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UCF - Graduate Program Handbooks 2017-2018

Program Info

Last Updated 2015-04-20

Creative Writing MFA

Together, the Graduate Student Handbook and your graduate program handbook should serve as your main guide throughout your graduate career. The Graduate Student Handbook includes university information, policies, requirements and guidance for all graduate students. Your program handbook describes the details about graduate study and requirements in your specific program. While both of these handbooks are wonderful resources, know that you are always welcome to talk with faculty and staff in your program and in the Graduate College.

The central activities and missions of a university rest upon the fundamental assumption that all members of the university community conduct themselves in accordance with a strict adherence to academic and scholarly integrity. As a graduate student and member of the university community, you are expected to display the highest standards of academic and personal integrity.

Here are some resources to help you better understand your responsibilities:


Welcome to the University of Central Florida's Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing Program. If you need assistance, contact the Graduate Program Assistant (407-823-5329). The Graduate Program Assistant will answer your questions, direct you to the information, or recommend you schedule an appointment for you with the MFA Program Director.

The Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) Degree in Creative Writing is a studio/academic course of study. Students enroll in writing workshops, forms courses, and literature classes, gaining exposure to a broad range of writing models and experimenting with a variety of strategies. Students are admitted to one literary genre (fiction, nonfiction, or poetry) and their programs of study are focused on this genre. Guided development of each writer's talents culminates in a complete, carefully conceived final project (the thesis), typically a book-length manuscript. The program prepares students for careers as writers, editors, and university level professors.

The minimum total hours required for the Creative Writing MFA is 36 credit hours, including nine required credit hours of writing workshops and the thesis.

Grade Point Average

Your GPA is calculated from all graduate level (5000 level and above) courses taken from admission into your program until completion.

You must have a GPA of 3.0 or above at the time of your graduation. The graduation requirement for a minimum 3.0 GPA in all graduate courses completed since admission into the graduate program cannot be waived.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

For completion of the degree, courses older than seven years cannot be applied toward a graduate Plan of Study. You may file a petition for courses older than seven years to be applied toward the Plan of Study; however, filing the petition does not guarantee that courses older than seven years will be approved.


The minimum total hours required for the Creative Writing MFA is 36 credit hours, including a minimum of nine required credit hours of graduate writing workshop classes. Each candidate will write a book-length creative thesis. There is no nonthesis option in Creative Writing.

Prerequisites and Co-requisites

Students are required to have a proficiency in American and British Literature as reflected by completing at least one survey course in each field. Students with baccalaureate degrees in subjects other than English whose transcripts do not clearly indicate successful completion of such courses will be required to complete survey courses in British and American literature as co-requisites before the thesis defense. The particular courses that satisfy these co-requisites are selected in consultation with the MFA program director.

Required Courses—15 Credit Hours

Core–9 Credit Hours

  • CRW 6025 Graduate Writing Workshop. Must be repeated for credit. (3 credit hours)

While students are expected to concentrate their workshop study in the chief genre, multi-genre proficiency is encouraged. Additional credit hours beyond the required 9 credit hours in CRW 6025 Advanced Graduate Writing Workshop are recommended to assist the student in developing better writing and publication skills.

Specialization—6 Credit Hours

The student will complete two of the following courses:

  • LIT 6039 Studies in Contemporary Poetry (3 credit hours)
  • LIT 6097 Studies in Contemporary Fiction (3 credit hours)
  • LIT 6076 Studies in Contemporary Nonfiction (3 credit hours)
  • CRW 5130 Form and Theory in Creative Writing (3 credit hours)

Elective Courses—15 Credit Hours

Restricted Electives—6 Credit Hours

  • CRW 6976 Scholarship and Publication (3 credit hours)
  • CRW 6806C Teaching Creative Writing (3 credit hours). Required for teaching assistants who wish to be considered for teaching Creative Writing courses in our undergraduate program.
  • CRW 5938 Special Topics Seminar (3 credit hours)
  • CRW 5948C Creative Writing Service Learning (3 credit hours)
  • CRW 6946 Internship (3 credit hours)
  • CRW 6025 Graduate Writing Workshop (3 credit hours)

