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University of Cincinnati
Ohio, united states.
The English Department is home to a thriving Creative Writing program. Our faculty have collectively published more than forty books of fiction, poetry, literary nonfiction, and criticism. They have won awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ingram Merrill Foundation, and the Fulbright Program, as well as University-wide awards for outstanding teaching and mentoring. For undergraduates, we offer a track within the English major, as well as a certificate in Creative Writing. For graduate students, we offer a PhD. Students at all levels focus on either fiction, literary nonfiction, or poetry. We are home to an undergraduate journal, Short Vine, and the nationally prominent literary journal The Cincinnati Review. Our PhD program was recently ranked eighth in the country by Poets & Writers.
Department of English & Comparative Literature PO Box 210069 Cincinnati Ohio, United States 45221-0069 Phone: 513-556-0913 Email: [email protected] http://artsci.uc.edu/creativewriting
Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing +
Undergraduate program director.
Degree: English Major, Creative Writing Track
The Creative Writing track in the English major is designed for students who wish to explore the writing of poetry, fiction, and literary nonfiction; improve their editorial skills; and examine works of literature through the lens of craft. Students take a three-class workshop sequence, culminating in a capstone that will result in a substantial body of work. In Forms of Fiction, Forms of Poetry, and Forms of Literary Nonfiction, students increase their understanding of the techniques involved in the creation of the literary arts, from meter to point of view. Literature classes in the chosen genre continue to expand students' reading, writing, and critical thinking skills, as well as their knowledge of both canonical and contemporary works.
Master of Arts in Creative Writing +
Graduate program director.
The MA in Creative Writing and Literature is a two-year course of study designed to prepare students for an MFA or PhD in creative writing. The two years of course work include workshop, forms classes, pedagogical training, literature, and theory, and, in the second semester of the second year, thesis hours during which students work with a faculty director on a longer manuscript. Students take three courses and teach one per semester. Recent MA graduates have gone on to MFA programs at Ohio State University, Bowling Green University, the University of South Carolina, Virginia Tech, the University of Wyoming, and the University of Wisconsin; and PhD programs at the University of North Texas, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and here at UC.
PhD in Creative Writing +
The PhD in Creative Writing and Literature is a four-year course of study. Following two years of course work that includes workshop, forms classes, pedagogical training, literature, and theory, students take exams in two areas, one which examines texts through the lens of craft and another which examines them through the lens of literary history and theory. Recent examples of the genre area include Comic Fiction, History of the Love Lyric, and Fantasy; recent examples of the scholarly area include History of the Novel, 20th Century American Poetry, and Modern & Contemporary British Fiction. In the first two years, students take three courses per semester; the teaching load throughout the program is one class per semester.
Every PhD student has the opportunity to teach creative writing, with many also teaching literature classes. Most students are funded by teaching, with two or three at a time funded by editorial work at The Cincinnati Review, and others funded in their dissertation year by college- or university-level fellowships. Fifth-year support, while not guaranteed, has generally been available to interested students in the form of student lecturerships, which carry a 2-2 load. The Creative Writing PhD at the University of Cincinnati has maintained over the last decade more than a 75% placement rate into full-time academic jobs for its doctoral graduates. Two-thirds of these positions are tenure-track.
Dayswork, The Throwback Special; Abbott Awaits; US!; Bear v. Shark
The Speaking Stone; Trophy; Bibliophilia; Spikes
Full Body Burden: Growing Up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats; Molly Brown: Unraveling the Myth; Shadow Boxing: Art and Craft in Creative Nonfiction
The Logan Notebooks; Love, an Index
Emporium; Some Beheadings; Rhapsody; The End
Critical Essays on Reynolds Price; John Updike Revisited; Understanding Reynolds Price; Updike's Version: Rewriting "The Scarlet Letter"
What You Don't Know About Charlie Outlaw; The New Neighbor; The History of Us; Husband and Wife; The Myth of You & Me; Body of a Girl
Quotient; I Always Carry My Bones; Body of Render; Instrument of Gaps; & in Open, Marvel; Of Form & Gather
Publications & Presses +
The Cincinnati Review
The John Updike Review
Visiting Writers Program +
The Creative Writing Program's Visiting Writers Series brings a number of distinguished authors to campus each semester. Visitors often conduct a colloquium with creative writing students in addition to giving a public reading.
Each year, through the Elliston Poet-in-Residence Program, a distinguished poet comes to campus to give public lectures and readings, and to conduct poetry seminars and workshops. The biennial Emerging Fiction Writers Festival brings four writers to campus for two days of readings and panels.
Past visiting writers have included Nicholson Baker, Charles Baxter, Mark Doty, Rita Dove, Alice Fulton, Terrance Hayes, Denis Johnson, Lorrie Moore, Antonya Nelson, Robert Pinsky, Tracy K. Smith, Mary Szybist, and Colson Whitehead.
Reading Series +
UC Visiting Writers Series ( http://www.artsci.uc.edu/departments/creative_writing/visiting_writers_series.html )
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University of Cincinnati - Main Campus PhD in Creative Writing
Creative Writing is a concentration offered under the writing studies major at University of Cincinnati - Main Campus. We’ve pulled together some essential information you should know about the doctor’s degree program in creative writing, including how many students graduate each year, the ethnic diversity of these students, whether or not the degree is offered online, and more.
You can jump to any section of this page using the links below:
- Graduate Cost
- Online Learning
- Student Diversity
- Related Majors
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
BA in Creative Writing & English
Develop your creativity and gain practical skills with a creative writing degree program –featuring 100% online classes – through a bachelor's from Southern New Hampshire University.
MFA in Creative Writing - Online
Embrace your passion for storytelling and learn the professional writing skills you'll need to succeed with our online MFA in Creative Writing. Write your novel or short story collection while earning a certificate in the Online Teaching of Writing or Professional Writing, with no residency requirement.
MA in English & Creative Writing
Refine your writing skills and take a step toward furthering your career with this online master's from Southern New Hampshire University.
How Much Does a Doctorate in Creative Writing from UC Cost?
Uc graduate tuition and fees.
During the 2019-2020 academic year, part-time graduate students at UC paid an average of $1,249 per credit hour if they came to the school from out-of-state. In-state students paid a discounted rate of $662 per credit hour. The following table shows the average full-time tuition and fees for graduate student.
Learn about other programs related to <nil> that might interest you.
Low-Residency MFA in Fiction and Nonfiction
Harness your passion for storytelling with SNHU's Mountainview Low-Residency MFA in Fiction and Nonfiction. In this small, two-year creative writing program, students work one-on-one with our distinguished faculty remotely for most of the semester but convene for weeklong intensive residencies in June and January. At residencies, students critique each other's work face-to-face, meet with major authors, agents and editors and learn how to teach at the college level.
Does UC Offer an Online PhD in Creative Writing?
Online degrees for the UC creative writing doctor’s degree program are not available at this time. To see if the school offers distance learning options in other areas, visit the UC Online Learning page.
UC Doctorate Student Diversity for Creative Writing
Women made up around 66.7% of the creative writing students who took home a doctor’s degree in 2019-2020. This is higher than the nationwide number of 53.8%.
None of the creative writing doctor’s degree recipients at UC in 2019-2020 were awarded to racial-ethnic minorities*.
Majors Related to a PhD in Creative Writing From UC
You may also be interested in one of these majors related to creative writing.
View All Creative Writing Related Majors >
*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
More about our data sources and methodologies .
Compare your school options.
The Graduate College » Future Students » Funding Opportunities
Certain programs provide funding for the majority of their incoming students. If you wish to seek alternative or additional funding, check out the funding opportunities below.
Interested in a graduate assistantship ? Assistantships provide funding in exchange for teaching, research or administrative duties.
Visit the Financial Aid website for information regarding student loans and how scholarship funding can affect financial aid.
Learn about the many graduate fellowship opportunities, including national and international fellowships . Fellowships provide funding that allows students to concentrate exclusively on their studies. Please contact your program of interest to inquire about college- or department-based fellowships.
Scholarships are a great way to fund your graduate education. Graduate program offer the Graduate Scholarship potential students. Please contact your program of interest to inquire about college- or department-based fellowships.
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Ph.D. Creative Writing
Ph.d. in creative writing.
A rigorous program that combines creative writing and literary studies, the Ph.D. in Creative Writing prepares graduates for both scholarly and creative publication and teaching. With faculty guidance, students admitted to the Ph.D. program may tailor their programs to their goals and interests.
The creative writing faculty at KU has been widely published and anthologized, winning both critical and popular acclaim. Faculty awards include such distinctions as the Nebula Award, Hugo Award, Osborn Award, Shelley Memorial Award, Gertrude Stein Award, the Kenyon Review Prize, the Kentucky Center Gold Medallion, and the Pushcart Prize.
