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Degree Requirements 2019-2020

Program Overview

The MFA at Augsburg University is designed to accommodate writers who work full-time, live outside of Minnesota, or simply desire the flexibility of a low-residency experience. This two-year program offers one-on-one work with mentors throughout the year, features an annual ten-day summer residency, and provides the opportunity to join a lifelong community of writers.

Genres

  • Creative Nonfiction
  • Fiction
  • Playwriting
  • Poetry
  • Screenwriting

Concentrations

  • Teaching
  • Translation
  • Publishing

Features

  • Two-year program
  • Annual summer residency
  • Online classrooms
  • One-on-one mentor work
  • Student to mentor ratio of 5:1

Summer Residency

Begin the program with a ten-day summer residency in Minneapolis, participating in daily workshops, readings, and mini-courses that focus on literary craft as well as career skills in teaching, editing, publishing, book arts, advertising, and translation. The program includes three summer residencies in Minneapolis.

Fall and Spring Semesters Online

The first and second residencies are each followed by two off-campus semesters of work with faculty mentors in virtual classrooms that make use of online and other technologies.  Each semester, MFA candidates enroll in a Mentorship and Creative and Critical Reading course. In addition, students complete a craft paper during the third off-campus semester and prepare a craft talk in the fourth. Cross-genre work is encouraged.

Semester Mentorships

The Mentorship is a one-on-one experience with a faculty mentor who guides the student’s production of work and study of craft. This one-on-one creative studio experience is focused on the MFA candidate’s own writing and growth as a writer.

Critical and Creative Reading in an Online Classroom

This is a reading-as-writers course that provides an opportunity to work with the mentor and a community of peers, considering craft, criticism and aesthetics. Meetings are online in the electronic classroom. The format may include online discussion boards, video chats, and teleconferences with mentors and fellow learners. The online classroom offers an opportunity to continue conversations begun during the residency with members of the MFA community.

Traditional Plan of Study

Augsburg’s Traditional MFA in Creative Writing program can be completed in nine courses (46 credits) over two years by taking the three summer residencies, four long-distance mentorship and reading courses (fall and spring semesters), a craft paper course, and a thesis course.

  • First Year
    • Summer Residency I (6 credits), held for ten days on the Minneapolis campus, includes a workshop in the student’s declared genre, as well as readings and lectures. To earn credit for the residency, students must complete reading and writing assignments in the weeks before and after the residency (Summer Term 2).
    • Fall Semester I (6 credits), Mentorship and Creative and Critical Reading course. This work is conducted remotely, via computer, phone, and/or mail. Students work closely with their mentor and other writers in their declared genre.
    • Spring Semester I (6 credits), Mentorship and Creative and Critical Reading course — this time in a genre outside the student’s chosen area of specialization. This work is conducted remotely, via computer, phone, and/or mail.
  • Second Year
    • Summer Residency II (6 credits), held for ten days on the Minneapolis campus, and including a workshop in the declared genre, as well as readings and lectures. To earn credit for the residency, students must complete reading and writing assignments in the weeks before and after the residency.
    • Fall Semester II, Mentorship and Creative and Critical Reading course (6 credits) and a Craft Paper course (2 credits) in which students complete a craft paper examining some aspect of writing. This work is conducted remotely, via computer, phone, and/or mail.
    • Spring Semester II, Mentorship and Creative and Critical Reading course (6 credits) and a Thesis course (2 credits) in which students complete their thesis. This work is conducted remotely, via computer, phone, and/or mail.
  • Third Summer
    • Summer Residency III (6 credits), held for ten days on the Minneapolis campus, and including a workshop in the declared genre, as well as readings and lectures. Graduating students give a public craft talk and a reading from their thesis (students should prepare for this work during their second year). To earn credit for the residency, students must complete reading and writing assignments in the weeks before and after the residency.

