MFA Program Components

UAA's MFA program is oriented towards students who have an already well developed voice in their chosen genre.  These are generally experienced writers with a small body of work and are dedicated to becoming writers and living the writing life.

The structure of a low-residency program requires that students possess self-discipline, initiative, and a commitment to the rigors of graduate-level study. Ideally, students should be:

  • Able to demonstrate their potential to work at the graduate level;
  • Committed to the reading and writing schedules agreed upon by the students and faculty member;
  • Willing to explore a world wider than their own experience.
  • MFA Student Learning Outcomes 

    At the completion of this program, students will be able to: 

    • Understand the historical context, traditions, and contemporary issues in Form and Theory by situating the content of their own work within their chosen genre;  
    • Demonstrate their craft by producing a substantial body of original creative work and by articulating craft elements in their genre; 
    • Possess the skills necessary for professional employment in literary fields by planning, organizing, and presenting projects of literary and public value.
  • The Summer Semester and Residency
    All students begin the program in the 10 week summer semester.  The first eight weeks is spent on Blackboard, UAA's online classroom. Blackboard sessions are led by core faculty members and it is expected that students will be actively engaging in online discussions.  
    Then, beginning in mid-July, for 13 consecutive days, students and faculty gather on the UAA campus for an intensive period of workshops, manuscript critiques, seminars, panels, lectures, and readings. This is also a period of camaraderie and enjoying our community of writers. 
  • The Faculty Mentorship
    Near the end of each residency, graduate writers are paired with a faculty mentor who will guide their writing for the fall and spring semesters. It is during these semesters that students will embark upon a focused study of literature and writing craft.