Cross-Genre Study: Secondary Genre Concentration

At campus residencies, the interdisciplinary morning sessions offer all students instruction in fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. For students who wish to go further into studies outside their primary genre, the program offers the option to study a secondary genre for one residency and semester period.

During the cross-genre residency, students participate in the afternoon workshop in the genre of interest; and during the semester immediately following that residency, they complete creative and annotative work in that genre under the guidance of an advisor with a specialty in that genre. This option adds one residency and one semester (a total of 12 credit hours) to a student’s total program of study and earns the student a secondary genre concentration which is documented on the final transcript. Students enrolled in this option are required to complete 61 credit hours (49 credit hours required in their primary track, 12 credit hours required in their secondary track).

Since it is most advantageous for students to first be grounded in the MFA program and in the study of their primary genre before broadening out, students are eligible for the cross-genre study option only during their third or fourth residency/semester (in other words, before or after the Critical Essay semester; both the Critical Essay and the Thesis must be completed in the student’s primary genre). Students interested in this option should contact the director to hear more details and to establish a timeline.

The application deadline for students intending to enroll in a secondary-genre residency/semester is April 1 for summer/fall and October 1 for winter/spring. To apply for the secondary genre concentration, students submit a writing sample in the genre of interest (15 poems or 20 pages of prose) to the director who then consults the relevant faculty; director and faculty approval is required for this option.

All applicants of the MFA program first apply in a primary genre and begin with a 49-credit-hour program of study. Once the student applies for the secondary concentration and is accepted and enrolled in the secondary genre concentration option, his/her credit requirement changes from 49 to 61 credit hours; because the additional credits are required for an MFA degree with concentration, students are eligible to receive federal loans to fund the additional residency/semester.