Regarding admission to both our doctoral and MFA creative writing programs, we will prioritize applicants who are interested in engaging with multiple faculty members to practice writing across genres and forms, from speculative fiction and realism to poetry and playwriting/screenwriting, etc.
The University of Kansas' Graduate Program in Creative Writing also offers an M.F.A degree .
A GTA appointment includes a tuition waiver for ten semesters plus a competitive stipend. In the first year, GTA appointees teach English 101 (first year composition) and English 102 (a required reading and writing course). Creative Writing Ph.D. students may have the opportunity to teach an introductory course in creative writing after passing the doctoral examination, and opportunities are available for a limited number of advanced GTAs to teach in the summer.
- Graduate Admissions
- Graduate Contacts
- Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
- LandLocked Literary Magazine
- The Project on the History of Black Writing
- Center for the Study of Science Fiction
- Ad-Hoc African/Americanists and Affiliates
- At least 24 hours of credit in appropriate formal graduate courses beyond the M.A. or M.F.A. At least 15 hours (in addition to ENGL 800 if not taken for the M.A.) of this course work must be taken from among courses offered by the Department of English at the 700-level and above. English 997 and 999 credits cannot be included among the 24 hours. Students may petition to take up to 6 hours outside the Department.
- ENGL 800: Methods, Theory, and Professionalism (counts toward the 24 required credit hours).
- The ENGL 801/ENGL 802 pedagogy sequence (counts toward the 24 required credit hours).
- Two seminars (courses numbered 900 or above) offered by the Department of English at the University of Kansas, beyond the M.A. or M.F.A. ENGL 998 does not fulfill this requirement.
- ENGL 999, Dissertation (at least 12 hours).
If the M.A. or M.F.A. was completed in KU’s Department of English, a doctoral student may petition the DGS to have up to 12 hours of the coursework taken in the English Department reduced toward the Ph.D.
For Doctoral students, the university requires completion of a course in responsible scholarship . For the English department, this would be ENGL 800, 780, or the equivalent). In addition, the Department requires reading knowledge of one approved foreign language: Old English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Greek, Latin, or Hebrew. Upon successful petition, a candidate may substitute reading knowledge of another language or research skill that is studied at the University or is demonstrably appropriate to the candidate’s program of study.
Doctoral students must fulfill the requirement before they take their doctoral examination, or be enrolled in a reading course the same semester as the exam. Students are permitted three attempts at passing each foreign language or research skill. Three methods of demonstrating reading knowledge for all approved languages except Old English are acceptable:
- Presenting 16 hours, four semesters, or the equivalent of undergraduate credit, earned with an average of C or better.
- Passing a graduate reading course at the University of Kansas or peer institution (e.g., French 100, German 100, etc.) with a grade of C or higher. In the past, some of these reading courses have been given by correspondence; check with the Division of Continuing Education for availability.
- Passing a translation examination given by a designated member of the English Department faculty or by the appropriate foreign language department at KU. The exam is graded pass/fail and requires the student to translate as much as possible of a representative text in the foreign language in a one-hour period, using a bilingual dictionary.
- Passing a translation examination given by the appropriate foreign language department at the M.A.-granting institution. Successful completion must be reflected either on the M.A. transcript or by a letter from the degree-granting department.
To fulfill the language requirement using Old English, students must successfully complete ENGL 710 (Introduction to Old English) and ENGL 712 (Beowulf).
Post-Coursework Ph.D. students must submit, with their committee chair(s), an annual review form to the DGS and Graduate Committee.
Doctoral students must take their doctoral examination within three semesters (excluding summers) of the end of the semester in which they took their final required course. If a student has an Incomplete, the timeline is not postponed until the Incomplete is resolved. For example, a student completing doctoral course work in Spring 2018 will need to schedule their doctoral exam no later than the end of Fall semester 2019. Delays may be granted by petition to the Graduate Director in highly unusual circumstances. Failure to take the exam within this time limit without an approved delay will result in the student’s falling out of good standing. For details on the consequences of falling out of good standing, see “Falling Out of Good Standing,” in General Department Policies and Best Practices.
A student may not take their doctoral exam until the university’s Research Skills and Responsible Scholarship requirement is fulfilled (ENGL 800 or equivalent and reading knowledge of one foreign language or equivalent).
Requirements for Doctoral Exams
All students are required to submit three reading lists, based on the requirements below, to their committee for approval. The doctoral exam will be held on a date at least twelve weeks after the approval from the whole committee is received. To facilitate quick committee approval, students may copy the graduate program coordinator on the email to the committee that contains the final version of the lists. Committee members may then respond to the email in lieu of signing a printed copy. Students should work with their committee chair and graduate program coordinator to schedule the exam at the same time as they finalize the lists.
During the two-hour oral examination (plus an additional 15-30 minutes for a break and committee deliberation), a student will be tested on their comprehension of a literary period or movement, including multiple genres and groups of authors within that period or movement. In addition, the student will be tested on two of the following six areas of study:
- An adjacent or parallel literary period or movement,
- An author or group of related authors,
- Criticism and literary theory,
- Composition theory, and
- English language.
No title from any field list may appear on either of the other two lists. See Best Practices section for more details on these six areas. See below for a description of the Review of the Dissertation Proposal (RDP), which the candidate takes the semester after passing the doctoral exam.
While many students confer with the DGS as they begin the process of developing their lists, they are also required to submit a copy of their final exam list to the DGS. Most lists will be left intact, but the DGS might request that overly long lists be condensed, or extremely short lists be expanded.
Review of Literature
The purpose of the Review of Literature is to develop and demonstrate an advanced awareness of the critical landscape for each list. The student will write an overview of the defining attributes of the field, identifying two or three broad questions that animate scholarly discussion, while using specific noteworthy texts from their list ( but not all texts on the list ) as examples.
The review also must accomplish the following:
- consider the historical context of major issues, debates, and trends that factor into the emergence of the field
- offer a historical overview of scholarship in the field that connects the present to the past
- note recent trends and emergent lines of inquiry
- propose questions about (develop critiques of, and/or identify gaps in) the field and how they might be pursued in future study (but not actually proposing or referencing a dissertation project)
For example, for a literary period, the student might include an overview of primary formal and thematic elements, of the relationship between literary and social/historical developments, of prominent movements, (etc.), as well as of recent critical debates and topics.
For a genre list, the Review of Literature might include major theories of its constitution and significance, while outlining the evolution of these theories over time.
For a Rhetoric and Composition list, the review would give an overview of major historical developments, research, theories, methods, debates, and trends of scholarship in the field.
For an English Language Studies (ELS) list, the review would give an overview of the subfields that make up ELS, the various methodological approaches to language study, the type of sources used, and major aims and goals of ELS. The review also usually involves a focus on one subfield of particular interest to the student (such as stylistics, sociolinguistics, or World/Postcolonial Englishes).
Students are encouraged to divide reviews into smaller sections that enhance clarity and organization. Students are not expected to interact with every text on their lists.
The review of literature might be used to prepare students for identifying the most important texts in the field, along with why those texts are important to the field, for the oral exam. It is recommended for students to have completed reading the bulk of (if not all) texts on their lists before writing the ROL.
The Reviews of Literature will not be produced in an exam context, but in the manner of papers that are researched and developed in consultation with all advisors/committee members, with final drafts being distributed within a reasonable time for all members to review and approve in advance of the 3-week deadline . While the Review of Literature generally is not the focus of the oral examination, it is frequently used as a point of departure for questions and discussion during the oral examination.
Doctoral Exam Committee
Exam committees typically consist of 3 faculty members from the department—one of whom serves as the Committee Chair—plus a Graduate Studies Representative. University policy dictates the composition of exam committees . Students may petition for an exception for several committee member situations, with the exception of the Graduate Studies Representative .
If a student wants to have as a committee member a person outside the university, or a person who is not in a full-time tenure-track professorship at KU, the student must contact the Graduate Secretary as early as possible. Applications for special graduate faculty status must be reviewed by the College and Graduate Studies. Requests for exam/defense approval will not be approved unless all committee members currently hold either regular or special graduate faculty status
Remote participation of committee members via technology
Students with committee members who plan to attend the defense via remote technology must be aware of college policy on teleconferencing/remote participation of committee members .
A majority of committee members must be physically present for an examination to commence; for doctoral oral examinations this requirement is 2 of the 4 members, for master’s oral examinations the requirement is 2 of the 3 members. In addition, it is required that the student being examined, the chair of the committee, and the Graduate Studies Representative all be physically present at the examination or defense. Mediated attendance by the student, chair and Grad Studies Rep is prohibited.
The recommended time between completion of coursework and the doctoral examination is two semesters.