Optional Courses of Study

  • Extended Study. Designed for students who wish to prolong their studies in a single genre, this option has students completing at least five mentored and reading semesters instead of the standard four. At least four of these semesters should be used to study the student’s declared genre.
  • Mixed Genre. Designed for students who want to more deeply immerse themselves in a secondary genre, this option has students completing at least five mentored and reading semesters, including three in the student’s primary declared genre and at least two in a different genre.
  • Post-MFA. Designed for students who already have an MFA, this option allows students to drop into the program for a single residency or semester of study — or longer. Students seeking this option should contact the program director, as the director’s approval is required.
  • Career Concentration Option. Designed for students who wish to better prepare themselves for the job market, this option allows students to enroll in electives in teaching, translation and/or publishing. This work is usually completed alongside a traditional or extended/mixed genre course of study. The career concentration courses are also available as post-MFA studies. Career concentrations includes:
    • Teaching Practice and Theory – The Concentration in Teaching is a one-semester program (4 credits) combining practical and theoretical pedagogy to better prepare students who intend to teach. Students work with accomplished writing faculty as they consider curriculum and syllabi development. Students gain teaching experience by completing an internship in the teaching of writing. Prerequisite: teaching practice and theory seminars during summer residencies.
    • Publishing: Howling Bird Press Book Prize – The Concentration in Publishing is a two-semester experience (8 credits total) designed to introduce students to various aspects of the trade, including acquisition, editing, graphic design production, marketing and distribution. Each year, students work with experienced faculty to select and publish the winner of the Augsburg Howling Bird national competition. During the second semester, students work as the staff and editors of Howling Bird Press; in exchange for this workload, students pay a registration fee rather than full tuition for the semester. Prerequisite: seminars in publishing during summer residencies.
    • Translation – The Concentration in Translation is a one-semester experience (4 credits) in reading, translating, adapting, and creating. Working with a published literary translator, students focus on translation methods, approaches, and production of text. Prerequisite: translation seminars during summer residencies.

Course Listing

  • ENL 531 – Residency in Creative Writing: Fiction
  • ENL 532 – Residency in Creative Writing: Nonfiction
  • ENL 533 – Residency in Creative Writing: Poetry
  • ENL 534 – Residency in Creative Writing: Screenwriting
  • ENL 535 – Residency in Creative Writing: Playwriting
  • ENL 536 – Residency in Creative Writing: Multi-Genre
  • ENL 541 – Mentorship and Critical and Creative Reading: Fiction
  • ENL 542 – Mentorship and Critical and Creative Reading: Nonfiction
  • ENL 543 – Mentorship and Critical and Creative Reading: Poetry
  • ENL 544 – Mentorship and Critical and Creative Reading: Screenwriting
  • ENL 545 – Mentorship and Critical and Creative Reading: Playwriting
  • ENL 546 – Mentorship and Critical and Creative Reading: Multi-Genre
  • ENL 547 – Craft Paper: Fiction
  • ENL 548 – Craft Paper: Nonfiction
  • ENL 549 – Craft Paper: Poetry
  • ENL 550 – Craft Paper: Screenwriting
  • ENL 551 – Craft Paper: Playwriting
  • ENL 552 – Craft Paper: Multi-Genre
  • ENL 553 – Thesis: Fiction
  • ENL 554 – Thesis: Nonfiction
  • ENL 555 – Thesis: Poetry
  • ENL 556 – Thesis: Screenwriting
  • ENL 557 – Thesis: Playwriting
  • ENL 558 – Thesis: Multi-Genre
  • ENL 559 – Thesis
  • ENL 561 – Mentorship and Critical and Creative Reading – Half-time: Fiction
  • ENL 562 – Mentorship and Critical and Creative Reading – Half-time: Nonfiction
  • ENL 563 – Mentorship and Critical and Creative Reading – Half-time: Poetry
  • ENL 564 – Mentorship and Critical and Creative Reading – Half-time: Screenwriting
  • ENL 565 – Mentorship and Critical and Creative Reading – Half-time: Playwriting
  • ENL 566 – Mentorship and Critical and Creative Reading – Half-time: Multi-Genre
  • Concentration Courses:
  • ENL 525 – Teaching Writing: Practice and Theory
  • ENL 526 – Literary Translation Practicum
  • ENL 527 – Publishing I
  • ENL 528 – Publishing II

For a complete list of courses and descriptions, see the Course Description Search.