About

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The Rutgers University-Newark MFA Program established in 2008 is a nationally ranked, full-time creative writing program steeped in Newark’s richly diverse arts community. RU-N MFA offers creative writing tracks in Fiction and Poetry. Our curriculum balances studio and research time, allowing our students to study literature as they endeavor to write it. 

RU-N MFA hopes to nurture a wide variety of voices. We encourage students to make use of resources within the English Department and beyond. The RU-N MFA Program enjoys affiliations with The Newark Museum, The New Jersey Historical Society, The Newark Public Library, and New Jersey Performing Arts Center, all of which are a short walk from campus. Additionally, students have access to the Greater New York Area and frequently participate in readings and literary events outside of the MFA.

We are proud to offer funding to all admitted full-time students over the course of two years. This gives students the space to truly focus on writing, community building with their mentors and peers, and developing related projects. 

Consider joining RU-N MFA, whose recent graduates have been published widely and awarded fellowships from Stadler, Stegner, Fulbright, Kundiman, Cave Canem, and more. Our faculty members are recipients of Guggenheim, National Endowment of the Arts, Lannan, Radcliffe Institute, Rockefeller, and Windham Campbell Fellowships, numerous National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle nominations, Griffin Poetry Prize nomination, the Lambda Literary Award, the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, and the MacArthur grant. 

Apply with a strong, competitive portfolio and dedication to your craft.

MFA Gift from William Hill
MFA students, staff, and faculty after receiving a $50k gift from William Hill.

How You Will Learn

Our 36-credit hour MFA program is designed to be completed in a two-year time frame. Most classes, workshops, and readings begin at 5:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. This schedule is in place to accommodate students' busy lives as many develop daily writing routines, workday jobs, and raise families. Our program focuses strongly on 12 credit hours of Writing Workshop in a declared genre and requires 6 thesis hours in which students work one-on-one with their mentor professors. We also require 18 credit hours of graduate courses in literature and elective courses from the English Department or any of our graduate programs on campus. 

With small cohort sizes in both Fiction and Poetry, RU-N MFA students get to thrive in a tight-knit community of writers and faculty. Our distinguished faculty includes Rigoberto González (MFA Director), Brenda Shaughnessy, Cathy Park Hong, and Rachel Hadas in Poetry, Alice Elliott Dark, John Keene, Naomi Jackson, and Akil Kumarasmy in Fiction. Pulitzer Prize finalist James Goodman and Henry Rutgers Professor Salamishah Tillet teach Nonfiction workshops and courses. 

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Applications for Fall 2022 will be accepted October 1, 2021 - December 15, 2021.

Faculty

Alice Elliott Dark

Alice Elliott Dark

Associate Professor

Cathy Park Hong

Cathy Park Hong

Professor

Brenda Shaughnessy

Brenda Shaughnessy

Associate Professor

Rigoberto González

Rigoberto González

Professor; Director of the MFA Program