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UHV to launch Master of Fine Arts in creative writing

Oct. 26, 2013 at 5:26 a.m.

Jeffrey Di Leo, dean of the UHV School of Arts and Sciences

The University of Houston-Victoria will offer a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing in the spring.

The new program, taught by a group of award-winning authors who are part of the UHV School of Arts and Science faculty, will prepare students for careers in creative writing, communication and teaching.

Jeffrey Di Leo, dean of the UHV School of Arts and Sciences, said those positions are part of a growing field.

UHV will offer two new graduate courses in support of the program this spring. The courses will be workshops in poetry and fiction.

Diana Lopez, interim director of the UHV creative writing program, said students who earn a terminal degree can teach college courses.

A terminal degree is the highest academic degree in a field of study. In other fields, a doctorate is required, but the Master of Fine Arts serves as the final degree in fine arts.

Lopez, whose recent young adult novels include "Confetti Girl," said students who apply for the program first and foremost want to be writers.

Classes will be offered online to accommodate students in the Crossroads region and beyond. The residency portion of the degree will be a thesis defense.

UHV will be the only university in Texas with an online Master of Fine Arts, Di Leo said.

Another unique aspect of UHV's program is the option of a Latino literature and culture component, which could be of particular interest to students seeking jobs in Texas or other border states, Di Leo said.

The 36-credit-hour program requires 12 hours of creative writing workshops, 18 hours of literature or publishing electives and six hours of a master's thesis. The culminating project is a book-length work of either poetry, short stories, creative nonfiction or a novel.

The decision to start the program at UHV comes on the heels of the university launching a Bachelor of Arts in humanities - creative writing in fall 2012. UHV Writer-in-Residence Beverly Lowry said the program is the natural next step.

A spring poetry class will be taught by Saba Razvi, a new UHV faculty member who writes poetry, criticism and fiction. She released a collection of poems last year called "Of the Divining and the Dead."

Applications are now being accepted for the Master of Fine Arts program. Application information is available by calling 361-570-4110 or visiting uhv.edu/oar.

For more information about the programs or applying, contact Lopez at lopezdm1@uhv.edu or 361-570-4229.

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