Dec 04, 2022  
2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin 
2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Creative Writing, MFA

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The two-year MFA program in Creative Writing in the University of Kentucky English department provides a strong basis in mastering the tools of imaginative writing, from poetry to fiction to creative nonfiction.   Situated in historic Lexington and surrounded by the awesomeness of thoroughbred horse farms and bourbon distilleries, the University enjoys a rich literary heritage dating back to 1947, when Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist A.B. Guthrie first offered courses in fiction. Graduates of the English Department include Gurney Norman, Frank X Walker, Bobbie Ann Mason, Rebecca Gayle Howell, Wendell Berry, Kayla Rae Whitaker, Maurice Manning, Bianca Spriggs, Patrick O’Keefe, Holly Goddard Jones, and James Baker Hall. The MFA Program in Creative Writing builds upon that rich history by offering students access to a diverse faculty in fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction. With rare exceptions, all MFA students are funded through TAships. 

MFA candidates take both workshop and craft courses during their tenure. In addition, students can draw on the expertise of a faculty of 41 professors, including a distinguished roster of ten professors of creative writing.   


Admission Requirements 

Students eligible for the MA program must have:  

  • A UGPA of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale.  Unofficial transcripts from all attended institutions are required. If the student is admitted and accepts, the graduate school will require all official transcripts. University of Kentucky graduates should note their degrees on the application but are not required to submit transcripts.  

  • Three letters of recommendation, preferably from faculty familiar with the student’s strengths and interests.  

  • A statement of purpose of no more than two pages that outlines what interests the student has in pursuing the MFA. 

  • A writing sample of approximately 20 pages that demonstrates the student’s strengths as a writer. 

  • A CV or resume.  

  • As of fall 2021, neither the general GRE nor the subject test in English is a required component of a student’s application.  


Degree Requirements  

MFA candidates must: 

  • Take 30 hours of coursework, including: 

  • Write a thesis consisting of a substantial body of original writing. Both are required for successful completion of the MFA degree. The thesis should be over 120 pages of fiction (short stories, novella or novel) or non-fiction, or a collection of approximately 48 poems. 

  • Form a committee of three faculty members chosen by the student and approved by the Director of Creative Writing.  

  • Defend the thesis in a 90-minute oral examination.  

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