Final exam lists need to be approved and signed by the committee at least 12 weeks prior to the prospective exam date. This includes summers/summer semesters. The lists should then be submitted to the Graduate Program Coordinator. Reviews of Literature need to be approved and signed by the committee at least 3 weeks prior to the exam date. Failure to meet this deadline will result in rescheduling the exam. No further changes to lists or Reviews of Literature will be allowed after official approval. The three-week deadline is the faculty deadline--the last date for them to confirm receipt of the ROLs and confer approval--not necessarily the student deadline for submitting the documents to the faculty. Please keep that timing in mind and allow your committee adequate time to review the materials and provide feedback.
Students taking the Doctoral Exam are allowed to bring their text lists, the approved Reviews of Literature, scratch paper, a writing utensil, and notes/writing for an approximately 5-minute introductory statement to the exam. (This statement does not need to lay out ideas or any aspect of the dissertation project.)
Each portion of the oral examination must be deemed passing before the student can proceed to the Review of the Dissertation Proposal. If a majority of the committee judges that the student has not answered adequately on one of the three areas of the exam, the student must repeat that portion in a separate oral exam of one hour, to be taken as expeditiously as possible. Failure in two areas constitutes failure of the exam and requires a retake of the whole. The doctoral examining committee will render a judgment of Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory on the entire examination. A student who fails the exam twice may, upon successful petition to the Graduate Committee, take it a third and final time.
Students cannot bring snacks, drinks, treats, or gifts for committee members to the exam. Professors should avoid the appearance of favoritism that may occur if they bring treats to some student exams but not others.
The doctoral oral examination has the following purposes:
- To establish goals, tone, and direction for the pursuit of the Ph.D. in English for the Department and for individual programs of study;
- To make clear the kinds of knowledge and skills that, in the opinion of the Department, all well-prepared holders of the degree should have attained;
- To provide a means for the Department to assess each candidate’s control of such knowledge and skills in order to certify that the candidate is prepared to write a significant dissertation and enter the profession; and
- To enable the Department to recommend to the candidate areas of strength or weakness that should be addressed.
In consultation with the Graduate Director, a student will ask a member of the Department’s graduate faculty (preferably their advisor) to be the chairperson of the examining committee. The choice of examination committee chair is very important, for that person’s role is to assist the candidate in designing the examination structure, preparing the Review of Literature (see below), negotiating reading lists and clarifying their purposes, and generally following procedures here outlined. The other three English Department members of the committee will be chosen in consultation with the committee chair. (At some point an additional examiner from outside the Department, who serves as the Graduate School representative, will be invited to join the committee). Any unresolved problems in negotiation between a candidate and their committee should be brought to the attention of the Graduate Director, who may choose to involve the Graduate Committee. A student may request a substitution in, or a faculty member may ask to be dismissed from, the membership of the examining committee. Such requests must be approved, in writing, by the faculty member leaving the committee and by the Graduate Director.
Copies of some approved reading lists and Reviews of Literature are available from the Graduate Secretary and can be found on the U: drive if you are using a computer on campus. Despite the goal of fairness and equity, some unavoidable unevenness and disparity will appear in the length of these lists. It remains, however, the responsibility of the examining committee, and especially the student’s chair, to aim toward consonance with the most rigorous standards and expectations and to insure that areas of study are not unduly narrow.
To facilitate quick committee approval, students may copy the graduate secretary on the email to the committee that contains the final version of the lists and reviews of literature. Committee members may then respond to the email in lieu of signing a printed copy.
Comprehension of a literary period (e.g., British literature of the 18th century; Romanticism; US literature of the 19th century; Modernism) entails sufficient intellectual grasp of both the important primary works of and secondary works on the period or movement to indicate a student’s ability to teach the period or movement and undertake respectable scholarship on it.
Comprehension of an author or group of related authors (e.g., Donne, the Brontës, the Bloomsbury Group, the Black Mountain Poets) entails knowledge, both primary and secondary, of a figure or figures whose writing has generated a significant body of interrelated biographical, historical, and critical scholarship.
Comprehension of one of several genres (the short story, the lyric poem, the epistolary novel). To demonstrate comprehension of a genre, a student should possess sufficient depth and breadth of knowledge, both primary and secondary, of the genre to explain its formal characteristics and account for its historical development.
Comprehension of criticism and literary theory entails a grasp of fundamental conceptual problems inherent in a major school of literary study (e.g., historicist, psychoanalytic, feminist, poststructuralist, etc.). To demonstrate comprehension of that school of criticism and literary theory, a student should be able to discuss changes in its conventions and standards of interpretation and evaluation of literature from its beginning to the present. Students will be expected to possess sufficient depth and breadth of theoretical knowledge to bring appropriate texts and issues to bear on questions of literary study.
Comprehension of composition theory entails an intellectual grasp of fundamental concepts, issues, and theories pertaining to the study of writing. To demonstrate comprehension of composition theory, students should be able to discuss traditional and current issues from a variety of perspectives, as well as the field’s historical development from classical rhetoric to the present.
Comprehension of the broad field of English language studies entails a grasp of the field’s theoretical concepts and current issues, as well as a familiarity with significant works within given subareas. Such subareas will normally involve formal structures (syntax, etc.) and history of the English language, along with other subareas such as social linguistics, discourse analysis, lexicography, etc. Areas of emphasis and specific sets of topics will be arranged through consultation with relevant faculty.
Ph.D. candidates must be continuously enrolled in Dissertation hours each Fall and Spring semester from the time they pass the doctoral examination until successful completion of the final oral examination (defense of dissertation).
- Students enroll for a minimum of 6 hours each Fall and Spring semester until the total of post-doctoral exam Dissertation hours is 18. One hour each semester must be ENGL 999. In order to more quickly reach the 18-hour minimum, and to be sooner eligible for GRAships, it is highly recommended that students enroll in 9 hours of Dissertation in the Spring and Fall semesters.
- Once a student has accumulated 18 post-doctoral exam hours, each subsequent enrollment will be for a number of hours agreed upon as appropriate between the student and their advisor, the minimal enrollment each semester being 1 hour of ENGL 999.
- A student must be enrolled in at least one hour of credit at KU during the semester they graduate. Although doctoral students must be enrolled in ENGL 999 while working on their dissertations, per current CLAS regulations, there is no absolute minimum number of ENGL 999 hours required for graduation.
- Students who live and work outside the Lawrence area may, under current University regulations, have their fees assessed at the Field Work rate, which is somewhat lower than the on-campus rate. Students must petition the College Office of Graduate Affairs before campus fees will be waived.
Please also refer to the COGA policy on post-exam enrollment or the Graduate School’s policy .
As soon as possible following successful completion of the doctoral exam, the candidate should establish their three-person core dissertation committee, and then expeditiously proceed to the preparation of a dissertation proposal. Within the semester following completion of the doctoral exam , the student will present to their core dissertation committee a written narrative of approximately 10-15 pages , not including bibliography, of the dissertation proposal. While the exam schedule is always contingent on student progress, in the first two weeks of the semester in which they intend to take the review , students will work with their committee chair and the graduate program coordinator to schedule the 90-minute RDP. Copies of this proposal must be submitted to the members of the dissertation committee and Graduate Program Coordinator no later than three weeks prior to the scheduled examination date.
In the proposal, students will be expected to define: the guiding question or set of questions; a basic thesis (or hypothesis); how the works to be studied or the creative writing produced relate to that (hypo)thesis; the theoretical/methodological model to be followed; the overall formal divisions of the dissertation; and how the study will be situated in the context of prior scholarship (i.e., its importance to the field). The narrative section should be followed by a bibliography demonstrating that the candidate is conversant with the basic theoretical and critical works pertinent to the study. For creative writing students, the proposal may serve as a draft of the critical introduction to the creative dissertation. Students are expected to consult with their projected dissertation committee concerning the preparation of the proposal.
The review will focus on the proposal, although it could also entail determining whether or not the candidate’s knowledge of the field is adequate to begin the composition process. The examination will be graded pass/fail. If it is failed, the committee will suggest areas of weakness to be addressed by the candidate, who will rewrite the proposal and retake the review by the end of the following semester . If the candidate abandons the entire dissertation project for another, a new RDP will be taken. (For such a step to be taken, the change would need to be drastic, such as a move to a new field or topic. A change in thesis or the addition or subtraction of one or even several works to be examined would not necessitate a new proposal and defense.) If the student fails to complete the Review of the Dissertation Proposal within a year of the completion of the doctoral exams, they will have fallen out of departmental good standing. For details on the consequences of falling out of good standing, see “Falling Out of Good Standing,” in General Department Policies and Best Practices.
After passing the Review of the Dissertation Proposal, the student should forward one signed copy of the proposal to the Graduate Program Coordinator. The RDP may last no longer than 90 minutes.
Students cannot bring snacks, drinks, treats, or gifts for committee members to the review. Professors should avoid the appearance of favoritism that may occur if they bring treats to some student exams but not others.
