Graduate Catalog • 2012-2013

Pan-European Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

The Pan-European Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, a low-residency program, prepares students to produce publishable-quality work in one or more genres of writing. In doing so, the MFA program enables students to become artists adept at the written craft, to pursue careers in writing-related fields, and to fashion themselves as leaders in the literary world.

By providing craft-based writing instruction in the context of locale-inspired literature and cultural studies, the creative writing MFA program empowers students to develop and transcend their unique writing voices while experimenting within and across genre conventions. Grounded in an interdisciplinary liberal-arts learning experience, the MFA program broadens the global awareness of students by combining instruction in writing, history, literature, and other arts from a variety of European regions and cultures.

Program Goals and Learning Objectives

The goals of the MFA in Creative Writing are to enable students to:

  1. Develop and refine their ability to craft works of creative literature.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the breadth of voice and aesthetic in their chosen literary genres and in other genres.
  3. Recognize the value of locale in inspiring the creative craft and in shaping works of literature.
  4. Critique works of creative writing, including their own and of others, for artistically effective techniques.
  5. Generate a sense of career goals in creative writing that is aware of ongoing and new professional opportunities in writing, publishing, and teaching and the strategies needed to obtain them.
  6. Produce a publishable-quality manuscript in one or more genres of creative writing.

General Admissions Requirements

Students are admitted to graduate programs at Cedar Crest College on the basis of individual qualifications. Requests for application materials and all correspondence relating to admission should be addressed to:

Cedar Crest College
School for Adult and Graduate Education
100 College Drive
Allentown, PA 18104-6196
USA
Phone: 1-610-740-3770
Email: sage@cedarcrest.edu
Fax: 1-610-740-3786
Online Application Materials: mfa.cedarcrest.edu/apply

On the Allentown, Pennsylvania campus, the main office for the School for Adult and Graduate Education is located in Blaney Hall, Room 105. The office is open Monday, Tuesday and Friday, 8:30 a.m. -4:30 p.m. Eastern Time; Tuesday and Wednesday, 8:30 a.m.- 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

Students are encouraged to contact the College to discuss their educational plans. Upon request, arrangements can be made to discuss curriculum requirements, residency locales, and distance learning methods with the Program Director of the Pan-European MFA in Creative Writing, Fred Leebron (fleebron@cedarcrest.edu). For more information, please contact the program’s Administrative Director: Dr. Bob Wilson at 1-610-606-4666, x3474; Skype ID: drbobwilson; or rawilson@cedarcrest.edu.

Applications for the Pan-European MFA in Creative Writing are accepted and reviewed throughout the year; however, students must apply before May 1st to be admitted for a given year’s residency. Accepted students are admitted to the MFA in Creative Writing program in a specified genre or genres, and they begin their course of study at a summer residency.

MFA Application Requirements

In order to be considered for admission to the program, applicants must submit the following items:

  1. A completed graduate application form.
  2. A portfolio of creative writing that consists of approximately 10 pages for poetry or 25 pages for either fiction or creative nonfiction. (If applying to multiple genres, applicants must submit a separate portfolio for each.)   Send portfolio to sage@cedarcrest.edu.
  3. An essay on the applicant’s reasons for seeking admission to the MFA program, expectations for the program, and the applicant’s goals as a writer. (The essay should be one page, typewritten, and single spaced.) Send essay to sage@cedarcrest.edu.
  4. One letter of recommendation, either academic or professional, that addresses the applicant’s ability to succeed in graduate writing study. See the MFA program website for the Recommendation Form.
  5. A $50 application fee. (If applying to multiple genres, a separate $50 fee must be submitted for each genre to which the applicant is seeking admission.)
  6. Current resume that includes creative writing awards, as well as all publications, prizes, honors and grants related to the applicant’s writing.  The resume should also include any writing workshops, conferences, and other non-credit courses attended. Send resume to sage@cedarcrest.edu.
  7. Official academic transcripts from institutions where the applicant has completed coursework. (A bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience in creative writing is required.)

