with our first class of MFA students beginning in 2014.

The MFA degree in Creative Writing will promote a combination studio/academic course of study.  Degree candidates will hone their skills as writers and grow as artists through rigorous application of craft, under the tutelage of our distinguished faculty of Creative Writing and our impressive series of visiting writers. Students will receive critical feedback on their poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction in writing workshops, scrutinize aspects of genre in special topics classes and investigate larger theoretical and historical contexts for creative work in literature, rhetoric, writing, and linguistics courses. They will have the opportunity to gain editorial experience by working with Grist: The Journal for Writers, our graduate student edited journal with a national reputation for publishing strong new work from established and emerging writers.  They will also have the opportunity to participate in cultural outreach programs such as the Brian M. Conley Young Writers’ Institute.  The MFA program culminates in a creative thesis comprised of a book-length manuscript of original creative work.

Excellent financial support, including generous travel funds for research and presentations at scholarly conferences, help our students enter the profession and begin to establish themselves in their respective fields within the discipline. The Graduate Students in English organization, area study groups, and other activities draw students together as an intellectual and social community with shared passions and aspirations.

While the MFA is an essential credential for those students who plan to teach creative writing at any level and those who wish to pursue a PhD in English with a concentration in Creative Writing, the faculty of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Tennessee believes that study and practice of literary arts is intrinsically valuable and our program is designed first and foremost for those students who wish to dedicate their lives to writing well.

For more information, check out the MFA link under either the Creative Writing Program or  under Graduate Studies and contact program director, Dr. Marilyn Kallet:  Application information is available at Admissions.


The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.