Low Residency Format


Low Residency Format

The Eastern Oregon University Low Residency MFA Program is a two-year, 60-credit hour program. In June and October of each year, students enrolled in the program will spend two weeks in residence at EOU. These June and October residencies combine creative nurturing and academic rigor as we build a community of writers. The program’s residencies serve as the foundation of the program, providing the core of the MFA experience. Intensive study, writing, interaction, discussion, and tutorials takes place in the form of workshops, seminars, lectures and readings by faculty and visiting writers, student and graduate readings, as well as one-on-one faculty mentor advising with each student. The residencies are demanding, and students should plan to devote all of their time and attention to full participation during the residencies.

At the conclusion of the residencies, students are expected to devote 25 hours of study and writing per week for the duration of the program and should be skilled in the ability to remain focused and disciplined as they turn toward their solitary off-site work under the close supervision of faculty writing mentors.


Late March to the end of May, students will again complete the work developed in the distance workshop, whose focus is crafted by the faculty mentor and student cohort. Students and mentors will decide the best method for delivering course materials, responding to student writing, discussion via distance, and other supportive coursework using mail, an on-line distance delivery platform such as Blackboard, and e-mail. Students enrolling in the program are expected to provide their own computers and appropriate software and will need consistent functioning access to the internet to complete this program. As with on-campus graduate studies, students are expected to submit and complete work according to the course timetable of deadlines.

In addition to the writing workshop, genre seminar, lectures, and readings offered during each residency, during the June residency of the student’s first year of study, students will enroll in the Service Learning course, WR 609.  The practicum or internship that springs from the course can be arranged and completed during the remainder of the student’s enrollment in the MFA graduate program, but must be completed before the student begins preparing the thesis during spring term of the second year of study. Students participating in the Wilderness Writing Concentration will have the opportunity to access public lands and research sites during their residencies.

There is an abbreviated, week-long residency (the shorter fifth residency, second year) offered concurrently with the June residency (students beginning the program in October will return for the shorter fifth residency in October of their second year). Students who are completing their degree attend this abbreviated residency when they have successfully completed their second year of study. During the abbreviated residency, graduating students present their thesis in a public reading and also deliver a craft lecture to MFA students, faculty, and other interested community members.