If previous coursework was completed outside of the United States, applicants must have their academic degree validated as equivalent to a degree in the United States through a non-profit credential-evaluation agency, such as:

World Education Services
PO Box #745
Old Chelsea Station
New York, NY 10011
USA
1 -212-966-6311
www.wes.org

A $250 non-refundable deposit will be required for all admitted students to save one’s place in the program.

Admissions Decisions

The MFA Program Director and Administrative Director will make final admission decisions based upon a review of each applicant’s submitted materials, which may be evaluated in consultation with faculty members working within the applicant’s creative genre. Admissions decisions are based upon a review of the application portfolio, application essay, letter of recommendation, and writing experience indicated in transcripts and resume.  Each applicant will be considered from a holistic perspective.

Matriculation

Matriculation is required for any student who plans to receive financial aid or a graduate degree. A student applies for matriculation by submitting a completed application for admission to the School for Adult and Graduate Education. After submitting a complete application, students receive a letter from the College informing them of the decision concerning their acceptance as a degree candidate. Students are matriculated into the program once they are registered for classes during their first semester of academic study.

Graduate programs may permit non-matriculated and visiting students to enroll in graduate courses on a case-by-case basis. In the event that a graduate course reaches its enrollment maximum, matriculated students are given preference over non-matriculated students.

Transfer Credit

Students who have completed graduate-level creative writing courses in other accredited MFA or PhD programs may submit their official transcripts for possible transfer credit toward the Pan-European MFA in Creative Writing. Transfer credits are evaluated at the discretion of the MFA Program Director and MFA Administrative Director. A maximum of 18.5 transfer credits will be awarded (the first year’s worth of coursework), including any credit toward residency workshops; craft, cross-genre, and locale seminars; or distance mentorships.

For transfer courses to be counted toward the MFA in Creative Writing, they must have earned an equivalent grade of B- or higher, or Pass if graded Pass/Fail. The transferred coursework must have been completed within ten years of the date of enrollment in the program (the first day of classes during a student’s first residency). Once matriculated into the program, students will not receive any credit for coursework taken at another institution.

Creative writing courses completed at institutions outside the United States must be equivalent to graduate level as verified through a non-profit credential-evaluation agency such as World Education Services (www.wes.org).

Visiting Students

Prospective students may apply for up to a year of study with visiting status in the Pan-European MFA program, indicating such in their application essay along with all other application requirements. Visiting students may complete the residency requirements (up to 6.5 credits) and mentorship study in the following year (up to 12 credits) for a maximum of 18.5 credits in the program. Upon completion of those credits, visiting students must apply for matriculation as degree-seeking candidates to continue study in the program.

Post-Graduate Study

Students who have earned an MFA or PhD in creative writing, or another terminal degree in English, from an accredited institution may apply for a year of post-graduate study in Pan-European MFA coursework. Cedar Crest College MFA graduates who wish to continue their study in an additional genre or locale may apply for such post-graduate coursework. Post-graduate students apply through the program’s normal process and upon admission will complete 6.5 credits of residency requirements (workshop, craft seminar, cross-genre seminar, and locale seminar) followed by 12 credits of distance mentorships during the following fall and spring semesters.

Degree Program Retention Policy

Students must receive a grade of “P” (or “Pass”) in all MFA coursework to maintain normal progress through the program. Students who receive a grade of “F” (or “Fail”) in any three courses or who receive a grade of “F” (or “Fail”) in the same course twice will be dismissed from the program. Within 30 days of notification, students may appeal program dismissals through a letter to the MFA Program Director. Appeals are granted at the discretion of the MFA Program Director and Administrative Director, and they otherwise follow the appeal process outlined in the Cedar Crest College Graduate Program Catalog.

Repeating a Course

Students who withdraw from or receive a grade of “F” (or “Fail”) in a required MFA course may petition, in writing, the MFA Program Director to retake the course so as to maintain annual progress toward the degree. Such petitions must be submitted within 15 days after the end of the withdrawn or failed course, and they must specify a proposed alternative schedule for degree progress. Mentorship courses that must be retaken may use the summer for their monthly exchanges (June, July, August, and September), although this may be in addition to summer residency coursework. Petitions are granted at the discretion of the MFA Program Director and MFA Administrative Director, pending approval from the Dean of the School of Adult and Graduate Education. Approval of repeat courses depends upon faculty availability.