The Graduate Catalog states that the doctoral candidate “must present a dissertation showing the planning, conduct and results of original research, and scholarly creativity.” While most Ph.D. candidates in the Department of English write dissertations of a traditional, research-oriented nature, a creative writing candidate may elect to do a creative-writing dissertation involving fiction, poetry, drama or nonfiction prose. Such a dissertation must also contain a substantial section of scholarly research related to the creative writing. The precise nature of the scholarly research component should be determined by the candidate in consultation with the dissertation committee and the Graduate Director. Candidates wishing to undertake such a dissertation must complete all Departmental requirements demanded for the research-oriented Ph.D. degree.
Scholarly Research Component (SRC)
The Scholarly Research Component (SRC) of the creative-writing dissertation is a separate section of the dissertation than the creative work. It involves substantial research and is written in the style of academic prose. It should be 15-20 pages and should cite at least 20 sources, some of which should be primary texts, and many of which should be from the peer-reviewed secondary literature. The topic must relate, in some way, to the topic, themes, ideas, or style of the creative portion of the dissertation; this relation should be stated in the Dissertation Proposal, which should include a section describing the student’s plans for the SRC. The SRC may be based on a seminar paper or other work the student has completed prior to the dissertation; but the research should be augmented, and the writing revised, per these guidelines. The SRC is a part of the dissertation, and as such will be included in the dissertation defense.
The SRC may take two general forms:
1.) An article, publishable in a peer-reviewed journal or collection, on a specific topic related to an author, movement, theoretical issue, taxonomic issue, etc. that has bearing on the creative portion. The quality of this article should be high enough that the manuscript could be submitted to a peer-reviewed publication, with a plausible chance of acceptance.
2.) A survey . This survey may take several different forms:
- A survey of a particular aspect of the genre of the creative portion of the dissertation (stylistic, national, historical, etc.)
- An introduction to the creative portion of the dissertation that explores the influences on, and the theoretical or philosophical foundations or implications of the creative work
- An exploration of a particular technical problem or craft issue that is salient in the creative portion of the dissertation
- If the creative portion of the dissertation includes the results of research (e.g., historical novel, documentary poetry, research-based creative nonfiction), a descriptive overview of the research undertaken already for the dissertation itself
- A combination of the above, with the prior approval of the student’s dissertation director.
The dissertation committee will consist of at least four members—two “core” English faculty members, a third faculty member (usually from English), and one faculty member from a different department who serves as the Graduate Studies representative. The committee may include (with the Graduate Director’s approval) members from other departments and, with the approval of the University’s Graduate Council, members from outside the University. If a student wants to have a committee member from outside the university, or a person who is not in a full-time tenure-track professorship at KU, the student must contact the Graduate Secretary as early as possible. Applications for special graduate faculty status must be reviewed by the College and the Office of Graduate Studies. Requests for defense approval will not be approved unless all committee members currently hold either regular or special graduate faculty status.
The candidate’s preferences as to the membership of the dissertation committee will be carefully considered; the final decision, however, rests with the Department and with the Office of Graduate Studies. All dissertation committees must get approval from the Director of Graduate Studies before scheduling the final oral exam (defense). Furthermore, any changes in the make-up of the dissertation committee from the Review of the Dissertation Proposal committee must be approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.
Once the dissertation proposal has passed and the writing of the dissertation begins, membership of the dissertation committee should remain constant. However, under extraordinary circumstances, a student may request a substitution in, or a faculty member may ask to be dismissed from, the membership of the dissertation committee. Such requests must be approved, in writing, by the faculty member leaving the committee and by the Graduate Director.
If a student does not make progress during the dissertation-writing stage, and accumulates more than one “Limited Progress” and/or “No Progress” grade on their transcript, they will fall out of good standing in the department. For details on the consequences of falling out of good standing, see “Falling Out of Good Standing,” in General Department Policies and Best Practices
Final Oral Exam (Dissertation Defense)
When the dissertation has been tentatively accepted by the dissertation committee (not including the Graduate Studies Representative), the final oral examination will be held, on the recommendation of the Department. While the exam schedule is always contingent on student progress, in the first two weeks of the semester in which they intend to defend the dissertation, students should work with their committee chair and graduate program coordinator to schedule it.
Although the dissertation committee is responsible for certification of the candidate, any member of the graduate faculty may be present at the examination and participate in the questioning, and one examiner—the Graduate Studies Representative—must be from outside the Department. The Graduate Secretary can help students locate an appropriate Grad Studies Rep. The examination normally lasts no more than two hours. It is the obligation of the candidate to advise the Graduate Director that they plan to take the oral examination; this must be done at least one month before the date proposed for the examination.
At least three calendar weeks prior to the defense date, the student will submit the final draft of the dissertation to all the committee members (including the GSR) and inform the Graduate Program Coordinator. Failure to meet this deadline will necessitate rescheduling the defense. The final oral examination for the Ph.D. in English is, essentially, a defense of the dissertation. When it is passed, the dissertation itself is graded by the dissertation director, in consultation with the student’s committee; the student’s performance in the final examination (defense) is graded by the entire five-person committee
Students cannot bring snacks, drinks, treats, or gifts for committee members to the defense. Professors should avoid the appearance of favoritism that may occur if they bring treats to some student defenses but not others
These sets of attributes are adapted from the Graduate Learner Outcomes that are a part of our Assessment portfolio. “Honors” should only be given to dissertations that are rated “Outstanding” in all or most of the following categories:
- Significant and innovative plot/structure/idea/focus. The writer clearly places plot/structure/idea/focus in context.
- Thorough knowledge of literary traditions. Clear/flexible vision of the creative work produced in relation to those literary traditions.
- Introduction/Afterword is clear, concise, and insightful. A detailed discussion of the implications of the project and future writing projects exists.
- The creative dissertation reveals the doctoral candidate’s comprehensive understanding of poetics and/or aesthetic approach. The application of the aesthetic approach is innovative and convincing.
- The creative dissertation represents original and sophisticated creative work.
- The creative dissertation demonstrates thematic and/or aesthetic unity.
After much discussion about whether the “honors” designation assigned after the dissertation defense should be for the written product only, for the defense/discussion only, for both together, weighted equally, or eradicated altogether, the department voted to accept the Graduate Committee recommendation that “honors” only apply to the written dissertation. "Honors" will be given to dissertations that are rated "Outstanding" in all or most of the categories on the dissertation rubric.
Normally, the dissertation will present the results of the writer’s own research, carried on under the direction of the dissertation committee. This means that the candidate should be in regular contact with all members of the committee during the dissertation research and writing process, providing multiple drafts of chapters, or sections of chapters, according to the arrangements made between the student and each faculty member. Though accepted primarily for its scholarly merit rather than for its rhetorical qualities, the dissertation must be stylistically competent. The Department has accepted the MLA Handbook as the authority in matters of style. The writer may wish to consult also the Chicago Manual of Style and Kate L. Turabian’s A Manual for Writers of Dissertations, Theses, and Term Papers .
Naturally, both the student and the dissertation committee have responsibilities and obligations to each other concerning the submitting and returning of materials. The student should plan on working steadily on the dissertation; if they do so, they should expect from the dissertation committee a reasonably quick reading and assessment of material submitted.
Students preparing their dissertation should be showing chapters to their committee members as they go along, for feedback and revision suggestions. They should also meet periodically with committee members to assess their progress. Prior to scheduling a defense, the student is encouraged to ask committee members whether they feel that the student is ready to defend the dissertation. Ideally, the student should hold the defense only when they have consulted with committee members sufficiently to feel confident that they have revised the dissertation successfully to meet the expectations of all committee members.
Students should expect that they will need to revise each chapter at least once. This means that all chapters (including introduction and conclusion) are shown to committee members once, revised, then shown to committee members again in revised form to assess whether further revisions are needed, prior to the submitting of the final dissertation as a whole. It is not unusual for further revisions to be required and necessary after the second draft of a chapter; students should not therefore simply assume that a second draft is necessarily “final” and passing work.
If a substantial amount of work still needs to be completed or revised at the point that the dissertation defense is scheduled, such a defense date should be regarded as tentative, pending the successful completion, revision, and receipt of feedback on all work. Several weeks prior to the defense, students should consult closely with their dissertation director and committee members about whether the dissertation as a whole is in a final and defensible stage. A project is ready for defense when it is coherent, cohesive, well researched, engages in sophisticated analysis (in its entirety or in the critical introduction of creative dissertations), and makes a significant contribution to the field. In other words, it passes each of the categories laid out in the Dissertation Rubric.
If the dissertation has not clearly reached a final stage, the student and dissertation director are advised to reschedule the defense.
Prior Publication of the Doctoral Dissertation
Portions of the material written by the doctoral candidate may appear in article form before completion of the dissertation. Prior publication does not ensure the acceptance of the dissertation by the dissertation committee. Final acceptance of the dissertation is subject to the approval of the dissertation committee. Previously published material by other authors included in the dissertation must be properly documented.
