In the Department of English, we offer three graduate degree programs: the MFA in Creative Writing, the MA in English, and the combined MFA/MA. Graduate students are eligible for teaching assistantships, which are awarded on
the basis of merit. The assistantship offers a stipend, tuition waiver, and student
insurance. Duties include teaching one section of first-year writing per semester
and tutoring in the Writing Center.
Our students receive not just an intellectual education, but an experiential one as well. The University of Alaska Fairbanks is unique in location, climate and literary community. Our graduate programs allow students to live more simply and purposefully, and to focus on the crafts of critical reading and engaged writing. We prepare students to become active teachers, independent thinkers and fearless writers. To learn more about our application procedures, please visit our "Applying to UAF English" page.
Master of Fine Arts
Our MFA in Creative Writing is a three-year residential program with courses in the craft of fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction and dramatic writing. Students enroll in both multi-genre and genre-specific workshops, as well as forms and special topics courses. Additionally, MFA students undertake an in-depth study of literature.
In their second year, MFA students take a comprehensive exam that requires them to read widely and define their aesthetic goals. In their third year, students work closely with faculty mentors to prepare manuscripts for thesis defense and eventual publication. Our MFA Community page offers more information about our faculty, students and degree requirements.
Master of Arts
Our MA in English is a two-year program featuring coursework in American, British, and World Literatures. In their first year, students design a plan of study and form a thesis committee. In the first semester of their second year, they complete a reading examination over a defined list of literary, critical, and theoretical texts; following that, they complete and defend their theses.
Just as our department hosts faculty with a broad range of expertise, we encourage our MA students to explore diverse studies. In recent years, MA students have written theses in literary theory, composition pedagogy and English as a Second Language studies. Our students have full access to the Rasmuson Library, which houses numerous British and American texts, as well as the extensive Alaska and Polar Region Collections and Archives.
- Master of Arts in English – Program Requirements
- MA Comprehensive Exam Schedule (PDF)
- MA Timeline and Best Practices (PDF)
MFA/MA Combined Degree
The MFA/MA degree is a three-year program that combines curricula in creative writing and literary analysis. By coordinating one’s literature and creative writing coursework, students receive the MFA/MA degree in the same time it normally takes to receive the MFA alone. Students in this track complete reading exams in both literature and creative writing. Likewise, they complete two separate theses—a critical one and a creative one. The MFA/MA is awarded as a single degree rather than two separate degrees.
For more information on English studies at UAF, please contact:
Dr. Chris Coffman
For information about creative writing at UAF, contact:
Dr. Gerri Brightwell, Director of Creative Writing
Department of English