Unrestricted Electives—6 Credit Hours

  • CRW 5130 Form and Theory in Creative Writing (3 credit hours)
  • LIT 6216 Issues in Literary Study (3 credit hours)
  • LIT 6936 Studies in Literary, Cultural, and Textual Theory (3 credit hours)
  • ENC 5705 Theory and Practice in Composition (3 credit hours)
  • LIT 6276 Teaching College Literature (3 credit hours)

Additional Electives—3 Credit Hours

Thesis—6 Credit Hours

  • CRW 6971 Thesis (3 credit hours)

The candidate will complete a book-length manuscript of publishable quality, written and revised in CRW 6971 Thesis, that meets both departmental and university requirements for the thesis.

Practicum and Internship

Although a practicum or an internship is not required, they are encouraged to better prepare the student for their profession. These courses fulfill the 6-hour requirement in restricted electives and are listed in that category.

  • CRW 6946 Internship
    • The Florida Review Internship (3 credit hours)
    • The Cypress Dome Internship (3 credit hours)
    • Other Approved Internship (3 credit hours)
  • CRW 5948C Service Learning in Creative Writing (3 credit hours)

Timeline for Completion

If you attend classes fulltime (nine hours spring and fall semesters, six hours in summer semesters), you should be able to complete your MFA degree in two to three years, depending on course availability. Other students may take longer because of thesis projects or because they choose to teach.

Degree Plan of Study

Before you complete twelve hours of coursework, you must meet with the MFA Program Director to finalize your Plan of Study (POS). This is a contract between you and the Department of English specifying your degree requirements. This POS must be updated anytime you do not take the courses initially planned—which changes, of course, depending upon course availability and courses you may decide to take after you’ve completed the initial POS.

All enrollments for graduate courses in the Department of English are accomplished in the department prior to electronic registration. Our graduate courses will be marked as "Closed" on myUCF web-based registration page: this does not mean that classes are full. In order to register, you will need to obtain a permission number from the Graduate Program Assistant via email. Instructor approval is required for courses outside your genre, and for courses outside the program.


You will typically receive guidance from the MFA Program Director (who serves as the Academic Advisor for all MFA Creative Writing students) and your Thesis Director.

Academic Advisor: The MFA Program Director will be your primary academic advisor and will provide guidance on overall academic requirements, and program and university policies and procedures. The MFA Program Director will help you fill out a Plan of Study, which is a contract between you and the Department of English specifying your degree requirements.

Thesis Director:  Prior to completing (approximately) 18 hours of coursework, you will choose a Thesis Director from among the MFA faculty members approved by Graduate Studies (See > Policies > Advisement). Your Thesis Director serves as a mentor, providing guidance on your creative research, professional opportunities, and other areas of academic interest. Your Thesis Director will also guide you through the writing, revising, and defense of your thesis project.

Following are possible timelines for completing your MFA degree. Please note that your own best plan depends on your individual situation. Please consult the MFA Director for help in determining your individual Plan of Study.

Two Year Timeline (Example 1)

First Fall Semester

  • Complete 9 hours of coursework 

First Spring Semester

  • Complete 9 hours of coursework
  • Draft a thesis proposal
  • Form thesis committee by end of semester

First Summer Semester

  • Complete 6 hours of coursework
  • Revise thesis proposal

Second Fall Semester

  • Complete 6 hours of coursework
  • Complete 3 hours of thesis work

Second Spring Semester

  • Complete 3 hours of thesis work
  • Finish writing thesis; defend thesis

Two Year Timeline (Example 2)

First Fall Semester

  • Complete 9 hours of coursework 

First Spring Semester

  • Complete 9 hours of coursework
  • Draft a thesis proposal
  • Form thesis committee by end of semester

First Summer Semester

  • Complete 3 hours of coursework

Second Fall Semester

  • Complete 6 hours of coursework
  • Complete 3 hours of thesis work

Second Spring Semester

  • Complete 3 hours of coursework
  • Complete 3 hours of thesis work
  • Finish writing thesis; defend thesis

