The Master’s in Creative Writing Portfolio is a collection of students’ essays, stories, poetry, and other projects from their work in the program. Together with the oral exam, the portfolio is meant to demonstrate that students have strong writing skills. A portfolio also provides writing samples for use in applying for jobs or for M.F.A. or Ph.D. programs.
Generally, a portfolio should contain several writing samples and total 25 to 50 pages of material, from one or more genres. Typically, students also include a 5-10 page critical introduction, reflecting on their growth as a writer and their aesthetic concerns. In addition to these materials, the portfolio will have a table of contents, and appropriate pagination. Students assemble and revise the portfolio in consultation with their adviser in the final semester of the program.
The critical introduction and the creative writing in the portfolio will be discussed and evaluated during the student’s oral examination. In the examination, students should be prepared to answer questions about their work. On occasion, exam committees request further revisions to the portfolio, in order for the student to pass the final examination.
While it is not mandatory, students may file a bound copy of the portfolio in the department’s thesis library.