Students who withdraw from or fail a course may be required to complete an additional residency or extend their schedule of mentorship exchanges or both in order to satisfy MFA degree requirements.

If a course is repeated, the higher grade earned is computed into the student’s grade point average. However, both grades appear on the permanent record. Repeating courses may affect a student’s satisfactory academic progress requirement for receipt of financial aid; the student should consult the Student Financial Services Office for information.

Leaves of Absence

Students wishing to take a leave of absence from the program must request to do so, in writing, from the MFA Program Director. The granting of the requested leave is at the discretion of the MFA Program Director and MFA Administrative Director, pending approval from the Dean of the School of Adult and Graduate Education. A granted leave of absence has no bearing on the maximum period of candidacy.

Maximum Period of Candidacy

The Pan-European MFA in Creative Writing is a low-residency program designed to be completed by full-time students in two years and 30 days: a period consisting of three summer residencies (each 15 days long), with fall and spring semester distance-learning mentorships taking place after the first two residencies. When compelling and exigent reasons dictate an extension on this period, students may request, in writing, an extension from the MFA Program Director; the extension is approved at the discretion of both the MFA Program Director and MFA Administrative Director.

Students who have completed all required coursework for the MFA except for the creative thesis must register for CWR 599 Thesis: Maintenance of Candidacy (1 credit) during each fall and spring semester until they complete the program. In all instances, the MFA program must be completed within seven years and 30 days after a student’s matriculation date.

Completion of the Graduate Program and Graduation

To successfully complete the Pan-European Master of Arts in Creative Writing, a Low-Residency program, a student must adhere to the following:

  • Successfully complete all the requirements for the program.
  • Complete all required coursework for the program, as outlined in the MFA “Program of Study,” with a grade of “P” (or “Pass”).
  • Apply to the Registrar for graduation at least three months prior to the graduating residency; or, in the case of students with candidacy extensions, apply prior to the date established by the Registrar for one of the College’s scheduled graduation dates (fall, spring, or summer).
  • Fulfill all financial responsibilities to the College.

Students who have successfully completed all degree requirements specified above may participate in the MFA’s graduation ceremony held as part of the graduating residency. The College officially confers degrees on graduates in August, January, and May. Pan-European MFA graduates are welcome to participate in the annual May commencement ceremony, held on the Allentown, PA, USA campus.

Graduate Tuition and Fees

M.F.A. in Creative Writing Application fee (non-refundable) $50.00
MFA Graduate Tuition, per credit $598.00
Deposit (non-refundable) due upon acceptance to the program $250.00
Residency Fee (per each 15-day summer residency) $2,500.00
Masters Thesis Binding Fee (non-refundable) $300.00
Part-Time Technology Fee, per fall and spring semesters $50.00

Note: The College reserves the right to change fees and charges as necessary. Books, supplies, lab materials and other program costs are not included in the tuition. The deposit is credited toward the tuition cost for the first residency.

Program of Study for the Pan-European MFA in Creative Writing

The Pan-European Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, a low-residency program (48 credits), enables students to develop and refine their ability to produce publishable-quality works of creative literature. Designed to be completed over a period of two years and one month, the program requires three residencies (15 days each) and four distance-learning mentorships. Students must also produce a book-length creative thesis and an accompanying critical essay.

With a focus on the power of locale to inspire literature and other arts, the MFA in Creative Writing curriculum emphasizes craft-based learning through residency workshops and seminars, followed by one-on-one distance-learning mentorships. The program offers study in three genres—fiction, poetry, or non-fiction—as well as dual genre study in any two. Students must apply and be admitted to a specific genre, or to two genres in the case of a dual-focus degree.

