​​CW postcard single image.jpgProgram Overview

Students in the Creative Writing program at Central Michigan University work toward the completion of an exit portfolio consisting of their strongest short stories, novel exerpts, poems, creative nonfiction essays, or a combination of these genres. Students work closely with award-winning faculty, make connections with prominent authors, and build lifelong friendships with their peers.

This concentration is ideal for those who have a passion for creative writing and wish to develop their talent, as well as those who wish to apply to MFA or PhD programs, enter the job market, or publish their work.

"Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences."

- Sylvia Plath​

Students in our program

  • Write creatively, their way. Our students work toward the completion of an exit portfolio consisting of their strongest short stories, novel excerpts, poems, or creative nonfiction essays, or a combination of these genres. This portfolio prepares them to apply to MFA or PhD programs in creative writing, go on t​he job market, or publish their work.
  • Receive individual attention from our widely published, award winning faculty.  Faculty in our program have collectively published eleven books of fiction and poetry in the past ten years and have won a variety of teaching awards, including the CMU Excellence in Teaching Award, the University’s highest honor for teachers.  
  • Have the opportunity to serve as editors for our graduate literary journal, Temenos, which receives submissions from all over the country.  
  • Make connections with prominent writers from all over the country through our two reading series—the English Department’s Visiting Writers Series and the Wellspring Literary Series.  Recent visitors to our program include Dan Chaon, Bonnie Jo Campbell, Marie Howe, Thomas Lux, Lance Olsen, Ross Gay, Fleda Brown, Alissa Nutting, and many more.  
  • Develop lifelong friendships with their peers.

Graduates of our program

  • Go on to study at top MFA and PhD programs.  Recent graduates have been accepted to MFA programs at UC Boulder, Bowling Green State, Columbia Chicago, Emerson College, Georgetown, Rutgers, and more, and to PhD programs at University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Wayne State University, and The University of Utah.  
  • Compete well for assistantships and scholarships at MFA and PhD programs.
  • Land teaching jobs at community colleges.  Recent graduates have been hired to teach at Mid Michigan Community College, Montcalm Community College, Delta Community College, and Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College, among others.  
  • ​Publish well.  Notable graduates of our program include John Grogan, author of the bestselling novel Marley and Me; Paula McClain, author of the bestselling novel, The Paris Wife; Keith Taylor, author of the book Guilty at the Rapture and director of the undergraduate creative writing program at the University of Michigan; and Rochelle Savran, author of the poetry collection The Common Fire, published by Red Hen Press.

Assistantship and Fellowship

Graduate classes are offered in the late afternoon and evening to accommodate working adults and financial support in the forms of graduate assistantships and fellowships are available to highly qualified applicants. 

Graduate assistantship information

Graduate studies financial aid​

Graduate Scholarships​

Admission Requirements

The applicant to the Master of Arts in English Language and Literature: Creative Writing concentration must have had an undergraduate major or minor in English with a grade point
average of at least 3.0 on a four-point scale and a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.

This applicant must submit a completed application and provide a portfolio of writing consisting either of 15 pages of poetry or 30 pages of prose.

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.

For more information about applying to the MA program in English Literature and Language: Creative Writing Concentration, click here

Degree Requirements​

Required Courses I (3 hours) 
Literary Criticism
    Select one of the following:
ENG 535 - History of Literary Criticism 3(3-0)
ENG 636 - Seminar in Critical Problems 3(3-0)
Required Courses II (3 hours)
Language or Linguistics
   Select one of the following:
ENG 545 - Chaucer 3(3-0)
ENG 570 - Old English 3(3-0)
ENG 672 - Applied Linguistics in Written Communication 3(3-0)
Required Courses III (3 hours)
Professional Methodologies
   Select one of the following:
ENG 601 - Graduate Composition
ENG 602 - Research Materials and Methods
Required Courses IV (6 hours) 
Two 600-level seminars in literature

Required Courses V (3 hours)
Craft Courses 
    Select one of the Following:
ENG 694 - The Craft of Fiction 3(3-0)
ENG 695 - The Craft of Poetry 3(3-0)
Required Courses VI (6 hours)
    Select one of the following:
ENG 691 - Seminar in Writing Fiction 3-6(Spec)  
ENG 692 - Seminar in Writing Poetry  3-6(Spec) 
ENG 693 - Seminar in Creative Nonfiction 3-6 (Spec)

Electives (6 hours) 
Hours authorized by the advisor and planned with the student.

Capstone Portfolio Project
The MAELL in Creative Writing requires a Plan B portfolio. Students will need to submit a portfolio of written materials in the semester immediately prior to graduation.

TOTAL: 30 credit hours 


For more information about degree requirements, visit the CMU Academic Bulletins.​

Apply now!

​Cli​ck Here​ to start your application to the MA program in English Language and Literature: Children's/Young Adult Literature today!​​