Each student beyond the master’s degree should confer regularly with the Graduate Director regarding their progress toward the doctoral examination and the doctorate.
Doctoral students may take graduate courses outside the English Department if, in their opinion and that of the Graduate Director, acting on behalf of the Graduate Committee, those courses will be of value to them. Their taking such courses will not, of course, absolve them of the responsibility for meeting all the normal departmental and Graduate School requirements.
Doctoral students in creative writing are strongly encouraged to take formal literature classes in addition to forms classes. Formal literature classes, by providing training in literary analysis, theory, and/or literary history, will help to prepare students for doctoral exams (and future teaching at the college level).
- GTAs take 2 courses (801 + one), teach 2 courses; GRAs take 3 courses.
- Visit assigned advisor once a month to update on progress & perceptions. 1st-year advisors can assist with selecting classes for the Spring semester, solidifying and articulating a field of specialization, advice about publishing, conferences, professionalization issues, etc.
- GTAs take 2 courses (780/800/880 + one), teach 2 courses. GTAs also take ENGL 802 for 1 credit hour. GRAs take 3 courses.
- Visit assigned advisor or DGS once during the semester; discuss best advisor choices for Year 2.
- Enroll in Summer Institute if topic and/or methodology matches interests.
- Consider conferences suited to your field and schedule; choose a local one for attendance in Year 2 and draft an Abstract for a conference paper (preferably with ideas/materials/ writing drawn from a seminar paper). Even if abstract is not accepted, you can attend the conference without the pressure of presenting.
- Attend at least one conference to familiarize yourself with procedure, network with other grad students and scholars in your field, AND/OR present a paper.
- Take 2 courses, teach 2 courses.
- Visit advisor in person at least once during the semester.
- Begin revising one of your seminar papers/independent study projects/creative pieces for submission to a journal; research the journals most suited to placement of your piece.
- Begin thinking about fields and texts for comprehensive examinations.
- Choose an advisor to supervise you through the doctoral examination process.
- Visit assigned 1st-year advisor in person at least once during the semester (at least to formally request doctoral exam supervision OR to notify that you are changing advisors).
- Summer teaching, if eligible.
- Continue revising paper/creative writing for submission to a journal.
- Begin reading for comprehensive exams.
- Attend one conference and present a paper. Apply for one-time funding for out-of-state travel from Graduate Studies .
- Teach 2 courses; take 997 (exam prep).
- Finalize comps list by end of September; begin drafting rationales.
- Circulate the draft of your article/creative piece to your advisor, other faculty in the field, and/or advanced grad students in the field for suggestions.
- Revise article/creative piece with feedback from readers.
- Teach 2 courses; take 997 or 999 (dissertation hours). Enroll in 999 if you plan to take your comps this semester, even if you don’t take them until the last day of classes.
- Take comps sometime between January and May.
- Summer teaching, if available.
- Submit article/creative work for publication.
- Continuous enrollment after completing doctoral exam (full policy on p. 20)
- Research deadlines for grant applications—note deadlines come early in the year.
- Attend one conference and present a paper.
- Teach 2 courses, take 999.
- Compose dissertation proposal by November.
- Schedule Review of Dissertation Proposal (RDP—formerly DPR).
- Apply for at least one grant or fellowship, such as a departmental-level GRAship or dissertation fellowship. (Winning a full-year, non-teaching fellowship can cut down your years-to-degree to 5 ½, or even 5 years.)
- Conduct research for and draft at least 1 dissertation chapter.
- Conduct research and complete a draft of at least 1 dissertation chapter.
- Revise & resubmit journal article, if necessary.
- Attend 1st round of job market meetings with Job Placement Advisor (JPA) to start drafting materials and thinking about the process.
- Research and complete a draft of at least 1 dissertation chapter, if teaching (1-2 chapters if not).
- Visit dissertation chair and committee members in person at least once during the semester.
- Research and complete a draft of at least 1 dissertation chapter (1-2 chapters if not teaching).
- Apply for a departmental grant or fellowship, or, if already held, try applying for one from outside the department, such as those offered by KU’s Hall Center for the Humanities or the Office of Graduate Studies. For a monthly list of funding opportunities , visit the Graduate Studies website.
- Research and complete a draft of at least 1 dissertation chapter.
- Attend job market meetings with JPA in earnest.
- Apply for external grants, research fellowships, postdoctoral positions with fall deadlines (previous fellowship applications, your dissertation proposal, and subsequent writing should provide a frame so that much of the application can be filled out with the “cut & paste” function).
- Research and complete a draft of at least 1 dissertation chapter (1-2 if not teaching).
- Visit dissertation chair and committee members in person at least once during the semester.
- Polish dissertation chapters.
- Apply for grants and fellowships with spring deadlines.
- Defend dissertation.
Creative Writing Faculty
- Associate Professor
- Professor of English & Environmental Studies
- Assistant Professor
Graduate Student Handbook
Fully funded phd programs in creative writing 2024.
Are you holding Master’s degree in Creative Writing and looking for fully funded PhD positions in Creative Writing? Multiple Universities invite online application for multiple fully funded PhD Programs / fully funded PhD positions in Creative Writing.
Candidates interested in fully funded PhD positions can check the details and may apply as soon as possible. Interested and eligible applicants may submit their online application for PhD programs via the University’s Online Application Portal.
1. Fully Funded PhD in Creative Writing at University of Cincinnati
Summary of phd program:.
The University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio, provides a four-year PhD program in Creative Writing that is fully funded. Students take tests in two categories after two years of course work that includes workshops, forms classes, pedagogical training, literature, and theory. Recent genre examples include Comic Fiction, the History of the Love Lyric, and Fantasy; scholarly examples include the History of the Novel, 20th Century American Poetry, and Modern & Contemporary British Fiction.
Every Ph.D. student is given the opportunity to teach creative writing, and many also teach literature. The majority of students are supported by their PI’s grants.
Application Deadline: Dec 01, 2024
2. fully funded phd in creative writing at florida state university.
FSU, located in Tallahassee, FL, provides a fully funded PhD in creative writing. Coursework included 12 hours of general literature requirements and an Area of Concentration of 18 hours (9 for students in Creative Writing). Students’ dissertations may consist of an extended essay, three or more essays on a single topic, or a prolonged original work in fiction, poetry, or nonfiction.
Ph.D. students receive a four-year assistantship but can seek for a fifth year if they make good progress. PhDs received a remuneration of $16,200. The FSU Graduate School provides a number of fellowships and awards.
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3. Fully Funded PhD in Creative Writing and Literature at University of Houston
A fully funded PhD in creative writing and literature is available at the University of Houston in Houston, Texas. The PhD in Creative Writing and Literature program provides an innovative, multidisciplinary curriculum, as well as dedicated advising and mentoring from the English department’s active staff, as well as solid preparation for professional teaching in university classrooms.
The Creative Writing Program gives Ph.D. students teaching assistantships through the Department of English. Ph.D. students are eligible for a 5-year teaching assistantship. A PhD’s starting pay is $20,104/9 months. Additionally, students are awarded Fellowships, and the University will pay 50% of their medical insurance.
4. Fully Funded PhD in Creative Writing at University of Illinois
A fully funded PhD in creative writing is available at the University of Illinois in Chicago, IL. The English graduate program offers a PhD in English with programs in English Studies, Creative Writing (known as the Program for Writers), and English Education. The program is specifically designed to foster creative work in writing and teaching, which will lead to jobs in academic fields.
Accepted PhD students are often given six years of departmental funding in the form of a teaching assistantship. Graduate students can apply for a variety of fellowships and awards from the Graduate College and the Department.
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5. fully funded phd in creative writing at university of nebraska.
The University of Nebraska in Lincoln, Nebraska, offers a fully funded PhD program in creative writing. In conjunction with a self-selected Supervisory Committee, all Ph.D. students, including those in Creative Writing, establish a program of coursework, reading lists for two comprehensive tests, and plans to complete foreign language requirements. Students in Creative Writing complete a creative dissertation, which can be a collection of poems, short stories, a novel, an anthology of essays, or a multi-genre piece.
Ph.D. students are paid $17,640 per year as Teaching Assistants, with tuition remission and health insurance. The compensation for Research Assistants is $13.155 per week, with tuition reimbursement.
6. Fully Funded PhD in Creative Writing at University of New Brunswick
The University of New Brunswick, which is located in Fredericton and Saint John, provides a fully funded PhD in creative writing. The department has skilled practitioners and instructors in all major genres of creative writing, including fiction, poetry, playwriting, and screenwriting, as well as nonfiction and travel writing experience.
The Ph.D. program is intended to prepare students to teach literature and writing at the college or university levels. Ph.D. students at UNB are eligible to compete for $19,420 in assistantship money per year for four years, assuming satisfactory academic achievement.
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7. fully funded phd in creative writing and literature at university of southern california.
