Center for Writers
The program was started in 1971 by Gordon Weaver. In 1977 Frederick Barthelme took over as director. The Center is part of the Department of English and operates out of shared offices on the Hattiesburg campus. Writing students make up more than half of the graduate students in the English Department, and they come from colleges and universities all over the country, recently from Stanford, Vassar, Michigan, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Tulane, Texas, Cornell, Columbia, and others.
The tone of the program is serious but informal. Workshops are offered in fiction, nonfiction prose, and poetry by the Center's faculty, and there are the usual specialized readings courses and traditional scholarly courses available. There is a student magazine, Product, as well as an ongoing student reading series, and the Center also publishes the Mississippi Review in print and online versions.
Applications are accepted year-round. Students generally start the program in the fall, though there are openings and occasionally teaching assistantships in the spring. Admission is based on writing sample, Graduate Record scores, GPA, letters of reference, Statement of Purpose, and academic record; considerable weight is given to the writing sample, sometimes advancing a candidacy that might otherwise seem less strong. Teaching assistants teach two courses per semester and receive a $10,000 or $15,000 stipend plus a full waiver of tuition and out-of-state fees. There are several types of financial aid available for those who qualify.
The M.A. in English with creative writing emphasis is a 30-hour degree that ordinarily takes two years to complete and culminates in a thesis that is a collection of poetry or fiction. The Ph.D. is a 54-hour degree almost identical to the literature doctorate and is usually completed in three years.
For details see the Web site at www.centerforwriters.com.
Facts & Figures
Classification: Doctoral/Research University—Extensive
Locale: Small City
Size & Settings: 10,000-19,999