MFA in Creative Writing – Poetry

The center of the MFA Program in Poetry is the graduate Seminar in Writing. The seminar offers a continuing semester-by-semester opportunity for students and faculty to discuss student writing in an atmosphere of critical collaboration. In addition to workshop, students take other English graduate-level courses in literature, theory, and directed reading.

The goal of the program is to further the development of talented creative writers who will continue writing throughout their lives. Our students come to us already having demonstrated significant levels of accomplishment in their writing, and a serious long-term commitment to the craft. To maximize direct faculty-to-student instruction, the program keeps enrollment low, limiting admission to the fall semester.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Fine Arts degree is a two (2) year, forty-eight (48) unit degree normally requiring full-time residency. Course requirements (refer to the CSULB Catalog for course descriptions) are arranged according to the following structure:

Core Courses

32 units, to be chosen on the basis of consultation with a faculty advisor, to include:

Course Units Name
ENGL 505A,B (4,4) Seminar in Fiction Writing
ENGL 590A,B (3,3) Directed Reading
ENGL 605A,B (4,4) Seminar in Fiction Writing
ENGL 696 (4) Seminar in Literary Criticism & Research
ENGL 698 (1-6) Thesis

Elective Courses

28 units, to be chosen on the basis of consultation with a faculty advisor, to include:

Course Units Name
ENGL 498C (3) Poetry and the Self (3)* **
ENGL 510 (3) Theories of Writing and Literacy (3)**
ENGL 511 (4) Research Methods in Rhetoric and Composition (4)**
ENGL 523 (3) Semantics**
ENGL 526 (3) History of the English Language**
ENGL 535 (3) Teaching Composition**
ENGL 537 (3) Current Issues in English Language**
ENGL 550 (4) Old English Language and Literature**
ENGL 551 (4) Middle English Language and Literature**
ENGL 552 (3) Literature of the Renaissance**
ENGL 553 (3) Literature of the Late Renaissance**
ENGL 554 (3) Medieval Literature of the British Isles**
ENGL 555 (3) English Literature of the Enlightenment**
ENGL 556 (3) English Literature of the Romantic Period**
ENGL 558 (3) English Poetry and Prose of the Victorian Age**
ENGL 559 (3) English Literature of the 20th Century**
ENGL 562 (3) Chaucer**
ENGL 567A,B (3,3) English Novel**
ENGL 568 (3) English Drama**
ENGL 572 (3) American Literature: 1820-1865**
ENGL 573 (3) American Literature: 1865-1918**
ENGL 574 (3) 20th Century American Literature**
ENGL 575 (3) American Short Story**
ENGL 576 (3) American Poetry**
ENGL 577A,B (3,3) American Novel**
ENGL 578 (3) American Drama**
ENGL 583 (3,4) Special Topics in Literature
ENGL 584 (3) Contemporary Literary Theory**
ENGL 598 (1-6) Directed Study
ENGL 652 (4) Seminar in English Renaissance
ENGL 653 (4) Seminar in the Age of Milton
ENGL 655 (4) Seminar in Restoration and 18th Century Literature
ENGL 656 (4) Seminar in Romantic Literature
ENGL 657 (4) Seminar in Victorian Literature
ENGL 659 (4) Seminar in 20th Century English Literature
ENGL 672 (4) Seminar in 19th Century American Renaissance
ENGL 673 (4) Seminar in American Realism
ENGL 674 (4) Seminar in 20th Century American Literature
ENGL 681 (4) Seminar in Major Authors
ENGL 683 (4) Seminar in Special Topics in Literature
ENGL 684 (4) Seminar in Advanced Literary Theory


Up to six (6) units of the following courses may also be used to fulfill the electives requirement, UNLESS you obtained credit for these courses as an undergraduate at CSULB. The classes taken must not be in the student’s degree focus.

Course Units Name
ENGL 404 (3) Creative Writing: Creative Nonfiction*
ENGL 405 (3) Creative Writing: Short Story*
ENGL 406 (3) Creative Writing: Poetry*
ENGL 407 (3) Creative Writing: Novel*

*May be counted for graduate credit

**May not be taken for graduate credit if you received credit for 400-level course as a CSULB undergraduate.