The University of Southern California (USC), located in Los Angeles, California, offers a fully funded PhD in creative writing and literature. Students accepted into this program participate in a series of writing workshops led by our internationally acclaimed creative writing faculty. Students must apply in only one genre: fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. The Ph.D. program emphasizes both literature and creative writing, culminating in a dissertation that blends critical analysis with creative creativity.
Admitted students are provided with financial assistance and support in the form of fellowships and teaching assistantships, which include full tuition remission, health insurance, and a stipend.
8. Fully Funded PhD in Creative Writing at Texas Tech University
Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, provides a fully funded PhD in creative writing. The Ph.D. with a specialty in Creative Writing is quite flexible; it requires you to practice your craft as a writer as well as becoming a literary researcher. Students expand their critical engagement with language while also developing a taste for fiction, poetry, and nonfiction prose. Students are immediately considered for financial assistance.
Incoming students are provided with a teaching post with a competitive stipend (guaranteed $20K/year for four years with options to apply for the fifth year of funding) as well as significant tuition and fee waivers.
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9. fully funded phd in creative writing at ulster university.
Ulster University in Northern Ireland provides fully funded PhD programs in creative writing. Individual scholars in the department are engaged in a wide range of research in the fields of English Studies and would welcome proposals in any of the following areas: Early Modern, Eighteenth Century, and Victorian Literature and Culture, Modern, Postmodern, Contemporary, and Creative Writing, as well as Critical Theory. They accept proposals in the areas of creative writing, including poetry and prose fiction.
The University is usually able to grant financial scholarships to assist Ph.D. study for applicants from all around the world. These scholarships often cover full tuition expenses as well as a tax-free maintenance payment of more than £15,000 each year.
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Fully funded phd in creative writing at university of cincinnati.
- Post published: May 10, 2023
- Reading time: 5 mins read
Are you looking to take your education and career to the next level? Do you have a passion for research and a desire to make meaningful contributions to your field of study? If so, a Funded PhD programs may be the perfect choice for you.
Attention all aspiring scholars and researchers! The University of Cincinnati is accepting applications for our prestigious funded PhD programs. Apply to the University of Cincinnati’s PhD program today and take the first step towards a rewarding and fulfilling academic career.
About Fully Funded PhD in Creative Writing
The University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio, provides a four-year PhD program in Creative Writing that is completely funded. Students take tests in two categories after two years of course work that includes workshops, forms classes, pedagogical training, literature, and theory. Recent genre examples include Comic Fiction, the History of the Love Lyric, and Fantasy; scholarly examples include the History of the Novel, 20th Century American Poetry, and Modern & Contemporary British Fiction.
- Earned master’s degree prior to entering the PhD.
- You are expected to have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and subject-specific GPA of 3.5 or above.
- English language proficiency requirements (non-native English speakers)
PhD Funding Coverage
Every Ph.D. student is given the opportunity to teach creative writing, and many also teach literature. The majority of children are supported by their professors.
Explore Open Funded PhD Position Here
Application requirement .
- Official transcripts from previously attended college/ university.
- English language proficiency test scores such as TOEFL, IELTS, etc. (for non-native English speakers only)
- Entrance test scores, GRE*, GMAT* or other accepted scores*
- Research proposal
- Statement of purpose
- Writing samples
- Letters of recommendation
- Up-to-date resume
- Copy of passport
- Financial documents including bank statements
*Please check if GRE, GMAT is need at official university website.
The application deadline is December 1.
PhD Career: What are the Career Option?
How to apply funded phd program.
Applications are submitted through the online Graduate Application portal. Please upload all required documents on your Graduate Application.
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The Birth of UC’s Creative Writing Powerhouse
Illustration by Michael Parkin
E ven the newest Queen City transplant is privy to the University of Cincinnati’s top-ranked DAAP and engineering programs. Executive offices across town are filled with UC law and business grads. Everyone has a Bob Huggins story. But most local lifers likely have no clue that the city’s preeminent school of higher learning is also a magnet for some of the country’s top aspiring writers and poets. New York and San Francisco had the Beat Generation. Dublin had Yeats, Joyce, even Bono. The Iowa Writers’ Workshop is famed for churning out the likes of Flannery O’Connor and John Irving. But Cincinnati?
In 2012, the last year the nonprofit literary organization Poets & Writers compiled national rankings for Ph.D. creative writing programs, UC was ranked by applicants as the eighth-favorite in the nation. That same year, the program’s biannually published literary journal, The Cincinnati Review, tied The New Yorker for the greatest number of poems selected for republication in the annual Best American Poetry. (One-tenth of the anthology was drawn from CR. ) This fall, faculty member Chris Bachelder’s book, The Throwback Special, was short-listed for the National Book Award. When I first e-mailed Michael Griffith, director of graduate studies in English, asking for insight into successes by current students and recent alumni, he sent back an eight-page bibliography listing novels, story and poetry collections, and conference speaking engagements.
“The students have gotten more and more accomplished,” says Leah Stewart, novelist and director of the creative writing program. Over the course of her nine years teaching in the program, she’s noticed the evolution: Early on “it wasn’t that unusual to have, say, a poet graduate with a published book, but now we admit poets who’ve already published a book.”
It’s an elite program. In 2012, roughly 60 people applied for three poetry and three fiction spots in the creative writing Ph.D. track. Last year, 115 applicants vied for those six spots, plus an additional spot in a newer nonfiction track. Of course, all of this transpires in the academic and publishing worlds, a mini-universe not lacking in self-importance, pretension, and careerist maneuvering. Even if the program’s prowess (or mere existence) is news to most, one would be forgiven, in the midst of so many accolades, alumni book contracts, and steep competition for admission, for presuming it’s a program where ambition rules and ego drives the classroom. Instead, it’s a surprisingly prima donna–free environment where collegiality reigns and the focus is on improving each person’s quality of work, rather than one-upmanship. And in the dog-eat-dog halls of academe, that counts as a major plot twist.
O n an autumn Tuesday afternoon in McMicken Hall, the school’s hub for creative writing, nine students gather around a large wooden table for Bachelder’s graduate-level Technique and Form in Fiction class. By appearance, they are predominantly in their twenties and thirties, mainly white. Most are women. There’s only a single pair of Warby Parker-type glasses in the bunch.
The focus of Bachelder’s course is on forms of haunted narration, how being dogged by memory, obsessions, or guilt can serve as a dramatic device in a story. It’s second-year Ryan Smith’s turn to summarize and prompt discussion for the week’s reading: Jeffrey Eugenides’s The Virgin Suicides. Smith gamely dives into Eugenides’s strange first-person plural why-done-it, sweeping through the premise of the novel to dig deeper into why the story’s constructs work. An aspiring novelist, Smith draws the class to a section of the book in which a grieving, frustrated father tries to flush a neighbor boy’s retainer down the toilet. The thing won’t flush, a scene representing futility and ineffectuality. “The replica of the boy’s mouth clung to the white slope,” Smith reads aloud.
A few smile over the line, which Bachelder repeats, telling his students to do that—write sentences like that simple, rich line—then do it again and again.
There’s a respect for craft in the room that transcends the usual dynamic of protégés and esteemed professor, or even the worshipful attitude that can often occur among creatives admiring a great work. The Ph.D. program is equal parts training in writing and training for future academic life, so perhaps some of the program’s inherent un-jerkiness comes from assembling a group of future pedagogues keen on fostering growth in others’ writing as much as their own. Seven of the class’s 10 students are on the Ph.D. track, and the majority of them already have a Master of Fine Arts degree as well. Once considered the terminal degree in creative writing, an MFA is now often seen as a “studio” degree for those who want to write full-time.
“If you go for the Ph.D., you’re making a double commitment,” says Stewart. “You want to teach, be in academia, but you also hope to be a successful, published writer.”
Smith’s day leading discussion is yet another form of practice for a professorial career. Ph.D. students at UC teach one class per semester (such as freshman composition) in their first year; in their second year they lead undergraduate writing workshops, literature courses, or creative writing courses they propose (like Smith’s upcoming playwriting workshop). All graduate students in the creative writing program are fully funded through teaching lower-level courses or working for CR and other university fellowships—unless they have funds provided from some other source, such as tuition remission or the GI Bill.
Smith, who like most of his classmates has already earned an MFA, notes a perceptible difference in UC’s ethos. “I’ve definitely heard horror stories from MFA programs about competitiveness and conflict in the workshop,” he says. He believes many of the students at UC, having already done at least two years of workshops, have less to prove. “We’ve learned how to be constructive without being combative.”