Three Year Timeline 

First Fall Semester

  • Complete 6 hours of coursework 

First Spring Semester

  • Complete 6 hours of coursework

First Summer Semester

  • Complete 3 hours of coursework

Second Fall Semester

  • Complete 6 hours of coursework
  • Draft a thesis proposal
  • Form thesis committee by end of semester

Second Spring Semester

  • Complete 6 hours of coursework

Second Summer Semester

  • Complete 3 hours of coursework

Third Fall Semester

  • Complete 3 hours of thesis work

Third Spring Semester

  • Complete 3 hours of thesis work
  • Finish writing thesis; defend thesis

Thesis Requirements

Thesis Requirements

To receive the MFA in Creative Writing degree, you must complete a thesis. Below are detailed guidelines. Please read carefully and review as necessary throughout the process. There are MFA Program requirements and there are Graduate College requirements. You must meet the requirements of both.

When you begin your thesis hours, you must enroll in 3 credit hours the first semester, and then 3 the next semester. Only after you have completed 6 thesis credit hours are you permitted to enroll in 1 credit hour for thesis credit. And once you begin taking thesis hours, you must be enrolled each semester for thesis hours until you have successfully defended your thesis. Preparations for a thesis usually begin more than a calendar year before the completion of this final requirement.

MFA Program Requirements

Thesis Length and Content

The completed thesis should be of substantial length and accomplished quality, usually a collection of short stories, poetry, or creative nonfiction essays (100-250 pages of prose or 45-80 pages of poetry). You must also include, in your thesis, your Reading List (in MLA format). The work you produce in your workshops will, most likely, form the basis of your thesis; however, you will need to produce more writing than you write for workshops. Therefore, you must plan carefully and work in concert with your thesis director.

You cannot propose, write, revise, and defend your thesis in a single semester.

If you wish your thesis to be independent of the work you produce in workshops (e.g. a novel or memoir rather than a collection), please be advised that you will need the approval of your Thesis Director and probably need more than 2 years in the program. Completing a novel or a full-length memoir will require a great deal of independent writing, concentrated time, and more revisions. Additionally,if you propose to produce a thesis longer than the maximum page requirements, you must have approval of your Thesis Director and your committee members. We are aware that thesis content and length may change during the writing and revision process, but if, during the process, you make significant changes in your thesis (length or content), you must have approval of your thesis director, and you must notify your committee members.

Choosing a Literary Genre

Unless you receive special permission from both your Thesis Director and the MFA Program Director, your thesis must be in a single genre. The genre you choose should be the genre in which you originally applied to the program. If you are interested in switching genres, you must have:

  • completed at least one workshop (CRW 5020 or CRW 6025) in that genre;
  • have the written support from the faculty member who taught that workshop;
  • a face-to-face meeting with the MFA Program Director to discuss your intentions.

Thesis Proposal

Before asking a faculty member to direct your thesis, you should prepare a formal thesis proposal. Your proposal should include the following:

  • A sample of work in your chosen genre: a minimum of 15 pages of polished prose pieces or a minimum of 10 pages of polished poetry
  • A working title
  • A two-to-three page description of your project
  • A draft of your reading list
  • A timetable for completion
  • If applicable, a tentative table of contents. (This table of contents is for guidance and shape only. We understand that creative writing is a fluid process. You are not bound by the initial outline. However, should you substantively change your project from a collection of short stories to a novel, from fiction to poetry, etc., you must resubmit a proposal.)

After you have secured a Thesis Director, you and your Director will mutually agree upon two other readers who will make up your Thesis Committee. Your Thesis Director and Thesis Committee members may request revisions to your proposal. The Thesis Proposal must be approved by your Thesis Director and your two additional readers (Thesis Committee). This proposal is submitted with a signed approval form attached is filed with the Graduate Program Assistant.

Thesis Director

Your Thesis Director must be a member of the MFA in Creative Writing faculty approved by the College of Graduate Studies. You should secure a Thesis Director at least one calendar year before you intend to graduate.

