About the Program

Program Director

Dr. Scott Kaukonen
Phone: 936.294.1407
Email: cwmfa@shsu.edu

Application Requirements

  1. Graduate Admissions Application [online]
  2. Application Fee
  3. Official transcript from the baccalaureate degree granting institution
  4. At least twelve hours of upper-division English courses with a 3.0 GPA or better
  5. Official GRE scores
  6. Three recommendation letters with waiver forms from professional or academic sources
  7. Creative writing sample of either 20 pages of prose or a collection of 8 to 10 poems

Note: Applicants may submit a critical writing sample to supplement but not substitute their creative work(s).

Deadlines: fall semester, March 15 (for full consideration including funding); spring semester, October 15 (for full consideration including funding). If you wish to be considered for a graduate assistantship in the Department of English, please complete and return the GA application by the these deadlines.

story about the MFA Creative Writing program

The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, Publishing, and Editing is designed to assist students in their development as writers of fiction, poetry, and/or creative nonfiction; to provide practical, hands-on experience in the field of editing and publishing through the Texas Review and Texas Review Press; to deepen a student’s critical engagement with language and literature; and to prepare those students for careers as published authors, as well as teachers of creative writing in community colleges and universities.

The MFA program at Sam Houston State University allows you to:

  • focus on poetry, fiction, or creative non-fiction;
  • enjoy intensive instruction with dedicated professors.

Students participate in writing workshops in fiction and poetry, undertake coursework in literary periods and types, and study critical theory. Our workshops are taught by our core faculty—Ching-In Chen, Olivia Clare, Scott Kaukonen, and Nick Lantz, as well as visiting writers of national reputation.

The curriculum for our MFA program is built around the workshop; students take fifteen hours of workshop, including twelve hours in the major genre and three hours in a second genre. MFA students are also required to:

  • take literary theory and either poetic or narrative theory;
  • to earn six hours of internship credit with Texas Review Press;
  • take the department’s research and bibliographic methods course as well as twelve hours of literature courses. 

The whole process leads to the student’s MFA thesis, which may be a book-length collection of short stories, poems, or essays, or a novel or memoir.

Competitive graduate assistantships are available.


Alec Brewster

“A graduate degree isn’t for everyone, and it doesn’t take long to figure that out once you’re in a program, but if you don’t mind having your ego shattered, living inside of books and libraries, and writing into a field as established as the language itself, then you’ll love every insightful minute of it.”

--Alec Brewster, MFA Graduate

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