C ultivating this type of artistic ecosystem has enabled UC to attract some pretty high-quality literary talent, among both students and faculty. The university’s George Elliston Poetry Fund has drawn a distinguished poet-in-residence to campus each year since 1951 for seminars, workshops, and public readings; past residents include Robert Frost, Wendell Berry, Marilyn Nelson, and C.K. Williams. Biannually, the Emerging Fiction Writers Festival brings four burgeoning writers to campus, and each semester the program’s visiting writers series attracts highly regarded poets and novelists. The Cincinnati Review, which began publication in 2003, receives upwards of 10,000 poetry, essay, and story submissions every year from a mix of young writers, Pulitzer Prize winners, and MacArthur fellows.
“ CR really has been a big part of the efflorescence of the program over the last 15 years,” says Griffith, adding that the journal made outsiders consider UC a creative writing hub.
Those layers of support, and the reputation the program has built, are certainly welcome and embraced, but also reflect a harsh reality: Part of the reason UC’s creative writing program is so competitive is because in today’s literary climate, a Ph.D. and published work are both tacit requirements for landing a tenure-track job.
Katherine Zlabek graduated from the program in 2014 and recently started a new position at Salisbury University in Maryland. Before graduation, she had a series of job-preparation meetings and a number of mentors who scrutinized her applications. She says that “people do recognize [UC] as a school that prepares students well.” Stewart, the creative writing director, has been on the job-seeking end of the equation before, hunting for a position when few were available. She was fortunate UC had an opening the year she was looking, though it’s not merely a lack of opportunity that keeps her rooted here. She refers to the program’s congeniality—again, that vibe—but also a university that is generous with fellowship opportunities for students and faculty.
According to Seth Abramson—the poet, essayist, and Harvard-trained lawyer who compiled those MFA and Ph.D. rankings for Poets & Writers— we are living through an important inflection point in the professionalization of creative writing. He gauges it as the fastest growing field in the humanities—a 262 percent growth in the number of terminal-degree programs (MFA and Ph.D.) since 1993—but also notes the dramatic sea change in how MFAs have come to be regarded.
“It’s certainly possible to go to an MFA program, amass a terrific body of work, publish well, and then on the basis of that, get a job,” says Griffith, echoing Abramson. “But often, even the really strong students want versatility.”
Flooded with applicants for a vanishing number of teaching positions, Griffith says universities end up “looking to make minuscule distinctions.” There’s a mild preference for Ph.D.s, even among those who’ve published one or more books, because the additional four years allow writers to amass more impressive CVs and prepare to teach multiple genres. The same goes for those seeking jobs outside academia as archivists, editors, or publishers—at UC, for example, they can pair the degree with, say, one of the three assistantships editing The Cincinnati Review or working for its forthcoming press, Acre Books, launching in 2017. It yields results, too. Griffith notes that more than two-thirds of UC’s creative writing alumni from the last decade secured tenure-track, long-term, or permanent academic jobs within two years of graduation. A tenth had adjunct or contingent academic positions, and the rest have jobs outside academia.
Though it does offer a small master’s (MA) creative writing program, the university does not offer an MFA track, the degree that most casual observers would associate with the craft. That may be why the department flies under most people’s radar. Nevertheless, investing in a strong Ph.D. program has helped to set UC apart. The explosion in MFA creative writing programs across the country in recent decades has been offset by a mounting preference for academic jobs given to Ph.D.s. It’s creating a bottleneck of sorts among applicants, which Abramson predicts could lead to a similar boom in doctorate-level creative writing programs down the road. “If and when that happens,” says Abramson, “Cincinnati will be very well situated, because it will be one of the original 30 programs.”
For a field that holds its more storied institutions in higher esteem, it’s a good position to be in.
S ix poetry students sit in a circle of desks as instructor and poet Rebecca Lindenberg reminds her class that novelist Sandra Cisneros will be reading on campus, just days after accepting the National Medal of Arts Award from President Obama. Lindenberg herself has published two collections of poetry, including The Logan Notebooks, winner of the 2015 Utah Book Award.
It’s near lunch hour, evidenced by the wrapped sandwiches and fruit littering the students’ desks and the Lunchable and Diet Coke on Lindenberg’s. Each student assesses a copy of Lyn Hejinian’s My Life, a dense, autobiographical, poetic assemblage of 37 sets of 37 sentences, reflecting the first 37 years of Hejinian’s life. They grapple with what to make of a text that Hejinian treated as a feminist project, bucking the tyranny of hierarchical narrative by attempting to make no line more important than another.
“I do experience reader fatigue,” Lindenberg admits to the class, kicking off a discussion on what makes the book feel so disjointed. The instructor exhibits an obvious brilliance and utter lack of pretention. She leaps from Hejinian’s dismissal of the “coercive, epiphanic mode” of traditional, closed forms of poetry, to describing Hejinian’s approach to paragraphs as toy boxes into which she heaps a clatter of Legos. She highlights how the author’s editing process can feel like a mad cut-and-paste. “Don’t like a word?” Lindenberg asks, smiling. Just pop in another, any other: “Bounce! Cow! Shoe! Go!” rattles Lindenberg, laughing at the sense of randomness in the writing as she shakes her head. “You do you, Lyn Hejinian.”
The class is with her, chuckling and delighting in the good and strange they garnered from the reading, appreciating how the off-putting structure still conveyed something powerful. There are beautiful lines (“It is hard to turn away from moving water”) and curated oddities (“McDonald’s is the world’s largest purchaser of beef eyeballs”), which the students read aloud. They discuss what it’s like to take risks on as grand a scale as Hejinian, and to what degree poets such as themselves can take such risks in the current culture.
Lindenberg describes a time she gave a reading at a conference in Bogota, Columbia. Roughly 3,000 people crowded into a stadium to listen to poetry. In the U.S., she jokes, you’re lucky to draw 20 people, and most are more interested in the two-tone cheese and boxed wine. But, “when fewer people are paying attention,” Lindenberg reminds the class, “you can do what you want.”
There’s a sense and understanding of the rarified in the room, contemplative and supportive. The tall odds of book publication and job openings in a tightening, niche market loom over everything, but in a manner that inspires rather than impedes creativity and camaraderie. The students are fortunate enough to be practicing for greatness in a place where great work is fostered, celebrated, and groomed. There’s no room to play it safe. They can’t afford to.
“We have decided to be poets, which a lot of mainstream America thinks is extinct,” Lindenberg says to her students as they share a rueful laugh. “So, if you’re going to dream the dream, dream the whole damned thing.”
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APPLICATION DEADLINE: December 1st of each year.
We do not mail out nor accept hard copy applications. Please upload all application materials electronically to the online application.
- Apply online : https://gradadm.usc.edu/apply/ . Upload to your application the following required materials.
- Creative writing sample : Fiction or Nonfiction (approximately 25 pages) or Poetry (approximately 10 – 12 pages). Please do not send entire manuscripts. Select and send only the approximate number of pages requested.
- Critical writing sample: A scholarly critical work (10 – 25 pages). Book reviews will not satisfy this requirement.
- Statement of purpose (no more than 3 pages, single-spaced).
- Diversity, Inclusion, and Access Statement (optional): Diversity presents itself in many different forms, and it is our goal to cultivate an environment that values diverse backgrounds, approaches, and perspectives. Feel free to provide a statement (no more than 1 page single-spaced) of how your particular perspective may contribute to the synergy of a diverse learning community.
- Three letters of recommendation: The online application will prompt you to list the names and email addresses of your recommenders. Each recommender will receive an email with specific instructions on how to upload the letter. We do not accept hard copies of letters of recommendation.
- GRE General Test Score: As of August 15, 2022, the GRE General Test is no longer required!
- Transcripts, 2 copies : (1.) Upload an unofficial copy of your university-issued transcripts to the application. (2.) Request official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework, and send to the following address: USC Office of Graduate Admission 3601 South Flower St. #112 Los Angeles, CA 90089-091
E-transcripts: USC now accepts official electronic transcripts, provided they meet the guidelines set by USC Graduate Admissions: https://gradadm.usc.edu/lightboxes/us-students-transcript-requirements/ .
Do not send any other materials or correspondence to this email address yourself.
Electronic transcripts e-mailed to any other address will not be downloaded, resulting in a delay of your file review.
Questions? Check out our FAQs page.
We appreciate your interest in our program and look forward to receiving your application.
Ph.D. in Creative Writing & Literature
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Times may adjust in accordance with university holidays.
College of Arts and Sciences » Programs and Degrees » Minors & Certificates » Creative Writing
Why study Creative Writing?
The creative writing certificate is designed for students who wish to write poems, fiction, or nonfiction, to improve their writing and abilities through workshops taught by practitioners, and possibly to go on to graduate programs in creative writing and careers such as teaching and editing. The program is also designed for students who wish to broaden their perspectives of literature to include that of the writer.
Students already pursuing a degree in any college at UC can add the certificate to their program. Be sure to submit a declaration of the certificate program using our online form .
In addition, you must meet with the program director so that they are aware that you are pursuing the certificate and can advise you appropriately. Do this early enough to avoid delay in obtaining your certificate.
Students not currently pursuing a degree may declare the certificate after establishing non-matriculated status .