Your Thesis Director should be someone with whom you have studied, worked, and want to continue working. There is no guarantee that a member of the MFA faculty will agree to direct your thesis. If you encounter difficulties choosing a thesis director, please consult with the MFA Program Director. When you approach a faculty member to direct your thesis, it is recommended that you submit a Thesis Proposal to the faculty member.

Thesis Committee

Your Thesis Director and you will mutually agree upon two other readers with expertise in your area to compose the required three-person thesis committee. If you plan to have two professors co-direct your thesis, both must be MFA faculty members. The third expert is not required to be a member of the English faculty. All members of your committee must be faculty approved to teach graduate courses and to serve on graduate thesis committees. See Policies Master's Program Policies Advisement. It is recommended that committee members be MFA faculty; however, you may choose a committee member who is not part of the MFA faculty if his/her expertise is needed for your project.

Your thesis committee must be reviewed and approved by the College of Arts and Humanities Assistant Dean of Graduate Studies. The Thesis Committee Approval Form must be received and approved before you can register for thesis hours. Please allow a minimum of two weeks for processing.

Note: If the composition of your thesis committee changes, you must resubmit the Thesis Committee Approval Form to the College of Arts and Humanities. Please notify all committee members of any changes made to the composition of your committee.

For more details about the Thesis Committee, please refer to the UCF Graduate Catalog: Policies > Master's Program Policies Thesis Requirements Thesis Advisory Committee Membership.

Thesis Enrollment

To be considered full-time after completion of coursework, students must be continuously enrolled in thesis hours every semester (including summers) until successful defense and graduation. You must have a minimum 6 thesis hours. This enrollment each semester reflects the expenditure of university resources. Students that wish to enroll in part-time hours must consult with their advisor. For more details about enrollment, please refer to the UCF Graduate Catalog: Policies > Master’s Program Policies Thesis Requirements Thesis Enrollment Requirement and the UCF Graduate Catalog: General Policies Full-time Enrollment Requirements.

Reading List

In consultation with your Thesis Director, you must generate a list of at least 50 books. These should be books you’ve read that have influenced your writing in some way. You should begin preparing your Reading List at the end of your first semester in the MFA in Creative Writing program. Thereafter, you should consult with your thesis director on a regular basis to discuss your progress and the development of your Reading List. This list will reflect the scope and depth of your study of literature. Your Reading List may include but should not be limited to work assigned in your classes, and should be in MLA format.

Every thesis defense in the MFA in Creative Writing Program includes a discussion of your approved Reading List, and you should be prepared to answer questions about the relation of the readings to your thesis.

You, as a writer, are to be well acquainted with the work of your contemporaries since these writers form the literary currents of the time. Your list should be drawn from a variety of genres and periods in order to indicate the diversity of your reading. However, the works on the list may favor your chosen genre.

This list will be distributed to your committee with your thesis and will be part of your oral defense. This list must, by the time you distribute your thesis to your committee, be in MLA format and included at the end of your thesis as a bibliography.

Thesis Defense Preparation

This defense must be scheduled no less than six weeks prior to its occurrence. To schedule your defense, establish a mutually convenient date and time for you and your committee. After conferring with the committee members, you will need to contact the Graduate Program Assistant in order to schedule a room. Notify your committee and the MFA Program Director of the place, date and time.

While you may schedule a thesis project defense in the summer, many faculty members are not available for extensive thesis work from April 1 to September 1. Faculty who do not teach in the summer and therefore are not under contract during the summer may not direct a summer defense.

Refer to the College of Graduate Studies Completing Your Thesis or Dissertation page for instructions on submitting your release option information and printing your Thesis Approval Form.

Please consult for specific semester deadlines.

Thesis Defense Announcement

You must prepare a Thesis Defense Announcement, have the announcement approved by your director, and send via email to the MFA Graduate Admissions Specialist at least three weeks prior to your defense. This public announcement of the defense must be posted no less than two weeks prior to its occurrence.

