Students in the creative writing program are uniquely positioned to become global citizens who are dedicated to fostering understanding and compassion through the stories they tell, the language they use and through the timeless questions they will explore in literary studies. Students will improve their skills in critical thinking, communication, analysis, and creativity. Whether you are interested in becoming a professional writer or simply have a passion for creative writing and wish to develop your talent, CMU's creative writing program has something for you!
Research Opportunities and Assistantships
The English Department offers a number of graduate assistantships to qualified students who wish to gain teaching experience. Graduate assistants either teach two sections of ENG 101: Freshman Composition (6 semester hours), assist in the Writing Center or teach in the TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) program. All graduate assistants receive a tuition waiver and a stipend.
Students also have the opportunity to serve as editors for our graduate literary journal,
Temenos, which receives submissions from all over the country.
Admission to the creative writing program requires:
- a bachelor's degree or equivalent with a major or minor in English;
- a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0;
- a portfolio of writing consisting of either 15 pages of poetry or 30 pages of prose; and
- for applicants whose native language is not English, a TOEFL score of 550 and a TWE of at least 5 or a MELAB of 85 are required.
Students with undergraduate degrees in other fields will be considered, but may be subject to conditional acceptance.
The application deadline for fall admission is February 15. Deadline for spring admission is November 15. Apply online at
MA candidates must complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of course work with at least 15 of the total semester hours at or above the 600 level. At the advisor's discretion, up to six hours from other departments may be included.
Additionally, students are required to submit a portfolio intended to serve as a representative sample of a student's best, most finished, most successful, and most polished work. The portfolio, consisting of 15-30 pages of creative work preceded by a reflective introduction, will be evaluated on the quality of the materials submitted, including the evidence of mature creative work, mastery of craft, facility with language and style, and command of text presentation skills (copyediting and proofreading) as well as the promise of growth in writing ability.