Semester Guided Study

The semester study plans for the master of fine arts in writing program grow from the students’ own interests, needs, and developing visions and guide the trajectory of their work. During the guided study students send writing to their advisors and, in turn, receive critiques and support, including specific suggestions as well as general advice for the developing craft and course of study.


  • Worksheets: Submit four poems, no more than 10 pages in all, or a prose piece of up to 4000 words for faculty and peer review.
  • Peer Review: Prepare detailed comments on all manuscripts in workshop group.
  • Study Proposal: Submit a semester study proposal that includes writing goals, areas of interest, and a tentative reading list.

January & June: 10-Day Residency

  • Workshops: Receive close critique and participate in critique for others.
  • Presentations and Readings: Attend lectures, classes, presentations, readings, and discussions by writers and degree candidates.
  • Advisor Conferences: Participate in strategy sessions with advisor to design an individualized semester study plan.
  • Study Plan: Refine initial study proposal and define goals, reading list, projects, and deadlines for the guided study.
  • Residency Review: Submit required responses to craft talks, classes, roundtable discussions, and lectures.

Guided Study

  • Workload: Devote 20-25 hours per week to implement study plans and projects.
  • Creative Project: Develop a body of carefully edited work (20-30 pages prose, 10-15 poems).
  • Exchanges/Packets: Submit work to advisor (5-6 exchanges, approximately every 3 weeks).
  • Reading: Complete assigned readings (20 works per semester).
  • Reading Responses: During the first two semesters, write commentaries on 12-15 of the assigned readings. During the last two semesters, create an annotated bibliography for the assigned readings.
  • Log: Keep record of exchanges with advisor.
  • Midterm Assessment: Assess progress toward goals in study plan.
  • Semester Assessment: Evaluate semester progress.


Contact Us

Pacific University Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program
503-352-1531 |

530 NW 12th Ave., Portland, OR 97209
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday - Friday