Students and professors pose together at graduation

The total semester hours required to complete the program are 48 hours (including 39 of required courses and 9 hours of elective courses). You must complete course work in the following areas within a maximum six-year period; full-time students can expect to complete the program within three years. We recommend regularly consulting with your campus coordinator for advice on your personal course choices. Be sure you know what required courses you still need to fill, and what the current course offerings are. We highly recommend taking workshop courses every semester for your first two years in the program, not only to meet the requirements but to also get quality feedback and critique of your work early on.

Writing Workshops (15 hours)
Twelve hours in your primary genre (fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, or playwriting) and at least three hours in a second genre.

Craft & Theory Courses (9 hours)
Six hours of Craft & Theory courses in your primary genre and three hours in a Craft & Theory course in a secondary genre.

Literature Courses (6 hours)
Six hours of coursework in graduate-level literature courses. Cross-listed undergraduate/graduate classes will not satisfy this requirement.

Internship (3 hours)
Students will meet with their faculty advisor regularly in addition to completing an internship in a field of interest.

Thesis Hours (6 hours)
Six hours of thesis work must be completed before graduation.

Elective Courses (9 Hours)
Electives are taken in advisor-approved areas such as literature, foreign languages and translation, theater, arts administration, fine arts, professional writing, education or other relevant subjects. All electives must be taken at the graduate level, but may be classes that are cross-listed for undergraduates.


The primary feature of the workshop course is the creation and critique of your own creative work. The specific structure and content of each workshop class will depend on the individual instructor, but all workshop courses mainly revolve around discussing and critiquing the work of the students. By the time you graduate from the NEOMFA, you will need to have taken 12 hours in your area of concentration (fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, or playwriting) and at least 3 hours in a second area. Each genre has at least one workshop course offered every fall and spring semester.

Craft & Theory
Craft & Theory courses approach literature from the writer’s point of view. The primary feature of the Craft & Theory course is discussion and analysis of literary texts, literary theory, and criticism, with an emphasis on the craft of writing. Some Craft & Theory courses that have been taught in the past are “The Gothic Imagination,” “Home & Away: Writing About Place,” and “Ecopoetics, Connection, Compost, Deep Time, Unconformity, and Heat.”

The NEOMFA internship program is designed to facilitate professionalization and to prepare students for life beyond graduate school, with opportunities to work for literary presses, area theatres, in arts management through community outreach programs, as well as in the classroom with our faculty members. Learn more about internships.

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English Department
Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Ave., RT 1815
Cleveland, Ohio  44115