The English program offers certificates in Creative Writing, Copyediting & Publishing, and Professional Writing, and English courses play a role in the curriculum requirements of several interdisciplinary certificates, including Digital Engagement, Film & Media Studies, and Medical Humanities.
Students who pursue a certificate in Creative Writing should desire to build on their strengths in writing, reading, and critical thinking. The certificate is specifically designed for students who wish to explore the writing of poetry, fiction, and literary nonfiction; improve their editorial skills; and examine works of literature through the lens of craft. Students take a two-class workshop sequence, three additional creative writing courses, and an English elective; students are strongly encouraged to take a literature course for the elective.
A certificate in creative writing helps to prepare students to work in such areas as advertising, copywriting, writing for television and cinema, arts administration, digital content creation, magazine writing and editing, information analysis, book publishing, law, education, and more.
Students in the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) enjoy many benefits afforded through study at a research-extensive institution ranked among the nation's top 25 public research universities. UC's urban, Tristate location offers exciting opportunities for global education, research and service learning, while its student-centered focus includes an 11:1 student-faculty ratio, a nationally recognized Center for Exploratory Studies and a highly successful First Year Experience program that teaches critical skills for first-year students and provides connections with important campus resources.
Publications and Organizations
English is home to an undergraduate journal, Short Vine , and the nationally prominent literary journal The Cincinnati Review . Short Vine is published by the George Elliston Poetry Fund and edited by English majors in an experiential class called Creative Writing & Literary Publishing. Creative Writing students are also welcome to join the Undergraduate English Society; the UES hosts and participates in events including roundtable discussions on graduate school, job fairs, film screenings, and outings to plays and readings.
The Creative Writing Program’s Visiting Writers Series brings a number of distinguished authors to campus each semester. Visitors often conduct a colloquium with creative writing students in addition to giving a public reading. Each year, through the Elliston Poet-in-Residence Program, a distinguished poet comes to campus to give public lectures and readings, and to conduct poetry seminars and workshops. The biennial Emerging Fiction Writers Festival brings four writers to campus for two days of readings and panels. Past visiting writers have included Rita Dove and Colson Whitehead.
Creative Writing faculty have collectively published dozens of books of fiction, poetry, literary nonfiction, and criticism. They have won awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fulbright Program, and the National Book Awards program.
Make sure that you have declared the certificate program online. Next, make sure that the certificate program director is aware of when you are finishing the program. If you are pursuing another bachelor's degree, then your certificate will be reviewed at the time that you submit your separate degree application.
- Guide: Creative Writing Certificate
Find related programs in the following interest areas:.
- Culture & Languages
- Politics, Law & Social Justice
Program Code: 15CRT-CWRT-C2
Engineering doctoral student leads cutting-edge semiconductor work
Nsf and intel corp. funds work of uc electrical engineering student.
Vamshi Kiran Gogi always wanted to be an engineer. During the first semester of his master's program at the University of Cincinnati, he developed a passion for semiconductor research, leading him to transition into a doctoral program.
Throughout his years as a Bearcat, Gogi has served as the president of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Graduate Student Association, trained students in cleanroom processes, acted as a graduate assistant in the Office of College Computing and more.
Gogi was named Graduate Student Engineer of the Month by UC's College of Engineering and Applied Science.
Why did you choose UC?
Vamshi Kiran Gogi is researching solutions for the next generation of computing components.
As someone with a bachelor's degree in electrical and electronics engineering, I have always been fascinated by the field of semiconductors. The wide range of applications in electronics, communication systems, power electronics, the automotive industry, medical devices and consumer appliances has always intrigued me. Whether it's delving into materials or exploring devices within this field, my goal has been to deepen my understanding of these crucial electronic components, often regarded as "the brain of modern electronics."
Among the offers I received as an applicant back in 2016, there were many facets of the University of Cincinnati that I found appealing. Particularly the fact that it is a tier 1 research institution, has strong academic programs, the diverse architecture of the campus and the well-established co-op program . I came to UC for the Master of Engineering (MEng) program during which I acquired a taste for research and transitioned to a Master of Science (MS) program. Having gained knowledge of electronic materials through my master's thesis work, I wanted to work on the applications of these materials. I decided to pursue a PhD for the opportunity to work on devices. The transition to a research-focused track was very smooth because of UC's cutting-edge research across different fields and state-of-the-art facilities. UC's affordability — especially the graduate incentive awards — tied with Cincinnati's affordable living costs made UC an easy choice for my studies.
Why did you choose your field of study?
After getting my undergraduate degree in India, my journey at UC started in the fall of 2016 as a master's of engineering student studying advanced materials, devices and microsystems. In this program I was introduced to the multi-faceted nature of the field of semiconductors. Having been involved in several multidisciplinary projects, I started developing an appetite for research and transitioned to a master of science program under the advisement of Dr. Punit Boolchand .
During this period, I acquired a thorough and deep understanding of semiconductor physics as well as the knowledge of multiple material characterization techniques. After learning about electronic materials, I aspired to delve into the practical applications of them. This research focus facilitated my transition into a more specialized PhD program in electrical engineering under the guidance of Dr. Rashmi Jha . I have been actively engaged in cutting-edge research within the field of logic and memory devices, contributing to the advancement of knowledge and the resolution of significant challenges.
Briefly describe your research work. What problems do you hope to solve?
I am currently involved in researching solutions for the next generation of computing components. The focus is on enabling intelligent storage and efficient implementation of artificial intelligence and machine learning through in-memory computing. This work encompasses conducting a comprehensive literature review, gaining insights into existing work in the field, developing novel material deposition techniques, integrating them into novel device architectures through nano/microfabrication, conducting electrical and physical testing, and employing modeling techniques. This intricate research holds the potential to propel semiconductor and microelectronics technology to the next level. My research efforts are partially funded by Intel Corp.'s CAFÉ program and the National Science Foundation.
At UC, Vamshi Kiran Gogi trains students in clean room processes, among other involvements. Photo/Corrie Mayer/CEAS Marketing
What are some of the most impactful experiences during your time at UC?
Every experience at UC has had a positive impact, helping me grow both personally and professionally. On campus employment has had a remarkable influence on my time at UC. From being a dining room assistant at MarketPointe dining center, to a student assistant at UC's leather research laboratory, to an office consultant at the Office of College Computing and to my current role of graduate assistant. Each position has imparted invaluable lessons on me.
At UC, I have had the privilege of working with the best groups. Being a curious learner, I learn something new every day. Research wise, I have had the opportunity to present my research findings at reputable conferences where I've received feedback that has played a pivotal role in honing my presentation skills. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with supportive and understanding advisers and colleagues.
What are a few accomplishments of which you are most proud?
Being part of two diverse research groups has enabled me to showcase my work to the world through multiple journal publications and conference presentations. For me, doing what I believe in every day is a major accomplishment. Receiving the Outstanding MS Thesis Award for my work on Sodium Phosphate Glasses and being named Graduate Student Engineer of the Month are accomplishments of mine. Additionally, I am proud to have been recognized by the International Journal of Applied Glass Science for contributing to their top cited article in 2021-2022.
Finally, there is a sense of pride every time I see an article on semiconductor research in UC News and I am featured in it. Yes, it's me! I'm the guy in the cleanroom suit in those UC News articles.
When do you expect to graduate? What are your plans after earning your degree?
I aim to graduate in either the summer or fall of 2024. Following that, I plan to apply the skills I've acquired during my time at UC to make a modest contribution to the ever-expanding field of semiconductors by working in one of the leading and top tier semiconductor organizations.
Do you have any other hobbies, experiences or group involvements you'd like to share?
Outside of my research commitments, I am particularly interested in cooking, hiking, exploring new places, and photography. Additionally, I keep myself informed about the latest events and advancements in cricket, tennis and combat sports. I like working out at the campus recreation center and embrace opportunities to stay active whenever possible. In moments when there are no ongoing events in my preferred sports, I take the chance to explore and understand the intricacies of a new sport.
I also serve as the president of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Graduate Student Association while also assisting the Graduate Student Government by being part of different committees.
Featured image at top: Vamshi Kiran Gogi pictured at the Crater Lake in Oregon. Photo/Provided
- Electrical and Computer Engineering
- Student Experience
- Next Lives Here
- College of Engineering and Applied Science
Uc joins national cybercorps to defend america’s cyberspace.
February 11, 2021
The University of Cincinnati received a $4 million award from the National Science Foundation to establish a Cybersecurity Scholarship for Service program.
UC engineering student demystifies crypto through co-op
December 17, 2021
University of Cincinnati student Jake Hemmerle pursued his interest in cryptocurrency in co-ops that promise to launch a career in computer science.
Co-op launched UC alumnus’ Intel career
May 3, 2022
Intel vice president James Breisch got his start in computer engineering through UC's top-ranked co-op program.