About the Program

Program Director

Prof. Nick Lantz
Phone: 936.294.1990
Email: cwmfa@shsu.edu

Application Requirements

    1. Graduate Admissions Application [online]
    2. Pay Application Fee [online]

To complete your above application, you will need the following:

  1. Official transcript from the baccalaureate degree granting institution
  2. At least twelve hours of upper-division English courses with a 3.0 GPA or better
  3. Contact information, including email addresses, for three academic or professional sources who have agreed to write letters of recommendation on your behalf 
  4. Creative writing sample of either 20 double-spaced pages of prose or a collection of 8 to 10 poems. Prose samples may consist of a completed work or excerpts.
  5. A statement of purpose (between 500 and 1000 words)

Deadlines: March 15 (for full consideration including fellowships and graduate assistantships). If you wish to be considered for a graduate assistantship in the Department of English, please complete and return the GA application by these deadlines (Note: The GRE is no longer required.)

story about the MFA Creative Writing program

The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, Editing, and Publishing 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 a range of settings, including universities, schools, arts center, prisons, community outreach centers, and individual workshops.

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, creative nonfiction, and poetry, undertake coursework in literature and pedagogy, and study narrative and poetic theory. Our workshops are taught by our core faculty—Scott Kaukonen, Ginger Ko, Nick Lantz, and Katie Jean Shinkle, and our students engage regularly with visiting writers of national reputation.

The curriculum for our MFA program is built around the workshop; students take fifteen hours of workshop, including at least three hours in prose and three hours in poetry. MFA students are also required to:

  • take either poetry & prosody or narrative theory;
  • earn six hours of credit in the practicum in publishing courses;
  • take "The Writer's Life," a course that prepares students for life in an MFA program—and beyond the MFA program; and
  • complete 15 hours of coursework in literature, language, and pedagogy 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 fellowships, graduate assistantships, and scholarships are available. Our graduate assistants work in a variety of capacities, including with the Texas Review and Texas Review Press, as tutors in the Academic Success Center and teachers of first-year composition courses, and as assistants to the director and other faculty members.


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