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 programs 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: 

    MFA Student Learning Outcomes
  • 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 at the beginning of the summer semester which typically begins the third week of May.  The first eight weeks of the semester is spent on Blackboard, UAA's on-line classroom. Blackboard sessions are led by core faculty members and it is expected that students will be actively engaging in on-line discussions on a regular basis.  Therefore, for these first eight weeks (end of May through mid-July)  it is vital that students be available on a regular basis for on-line class activities and discussion as directed by your genre's core faculty member.

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.  

Commonplace UAA

For insight into our MFA community, feel free to visit the unofficial blog at Commonplace UAA. 

The least movement is of importance to all nature.
The entire ocean is affected by a pebble. ~Pascal