Thesis Distribution

No later than two weeks before your defense, submit four copies of the final draft of your thesis: one for your director, one for each committee member, and one for the MFA Program Director. These copies will be shared with other faculty members who may wish to attend the defense.

Thesis Approval Form

Your Thesis Approval Form must be completed online through the ETD system. Be sure to complete the form online at least 3 days prior to your defense in order for it to process. Once it is processed, you should print it out. You must bring the Form to your defense. If you successfully defend your thesis, this form will be signed by all members of your thesis committee at the end of the defense.

You are responsible for securing the signatures and bringing the signed thesis approval form, along with the final thesis copies, to the MFA Program office.

Thesis Defense

You will defend your thesis at a public defense lasting at least one hour. Your committee members will attend as well as any other interested members of the general public.

Heed the advice of your Thesis Director. If he or she recommends that you hold your defense until a later date, it is highly recommended that you do so. An unsuccessful defense in which you do not secure the signatures from your committee members means that you will not graduate from the MFA in Creative Writing Program.

University Thesis Requirements

The Thesis and Dissertation Webcourse is the primary resource for all thesis and dissertation information. Students are automatically enrolled in this non-credit course upon enrollment in thesis or dissertation hours. All thesis/dissertation students should also review the College of Graduate Studies Thesis and Dissertation page. 

All university deadlines are listed in the Academic Calendar. Your program or college may have other earlier deadlines; please check with your program and college staff for additional deadlines.

The following requirements must be met by thesis students in their final term:

  • Submit a properly formatted file for initial format review by the format review deadline
  • Submit the Thesis and Dissertation Release Option form well before the defense
  • Defend by the defense deadline
  • Receive format approval (if not granted upon initial review)
  • Submit signed approval form by final submission deadline
  • Submit final thesis document by final submission deadline

Format reviews and final submission must be completed in the Thesis and Dissertation Services site. Students should also access the Thesis and Dissertation Services site for the Thesis or Dissertation Approval Form and to submit for Format Help. 

The College of Graduate Studies thesis and dissertation office is best reached by email at


Other Thesis Resources

TheThesis and Dissertation Manual provides guidelines for preparing, formatting and submitting your thesis.

Pathways to Success provides workshops on research techniques, thesis formatting, library research and writing essentials.

The University Writing Center (UWC) ( provides workshops, one-on-one consultations, phone and online consultations on a wide variety of topics relevant to graduate-level research and writing including electronic thesis resources, thesis revisions, grant writing, and fellowship applications.

Graduate Research

Researchers in every discipline have a responsibility for ethical awareness, as the status of the profession rests with each individual researcher. It is important to be honest and ethical in conducting research as well as in taking classes. The ethical collection and use of information includes, but is by no means limited to, the following: confidentiality, accuracy, relevance, self responsibility, honesty, and awareness of conflict of interest.

The University of Arizona's Code of Research Ethics provides our students with guidelines for responsible practice in research. This code of ethics can be found here: Also, see the Graduate Catalog, section titled Research Ethics: and UCF's Office of Research & Commercialization: > Compliance.

Patent and Invention Policy

UCF has three fundamental responsibilities with regard to graduate student research. They are to (1) support an academic environment that stimulates the spirit of inquiry, (2) develop the intellectual property stemming from research, and to (3) disseminate the intellectual property to the general public. UCF owns the intellectual property developed using university resources. The graduate student as inventor will, according to this policy, share in the proceeds of the invention. The full policy is available online from the Graduate Catalog: > Policies.

Plagiarism is the most egregious crime a writer can commit. Should any student in the MFA in Creative Writing program be found guilty of plagiarism, the Program Director will enforce all possible actions allowable by The Golden Rule (

Financial Support

Graduate Financials

Students with qualifying assistantships or university-wide fellowships will receive financial packages that include an assistantship or fellowship stipend, tuition remission, and health insurance. Qualifying fellowships are accompanied by tuition waivers. Qualifying assistantships include single appointments of at least .50 FTE (20 hrs/week) or two appointments of at least .25 FTE (10 hrs/week). Tuition remission is in the form of either tuition waivers or tuition payments that cover in-state (resident) tuition. Non-resident students with financial packages are not charged out-of-state tuition or the non-resident financial aid fee.

