Graduate Programs in Writing

The Department of English offers graduate work leading to the M.F.A. in Creative Writing (Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry), the M.A. or M.S. in Book Publishing, and the M.A. or M.S. in Professional and Technical Writing.

Creative Writing M.F.A.

Book Publishing M.A./M.S.

Professional and Technical Writing M.A./M.S.

Book Publishing M.A./M.S.

The Department of English offers graduate work leading to the Master of Arts or Master of Science in Book Publishing. The 48-credit M.A./M.S. in Book Publishing is designed for students who are prepared to undertake advanced work in the field. Courses are taught in areas such as editing, design, online documentation, and information technology.

The program has rolling admissions which follow the University's admission deadlines as follows: April 1st for Fall admission; Sept. 1st for Winter; and Nov. 1st for Spring.

Please note that Graduate Assistantship applications can only be accepted from fall term applicants, who must meet the April 1 deadline. Book Publishing also awards Graduate Assistantships in the second year of the program for one year only; the deadlines for application will be announced within the program annually, and receiving such an appointment is conditional on the appointee remaining for the entire coming school year.

Admission Requirements

Admission to graduate study is granted on the basis of evidence of suitable preparation and the probability of success in the intended field of study; strong writing skills are considered central. Applicants do not need to have a previous degree in English or Writing, but must hold a B.A. or B.S. degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Applicants must also submit the following:

  • A letter of introduction.
  • A complete set of transcripts. A transcript from each post‐secondary institution you have attended is required. Unofficial transcripts or photocopies are acceptable. You will be asked to upload a transcript for each institution in one of the following supported file types: PDF, JPG, PNG, GIF, or TIF.
  • A minimum of three letters of recommendation.
  • A writing sample of fifteen to thirty pages of writing that demonstrates your potential as a publishing professional. Previously published work is welcome, and your sample can consist of multiple pieces, so long as they do not exceed the page limit. Your sample can be of a professional, academic, or artistic nature (or a mixture of the three). Indeed, a diversity of materials is often most effective at demonstrating your strengths as a prospective student for the graduate program in Book Publishing. If you have editing or design experience, samples of this work are welcome, but in these instances, please be sure to include a brief cover letter that details your role in these projects. With editing samples, it’s particularly important that we can actually see the editing you’ve done; one way to achieve this is to submit both pre- and post-editing versions, another is to submit a document with your copyediting marks handwritten on it, and yet another is to submit a document with track changes.

You will be asked to upload your writing samples and optional material such as a C.V. or resume in one of the following supported file types: PDF, DOC, DOCX, RTF, or TXT.

Note: Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are not required for admission.


Students will complete 24 core credits (6 courses), 12 elective credits (3 courses) in writing, and 12 elective credits (3 courses) that may involve coursework in another discipline with Adviser’s approval. Of the 24 elective credits, candidates are expected to take a total of eight (8) credits working at Ooligan Press in either or both Wr 574 Publishing Studio or Wr 575 Publishing Lab.

The final project, in addition to completing the coursework, will be a portfolio of work demonstrating competence at a professional level, but with adviser approval, may be a single, substantive work. Upon completion and delivery of the final project or portfolio to the student's orals committee, a topic will be assigned by the student's adviser for a final paper of approximately 4000 words (excluding front matter and back matter).

The student will take an oral exam in defense of the final project and final paper. Work included in a portfolio will be representative of that done in each course, and appropriate to it, but may otherwise focus in greater detail on one or more areas of study. For instance, the portfolio may include samples of editorial work, query letters for fiction and nonfiction books, book marketing plans, book design proposals and finished designs, research and writing on issues in contemporary publishing. Other possibilities are negotiable with the assigned graduate adviser in Book Publishing.

Core Courses (24 credits)

Students choose 6 out of 7 available core courses to satisfy the 24-credit requirement.
Wr 560Introduction to Book Publishing


Wr 561Book Editing


Wr 562Book Design Software


Wr 563Book Marketing


Wr 564Business of Book Publishing


Wr 566Digital Skills


Wr 579Researching Book Publishing


Electives (24 credits)

24 credits from other writing courses, from literature courses, or from another discipline.

Students earn eight (8) of their elective credits by participating in the work of Ooligan Press, a small trade publishing house. Students work in groups to review, accept, and edit manuscripts; design the interior and the exterior of books; send books to press; and market the books to booksellers, libraries, and other outlets.

Note: the M.S. option does not require students to demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English. In cases where a student does opt to demonstrate proficiency in a language other than English, the M.A. in Writing: Book Publishing will be awarded.

Total Credit Hours: 48