All work required for an MFA degree in Creative Writing from the University of Oregon must take place during the candidate's enrollment in the Program and under the supervision of its faculty. Revision of earlier work is discouraged unless it can be demonstrated that doing so will result in substantial enlargement and improvement of the original. That parts of a thesis have been published or accepted for publication by a journal or anthology is laudable but an entirely separate matter from faculty evaluation.
• Six Workshops
Because the program recognizes the need for students to spend a majority of time writing, students take six graduate workshops (in a single genre) in six consecutive academic quarters of residence.
• Four Seminars
The program's craft seminars focus on style, form, and literary tradition. Unlike the workshops, each seminar is open to students in both genres (fiction and poetry).
• Three Writing and Conference
The Writing and Conference tutorials provide mentorship for first-year students. Each tutorial offers a unique opportunity to collaborate with a different professor each term.
All MFA candidates are required to complete a thesis, which the program defines as "a sustained piece of imaginative writing (poetry or fiction) of high literary merit." Students choose a thesis advisor toward the end of their first year and begin work on the thesis itself during the following summer. In their second year, MFA candidates register for thesis hours each term.
In the second year, all MFA candidates must take and pass a formal examination. It can involve—but is not limited to—questions about theory and technique, the history of a genre, and contemporary literature.