Poetry Degree Programs

Undergraduate and graduate degree programs are available in creative writing and English, and they allow you to study poetry topics or pursue a concentration in poetry. Keep reading to learn more. Schools offering Creative Writing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Are Degree Programs in Poetry Available?

Poetry degree programs are commonly offered at the master's degree level, although a few schools offer bachelor's or doctoral degree programs with concentrations or specializations in poetry. Most master's degree programs dealing largely with poetry lead to a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in writing, creative writing or English, but a few Master of Arts (M.A.) programs are also available. Some of these programs may offer concentrations in poetry.

If you want to study poetry at the baccalaureate or doctoral level, you might pursue a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Ph.D. in English from a school that offers a creative writing emphasis; through this emphasis, you'll be able to take courses in poetry. You can earn your bachelor's or master's degree in creative writing entirely online. Some schools also offer hybrid MFA programs, which allow you to take online courses during the course of the traditional school year, while attending sessions on campus during the summer.

Degree Levels Bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees are available
Common Courses Classical literature, cultural studies, American literature, comparative literature, English literature; writing workshops included in creative writing programs
Possible Careers Editor, writer, author
Learning Environments Traditional classroom, fully online, and hybrid degree programs are available

What Will I Study in a Master's Degree Program?

A master's degree program in creative writing with a concentration in poetry typically consists of writing workshops and literature seminars. Seminars may offer instruction in English and American literature, comparative literature, classical literature or cultural studies. You might also be encouraged or required to attend literary events, such as special readings, poetry forums, or publishing roundtables. Additionally, you might visit writer residences or work for a school publication. In place of the traditional thesis requirement, MFA in Creative Writing programs are more likely to require you to complete a book-length creative work, such as a collection of poetry.

Most full-time master's degree programs in English or creative writing consist of roughly 36 credits and take two years to complete. Many schools prefer to keep their writing workshops small and intimate, enrolling only about ten students per year. A bachelor's degree and minimum undergraduate GPA are common prerequisites for a master's degree in creative writing, and many schools also require you to submit writing samples prior to acceptance.

What Careers Might I Pursue?

Most master's degree programs in creative writing with concentrations in poetry are designed to produce working writers and poets. However, editing and teaching are also potential career options, although this option may require additional certification or training. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), authors, writers and editors accounted for about 253,700 jobs in 2014 (www.bls.gov).

The BLS also notes that employment is expected to grow at a below average rate of two percent for writers and authors and drop by five percent for editors between 2014 and 2024. Considerable competition is expected due to increased interest and the downsizing of many companies who hire writers. In May 2014, the mean annual salary of writers and authors was $67,870, whereas editors earned a mean wage of $64,140 for the same year, also per the BLS.

How Do Online Programs Work?

In an online bachelor's or master's degree program in creative writing, you can complete your coursework from anywhere in the globe that offers a high-speed Internet connection. Online programs are more flexible, but the curriculum is comparable to an on-campus program. In an online master's degree program in creative writing, you can choose to concentrate your studies in poetry, and you may still have the opportunity to gain practical experience working for a school's online publication. Some master's degree programs are hybrid programs, which allow you to complete many of your courses online, while attending brief on-campus seminars. Some online or hybrid master's degree programs are based on a part-time schedule and take three years to complete.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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