Program Brochure for Prospective Students

The Master of Fine Arts program in Spanish creative writing requires 48 s.h. of graduate credit earned over four semesters in residence at the University of Iowa. Students must maintain a cumulative g.p.a. of at least 2.75.

Created in 2012 by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, the M.F.A. in Creative Writing in Spanish has benefited from a large number of excellent writers who have found success publishing books written while they were students in the program.

Our students participate in editing Iowa Literaria, the University’s magazine of literature in Spanish.

In addition, our students have the opportunity to be involved in a unique literary community, which has been home to hundreds of writers and has earned a designation as a UNESCO “City of Literature.” Students are able to participate in the many literary activities of the University of Iowa and Iowa City, including the Subtitulados and Anthology reading series, the readings of the International Writing Program, “Live from Prairie Lights,” and the Mission Creek and Iowa City Book Festivals.

Students complete courses in writing, including several workshops and other relevant coursework. They also are required to do a final public reading in the spring semester of their second year. Work toward the degree culminates in a creative thesis. They must enroll in SPAN:6210 - Fiction Workshop and SPAN:6220 - Poetry Workshop during each year of residence in the program. Groups of 8-12 students read and critique each other's work in these courses.

Listed below are the general categories of coursework required to earn the degree; for more specific information on courses, curriculum, and requirements of the Master of Fine Arts in Spanish Creative Writing, visit the UI General Catalog.

Degree Requirements
Title Hours
Fiction Workshop course (taken twice for 4 s.h. each) 8
Poetry Workshop course (taken twice for 4 s.h. each) 8
Three graduate-level courses offered by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese 9
Two additional courses offered by the M.F.A. program in Spanish creative writing 8
Creative Project Development or Nonfiction Workshop courses 4
Two graduate-level courses in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese or from related extra-departmental units  6

Thesis work (see below)

Total Hours




Students submit their graduate thesis, a manuscript of substantial length, during their last semester, and must enroll in SPAN:6299 - Thesis: Creative Writing. The thesis committee is composed of at least three members: two faculty members in the Spanish creative writing program and a third Department of Spanish and Portuguese faculty member who could be part of the creative writing program, or a faculty member from one of the related units—Center for the Book, the Creative Writing Program (Iowa Writers' Workshop), or the International Writing Program.

Important Deadlines

Application Deadline: January 15th (for financial support)


Admission decisions are based on prior academic performance, letters of reference, and the applicant's statement about background and purpose. Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College; see the Manual of Rules and Regulations of the Graduate College on the Graduate College website. For more information, see the Graduate Admissions Process page.