Graduate Bulletin

Creative Writing, M.F.A.


Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Application Deadline:

Fall: December 15

Applications are processed at the deadline. All materials, including GRE and TOEFL scores, must be received by the application deadline.

Visit for details on the application procedures for the M.F.A. program in Creative Writing.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:

Number Required: 3

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from professors or work supervisors who can comment on your writing, your tenacity, your intellectual scope, and the nature of your projects to date.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:

It is not necessary for the applicant to have followed an undergraduate Creative Writing major; however, applicants should have a strong background in literary study and critical essay writing. Students in our program take both creative writing courses and graduate-level literature seminars.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

A baccalaureate degree is required, although it need not be in Creative Writing. An applicant must, however, display evidence of talent as a fiction writer or poet.

Statement of Goals:

The Statement of Goals should be two to four pages in length. It should identify the influences and models you have used in your thinking about creative work and the projects you have already undertaken. If you have a particular interest in studying with a member of Temple's faculty, you should indicate this in this document.

Standardized Test Scores:

The GRE general test is required. Applicants must score in the 50th percentile or above to be considered for admission.

Minimum TOEFL score needed to be accepted: 79 iBT or 550 PBT.


A resume is required.

Writing Sample:

Applicants need to choose one genre in which to apply. For poetry submissions, a minimum of 10 pages is required. For fiction, a minimum of 20 pages is required. Your best work should be submitted.

Program Requirements
General Program Requirements:

Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 33

Required Courses:
4 workshops
1 Special Topics in Creative Writing course
1 manuscript tutorial
1 craft course
2 graduate literature courses
1 elective, which must be a Practicum in Composition Theory for those who hold a Teaching Assistantship
3 credits for the Master's Project

Internship: No internship is required.

Language Examination: No language examination is required.

Culminating Events:

Comprehensive Examination:

The comprehensive examination is intended to give students an opportunity to write about the historical and formal context of the literary genre in which they practice. Students are given an official reading list for their chosen genre at the beginning of the program. For the exam, they write a 10 to 15 page essay.

The exam is due between the third and fourth semesters of the program on the Friday immediately preceding the day on which the Spring semester begins. The paper should address issues of craft and aesthetics, but may include other points of reference. The essay should demonstrate a facility for critical discourse and indicate a breadth of knowledge of literary traditions.

Each exam is graded by two members of the Creative Writing Graduate Faculty. Exams are graded as either a High Pass, a Pass, a Low Pass, or Failure. Students pass the exam by writing cogent, well-argued, and stylistically polished arguments.

Master's Project:
The master's project is intended to be a work of fiction (at least 100 pages) or a work of poetry (at least 50 pages) that reflects an aesthetically and intellectually sophisticated example of the genre in which the student has worked over the course of the program. The project is due on the second Tuesday in April of the student's fourth semester.

The master's project is graded exclusively by members of the Creative Writing Graduate Faculty. Two readers must agree that the project passes. If there is a conflict, the Director of the Graduate Creative Writing Program adjudicates the decision. There is no project defense.

Program Contact Information:

Department Information:

Graduate Creative Writing Program

Temple University

Anderson Hall, 10th Floor

1114 Polett Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6090


Department Contacts:


Sharon D. Logan, Program Coordinator

Program Director:
Alan Singer


Joyce A. Joyce


About the Program

The Graduate Creative Writing Program is intended to provide fiction writers and poets with an opportunity to develop their craft and extend the horizon of their thinking about the genre in which they work. Graduate courses in creative writing topics and literature are the core of the program.

Time Limit for Degree Completion:  2 years

Campus Location:


Full-Time/Part-Time Status:

Students wishing to pursue this degree part-time are advised to contact the Director to discuss this option. It is not possible to complete this degree without taking classes during the day.

Department Information:

Graduate Creative Writing Program

Temple University

Anderson Hall, 10th Floor

1114 Polett Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6090


Interdisciplinary Study:

Students may take their elective course in a department outside of the English Department with permission of the Program Director.


Not applicable.

Study Abroad:

Creative Writing students may apply to attend a 6-credit seminar in Art and Culture offered in Rome during the summer. The seminar entails an intensive program of classwork, field trips, and guest lectures.


Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Areas of Specialization:

The program provides a combination of small, intensive workshops in poetry and fiction, in addition to one-on-one tutorials and special topics courses in Creative Writing. Temple has an excellent faculty of writers in both genres, representing a wide range of aesthetics. For more information on the faculty, see

Job Placement:

Students go on to careers as published writers, editors in the field of publishing, and academicians in the curricula of English and Creative Writing.


Not applicable.

Non-Matriculated Student Policy:

Non-matriculated students are very rarely permitted to take courses within the degree program.

Financing Opportunities

Students are encouraged to apply for Teaching Assistantships, which include a tuition waiver and a stipend for the nine months of the academic year. Conditions of the award are determined by the graduate student union contract with Temple University and currently require recipients to do a combination of teaching and other assignments. Assistantship applications are submitted along with admissions applications by December 15.

Updated 1.16.14