San Francisco State University :: NewPages Guide to Creative Writing Programs

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San Francisco State University

Creative Writing Program

Contact Information:

1600 Holloway Avenue

San Francisco, CA 94132


Program director: Maxine Chernoff


Program Information

Degrees offered: MA, MFA, BA

Type of program: residency

Length of program: 2-4 years

Genres: creative nonfiction, fiction, playwriting, poetry

Application deadlines: BA: varies, MA & MFA: December 15

Scholarships available: yes (see website)

Assistantships: yes (see website)

Core faculty: Michelle Carter, Nona Caspers, Maxine Chernoff, Roy Conboy, Camille Dungy, Bob Gluck, Paul Hoover, Dan Langton, Toni Mirosevich, Peter Orner, ZZ Packer, Chanan Tigay

Visiting faculty: Dodie Bellamy, Katie Crouch, Matthew Clark Davison, Donna de la Perriere, Steve Dickison, Anne Galjour, Heather Gibbons, Brian Thorstenson, Barbara Tomash, Truong Tran

Publishing/editing courses: yes (see website)

Literary magazine: 14 Hills; Transfer

Reading series: yes (see website)

Recent visiting writers: Will Boast, Cooley Windsor

Program description: Our Creative Writing Program was established in 1955 as part of the English Department and founded in 1968 as The Creative Writing Department. We offer three degree programs: B.A. in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing, M.A. in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing, and M.F.A. in Creative Writing. Our curriculum reflects our commitment to a variety of styles, subjects, and approaches, recognizing the complexity and breadth of contemporary writing. Students are instructed in literary analysis and develop their craft to constructively critique their own work and that of others.

The B.A. degree program is 120 semester units, 42 of which are major courses, with the remainder being comprised of general education and electives.

The M.A. degree program is 30 semester units: 9 units (3 classes) of workshop classes, 9 units of seminar classes and 9 units of literature classes and a 3 unit thesis (written creative work). Average completion time is two years.

The M.F.A. degree program is 54 semester units, with a fair amount of latitude in the choice between workshop, seminar and literature seminar classes (there is a required minimum of 2 M.F.A. workshops and 2 M.F.A. seminars) and a 6 unit thesis (written creative work). Average completion time is 3 years.

We are honored to be associated with the Poetry Center and American Poetry Archives. Internationally known, the center augments our programs, sponsoring approximately fifty visiting writers per year, on campus and at various locations around San Francisco.