req

Program Requirements Term-by-Term

Sixteen graduate credits are conferred per term, upon successful completion of the work, and 64 credits are required for the MFA degree.

First & Second Terms
  • Five packet exchanges (approximately one per month) with teacher—the due dates for these are set by the teacher at each residency and are equally spaced throughout the term.
  • Ongoing original work in each packet, including revisions.
  • 20–30 books read—approximately five per packet.
  • Selected nonfiction responses (2–3 pages) to half the books read.
  • Minimum 10-page critical essay based on readings (usually due in the fourth packet).
Third Term
  • Five packet exchanges (approximately one per month) with teacher—the due dates for these are set by the teacher at each residency and are equally spaced throughout the term.
  • Ongoing original work in each packet, including revisions.
  • 20–30 books read—approximately five per packet.
  • Selected nonfiction responses (2–3 pages each) to half the books read.
  • Minimum 20-page critical essay based on readings (usually due in the fourth packet).
Fourth Term
  • Five packet exchanges with teacher (approximately one per month).
  • Ongoing original work directed towards completion of a portfolio/thesis.
  • Minimum of 10 books read.
  • Selected nonfiction responses (2–3 pages each) to half the books read.
  • Preparation of a final 25–30 minute literary lecture to be given at the parting (fifth) residency.
  • Preparation of a formal 20-minute reading of one's work to be given at the parting (fifth) residency.
  • Submission of a creative thesis to two faculty readers.
Packet Exchanges
  • Students are required to complete five packet mailings per term. The due dates for these packets are set by the teacher and equally spaced—approximately one per month—throughout each term.
  • The packets will consist of written responses to readings (2–3 pages each) and a comprehensive amount of creative work in the genre. 
  • The requirement of time is a minimum of 25 hours a week. This means roughly 100 hours per packet.
  • Punctuality between students and teachers in exchanging packets is not only essential, it is integral to the nature of the low-residency educative process itself. 
Dual Genre Degree
  • Students will study three terms in the major genre and two terms in the minor genre. Dual-genre students are not required to produce more writing or submit more packets per term than single-genre students. 
  • Terms 1 and 2: major genre
  • Terms 3 and 4: minor genre
  • Term 5: major genre
  • Page requirement for dual-genre theses: three-fifths of the thesis must be dedicated to the major genre and two-fifths must be dedicated to the minor genre. Manuscript length for prose: 125–150 pages, for poetry 60–80 pages. 
Residencies

Students must also attend two 10-day residency periods a year, one in January and one in June, plus a final (fifth) residency to mark the completion of the course of study. These are high-energy and high-demand sessions and we require full participation. Students must arrive the day before and leave no earlier than after the final scheduled academic event of the residency (the final workshop on the final Sunday morning), being in residence the entire 10 days and planning travel arrangements and other commitments to ensure no break in the 10-day concentration.