Advanced Certificate in Creative Writing

Southampton + Manhattan

Admissions | Resources & Support | Faculty | Curriculum & Requirements | Courses

The Stony Brook Southampton Advanced Certificate in Creative Writing welcomes aspiring writers who seek guidance that is friendly, rigorous, professionally useful, and intellectually challenging.

As with other programs in the New York Metropolitan Area and throughout the country, the Certificate Program emphasizes creative work in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and scriptwriting. Complementing the strength of the existing Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Program in Creative Writing and Literature at Stony Brook Southampton, the Certificate responds to the needs of a society increasingly dependent upon the intelligent use of language.

Designed for working adults who have completed a BA and who are interested in master’s level instruction, the Certificate Program is distinguished by the fact that it allows students flexibility in choice of courses and genres. The Advanced Certificate is a sixteen credit hour concentration available upon successful application to degree-seeking students who have been admitted to any Stony Brook University graduate program, as well as to non-degree seeking students who meet the requirements outlined by the Graduate School.

Our Goals
Like the Stony Brook MFA Program, the Advanced Certificate will extend its emphasis beyond narrowly-focused categories of expression to treat all forms of written work as equally relevant to understanding and mastering a world constructed out of words. Courses are taught by a full-time and part-time faculty of award-winning writers, all of whom have been widely published and who have received numerous accolades in their writing careers.

There are many reasons to study writing—from self-satisfaction to dissemination of information. Some of those who have attended the Southampton Writers Conferences and the MFA Program in Writing and Literature have gone on to publish acclaimed novels, memoirs, children’s books, works of creative nonfiction, and collections of poetry. Our goal is to identify what each student needs in terms of writing instruction and to help that student achieve realistic goals.

Admissions
Admission to the Advanced Certificate in Creative Writing is highly competitive. Students who are eligible to apply include those enrolled in a graduate degree-granting program at Stony Brook University and to students who have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university who meet the admissions criteria.

For applicants already admitted to the University, admission involves completing a “Permission to Enroll in a Secondary Certificate” form. Students also need to submit a statement of purpose and a writing sample (details below). Students are required to have an earned bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) with a cumulative grade point average of 2.75 on a 4-point scale. The following must be submitted to the Creative Writing and Literature Program:

  • A statement discussing the student’s reasons for graduate study (1-2 pp, may be submitted with the online application)
  • A writing sample consisting of up to 10 pages of poetry (single-spaced, stapled) or 30 pages of prose (double-spaced, stapled), with the student’s name on the writing sample.

Non-Matriculated Status
Non-matriculated students may be permitted to register for up to 12 credits (with no more than six credits in any given semester).  Upon approval of the program, up to twelve credits may be transferred to the Advanced Certificate.  Transfer credits from other institutions will not be accepted toward the Certificate.

Timeline
All Advanced Certificate requirements must be completed within three (3) years from the semester date of admission as a matriculated student.

NOTE: If the certificate program is taken in collaboration with a graduate degree program, then the student has five years for completion of the certificate.

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Advising
Students in the Advanced Certificate program are advised by the Associate Director and/or faculty and staff in the Writing and Literature program at Stony Brook Southampton.

Resources and Support Programs
The Advanced Certificate in Creative Writing will be housed in the Writing and Literature program at Stony Brook Southampton.  Certificate students will be able to access the same support services as matriculated MFA students.  Resources may include a limited number of partially subsidized scholarships and/or tuition waivers to the summer writing conferences.

Faculty
Courses are taught by a full-time core faculty of three, joined by a part-time faculty of distinguished visiting writers whose teaching and lecturing assignments will rotate among the fall, spring, and summer sessions.  These distinguished visitors will provide creative breadth to the writing program, offering coverage in areas of writing that are essential in contemporary society, in particular fiction, nonfiction, scriptwriting, scientific writing, and writing for the media.   Full-time faculty, lecturers, and visiting authors include essayist, novelist, and television commentator Roger Rosenblatt, novelist and program director Robert Reeves, memoirist Lou Ann Walker, novelist Kaylie Jones, poet Billy Collins, cartoonist and screenwriter Jules Feiffer, poet Julie Sheehan, screenwriter and producer Annette Handley Chandler, biographer and essayist Neal Gabler, novelist Meg Wolitzer, children's author Emma Walton Hamilton, scriptwriter Jon Robin Baitz, essayist David Rakoff, and novelist Ursula Hegi, among others.

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Curriculum
The Advanced Certificate is a sixteen credit hour concentration available upon successful application to degree-seeking students who have been admitted to any Stony Brook University graduate program as well as non-degree seeking students who meet all the requirements outlined by the Graduate School. As with other programs throughout the country and in the New York metropolitan area, the Stony Brook Advanced Certificate will emphasize creative work in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and scriptwriting.  However, like the Stony Brook MFA program, the advanced certificate will extend its emphasis beyond narrowly-focused categories of expression to treat all forms of written expression as equally relevant to understanding and mastering a world constructed out of words. Following are the specific requirements and course descriptions.

Three or more of the following writing workshops or topics courses (12 Credits):

Required Introduction to the MFA Program (4 Credits)

CWL 500  Introduction to Graduate Writing, 4 credits

 

CWL 510          Forms of Fiction, 4 credits

CWL 520          Forms of Poetry, 4 credits

CWL 530          Forms of Scriptwriting, 4 credits

CWL 540          Forms of Creative Nonfiction, 4 credits

CWL 550          Forms of Professional and Scientific Writing, 4 credits

CWL 565          Special Topics in Writing, 4 credits

CWL 575          Writers Conferences, 1-6 credits

CWL 570          Advanced Writing Workshop, 4 credits

Students select three or more writing workshops or topics courses totaling 12 credits of course work. Individual topics under each category will be labeled according to the content of the course. Although courses may be repeated for credit, students are strongly encouraged to experiment among the genres.

 

TOTAL CREDITS REQUIRED: 16

CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

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