Residency sessions are often held in settings featuring natural surroundings conducive to creativity, so students also have time for reflection and writing before they embark on their independent work.
One of the most important components of the application process for MFA programs in creative writing is the quality of an applicant's written work, so prospective students should be prepared to submit a significant writing sample.
Depending on the genre, this may be up to 25 pages of prose or poetry.
Applicants may also need to compose a statement outlining their prior writing experience and academic and professional goals.
Some programs include seminars or classes focused on a specific aspect of writing.
These classes may cover a particular era or type of writing or the work of a specific author or poet.
They may also complete other assignments including critical responses to assigned readings, peer reviews of other students' writing, annotated bibliographies, and assessments of their own progress.
By the end of their studies, writing MFA students may produce a book-length thesis project.
Programs may require that students work with several different faculty members over the course of their studies.
During these periods, students compose and revise their work, frequently submitting work to their faculty mentor and making changes based on their mentor's guidance.