Recognizing the number of adults concerned with sharing a rich literary heritage with young people and dedicated to more effectively eliciting refined responses to literature, the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons College offers a Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Children. This program has a strong theoretical underpinning and engages students in a rigorous and disciplined academic study of children's literature. To develop a critical vocabulary essential for appraising text and illustration, students apply a high level of scholarly analysis to children's literature ranging from folklore and mythology to contemporary realistic fiction and nonfiction.
Admission to the MFA program requires a baccalaureate degree preferably with a major in English and American and/or comparative literature from an accredited institution. However, the program is also open to students with majors in elementary or secondary education, fine arts, or social sciences who have done substantial work in English. The application should include official transcripts of all degree work, two letters of recommendation, and, for international students, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Applicants must submit a writing portfolio not to exceed 20 pages as well as a statement of purpose that reflects on their writing process. This statement should address the applicant's goals as a writer, his/her publishing history and/or any works in progress.
Thirty-two credits are required for the MFA degree. The program consists of four academic courses and four writing courses. The final requirement is a two course sequence in which the student works closely with a mentor to develop a manuscript from conception to submission.
The College also offers a 56-credit dual degree program that combines the Master of Arts in Children's Literature with the Master of Fine Arts in Writing for Children.
The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required of all applicants whose first language is not English. The exam will be waived if the applicant has earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from a U.S. institution.
Officially translated and evaluated transcripts are required if not originally written in English. Only transcripts translated and evaluated by authorized organizations are accepted. Simmons College prefers either World Education Services (www.wes.org) or the Center for Educational Documentation (www.cedevaluations.com)
International students must demonstrate that they have sufficient funds available to meet all the travel, living, and educational expenses for graduate study in the United States. This information must be provided if you are admitted to a graduate program at Simmons College.