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Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing is offered as part of the NorthEast Ohio Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, a four-university consortium incorporating the faculty and resources of Cleveland State University, Kent State University, Youngstown State University, and the University of Akron. The degree program offers five different concentrations: fiction, creative nonfiction, playwriting, poetry, and literary translation. Curriculum focuses on the techniques of professional writing and the analysis of literary works from the point of view of the practitioner while electives enable the study of whatever subject area will further the student's writing interests. A required internship offers practical workplace experience from a wide range of fields, including teaching, editing, grant writing, arts marketing, and arts administration.

The program is designed to meet the needs of both part-time and full-time students. Workshops and craft and theory courses are routinely offered in the evenings. Students can register freely across institutional boundaries for graduate courses offered at any of the participating universities and taught either by regular faculty or by visiting resident writers.

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College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences
Phone: 216.687.3951

Admission Requirements

  • Application Form
  • Application Fee
  • Undergraduate Transcripts
    • Minimum 2.75 Undergraduate GPA with minimum 3.0 GPA in English courses
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Statement of Purpose
    • 1 page
  • Creative Writing Portfolio

-International students are required to have met at least one of the following English language proficiency requirements:

  • TOEFL iBT (Internet-Based): 78 (including at least 20 in reading, 21 in listening, 17 in writing, and 20 in speaking)
  • TOEFL PBT (Paper-Based): 550
  • IELTS: 6.0 and at least 5.0 in each section
  • PTE (Pearson’s Test of English): 50
  • iTEP: 5.0

Admission Deadlines

All applications must be submitted and complete on the following application deadline dates:

  • Domestic Students
    • Rolling
  • International Students
    • Fall Semester – May 15th

Program Requirements

  • Students will take 12 hours in their areas of emphasis (fiction, nonfiction, playwriting, poetry, or literary translation) and at least 3 hours in a second area.  
  • Students will take at least 3 hours of craft and theory in their areas of concentration; a second craft and theory course must be taken in another area.
  • These courses, which focus on the reading of texts, will normally be taken in the Departments of English. Literature courses in languages other than English or in translation may be taken through the language departments.
  • Students will take nine hours in an advisor-approved area such as literature, foreign languages and translation, theater, arts administration, fine arts professional writing, or education. These credits may range widely in support of the student’s writing interests and projects.
  • Students will take an internship in a workplace related to their interests and areas of specialization.

Normally, students will enroll in three hours of thesis in each of the last two semesters of study. The thesis is to be a manuscript of high artistic quality in the area of specialization. Thesis committees will consist of one thesis advisor and two other program faculty members from at least two consortial universities.

  • ENG 699 - Thesis 
Did You Know?

Employment of writers and authors is projected to grow 8 percent from 2016 to 2026.

Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Outcomes

  • Writers and authors develop content for various types of media, including advertisements; television scripts, books, movies, magazines, plays, and blogs. Many authors are self-employed. 
  • These are some of the local companies that are hiring CSU grads: Jones Day, Brandmuscle, Garland Company,, and SecureData Group.