University of Texas at El Paso Academic Catalog

Academic Catalog

M.F.A. in Creative Writing Online

The program is offered online through UTEP Connect. 


The Bilingual Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing is designed as an artists degree that stresses the performance aspect of the discipline. The objectives of the program are to prepare students to be practicing writers and to be teachers of creative writing and contemporary literature. Upon completion, students will have a thorough understanding of form and theory and an advanced background in literature. 

Admission Requirements

  1. A bachelor’s degree or its equivalent.
  2. Transcripts according to the requirements of the Graduate School.
  3. Three letters of recommendation.
  4. A writing sample in the genre of emphasis: eight to 10 poems; 20 pages of prose, play-writing, essay, or screenplay.
  5. A statement of purpose.

The bilingual aspect of this program refers to the coexistence of Spanish and English in the classroom and does not require students to speak both languages. Applicants from countries where English is not the first language are required to demonstrate English proficiency. Please consult the graduate school website for required scores. 

The admission factors will be reviewed holistically to assess the potential of the applicant.  The successful applicant would typically have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher that demonstrates focus on academics in a field that requires critical thinking and creativity, a writing sample in the genre of emphasis that illustrates the applicant's ability and potential, a personal statement that demonstrates maturity and commitment to a career related to creative writing as well as willingness to interact with diverse cultural backgrounds, and three letters of recommendation from supporting faculty or advisors who can serve as judges of the applicant's competence and commitment.

Degree Plan Options 

In addition, students with an assistantship in the English Department must take ENGL 5345 Writing to Learn, and students with a teaching assistantship in Languages and Linguistics must take LING 5370 Study in Language.

The thesis will consist of a book-length manuscript of original fiction or poetry, play, essay collection, translation, or screenplay, accompanied by a critical preface. Each candidate is required to submit a thesis proposal and a sample of the thesis-in-progress prior to enrolling in Thesis I. The thesis will be prepared under the direction of a thesis director, and it will be judged by a three-member committee and defended orally. 

Degree Plan

Required Credits: 48

MFA in Creative Writing (All courses require a grade of C or better)
Required Courses:
CRW 5321Narrative Theory and Poetics3
CRW 5364Forms & Techniques of Fiction3
CRW 5365Forms & Techniques of Poetry3
Workshop and/or Variable Topic
Select five courses form the following: 15
Advanced Fiction Writing
Advanced Poetry Writing
Advanced Playwriting
Writing the Novel
Advanced Screenwriting
Advanced Creative Non-Fiction
Ten Prob. for Fiction Writer
Literary Translation
Literature Courses:
Select four courses from the following: 12
Var Topics in Creative Writing
Literary Translation
Writing About Popular Music
Rewriting America since 1960s
The Politics of Narration
Kafka and the Art of Fiction
Physics of Creative Writing
Studies in Form
Minding Fiction
Storytelling-Film & Literature
High Modernism in Latin Americ
Other Electives:
Select six additional hours from graduate courses6
CRW 5398
CRW 5399
and Thesis
Total Hours48