Concentrations

BFA in Creative Writing

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If Creative Writing Is Your Passion, Find Your People at Mason's BFA Program

Join a community of writers committed to sharpening their craft—and yours—in one of the country's only undergraduate BFA programs in creative writing nationwide. The BFA is structured to give students ample opportunity to learn to write and think creatively while also developing vocational writing skills, skills that are desperately needed in the workplace. Study with award-winning faculty who you will work to develop your literary art and help chart your journey toward sustaining a vibrant writerly life.

Choose from three concentrations—fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction—but gain exposure to and learn from all three genres. In this specially designed curriculum, you will 

  • Hone your creativity and your critical thinking skills—both desperately needed in today’s workplace.

  • Learn about literary magazines and the editing process while working on nationally known journals, books, and websites.

  • Take advantage of Mason’s proximity to Washington, D.C., for internships, job opportunities, and cultural experiences.

It is important that students in a fine arts program learn from accomplished literary artists who are not only actively publishing but who are dedicated to the art of teaching. BFA students are fortunate to learn from some of the very best creative writers in Mason's literary arts community. Check out Mason BFA faculty here! 

By choosing Mason, you will not only be able to network with accomplished faculty, but you will have opportunities to engage in publishing practice and literary citizenship. Our program supports several associated efforts: a nationally prominent literary festival (Fall for the Book), a literary imprint (Stillhouse Press), a highly regarded online journal (Poetry Daily), a center for international writers (Cheuse Center), an annual writers’ conference (New Leaves), and two acclaimed literary journals (phoebe and So to Speak).

BFA students also get engaged with all sort of unique projects, such as Julija Pivo's examination of narratives of Lithuanian immigrant women after the Cold War, which garnered support from Mason's Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, and Research (OSCAR). And graduates go on to work in a variety of fields that call upon their abilities as effective communicators and compelling storytellers.

Note: Students cannot enter Mason declaring a BFA in Creative Writing major, but transition into the program once accepted. Keep in mind that the BFA in Creative Writing major

  • requires at least 45 credits in total.

  • acceptance into the BFA is competitive.

  • lower-Level creative writing transfer courses may be approved for foundational BFA requirements.

The BFA's 45-credit program breaks down into the following categories:

  • 12 credits of Foundational Courses, such as Intro to Creative Writing

  • 9 credits of workshop in your chosen genre (fiction, nonfiction, or poetry)

  • 9 credits in your Concentration Requirements, such as Forms of Fiction, Recent American Poetry, or Topics in Literary Nonfiction

  • 12 credits in Core Courses, such as Literature Before 1800 or Minority, Folkloric, or Popular Literature
     
  • 3 credits of Capstone where students synthesize what they have learned during their work in the BFA program, gain guidance in regard to professional opportunities and graduate programs, and complete revisions to creative work for their final portfolios.

Note: Mason Creative Writing has a unique partnership with Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) where NOVA students can write their way to Mason. Writing is the most vigorous exercise of thinking, and creativity is a crucial skill for future success. By demonstrating excellence in creative writing courses at NOVA, students build a bridge to Mason’s competitive BFA in Creative Writing. Talk to Creative Writing BFA advisor Laura Scott to learn how Creative Writing at NOVA can be the first chapter to a BFA degree from Mason.

George Mason University is Virginia’s largest public research university. Located near Washington, D.C., Mason enrolls 37,000 students (undergraduate and graduate students, combined) from 130 countries and all 50 states. Mason has grown rapidly over the past half-century and is recognized for its innovation and entrepreneurship, remarkable diversity, and commitment to accessibility.

For questions or to request more information about the BFA in Creative Writing, email MasonCW@gmu.edu.

Opportunities

Check out these opportunities to engage the literary arts and publishing practice at Mason:

phoebe, which prides itself on supporting up-and-coming writers, whose style, form, voice, and subject matter demonstrate a vigorous appeal to readers' senses, intellect, and emotions.

Poetry Daily, a daily online journal that engages readers, poets, and publishers to foster the exploration and appreciation of poetry and its practice by providing access to new poetry every day.

So To Speak, an intersectional feminist literary journal that advocates for, and amplifies the perspectives and experiences of, marginalized women and nonbinary people.

Stillhouse Press, a literary book publishing imprint that also serves as a "teaching press" managed by students who gain invaluable experience in acquisitions, editing, marketing, author relations, and project management. 

Fall for the Book, a nationally prominent multi-day literary festival that annually brings more than 150 authors from a variety of genres to campus and the town of Fairfax for enlightening and entertaining conversation. 

George Mason Review, a cross-disciplinary, undergraduate journal that publishes exemplary, scholarly works.

Cheuse Center for International Writers—named for acclaimed writer, critic, and long-time Mason professor Alan Cheuse—champions dialogue about and study of world-wide literature and hosts writers from around the globe. 

 

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literature writing creativity