- Campus Life
The MFA program is designed to meet the needs of writers, scholars, educators and others who wish to improve their writing skills and abilities or to publish or write for personal or professional advancement. The proposed model is especially well suited for candidates who have family, work, or other personal commitments that also need to be balanced. The low-residency MFA program offers an opportunity for students to apply their prior knowledge and experiences to a study of a wide variety of genres and styles, including:
The program is carefully balanced between mentored study, learning with and from one's peers, individualized original writing, and applied field experience in a chosen community of practice.
The Creative Nonfiction Specialization allows students to delve into such forms as the essay, memoir, or other more experimental forms of nonfiction writing. Within the chosen subgenre, each student is free to explore experience within such contexts as nature, the family, travel, sense of place, cultural landscapes, the world of work, or other contexts of personal and professional interest. In addition to continuous writing and revising of their own work, students will read assigned works of nonfiction and essays on nonfiction writing.
Students selecting the Fiction Specialization will focus on the novel, writing for children, or writing for young adults. In each sub-specialization, they will create original works appropriate to their chosen sub-specialization, as well as read assigned works and essays related to writing in their chosen field.
Three times a year, students come together on campus for three-day weekend residencies, which provide a variety of learning opportunities. Among these are regular activities such as core group meetings, professional seminars, guest speakers, student presentations, skills-based workshops, and cross-disciplinary discussions. Additionally, there are also two additional residency opportunities offered annually that are optional. The master's program is meant to reach those working professionals who cannot be constrained by the traditional classroom. AIC supplements its campus residencies and brings the coursework to you by means of an Internet-based lecture program or through independent study. Thus, students can fit courses around their work and home schedules, completing a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing in two years.
Students assigned to the same first core faculty advisor become part of an ongoing core group that meets at each residency. In this way, each student has membership in two particular supportive learning teams: his/her cohort and core group. Unlike the cohort communities, the core group is comprised of students at different stages of the program, allowing for more veteran students to mentor newer students in various aspects of the program.