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MFA in Creative Writing

International Student Track

In order to comply with visa and reporting rules for International Students, Mississippi University for Women has identified the following International Student program of study. International students who wish to pursue the Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing complete the same requirements as domestic students, but follow a specified plan of study that ensures they (and we) comply with US regulations, that keep travel costs at a minimum, and that standardize those costs so we can report them to you at the outset.

Full-Time Program of Study

  • Year 1 Fall: 9 hours of online classes
    Suggested: 1 Workshop, 1 Literature/Forms, & 1 Elective
  • Year 1 Spring: 9 hours of online classes
    Suggested: 1 Workshop, 1 Literature/Forms, & 1 Elective
  • Year 1 Summer: 6 hours on campus in the U.S.
    EN 502 Full Residency in Writing
    EN 501 Short Residency in Writing
    1 Elective — we will offer a 3-credit on-campus course in Southern Literature, Translation, or another topic; domestic students may also take this class
  • Year 2 Fall: 12 hours of online classes*
    Suggested: 2 Workshops, 1 Literature/forms & 1 Elective
  • Year 2 Spring: 3 hours of online classes; 6 hours of thesis
    Suggested: 1 Literature/Forms and Thesis
  • Year 2 Summer: 3 hours on campus in U.S.
    EN 502 Full Residency in Writing (includes Thesis defense and reading)
    EN 501 Short Residency in Writing

*One semester of 12 hours is necessary in a 2-year program. It could be done in any semester for the same tuition as 9 hours. Another semester of 12 hours would allow your final semester to be only 6 hours of thesis and would save on tuition. For the lowest tuition, take 12 hours each semester, begin your thesis in Fall of Y2, and complete with 3 hours in Spring Y2.

Part-Time Program of Study

  • Year 1 Fall: 6 hours of online classes
    Suggested: 1 Workshop and 1 Literature/Forms
  • Year 1 Spring: 6 hours of online classes
    Suggested: 1 Workshop and 1 Literature/Forms
  • Year 1 Summer: 6 hours on campus in the U.S.
    EN 501 Short Residency in Writing
    EN 502 Full Residency in Writing
    1 Elective — we will offer an on-campus course Southern Literature, Translation, or another topic; domestic students may also take this class
  • Year 2 Fall: 6 hours of online classes
    Suggested: 1 Workshop and 1 Literature/Forms
  • Year 2 Spring: 6 hours of online classes
    Suggested: 1 Workshop and 1 Literature/Forms
  • Year 2 Summer: 3 hours of online classes OR 6 hours of on-campus classes**
    Suggested: 1 Elective OR EN 502 Full Residency, EN 501 Short Residency & Elective
  • Year 3 Fall: 6 hours of online classes
    Suggested: 1 Workshop and 1 Literature/Forms
  • Year 3 Spring: 6 hours of thesis
  • Year 3 Summer: 3 hours on campus in U.S. **
    EN 501 Short Residency in Writing
    EN 502 Full Residency in Writing (includes Thesis defense and reading)

**Optional: you can take your second residency in the summer of your second year, then return in your 3rd year to complete your degree. In this scenario, you could write your thesis Fall and Spring of Year 3 with one 3-credit course per semester. The cost of part-time tuition remains the same, regardless of when you take your classes. You could also take more than 3 years to complete your degree, though you wouldn't be required to come to campus more than twice.

Summary of U.S. Student Visa Requirements

International students who wish to study in the United States are required to obtain an F1 Student Visa and a Form I-20 from their host school. In order to obtain a Form I-20, you must first be accepted into the program, then demonstrate sufficient financial backing to pay for your visit. In the case of our program, this means you must show financial backing for each residency period you attend before you come, but not for the full program all at once. You will also pay the student Form I-901 SEVIS Fee to obtain your student visa.

More information on Form I-20.

You need to apply for your nonimmigrant F-1 student visa at least 120 days before you are required to be on campus. However; you will be able to begin your program online before coming to the United States. Your official program start date on your form I-20 will be listed as the date the residency portion of your program begins. You may not arrive in the United States more than 30 days prior to your program start date, and you must check in on campus at that time.

International students may not take online courses while traveling on an F1 visa. While studying in the United States, international students are required to study full time, which for graduate students is 6 hours. Courses above the required 6 hours may be taken online. There is an exception to the full-time rule we may be able to use: at the end of their program they may take fewer hours if that is all that is required to complete their degree.

Campus Residency Requirements

Our International Student Track takes into consideration the requirement that you take 6 hours on-campus each term that you are in the U.S. International students will take a 2-credit full residency and a 1-credit short residency class during their first summer. Additionally, you may take a 3-credit course on campus immediately following your first residencies so that you can complete the 6 hours if we learn we can’t use the initial exception or if there is sufficient demand by international and domestic students.

After the first summer term in the United States, students are required to return to their home country. The only exception is if you take additional classes on campus. This might be possible for one semester if you took 6 hours of coursework in another field that is offered on-campus. Women’s Leadership might be one option. Doing an internship might be another option. But we expect most international students in our program will choose to return to their homes to complete additional coursework online.

Because international students must enroll in 6 hours of classes on campus, it will typically not be possible to enroll in the Short Residency class in October or at times other than during the summer. The exception would be if you arranged for an additional on-campus semester as part of your degree.

Your second residency will typically come at the end of your degree program. MUW will need to issue you a new Form I-20, since you will have been out of the country for more than 5 months. You will take one short residency class and one full residency class. This is only 3 hours. It may also be possible to take an additional 3-hour on-campus class with other international students and domestic students who choose to take the class. Or you may choose to complete your Thesis on-campus during your final stay.

Part-time students may choose to come to campus for 2 or 3 summer residency periods. In this case, the second residency period will need to be for 6 hours. The concluding visit to campus may be for 3 hours.

See the rules on maintaining F1-status.