Choosing Among Fall, Spring, and Summer Semesters
All the Spalding MFA semesters include
- intense, invigorating 10-day residencies
- individualized study throughout the semester with prize-winning, publishing faculty
- low student-faculty ratio
- opportunities for Spalding scholarships/ assistantships and/or federal student loans
- editing/publishing component
- cross-genre: introduction to modes of writing other than the major area
- innovative special features
- emphasis on interrelatedness of the arts through attendance at cultural events
- a choice of accommodations
- featured guests who are active contemporary writers. Our featured guests have included novelists Tim O’Brien, Ernest J. Gaines, Ann Patchett, Susan Vreeland, and Michael Ondaatje; poet and essayist Yusef Komunyakaa; children’s writers Jaqueline Woodson, Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket), Donna Jo Napoli, Patricia MacLachlan, and Nancy Willard; poets W. S. Merwin and Claudia Emerson; essayists Terry Tempest Williams, Pico Iyer, Barry Lopez, and Scott Russell Sanders; poet and children’s writer Naomi Shihab Nye; screenwriters Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone) and Robert Moresco (Crash); and playwrights Marsha Norman, Heather Raffo, and Rebecca Gilman. In Fall 2013, our featured author is poet and essayist Molly Peacock. In Spring 2014, the Program hosts the third Diana M. Raab Distinguished Writer in Residence Frank X Walker, Kentucky poet laureate.
Students should choose summer study if they
- wish to enrich their creative writing studies with international travel
- can participate in a residency more easily in summer than in spring or fall
- prefer a longer (9-month) semester with a less intensive writing schedule at home (12-15 hours a week)
- would like to spread tuition costs over a longer period of time
- want to complete the program in 4 years
The summer semester schedule provides a break from March to mid-June. Teachers may find that this schedule fits well with their own teaching year.
(Students who prefer the longer semester but do not wish to travel abroad may combine the spring Louisville residency with the 9-month summer semester schedule.)
Students should choose a combination of spring/fall study if they
- wish to complete the program in 2 years
- prefer residencies in Louisville, a culturally rich, easily accessible American city
- choose to spend 25 hours a week on their studies in a shorter 6-month semester
Students who mix the summer and spring/fall semesters can finish the program in about three years. Students sometimes choose to take a leave of absence for a semester during their program because of financial or scheduling reasons. Students may take up to ten years to complete the program.
The faculty is carefully chosen by the Program Director from candidates nationwide who are known to be not only publishing writers, but also excellent teachers. The instructors create a supportive and honest environment for their students at the residency and during the at-home (independent study) portion of the semester. Faculty mentors help each student design an Independent Study Plan that meets that student at his or her level of ability and interest in order to promote maximum improvement and learning. Each study plan is individualized and created with the student’s writing goals in mind. Complete faculty information.
The program is a 65-hour degree. For a detailed description of the requirements, see the course descriptions on the About Us page.
Spalding University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. to award the Master of Fine Arts in Writing. Spalding University’s Master of Fine Arts in Writing is a member of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs.
last updated 07/08/2013 information subject to change without notice
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Louisville, KY 40203
MFA Office: (502) 873-4401 or (800) 896-8941, ext. 4401
FAX: (502) 992-2409