About the Program
The Rutgers-Newark MFA Program is a Nationally ranked, 48 credit hour,
studio/research program, which means that our writers study literature
as they endeavor to write it. The Program focuses strongly on 20 credit
hours of Writing Workshop in a declared genre (one workshop, with permission
of the department, may be cross-genre), and requires 7 thesis hours in
which students work one-on-one with their mentor professors. We also require
21 credit hours of graduate courses in literature. Students may take up to two undergraduate courses for graduate credit with additional requirements assigned by professor and with permission by the department. Applicants who have
completed graduate level English Literature courses may transfer up to 12 credit hours (grades
of B or above) with permission of the department. While some MFA grads
go on to law or business school or into publishing, many seek teaching
The MFA is the terminal degree in creative writing, which allows graduates
teach at the university level, and the Rutgers-Newark MFA offers our students
essential advantage of substantial coursework in literature.
At Rutgers-Newark, students may choose seven courses (21 credit hours)
from a long and exciting list of graduate literature courses taught by
Study Shakespeare with Professor Ameer Sohrawardy. Read Samuel Johnson
Professor Jack Lynch, nationally renowned Johnson scholar. Study the proletarian
novel with Marxist theorist Professor Barbara Foley, or “Women in
feminist scholar Professor Fran Bartkowski. Explore the still unresolved
era with Professor H. Bruce Franklin. Discover Victorian literature with
Professor Janet Larson, discuss Latino literature and culture with Professor Laura Lomas or
read Afro-American history with Newark historian and distinguished Professor Clement A. Price.
Deepen and specify still more: MFA students will fulfill 6 of the required
21 elective hours by choosing one of three unique Electives Concentrations.
Virtually no other program in the country gives students the opportunity
to work in such a wide range of genres for elective credits.
Those who choose Literature/Book Artswill work with photographer Nick Kline to design and publish
chapbook of their own work. Performance/Media Studies allows students to
writing for television or the stage with playwright Michele Rittenhouse,
narrative journalism with Professor Rob Snyder, or jazz influences with Lewis Porter Cultural/Political/Ethnic Studies allows students to choose courses
History, Liberal Studies, American Studies, Urban Education, Political
Affairs, African-American Studies, or Women’s and Gender Studies.
Electives Concentration is designed to support our MFA students in their
of courses that specifically contribute to the fiction, poetry or nonfiction
works they will turn in as Theses.
Rutgers-Newark MFA students may also make use of resources provided by the Institute for
Jazz Studies, the Institute
for Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience, the
Paul Robeson Gallery, Dana
Library and its Book
Arts program, and the Cornwall
Center for Metropolitan Studies. The R-N MFA Program also enjoys affiliations
Newark Museum, the New
Jersey Historical Society, the Newark
Public Library, and Aljira,
a Center for Contemporary Art, all a short walk from campus.
Rutgers-Newark is developing a respected and exciting MFA Program that
attract national and international applicants, yet we feel strongly about
and deepening the University’s commitment to the diversity and flavor
Rutgers-Newark community. Our MFA Program is influenced and inspired by Newark, a community of long and
remarkable history now enjoying a political and
cultural Renaissance. We describe our Program as Rutgers-Newark Real Lives, Real Stories cause we’re interested in the real
world experience of our applicants
as well as in their creative work and intellectual rigor.
The Rutgers-Newark MFA can be completed in a two or three year time frame.
Most of our classes, workshops and readings will begin at 5:30 p.m.,
Monday through Thursday, allowing students to commit to rigorous daily
schedules, work day jobs, or raise families. Though we live in the real
affordably than in Manhattan, Rutgers-Newark MFA faculty and students also
comprise an arts community. Workshops are encouraged to adjourn at 8:30
drinks and refreshments at chic local eatery 27 Mix, or at one of many
Portuguese restaurants in the Ironbound. Newark is changing and thriving,
and Rutgers-Newark is changing with it. The residence dorm at University
Square is just one of the University’s
commitments to a burgeoning campus whose
will eventually reach the shores of the Passaic River.