William A. Quinn
Department Chair, English
331 Kimpel Hall
Email: engl@uark.edu

Davis McCombs
Program Director
333 Kimpel Hall
Email: dmccomb@uark.edu


Degree Conferred:

Program Description: The Master of Fine Arts program in Creative Writing offers degree tracks in poetry, fiction, and literary translation as well as the option of a focused study in rhetoric and composition.

The program's 60-hour curriculum enhances the workshop experience with coursework in craft and literary studies so that students develop their own creative voices alongside a deep understanding of the great writers and works that have come before them. The program's small class sizes and dedicated faculty — award-winning writers themselves — guarantee that students receive hands-on attention through their four years of study.

M.F.A. in Creative Writing

Requirements for the Master of Fine Arts Degree in Creative Writing: The program leading to the degree of Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing provides graduate-level training in creative writing and in the study of literature.

Required Courses: 60 hours are required for the M.F.A. degree. 

  1.  Required Writing and Craft Courses
    1. Writing Workshop (15 to 24 semester hours)
    2. Craft of Fiction, Poetry, or Translation (9 hours total: 6 hours in student’s primary genre; 3 hours in second genre)
    3. Modern/Contemporary Fiction and Poetry (9 hours total; 6 hours in student’s primary genre; 3 hours in second genre)
  2.  Other Advanced Courses (4000-level or higher): 18-30 hours of literature or approved courses, at least 3 hours of which must be a course that focuses on literature written prior to 1900 and 3 hours of which must be a literature course that emphasizes cultural diversity.

    3.   Thesis Advising: 6 hours.

Thesis: An M.F.A. thesis may be a collection of poems or stories or a novel. For students whose primary genre is Translation, the thesis will consist of a significant body of work (i.e., poems, stories, or a novel) translated from the original language into English. The thesis should be of the quality of those works currently published by national magazines, by literary journals, and by legitimate book publishers.

Final Examination: Each M.F.A. candidate must pass a one-hour oral examination and defense of the thesis. Awarding of the M.F.A. degree requires approval of the faculty committee.

Grade Requirement: Per Graduate School policy, M.F.A. candidates must present a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.85 on all graduate courses required for the degree in order to earn the M.F.A. Failing to earn such an average on the minimum number of hours, the student is permitted to present up to six additional course (not thesis) hours of graduate credit in order to accumulate a grade-point average of 2.85. In the computation of grade point, all courses pursued at this institution for graduate credit (including any repeated courses) shall be considered. Students who repeat a course in an endeavor to raise their grade must count the repetition toward the maximum of six additional hours. If a student encounters academic difficulty after having already completed six credit hours for the degree beyond the minimum degree requirements, no additional hours may be taken. Please note that the Graduate School calculates grade-point average on all graduate-level coursework displayed on the transcript.  

All students working toward the degree will plan their specific programs in consultation with their advisers. All degree requirements must be completed within six consecutive calendar years from the date of first enrollment.

Find out more about the program at the Creative Writing website.

Focused Study in Rhetoric and Composition

Students earning the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing may choose Rhetoric and Composition as a field of focused study. Students who choose this option are required to do the following:

  1. Take ENGL 5003 Composition Pedagogy; ENGL 5973 Advanced Studies in Rhetoric and Composition or ENGL 6973 Seminar in Rhetoric and Composition; and an additional graduate-level course in Rhetoric and Composition approved by the Director of Composition. 
  2. Teach five of the following writing courses offered by the English Department:
  3. Earn 10 professional development points from the Program in Rhetoric and Composition by engaging in any combination of the following activities:
    • Presenting research at any Rhetoric and Composition conference (three points)
    • Organizing or leading a PRC workshop (two points)
    • Participating in a PRC workshop (one point)
    • Coordinating a PRC course or project (three points)

Graduate Faculty

Brock, Geoffrey Arthur, Ph.D. (University of Pennsylvania), M.F.A. (University of Florida), M.A. (University of Pennsylvania), B.A. (Florida State University), Distinguished Professor, Department of English, 2005, 2020.
Davis, Geffrey, Ph.D., M.F.A., M.A. (Penn State University), B.A. (Oregon State University), Associate Professor, Department of English, 2014, 2019.
Hurt, Bryan M., Ph.D. (University of Southern California), B.A. (Ohio State University), Assistant Professor, Department of English, 2019.
Jensen, Toni, Ph.D. (Texas Tech University), M.A., B.A. (University of South Dakota), Associate Professor, Department of English, 2014, 2019.
McCombs, Davis, M.F.A. (University of Virginia), A.B. (Harvard), Professor, Department of English, 2002, 2018.
Viswanathan, Padma, M.F.A. (University of Arizona), M.A. (Johns Hopkins University), B.A. (University of Alberta), Professor, Department of English, 2010, 2022.