Faculty members have been awarded nationally competitive awards such as the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Whiting Writer's Award, the California Book Award, Pushcart Prizes, as well as grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. Faculty members of the creative writing program also have received numerous prizes for their poems, short stories, essays, memoirs, novels, poetry collections and editorial works.
Sigma Tau Delta, Eta Chi Chapter : An honor society for students of English language and literature in undergraduate, graduate and professional studies. Members host department events, work on a community service project, publish in a literary magazine and attend a national conference.
The O.N.E.S. (Optimistic Nihilists Enological Society): The graduate creative writing students' club. The O.N.E.S. host receptions for visiting writers, sponsor talks by visitors and alums on matters concerning writing, publication, employment, money and wine.
Thesis: Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Creative Writing candidates will complete a thesis in the form of a collection of poetry, short stories, creative nonfiction or a novel. Each student also will take an oral examination designed to test the student’s ability to discuss his or her creative process, intellectual and creative influences, chosen genre, aesthetic perspective, design and intent.
Teaching Assistantships (T.A.): Paid T.A. positions are available to graduate students in the Department of English. Assistants teach three sections of freshman composition per year under the supervision of the director of writing, with the opportunity to teach a creative writing class in their chosen genre during the third year.
Department fellowships and scholarships:The English Department offers three major scholarships for all graduate students, as well as a number of MFA fellowships. Some of these awards allow students to study and write in off-campus locations.
Fugue Literary Journal: A nationally recognized, student-run literary magazine of poems, essays, stories, interviews and artwork. Recent contributors to Fugue include Melanie Rae Thon, Stephen Dunn, Philip Levine, Franz Wright and Terrance Hayes.
Public Readings: Students participate regularly in poetry and fiction public readings on campus and in the surrounding community.
Distinguished Visiting Writers Program: It brings three to five nationally recognized authors to campus each year to provide selected students with intensive instruction in poetry, fiction or nonfiction writing, both in workshop settings and in one-on-one sessions.
Writing Center: A collaborative learning program dedicated to providing one-on-one assistance to student writers. Graduate students may be selected to work as tutors.