The Graduate Program

We offer an M.A. in English with a creative thesis and a Ph.D. in English with a creative dissertation. Our unique position within a dynamic English Department allows graduate students to take a two-year core creative writing curriculum, alongside courses in literary studies, cultural studies, indigenous studies, life writing, oral traditions, and composition.

Our core creative writing curriculum offers a productive mix of workshops, seminars, and craft courses. Graduate students will develop an understanding of literary movements, genres, theories, forms, and techniques, while also cultivating editorial and revision skills. To earn the MA and Ph.D. degrees with a creative writing emphasis, students will work closely with faculty members to compose and revise a book-length publishable manuscript in the genre of the students’ choice.

In addition to the required coursework, graduate students are given opportunities to improve their performance style, professional development skills, and creative writing pedagogy through extracurricular workshops taught by core faculty as well as visiting writers, performers, scholars, editors, educators, and publishers.

Throughout the year, faculty and students work together to foster a sense of creative and scholarly community. Our New Oceania Reading Series brings in renowned writers to our campus for reading, workshops, and seminars. The graduate student run reading series, Mixing Innovative Arts, invites writers, performers and musicians to share their work in the thriving arts scene of Honolulu. Within the English Department, we host several colloquium series that feature scholars from diverse disciplines. We also co-sponsor many events on and off campus with other departments, including Center for Pacific Islands Studies, American Studies, School of Hawaiian Knowledge, and the Art Department.

Another element that makes our program unique is our involvement with community-engaged literary projects. Many of our faculty and graduate students are interested in the role that creative writers—and literature itself—can play in strengthening and inspiring our communities. This engagement ranges from issues relating to cultural revitalization, indigenous politics, climate change, food security, youth education, labor, prisons, homelessness, militarization, capitalism, tourism, urbanization, and colonialism.

The Undergraduate Program

Undergraduate students have various opportunities to study or to specialize in creative writing. Those majoring/minoring in English may take their elective credits in creative writing courses which cover fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, and writing in special genres. Students who are not English majors may also take any of the creative writing courses, provided that they meet the prerequisites (usually ENG 313). All students choosing 400-level creative writing courses should have been encouraged to continue by their ENG 313 instructors.