University of Georgia

Georgia, United States

Residential program

The Creative Writing Program at the University of Georgia directs and supports the emergence of the artistic voice in print by offering a Ph.D. in English with a creative dissertation. Our students are encouraged to develop a course of research that complements their writing practice and prepares them professionally for a teaching career at the university or college level. Our program fosters serious conversations among our students about aesthetics and criticism, experience and culture, and politics and history—not only in the classroom but through public readings and lectures. Our faculty and students play an active role in the cultural life of Athens, both as artists and organizers.

Program Overview

During the first two years of study our Ph.D. candidates select from course offerings in the English Department, seminars that signal both our faculty’s recognition of intellectual and disciplinary change and our abiding commitment to traditional literary history. Though CWP students may choose to study earlier periods of literature, as scholars of the practice most students typically choose seminars in Twentieth-Century American, British Literature, Multicultural Literature, African American Literature, Native Literary Studies, and Critical Theory. Each student takes at least one Creative Writing course a year.

Prior to beginning their third year CWP students prepare reading lists for comprehensive exams in three fields. Students create a “Forms and Crafts” list in their selected genre plus lists in two other fields of their choice. Currently CWP students are electing to take comprehensive exams in fields such as “A Global History of the Novel, ” "The Dialogic Lyric," "Ecopoetics," “The Southern Novel,” “Latino/a Literature,” “African American Literature,” “Translation Theory,” and "Twenty-first Century American Poetry.” Most students take their exams in the spring of their third year.

During their fourth and fifth years CWP students complete a creative dissertation with a critical introduction. The dissertation typically is a full-length work in a single genre—a work of fiction, creative non-fiction, or poetry. The introduction is the author’s scholarly address to her audience. In the past students have used the introduction as manifesto, a meditation on process, a tracing of literary influence, or an analysis of the state of the genre.

Contact Information

Park Hall 111
Department of English, Creative Writing
Georgia, United States
Phone: 706-542-2659


Graduate Program Director

Reginald McKnight
Creative Writing Program Director
Park Hall 111
Department of English, Creative Writing
Georgia, United States

The University of Georgia offers the Ph.D. in English with creative dissertation. The Ph.D. is not a creative writing degree. Rather, it gives students enrolled in an academic program the opportunity to do creative work. Academic standards for creative writing students are the same as those for non-creative writing students. Please see the Creative Writing website for further information.

The Programs:

Ph.D. with Creative Dissertation

Doctoral-level students complete a degree that consists of a minimum of 27 hours of course work in English and American Literature and related fields, including ten hours of dissertation research, unless they are entering without the MA, in which case, they complete 45 hours of course work, exclusive of dissertation research hours, before they are admitted to candidacy.

Required Course of Study at the Ph.D. level:

At least one Creative Writing course a year, either 6800 or 8800. (Repetition is allowed but students are encouraged to study with at least three different CW professors.)

Directed reading/thesis hours with one's advisor after the completion of course work

Recommended at the Ph.D. level:

At least one 6800---Topics in Creative Writing---if it is offered during the students' residency

Seminars and Topics courses offered in the English Department in 20th-century American and British Literature and Theory

The Curriculum:

6800---Topics in Form and Craft (3 hours---maximum 9 hours)---an exploration of topics and issues around the act of writing. Sample courses include The First Book of Poetry, The Art of Translation, The Art of the Book, Novel Form, Novel Genres, and Publishing and Editing.

8800---Seminar in Creative Writing (3 hours---maximum 9 hours for credit) Advanced instruction in the craft of writing. Options include fiction; fiction and non-fiction, non-fiction; poetry; and all genres. (One 8800 workshop is generally offered each semester)

8960---Directed Reading (3 hours---maximum 6 hours)---an independent directed reading course which may be taken when a course in the student's program of study is not offered in the current scheduled plan of courses.

Financial Aid. Students admitted to the Ph.D. with creative dissertation are generally offered nine-month teaching assistantships. A few outstanding students who are admitted to the M.F.A. or Ph.D. program with creative dissertation are offered research assistantships. Students interested in research assistantships should indicate their areas of research interests (publishing, organizing a reading series, additional time to write) in their statements of intent in creative writing. Students also may compete in their second or third years for a paid internship at The Georgia Review.

Type of Program: Research/Theory/Studio
Genres: Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry
Duration of Study: 5 years
Unit of Measure: Hours
Other Requirements: Written examination, oral defense of thesis, proof of reading knowledge of an approved foreign language.
Application Deadline Fall: 12/02/2016
Application Requirements: Transcripts, Writing Sample, Application Form, Letters of Recommendation, GRE, Other


Reginald McKnight

He Sleeps, White Boys, Moustapha's Eclipse

Ed Pavlic

Winners Have Yet to be Announced: A Song for Donny Hathaway, but here are small clear refractions, Labors Lost Left Unfinished

Andrew Zawacki

Petals of Zero Petals of One, Anabranch, By Reason of Breakings

LeAnne Howe

Choctalking on Other Realities, Evidence of Red, Miko Kings

Magdalena Zurawski

Companion Animal, The Bruise

Aruni Kashyap

The House with a Thousand Stories