For additional information about funding for graduate school, please visit the Funding for Graduate School section of the College of Graduate Studies student website at

If you are interested in applying for loans or externally funded need-based awards, visit the Office of Student Financial Assistance website at and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is available January 1 each year.

Financial Support Requirements

Graduate students must meet certain requirements each term that they receive fellowships or assistantships. In brief, to receive and maintain these types of financial support packages, a student must:

  • maintain good academic standing
  • be enrolled full time

A more detailed description of the financial support requirements can be found in the Financial Information > Financial Support requirements of the Graduate Catalog at

University Fellowships

Most university fellowships are reserved for incoming degree-seeking graduate students who plan to enroll full time. For a listing of merit-based fellowships that are offered through the UCF College of Graduate Studies, as well as a listing of various general graduate funding opportunities, see

Graduate Presentation Fellowships

The College of Graduate Studies provides Presentation Fellowships for students to present their research or comparable creative activity at a professional meeting or conference. To review the award requirements and apply online, see Presentation Fellowship.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantship appointments offer opportunities for students to engage in research, teaching, and other projects during their graduate study. These are paid appointments that promote the mission of the University. For eligibility, students must be accepted as a graduate student in a degree program and be enrolled full-time.

For more information concerning graduate assistantships, see the Financial Information > Graduate Assistantships section of the current Graduate Catalog at or talk to the Graduate Program Director to learn about specific eligibility and application guidelines.

Graduate Teaching

Graduate students may be appointed as graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) to carry out responsibilities as classroom teachers (instructors of record), co-teachers or classroom assistants, graders, lab assistants, or other roles directly related to classroom instruction. Mandatory training requirements must be met for a student to be hired in the position of Graduate Teaching Associate, Assistant or Grader. The training, offered by UCF’s Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning, covers course design, learning theories, ethics, and other topics relevant to preparing GTAs for their responsibilities. See > Graduate Student Handbook > Graduate Teaching for training requirements and registration instructions.

The MFA Program Director oversees the mentoring of GTAs with assistance from other department faculty. The Program Director will provide you with detailed guidelines that outline your responsibilities as a GTA.

Students who are non-native speakers of English and do not have a degree from a U.S. institution must pass the SPEAK test before they will be permitted to teach as Graduate Teaching Associates (position code 9183) or Graduate Teaching Assistants (position code 9184). The SPEAK test is not required for students who will be appointed as a Graduate Teaching Grader (position code 9187). Additional information including how to register for the test can be accessed through the Graduate Teaching section of the College of Graduate Studies student website.

GTA Performance Assessments

At the completion of each semester in which a student is employed as a GTA, the student’s faculty GTA supervisor will meet with the student and complete the GTA Performance Assessment. These assessments are intended to facilitate and document the mentoring of graduate student teachers, promoting a review and discussion of the strengths and weaknesses in the student’s performance in preparation for future employment.

Vacation and Leave Expectations

Expectations concerning vacations, days off and leave vary greatly depending upon the assistantship type and the details of the individual circumstances. Please speak to your supervisor at the beginning of your appointment to clarify what these expectations are.

International Students

For information about the types of employment available to international students, and the requirements and restrictions based on visa type, see the International Affairs and Global Strategies website: > Students > Employment.

Graduate Student Associations

Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society has a Zeta Xi Chapter at UCF. The club is dedicated to the success of its members—as students and as people. To this end, Zeta Xi strives to provide its members resources for fellowship, scholarship, and service      

The Graduate Student Association (GSA) is UCF's graduate organization committed to enrich graduate students' personal, educational and professional experience. To learn more or get involved, please visit For individual department or graduate program organizations, please see program advisor.

The Graduate Writers Association (GWA) is the English Department’s graduate organization that helps students successfully transition from the university into the greater literary field by creating and participating in networking and professional development opportunities and sharing knowledge of existing literary organizations. Visit for more information.

