Graduate Frequently Asked Questions


Our graduate application deadline is February 15 of each year for Fall admission. We do not admit graduate students to begin in Spring or Summer semesters.

There will be an orientation in August for new graduate students, and students should get a letter inviting them to that event.  Students will be assigned a registration time based on their last name.


To familiarize yourself with the registration system, here are some things you can do:

1) Go to, and select the GoSOLAR link under the tab labeled Students in the upper-right hand corner.

2) Select Schedule of Classes from the right-hand column;

3) Select the appropriate term and year;

4) Select English for Subject, and leave the other windows as they are; submit;

5) Scroll down to the 8000-level classes.  These are the graduate classes.

Typically, a graduate student will take one workshop in his or her genre, and one or two literature classes. Heather Russel will have to clear you for the creative writing classes, as those are blocked so that only creative writing students can register for them.

Follow the link below to the College of Arts and Science to find the complete details on the Continuos Enrollment Policy for all graduate students.

Continuous Enrollment policy

Below is a link to the Office of the Registrar that will guide you on the registration process.
Follow the link below to learn more about the programs offered for applicants interested in earning a degree with the English Department at Georgia State University.

Graduate Catalog

Please contact Dr. Chris Kocela, Director of Graduate Studies.

Creative Writing

We offer the BA and MA in English, Concentration in Creative Writing; the MFA in Creative Writing; and the PhD in English, Concentration in Creative Writing.
Our workshops are small—never more than 12 students, usually fewer—and intense. PhD, MFA, and MA students are combined in order to ensure a dynamic and diverse community of writers.
PhDs and MFAs with MAs are eligible for Teaching Assistantships, which include a $15,000 annual stipend and a tuition wavier. TAs teach two classes a semester and hold a “professional development” appointment (editorial assistant, research assistant, writing tutor, etc). MFAs with BAs are eligible for Five Points Assistantships, which include a $6,000 annual stipend and a tuition wavier. FPAs work 15 hours a week at our award-winning literary magazine, Five Points. The Paul Bowles Fellowship is a $5,000 one-time award given to an incoming student in the fiction program. The Virginia Spencer Carr Fellowship is a $10,000 award given in five $2,000 annual awards to a student in the fiction program. No application is necessary for either fellowship: all applicants are considered.
No. The first requirement for all of the master’s-level degrees offered by the Department of English is a bachelor’s degree with a major in English or its equivalent from an accredited college or university with at least a B average (3.0) in the undergraduate major. “Or its equivalent” means a major in the humanities that is closely related to English: comparative literature, theatre, folklore, or creative writing, for example. In those cases, we expect an applicant to have completed significant coursework in English, as well as the coursework required for the major (if coursework in English is not required). What that means is that an applicant needs to have completed coursework equivalent to a minor in English (usually 15-18 hours, with 12 hours at or above the junior level, and a B/3.0 GPA or better in all of those classes). This is because the MFA demands the student be able to earn B’s or better in graduate-level literature classes; these courses are for specialists in the field who have significant training; it would be cruel and unethical to admit unprepared students.
Yes. Before entering the PhD program, students must have completed a MFA in creative writing, or a master’s degree in English, creative writing, or a closely related discipline (history, philosophy, art, theater, art history, modern or classical languages, folklore, etc) from an accredited college or university.
Further focused critical and practical study of fiction or poetry will help you continue to grow as a writer—and that’s the most important reason to consider getting a PhD in Creative Writing. In addition, if you’re interested in an academic career, getting a PhD in Creative Writing may increase your prospects: more and more academic job postings ask that the applicant hold a doctoral degree, even if the job is to teach creative writing. Our PhD’s requirements, which included courses in literature, literary criticism, and the craft of poetry and fiction, will help you prepare for academic teaching, both as a specialist in creative writing, and as a generalist who can teach expository writing and literature.
Our faculty members don’t meet with applicants until after they have been accepted to the Program. The professors prefer to base their decisions on the application file rather than on personal interviews. Feel free to direct any questions you have about the Program to Josh Russell, Director of the Creative Writing Program, or Dr. Heather Russel, Assistant to the Director of the Creative Writing Program. If you would like to schedule a campus tour, you can do so at
Learn about tuition and fees here: