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Year 2: Requirements, Expectations & Deadlines

Updated September 2020

Program Emphasis

During the second year in the MFA Program, students should be completing the core MFA course requirements.  In this timeframe, students also formally constitute their Thesis Committee.  During the second year, students are expected to take six courses and have a 50% TA position.  For students who have other means of support and wish to fulfill their teaching requirement in another year (or already have), nine courses will be taken.

During the first two years of study, students should make every effort to complete the core (most specific) course requirements, leaving the most flexibility for the third year (remaining electives and MFA Thesis writing).

Course Requirements (Year 2) *

Fall (4th Quarter) Winter (5th Quarter) Spring (6th Quarter)
LTWR 215 LTWR 215 LTTH 250 or LTTH 255
Elective Course Option LTWR 295 LTWR 295
50% TA (or Elective Course Option) 50% TA (or Elective Course Option) 50% TA (or Elective Course Option)

* Recommended course plan, based on typical course offerings and progress priorities.

Additional Expectations & Deadlines

Fourth Quarter:

  • Attend the MFA Cohort Meeting.
  • Meet with primary faculty advisor to discuss degree progress and professional development.  Keep faculty advisor informed of progress, pressing or looming decisions, and any emerging difficulties in course of study.
  • Add planned Winter Quarter courses to your MFA Requirements Worksheet, and email it to the advising staff at mfawriting@ucsd.edu as soon as Winter registration begins.  Advising staff will confirm that your courses are approved to apply where you have them listed, as well as confirm if you are staying on track (or if there are any petitions you need to file or different course choices you may need to consider).
  • Update professional development plan in consultation with faculty advisor (recommended).  See the MFA Professional Development information on the "Lit Dept & PhD Overview" page of the handbook.
  • Work to confirm the remaining members of the Thesis Committee.  See “Thesis Committee Constitution” below.

Fifth Quarter:

  • Meet with primary faculty advisor to discuss degree progress and professional development.  Keep faculty advisor informed of progress, pressing or looming decisions, and any emerging difficulties in course of study.
  • Add planned Spring Quarter courses to your MFA Requirements Worksheet, and email it to the advising staff at mfawriting@ucsd.edu as soon as Spring registration begins.  Advising staff will confirm that your courses are approved to apply where you have them listed, as well as confirm if you are staying on track (or if there are any petitions you need to file or different course choices you may need to consider).
  • Complete annual Spring Evaluation self-assessment (March).
  • Submit “Committee Constitution Request” to formalize the committee.  See “Thesis Committee Constitution” below.

Sixth Quarter:

  • Meet with primary faculty advisor to discuss degree progress and professional development.  Keep faculty advisor informed of progress, pressing or looming decisions, and any emerging difficulties in course of study.
  • Add planned Fall Quarter courses to your MFA Requirements Worksheet, and email it to the advising staff at mfawriting@ucsd.edu as soon as Fall registration begins.  Advising staff will confirm that your courses are approved to apply where you have them listed, as well as confirm if you are staying on track (or if there are any petitions you need to file or different course choices you may need to consider).
  • Review and sign annual Spring Evaluation (May).

Thesis Committee Constitution

Through the 4th Quarter, students should meet with prospective committee members during office hours or by appointment to talk about their final project and timeline (quarter during which you will submit your final manuscript, hold your thesis discussion, and graduate). Students will ask them to serve on their committee, and work with their Committee Chair to identify alternative options if any faculty declines to serve. 

By the end of the 5th Quarter, the student must have their committee members confirmed, and the student must submit their committee details to the advising staff for official constitution.  The student must complete the “Committee Constitution Request” form online (see the “Forms” page of the website).  The advising staff then submits an online request to Grad Division to officially constitute the Thesis Committee.  The student, along with their entire committee, will receive a notification email from Grad Division when the committee has formally been approved and constituted.  Changes to the committee may happen after this point, if needed (see “Program: Year 3” for the Committee Reconstitution process).

Thesis Committee Requirements

  • The Thesis Committee must have 4-5 committee members
  • The Chair must have tenure and must be a permanent MFA faculty member
  • With Co-Chairs – one of the Co-Chairs must have tenure, and both must be MFA faculty
  • The required outside (of the department) faculty member must have tenure and may only be a committee member
  • At least 3 Literature Department (ladder-rank) faculty must be on the committee
  • No more than one member of the committee may be a retired faculty, and they may not serve as Chair or Co-Chair
  • Non-UCSD faculty may only serve as the fifth member of the committee, and they may not fulfill the Chair, Co-Chair, or outside-tenured-member positions
  • A complete table of Grad Division’s allowed roles and memberships for Doctoral Committees can be found at http://grad.ucsd.edu/academics/progress-to-degree/committees.html, but keep in mind that the rules listed above must also be met.
Note:  The policies listed here (and on the online form) are the minimum requirements for a thesis committee.  The committee constitution request that a student submits (meeting all minimum requirements) is still a request to the department, which may or may not be approved for various reasons.  If a committee configuration is denied by the department, the advising staff will assist the student in explaining what needs to be adjusted.  Please contact the advising staff at mfawriting@ucsd.edu for any questions.

 

Director of MFA Program
Lily Hoang

MFA Program Advising
(858) 534-8849
mfawriting@ucsd.edu

Accepting Applications:
Apply Online!
9/9/2020 - 1/6/2021 (for Fall 2021 admissions)