Parcels: MFAs in Progress is reading series that showcases the talents of the up-and-coming poets and prose writers in the University of Central Florida's Creative Writing Masters of Fine Arts program. Visit

Professional Development

Internships/ Teaching Opportunities

As part of the MFA in Creative Writing curriculum, you will have the opportunity to take courses that will prepare you to teach both at the university level and in the community and to work in the publishing field as an editor. We recommend that you take advantage of these opportunities.

If you are interested in teaching ENC 1101 and ENC 1102, you must take ENC 5705 Theory and Practice in Composition in the Department of Writing and Rhetoric. This course is most often offered in the spring term and it is recommended you take this course in your first 18 hours of study.

Teaching and Learning

The Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL) promotes excellence in all levels of teaching at the University of Central Florida. They offer several programs for the professional development of Graduate Teaching Assistants at UCF.

  • GTA Training (mandatory for employment as a GTA)
    This training provides information and resources for students who will be instructors in a two-day workshop. The seminars cover a variety of topics, including course development, learning theories, lecturing, and academic freedom. Those interested in additional training can also attend an optional training session that normally follows the mandatory training.

  • Preparing Tomorrow's Faculty Program
    This certificate program (12-weeks) consists of group and individualized instruction by Faculty Center staff and experienced UCF professors. Textbooks and materials are provided.

For more information: > Events > GTA Programs or call 407-823-3544.

Pathways to Success Workshops

Coordinated by the College of Graduate Studies, the Pathways to Success program  offers the following free development opportunities for graduate students including workshops in Academic Integrity, Graduate Grantsmanship, Graduate Teaching, Personal Development, Professional Development, and Research.  For more information and how to register, please visit  

Graduate Research Forum

The Graduate Research Forum will feature poster displays representing UCF’s diverse colleges and disciplines. It is an opportunity for students to showcase their research and creative projects and to receive valuable feedback from faculty judges. Awards for best poster presentation in each category will be given and all participants will receive recognition.

The College of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Student Association invite all UCF students, community, and employers to attend the Graduate Research Forum. For more information, contact

Departmental Awards

At the student recognition luncheon each year, the MFA Faculty awards an "Outstanding Undergraduate Writer.” In addition, there are many opportunities for you to apply for English Department Scholarships. Applications are typically due spring term. For more information, please visit the English Department website at

If you received a graduate teaching assistantship, you may be assigned Teaching Composition responsibilities as part of your stipend. The following information will be useful in fulfilling your teaching duties.

Graduate Excellence Awards

Each year, the College of Graduate Studies offers graduate students who strive for academic and professional excellence the opportunity to be recognized for their work. The award categories include the following:

Award for Excellence by a Graduate Teaching Assistant – This award is for students who provide teaching support and assistance under the direction of a lead teacher. This award focuses on the extent and quality of the assistance provided by the student to the lead instructor and the students in the class. (Not intended for students who are instructor of record)

Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching – This award is for students who serve as instructors of record and have independent classroom responsibilities. The focus of this award is on the quality of the student’s teaching and the academic contributions of those activities.

Award for the Outstanding Master’s Thesis – It recognizes graduate students for excellence in the master's thesis. The focus of this award is on the quality and contribution of the student's thesis research. Excellence of the master's thesis may be demonstrated by evidence such as, but not limited to: publications in refereed journals, awards and recognitions from professional organizations, and praise from faculty members and other colleagues in the field. The university award will be forwarded to a national-level competition sponsored by the Council of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) when the thesis discipline corresponds to the annual submission request.

For the nomination process and eligibility criteria, see the College of Graduate Studies website

Other Awards

For information about the Council of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) thesis and dissertation awards, see their website: > Awards.


Atlantic Center for the Arts

We encourage you to apply for fully-funded scholarships for the Atlantic Center for the Arts ( where you will be able to work with world- renowned authors. Any UCF student who is accepted by ACA receives full scholarships to the Center.

