The program in creative writing also offers doctoral students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison the chance to incorporate creative writing as part of their course of studies in the form of a minor in creative writing.


All Graduate School students must utilize the Graduate Student Portal in MyUW to add, change, or discontinue any doctoral minor. To apply to this minor, log in to MyUW, click on Graduate Student Portal, and then click on Add/Change Programs. Select the information for the doctoral minor for which you are applying.

Students are encouraged to consult a member of the Creative Writing Program faculty prior to applying to the minor and choosing a workshop. Students applying for the minor must have completed or be currently enrolled in an advanced-level undergraduate or graduate creative writing workshop (the "prerequisite workshop").

Students must submit a writing sample and personal statement (up to two pages, single-spaced) addressing the minor's relevance to their current or future research and career plans to the MFA director.

Admission is determined by a committee composed of Creative Writing Program faculty. Admission is based on the quality of the writing sample, performance in the prerequisite workshop, and personal statement.

Prerequisite Workshop

Admission to individual workshops is not guaranteed for any student, but is based on evaluation of a writing sample that must be submitted to the instructor by November 1 for spring semester workshops and by April 1 for fall semester workshops.

The writing sample must consist of the following:

  1. 10 pages of single-spaced poems, with each new poem beginning on a new page, or
  2. Up to 30 double-spaced pages of fiction.

Admission to all graduate workshops is at the discretion of the instructor.

Creative writing classes often appear to be closed even when there is room for additional students. This is done when all or some of the students in a workshop are admitted on the basis of writing samples, and is especially true of graduate-level workshops. If you are interested in a class that appears to be closed, please contact the MFA director to determine the actual enrollment status.


Students must complete 12 credits, including 9 credits of graduate or advanced undergraduate workshops and 3 credits of an elective that is relevant to the student's work in creative writing.

Students in the Department of English whose major field of study is in the program of Literary Studies, Composition & Rhetoric, or English Language & Linguistics, must select their elective in consultation with the department's director of graduate studies (dgs@english.wisc.edu).

Students from other departments/programs, must select the elective in consultation with their advisor.


MFA Faculty & Staff

Faculty: Professors Amy Quan Barry, Amaud Jamaul Johnson, Beth Nguyen, and Porter Shreve

Staff: Faculty Associates Sean Bishop and Ron Kuka, Mendota Lecturers Leila Chatti and Dantiel W. Moniz