Eastern Michigan University
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Creative Writing: Graduate Program

The MA Program in Creative Writing at EMU promotes innovation, experimentation and collaboration across artistic fields and cultural practices. Distinguished as one of the only interdisciplinary programs for creative writing in the country, we provide a rich space for exploring the relationships between poetry and poetics, experimental prose, cultural translation, community service, pedagogy, and contemporary arts. Locating the writer’s work along the frontiers of social imaginaries and civic possibilities, our program nourishes opportunities to develop a conceptually rigorous and imaginatively engaged writing. The MA emphasizes the importance of aesthetic risk and social application, while offering opportunities for writers to explore multiple arts and mixed genres, sound and performance, digital technologies and new media, as well as community-based and collaborative projects, innovative curating and alternative publishing.

The program is small, with a diverse group of ten to twenty students. We offer our students a welcoming community in which they can experiment , while pursuing a critical examination of language and its various places in culture and the arts. In addition, the BathHouse Event Series sponsored by the EMU Creative Writing Program provides opportunities for graduate students to interact and learn with some of the most compelling interdisciplinary writers working today.

Cognates and Community Outreach

The MA Program in Creative Writing at EMU places a unique set of emphases on “cognate” work and community outreach. The program’s commitment to interdisciplinarity is reflected in our emphasis on cognate courses. By way of cognates, students are required to take graduate level classes in other departments of their choice in order to enrich and inflect their own work through work in other disciplines. Students have completed cognates in Fine Arts; Women's Studies; Communications, Media, and Theater Arts; Photography; Computer Science; Anthropology; Biology; and History.

Extending our commitment to interdisciplinarity with respect to civic life, the program also requires all students to enroll in a Community Outreach practicum and seminar. Community Outreach asks students to engage in public art projects and collaborations while exploring the significance of literary culture in communities beyond the University.


The MA in Creative Writing is a thirty-credit-hour degree.
Program requirements include:   

  • Three Graduate Writing Workshops (9 credits of CRTW 520-530)
  • Two Literature courses (6 credits LITR)
  • Two Cognate courses (6 credits)
  • One Contemporary Forms (3 credits CRTW 506)
  • One Community Outreach for Creative Writers (3 credits CRTW 550)
  • One Master’s Writing Project (3 credits ENGL 693)

For the Master’s writing project, students submit a manuscript and prepare a public presentation that integrates their cognate fields. This cognate component of the final writing project may be either integrated into the writing or independent but integral to the writing.

See courses for specific program information.