Associated Writing Programs National Conference

The AWP National Conference is held in the spring of each year. We encourage you to submit a panel proposal (usually due the previous spring) or a pedagogy paper (usually due in the fall). Should you have a paper or panel accepted, you can receive travel monies from Student Government, College of Graduate Studies, and the English Department. As an MFA student, you will receive free membership to AWP. If you do not receive an invitation email shortly after your first semester begins, please contact the Program Director.

Job Search

Career Services and Experiential Learning

Graduate career development issues are unique and include evaluating academic and nonacademic career choices, discussing graduate school effect on career choices, as well as learning, evaluating, and refining networking and interviewing skills. Whatever your needs, the offices of Career Services and Experiential Learning offer services and resources to aid in the career exploration and job search of Master and Doctoral students in every academic discipline. See


  • College of Graduate Studies Forms
    A listing of forms and files for the College of Graduate Studies.
  • Graduate Petition Form
    When unusual situations arise, petitions for exceptions to policy may be requested by the student. Depending on the type of appeal, the student should contact his/her program adviser to begin the petition process.
  • Traveling Scholar Form
    Required form of graduate students who would like to take advantage of resources available on another campus, but not available at UCF; for example, special course offerings, research opportunities, unique laboratories and library collections.


Plagiarism is the act of taking someone else’s work and presenting it as your own. Any ideas, data, text, media or materials taken from another source (either written or verbal) must be fully acknowledged.a) A student must not adopt or reproduce ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another person without acknowledgment.b) A student must give credit to the originality of others whenever:

  1. Directly quoting another person's actual words, whether oral or written;
  2. Using another person's ideas, opinions, or theories;
  3. Paraphrasing the words, ideas, opinions, or theories of others, whether oral or written;
  4. Borrowing facts, statistics, or illustrative material; or
  5. Offering materials assembled or collected by others in the form of projects or collections without acknowledgment.

When using the ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another, students must give credit to the original source at the location or place in the document where that source's material is found as well as provide bibliographic information at the end of the document. When students are verbally discussing the ideas, opinions, theories, formulas, graphics, or pictures of another, they must give credit to the original source at the time they speak about that source. In this manner, students must make clear (so there is no doubt) within their written or verbal materials, which parts are gained from other sources, and which are their own original ideas, theories, formulas, graphics, and pictures.The Office of Student Conduct has a set of criteria that determines if students are in violation of plagiarism. This set of criteria may be set to a higher standard in graduate programs. Therefore, a student may not be found in violation of plagiarism by the Office of Student Conduct, but a professor or program requiring higher standards of attribution and citation may find a student in violation of plagiarism and administer program level sanctions. The standard in doctoral programs should be the highest as students earning these degrees are expected to be experts in their fields and producing independent work that contributes knowledge to their discipline.

Example of Material that has been appropriately cited:

Paraphrased Material

Source: Osborne, Richard, ed. How to Grow Annuals. 2nd ed. Menlo Park: Lane, 1974. Print. Page 24: As a recent authority has pointed out, for a dependable long-blooming swatch of soft blue in your garden, ageratum is a fine choice. From early summer until frost, ageratum is continuously covered with clustered heads of fine, silky, fringed flowers in dusty shades of lavender-blue, lavender-pink or white. The popular dwarf varieties grow in mounds six to twelve inches high and twelve inches across; they make fine container plants. Larger types grow up to three feet tall. Ageratum makes an excellent edging.

Use and Adaptation of the Material:

You can depend on ageratum if you want some soft blue in your garden. It blooms through the summer and the flowers, soft, small, and fringed, come in various shades of lavender. The small varieties which grow in mounds are very popular, especially when planted in containers. There are also larger varieties. Ageratum is good as a border plant (Osborne 24).


The writer has done a good job of paraphrasing what could be considered common knowledge (available in a number of sources), but because the structure and progression of detail is someone else’s, the writer has acknowledged the source. This the writer can do at the end of the paragraph since he or she has not used the author’s words.

The above example was provided by Northwestern University.

Northwestern University, Sept. 2016. “Academic Integrity: A Basic Guide.” Accessed 20 September 2017.

For more information about Academic Honesty, Click here.

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