Courses Required

MFA in Creative Writing: Fiction (48 credits)

CWR 501 Residency Workshop I: Fiction (2 credits)
CWR 504 Craft Seminar I: Fiction (1.5 credits)
CWR 507 Craft Seminar I: Cross-Genre (1.5 credits)
CWR 508 Locale Seminar I (1.5 credits)
CWR 511 Writing Mentorship I: Fiction (6 credits)
CWR 521 Writing Mentorship II: Fiction (6 credits)
CWR 531 Residency Workshop II: Fiction (2 credits)
CWR 534 Craft Seminar II: Fiction (1.5 credits)
CWR 537 Craft Seminar II: Cross-Genre (1.5 credits)
CWR 538 Locale Seminar II (1.5 credits)
CWR 541 Writing Mentorship III: Fiction (6 credits)
CWR 551 Writing Mentorship IV: Fiction (6 credits)
CWR 590 Creative Thesis I (3 credits)
CWR 591 Creative Thesis II (3 credits)
CWR 592 Critical Essay (3 credits)
CWR 598 Graduating Residency (2 credits)

MFA in Creative Writing: Poetry (48 credits)

CWR 502 Residency Workshop I: Poetry (2 credits)
CWR 505 Craft Seminar I: Poetry (1.5 credits)
CWR 507 Craft Seminar I: Cross-Genre (1.5 credits)
CWR 508 Locale Seminar I (1.5 credits)
CWR 512 Writing Mentorship I: Poetry (6 credits)
CWR 522 Writing Mentorship II: Poetry (6 credits)
CWR 532 Residency Workshop II: Poetry (2 credits)
CWR 535 Craft Seminar II: Poetry (1.5 credits)
CWR 537 Craft Seminar II: Cross-Genre (1.5 credits)
CWR 538 Locale Seminar II (1.5 credits)
CWR 542 Writing Mentorship III: Poetry (6 credits)
CWR 552 Writing Mentorship IV: Poetry (6 credits)
CWR 590 Creative Thesis I (3 credits)
CWR 591 Creative Thesis II (3 credits)
CWR 592 Critical Essay (3 credits)
CWR 598 Graduating Residency (2 credits)

MFA in Creative Writing: Non-Fiction (48 credits)

CWR 503 Residency Workshop I: Non-Fiction (2 credits)
CWR 506 Craft Seminar I: Non-Fiction (1.5 credits)
CWR 507 Craft Seminar I: Cross-Genre (1.5 credits)
CWR 508 Locale Seminar I (1.5 credits)
CWR 513 Writing Mentorship I: Non-Fiction (6 credits)
CWR 523 Writing Mentorship II: Non-Fiction (6 credits)
CWR 533 Residency Workshop II: Non-Fiction (2 credits)
CWR 536 Craft Seminar II: Non-Fiction (1.5 credits)
CWR 537 Craft Seminar II: Cross-Genre (1.5 credits)
CWR 538 Locale Seminar II (1.5 credits)
CWR 543 Writing Mentorship III: Non-Fiction (6 credits)
CWR 553 Writing Mentorship IV: Non-Fiction (6 credits)
CWR 590 Creative Thesis I (3 credits)
CWR 591 Creative Thesis II (3 credits)
CWR 592 Critical Essay (3 credits)
CWR 598 Graduating Residency (2 credits)

MFA in Creative Writing: Dual Genre (48 credits)

