Chatham University

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing - Low Residency (MFA-LR) Curriculum

Chatham University’s Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts Creative Writing (MFA) program is 39 credits hours that can be completed in two years with two summer residencies of 10 days each. The program is very similar to Chatham University’s highly acclaimed residency program with the same innovative focus on nature, environment, and travel writing. It is the premier graduate program for nurturing creative writers interested in the environmental imagination and place-based writing. Alumna Rachel Carson, a creative writer whose work demonstrates both lyricism and social conscience, inspires the program.

The low residency program is different from the residency program in a couple of ways. First, in lieu of writing workshops and literature courses each term, students take six-credit mentorships with a publishing writer. These mentorships are meant to combine the rigors of a writing workshop with that of a graduate-level literature course. Second, low residency students must complete two residencies of ten days each in their first and second summers. Residency classes will take place on the Chatham University campus in Pittsburgh and will consist of intensive workshops, craft lectures, panels, and readings with well-known creative writers and faculty. Students are responsible for their own travel, food and lodging during the residency. Low residency students have the opportunity to take one of the creative writing field seminars along with the residency students, although the field seminar is not required. Field seminars include additional fees for travel and lodging and will vary depending on the location.

Program Requirements

+Degree Requirements

42 credits

ENG612I Mentorship I- Part One

Mentorship I is designed for students of Chatham low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program as the first-year tutorial class. During the mentorship, a student works one-on-one with a faculty mentor who guides the student's study of literature and craft; the mentor provides written commentary on the student's work. Part one of two.

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ENG612II Mentorship I - Part Two

Mentorship I is designed for students of Chatham low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program as the first-year tutorial class. During the mentorship, a student works one-on-one with a faculty mentor who guides the student's study of literature and craft; the mentor provides written commentary on the student's work. Part two of two.

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ENG712I Mentorship II - Part One

Mentorship II is designed for students of the Chatham Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program as the second-year tutorial class. This course is designed to expedite the development of the student's MFA thesis. Part one of two.

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ENG712II Mentorship II - Part Two

Mentorship II is designed for students of the Chatham Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program as the second-year tutorial class. This course is designed to expedite the development of the student's MFA thesis. Part two of two.

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ENG710I Summer Community of Writers - Part One

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ENG710II Summer Community of Writers - Part Two

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ONE content courses, (3 credits). This may be literature, publishing, or internships. Non-creative writing. Course offerings may include ENG585 Travel Writing, ENG584 The Environmental Imagination, ENG674 International Field Seminar, ENG569 Practicum: Fourth River Journal etc.
ONE elective course (3 credits) This may be any course in literature, creative writing, publishing, or internships. Course offerings may include ENG585 Travel Writing, ENG584 The Environmental Imagination, ENG674 International Field Seminar, ENG569 Practicum: Fourth River Journal, ENG709 Summer Community of Writers, etc.