MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics



The MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics at UW Bothell consists of a residency program in its first year, with residency and non-residency options in its second year. Students participate in the program as a member of a cohort of 12-16 MFA students.

For the degree, first-year students complete 6 core courses (writing workshops and poetics seminars) for a total of 30 credits.  In their second year students complete 15 credits of supervised thesis work and submit an original creative work and poetics statement. Thesis work is supplemented by 6 credits of required thesis practicum, for a total of 51 degree credits. 



Autumn Quarter Winter Quarter Spring Quarter
Year One - Requirements

Writing Workshop (5 CR)
Poetics Seminar (5 CR)

Writing Workshop (5 CR)
Poetics Seminar (5 CR)

Writing Workshop (5 CR)
Poetics Seminar (5 CR)

Year Two - Requirements

Thesis (1-10 CR)
Thesis Practicum (1-5 CR)

Thesis (1-10 CR)
Thesis Practicum (1-5 CR)

Thesis (1-10 CR)
Thesis Practicum (1-5 CR)

Year 2: Sample Pathway

BCWRIT 700 Thesis (5 CR)
BCWRIT 599 Thesis Practicum (2 CR)

BCWRIT 700 Thesis (5 CR)
BCWRIT 599 Thesis Practicum (2 CR)

BCWRIT 700 Thesis (5 CR)
BCWRIT 599 Thesis Practicum (2 CR)

Year 2:  Sample Pathway

BCWRIT 700 Thesis (8 CR)
BCWRIT 599 Thesis Practicum (2 CR)

BCWRIT 700 Thesis (7 CR)
BCWRIT 599 Thesis Practicum (3 CR)

BCWRIT 599 Thesis Practicum (1 CR)

Year One

The first year provides students with an immersive, structured, full-time curricular experience that pairs creative writing workshops with poetics seminars quarterly. First-year students complete 15 credits of writing workshops and 15 credits of poetics seminars, before advancing to thesis work the following year. **The sequence of workshops and seminars may vary.

Writing Workshops

BCWRIT 500 Between Prose and Poetry (5 credits)
Focuses on the cross over between prose and poetry in multiple genres. Considers the prevalence of narrative and alternatives to narrative.

BCWRIT 501 Between Fact and Imagination (5 credits)
Examines the relationships between fact and imagination in fiction, non-fiction, and poetry writing.

BCWRIT 502 Processes of Thinking and Memory (5 credits)
Engages the primary processes of thinking and memory as they are affected by diverse writing practices and media applications.

Poetics Seminars

BCWRIT 510 Cultural Change and Writing (5 credits)
Engages the subject of poetics as writing theory and practice. Focuses on cultural, social, and technological change as these create new challenges and possibilities for creative writing.

BCWRIT 511 Writers' Research (5 credits)
Addresses how writers utilize research in their writing and inquires into different kind of research that can be pursued: textual, ethnographic, and performance-based.

BCWRIT 512 Art, Technology, Practice (5 credits)
Explores relationships among art, technology, and creative practice. Examines connections among diverse art forms, inquiring into their social, philosophical, and aesthetic dimensions.

Current First Year Courses

Year Two

The focus of the second year is thesis-intensive, focused on the development and completion of independent creative work, in or across the genre(s), form(s), or media of your choosing, and a poetics statement that situates you and your artistic practice. Students complete 15 credits of thesis work for the degree, under the mentorship of a thesis advisor and a second reader.

Second-year students also complete a thesis practicum for a total of 6 credits.  The thesis practicum prepares students to present and publish their work, sustain their artistic practice after graduation, and engage as a professional in artistic communities, organizations, and undertakings.

The second year can be completed in residency or non-residency, part-time or full-time. (See sample pathways, above).

In advance of their second year, students create an individualized course of study in consultation with their advisors. 

Thesis Work 

BCWRIT 700 Creative Writing Thesis (15 credits total, C/NC)
Includes completion of creative thesis in one of the following areas: poetry, fiction, non-fiction, or cross genre as well as a poetics essay or artist’s statement. For details, see Thesis Work.

BCWRIT 599 Thesis Practicum (6 credits total, C/NC)
Provides creative development opportunities and practice in accordance with individualized plans, including but not limited to presenting work-in-progress at salons and readings; submitting work to conferences, residencies, and publications; and interning at arts, education, or media organizations. For details, see Thesis Practicum

Degree Completion

In accordance with UW Graduate School master's degree policies, MFA graduate students have six years to complete the degree from the time that they first enroll.  This includes any time on-leave as well as actively enrolled.

Students must be registered and enrolled in the quarter that they graduate. To graduate students must fulfill all degree requirements and submit their master's degree request by the relevant deadline. In their master's degree request, select the "thesis" option.

Request the Master's Degree

Students who do not complete all degree requirements by the last day of the quarter in which they plan to graduate must register for the following quarter and resubmit their master's degree request.

See Thesis Timeline for thesis filing requirements and deadlines