CWR 501, CWR 502, or CWR 503 Residency Workshop I: Fiction, Poetry, or Non-Fiction (2 credits)
CWR 504, CWR 505, or CWR 506 Craft Seminar I: Fiction, Poetry, or Non-Fiction (1.5 credits)
CWR 507 Craft Seminar I: Cross-Genre (1.5 credits)
CWR 508 Locale Seminar I (1.5 credits)
CWR 511, CWR 512, or CWR 513 Writing Mentorship I: Fiction, Poetry, or Non-Fiction (6 credits)
CWR 521, CWR 522, or CWR 523 Writing Mentorship II: Fiction, Poetry, or Non-Fiction (6 credits)
CWR 531, CWR 532, or CWR 533 Residency Workshop II: Fiction, Poetry, or Non-Fiction (2 credits)
CWR 534, CWR 535, or CWR 536 Craft Seminar II: Fiction, Poetry, or Non-Fiction (1.5 credits)
CWR 537 Craft Seminar II: Cross-Genre (1.5 credits)
CWR 538 Locale Seminar II (1.5 credits)
CWR 541, CWR 542, or CWR 543 Writing Mentorship III: Fiction, Poetry, or Non-Fiction (6 credits)
CWR 551, CWR 552, or CWR 553 Writing Mentorship IV: Fiction, Poetry, or Non-Fiction (6 credits)
CWR 590 Creative Thesis I (3 credits)
CWR 591 Creative Thesis II (3 credits)
CWR 592 Critical Essay (3 credits)
CWR 598 Graduating Residency (2 credits)

Pass/Fail Course Grades

All courses in the MFA in Creative Writing program are graded P (Pass) or F (Fail). Since these grades do not carry quality points associated with them, a Grade Point Average is not calculated for students. Neither are credits earned by transfer from another institution, or through experiential learning or examination, computed into the Cedar Crest GPA.

Graduate Program Handbook

Each student will be given a copy of the Graduate Program Handbook prepared specifically for the Pan-European Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. The purpose of the handbook is to provide students with information pertaining to the curricular requirements, policies, and procedures associated with the program. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves and understanding the information presented in the Graduate Program Handbook. MFA students are also bound by policies established by Cedar Crest College for graduate students, as indicated in the Graduate Catalog, Faculty Handbook, or other official college publications. Questions regarding the content of the handbook or other graduate student policies should be directed to either the MFA Program Director or Administrative Director.

MFA Program Course Registration

Course registration is available to graduate students in good financial standing with the College. If a student is not financially eligible to register, the student may not register online or with a completed registration form in the Registrar’s Office until that hold is removed. A copy of the registration will be kept in the Registrar’s Office until notification of a change in the student’s status is received from Student Financial Services. Policies pertaining to online course registration vary across programs.

The MFA program may enroll its students, at the direction of either the MFA Program Director or Administrative Director, in the appropriate courses per genre needed to maintain the degree progress specified in the “Program of Study Checklist.” Upon course enrollment, students will be notified via email of the courses for which they are registered at least 14 days prior to the first day of class. Students who do not wish to enroll in summer, fall, or spring MFA courses must notify the MFA Administrative Director prior to the first day of class, or they may drop courses themselves using either the Registrar Office’s online or print procedures prior to the end of the Add/Drop period established by the College. Students so enrolled are academically responsible for any coursework and financially responsible for any tuition or fees associated with a course.

Professional Organizations for Students

Cedar Crest College’s Pan-European MFA in Creative Writing is a member program of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (www.awpwriter.org). With over 500 member institutions, AWP is the national professional organization for academic programs in creative writing throughout North America. The mission of AWP is “to foster literary achievement, to advance the art of writing as essential to a good education, and to serve the makers, teachers, students, and readers of contemporary writing.”

Matriculated students in the MFA program are entitled to the benefits specified by AWP, including access to the AWP Job List; the AWP eLink (a Web publication including career advice, a calendar of grants and awards, and an archive of past editions of the Writer’s Chronicle);  and membership discounts for entries in the AWP Award Series and registration at the AWP Annual Conference.

Through the Cedar Crest College English program, the MFA program is also a member of the Association of Departments of English (www.ade.org), an affiliated organization of the Modern Language Association (www.mla.org) with its Job Information List.

Sigma Tau Delta, International English Honor Society, Xi Kappa Chapter

Founded in 1924, Sigma Tau Delta (www.english.org) recognizes distinction for high achievement in English language and literature in undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies. Among other benefits, members are eligible for internships, scholarships, awards, and grants, some of which are offered only to graduate students. Upon the recommendation of a faculty mentor, MFA students may apply for membership in Xi Kappa, the Cedar Crest College chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, after having completed the first residency (6.5 credits). Contact the MFA Administrative Director for further information.