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Interdisciplinary Centre for Culture and Creativity


University Catalogue


General Information Nadine Penner

Graduate Secretary Nadine Penner

Phone: (306) 966-5797

University of Saskatchewan
Room 522 Arts Building, 9 Campus Drive
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada S7N 5A5


The MFA in Writing balances the intensive study and practice of writing in several genres with an interdisciplinary flexibility. To the study of poetry, fiction and playwriting, the program adds a variety of non-fiction genres, allowing students to merge a wide variety of intellectual interests with their writing ambitions. The goal is to train a writer in the professional and creative aspects of the craft.

Connecting with Saskatchewan’s community of writers, students work individually with a writer based on the complementary nature of the student’s project and the writer’s own style and genre. Saskatoon provides an environment that encourages the craft of writing. From a weekly-held poetry slam to independent theatre companies, twenty-five publishers, and award winning writers, literary arts are part of the city’s lifeblood.


The deadline is in December each year. Please refer to the program website for exact dates.


Check the funding pages of the College of Graduate Studies and Research website.


For admission and degree requirements, please see  the University Catalogue.

M.F.A. +

The MFA in Writing is a two-year program. In both years students take a variety of courses; in the second, students also complete a thesis. The thesis can be a substantial part of a novel, a substantial piece or series of non-fiction, a play, or a sequence of poems, or a collection of short stories.

In the first year, all students in this program take two 3cu Workshop courses, in which they are required to present work in two genres (for example, WRIT 800.3, Short Fiction and WRIT 801.3, Poetry). As well, each student will take an 800-level (or, where approved, undergraduate level) course in another subject: the relevance of this course to the student’s writing must be demonstrated, and prerequisite requirements must be satisfied.
Each student will take part in the program’s 990 colloquium The Profession of Writing, and in GSR 960, Introduction to Ethics and Integrity. During the first year, each student will be assigned an approved faculty supervisor. A co-supervisor, to be an established writer from the community with professional affiliate status in the College of Graduate Studies and Research, will also be assigned.

Successful completion of the first year thus entails the completion of 9cu of courses plus GSR 960, consistent participation in WRIT 990, and progress in WRIT 994 (the thesis).

In the second year, upon successful completion of year one’s requirements, all students in the program will be required to take two more Workshop courses, each in an additional, distinct genre. They will continue to participate in Writ 990. With regular supervision, including supervision throughout the summer, they will propose and carry out the thesis (WRIT 994). The second year will be completed with the submission and successful defense of the thesis.


  • Four-year Bachelor's degree or equivalent with a minimum average of 70% in the last two years (30%)
  • Statement of intent (10%)
  • Portfolio of 30 pages of writing will be judged for evidence of a preliminary standard of originality, craft, style, and literary sophistication, weighted for 50%
  • 3 letters of recommendation, weighted for 10%.
  • Proof of English proficiency requirements (TOEFL score of 80 or IELTS score of 6.0).
  • Entry into the M.F.A. in Writing requires a four-year Bachelor's degree and a strong portfolio of writing. In exceptional cases, applicants without the degree may enter the program on a probationary basis: equivalency will be judged on previous participation in reputable workshops such as those offered by the Banff School of Fine Arts, the Sage Hill Writing Experience, and the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild; on relevant work experience; and on substantial publication.