In the fall of 2007, UNH launched a master of fine arts in writing, creating a three-year, 48-credit program that aims to provide students with the intensive training in their craft that they'll need to start their lives as professional writers. Students concentrate in fiction, nonfiction, or poetry and are taught by a faculty of nine working writers, each of whom specializes in one of these fields. Students learn in small workshops and in individual conferences with their teachers. Conference teaching is a cornerstone of the UNH graduate writing program.
Students are required to take four workshops in their major genre. In addition, students take one form and theory course in their major genre, five elective courses that may include additional writing courses or courses from the English department's offerings in other fields (such as literature, linguistics, or composition studies), and 8 credit hours of the M.F.A. thesis. Teaching assistants are required to take English 910, Practicum in Teaching College Composition, as one of their electives. There is no foreign language requirement.
The M.F.A. thesis is a book-length, publishable manuscript. For fiction writers, the thesis could be a collection of short stories, a story cycle (linked stories), or a novel. For nonfiction writers, the thesis could be a collection of themed essays and/or magazine articles or a book of creative nonfiction. For poets, the thesis would be a book-length collection of poems. The minimum length of the thesis is 150 pages for fiction and nonfiction writers and 45 pages for poets. Students will work closely with a thesis adviser as they write and pass an oral defense of the thesis, a defense conducted by a three-member thesis committee of writing faculty. Students will also conduct a public reading of their thesis in an event organized by the writing faculty.
In addition, the M.F.A. program offers students opportunities to publish an online journal called Barnsto
New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education