Roosevelt University in Chicago, Schaumburg and Online - Logo

Program Overview

Roosevelt University’s MFA program is unique in its focus on prose genres and the way our close-knit community provides students with the time and attention to work in any prose tradition, including the novel and long-form nonfiction. At the same time, we encourage our MFA candidates to attempt a variety of forms by requiring substantial study in a secondary specialty and to take at least one workshop in either poetry or screenwriting. While all of our students are distinguished by the quality of their writing and their dedication to craft, some of them arrive on campus knowing exactly what they plan to work on, while others take advantage of the room to explore. Our curriculum allows them to thrive in either approach.

Curricular Requirements

To earn an MFA in creative writing, students must complete 45 semester hours of graduate work including:

  • At least four workshops (12 semester hours) in the primary genre
  • At least two workshops (6 semester hours) in the secondary genre
  • Four courses (12 semester hours) in literature and/or theory
  • A publishing, teaching, or community internship (3 semester hours)
  • One poetry or screenwriting workshop (3 semester hours)
  • One elective course (3 semester hours)
  • A thesis (6 hours over two semesters)

Full-time students can complete the requirements for the degree in as few as five semesters, though most students choose to study for three full academic years.

Learn more about graduation requirements through the University catalog.

Areas of Specialty

Fiction

In this sequence of classes, students work on the process of creating, rewriting, editing, and publishing fiction. Emphasis will be placed on composition, analysis, and critique of narrative and non-narrative forms in a workshop environment. These studies will culminate in a thesis project consisting of a novel or book-length fiction collection of publishable quality.

Creative Nonfiction

Writers interested in developing their skills as essayists, critics, biographers, or other relevant nonfiction specialties will find ample opportunities and direction to meet their goals. Although this genre often uses many of the narrative essentials of fiction, like point of view, voice, and plot, it relies on life experience coordinated with research, both documentary and interview. These studies will culminate in a thesis project consisting of a book-length nonfiction work of publishable quality.

Internships and Professional Development

Roosevelt MFA students may complete internships in literary magazine production, through our highly regarded Oyez Review, or an internship in teaching as part of our Graduate Credential in the Teaching of Writing.

Students may also elect to pursue outside internships in public-service writing, publishing, teaching, and literary marketing with department approval.