Graduate Program F.A.Q.

If you have a question that has not been answered on this page, please email Katherine at


I am not sure when my priority registration is going to be. How can I find that out?  

  • The Registrar's Office has a Dates and Deadlines page for each semester. You can find the Fall 2016 Dates and Deadlines here;  Dates and times may change without prior notice. Contact the Registrar's Office for verification.


Who is my advisor?

  • We do not make formal advisor assignemnts. We recommend reaching out to any faclty advisor in your genre (found on the office hours page), until you get familiar enough to know which advisor would best suit your academic career. When you find a faculty advisor you would like to work with, you are welcome to reach out to them to ask for an advising appointment.


What deadlines should I be aware of?

  • There are two places to look for important dates and deadlines. The first one has all of the basic university deadlines and dates, including and not limited to semester start and end dates, class registration dates, course add and drop deadlines, withdrawal deadlines, and the finals schedule. This page is updated each semester. The information is found on the Registrar's website; The other page to look at for specifics of your Graduate paperwork, you can look at the Student Deadlines page on the Division of Graduate Studies Website; You can also find useful information about the semester activities, including on the Academic Calendar.


How do I change my program from the M.F.A. to the M.A. or from the M.A. to the M.F.A.?


How do I change my designated genre?

  • If you decide that the genre that you applied to and were accepted into, is no longer of interest to you, you should make arrangements to meet with a professor who specializes in the genre to which you wish to change to. They will want to see your writing as it relates to the genre that you wish to move to, and will determine if they think you are a good fit. Changing genres is not guaranteed. If the professor agrees that your work and skill level would work for the new genre, they will agree to let you move to the new area. Your thesis does need to be done in the area in which you have designated, so you must change genres if you wish to do a thesis in a different area.


I'd like to register for my thesis course next semester. Is there anything I need to prepare now?

  • Yes, there are two forms that need to be completed before you can get permission to enroll in your thesis course. These need to be turned in the semester before enrollment.
  • You will need to ask a faculty member to be your thesis reader. This should be a faculty member who specializes in your chosen genre. 
  • Open interactive Advancement to Candidacy (ATC) form found on the steps to graduation page; online From the dropdown menu select either Creative Writing M.F.A. or English: Creative Writing M.A. Fill in the form on your computer and print it out for signature (your thesis advisor will sign your ATC form). The ATC form has various sections with informative headings, consisting of which courses satisfy which requirements, read carefully. Aids to filling in your ATC form: program requirements as outlined in various handouts, the bulletin and your unofficial SFSU transcript, available through your student center; Once you have filled in all coursework, your personal information, print out for signature.
  • Open interactive Proposal for Culminating Experience form online Select 893: Written Creative Work. Fill in the form on your computer. The description must be at least 40 words long. You and your first reader must agree upon 2-3 dates in your thesis semester when you will meet; your fist reader checks the boxes to indicate that they are not (rarely he or she might be available, but usually they are not) available during either the Summer or Winter. 
  • Get signatures from Committee Chair (also known as your first reader or thesis advisor) on your ATC and your Proposal for Culminating Experience forms. Your "second reader" or committee member also signs your culminating Experience from (this second reader/committee member is a nominal member only except in special circomstances).
  • Form submissions directions can be found on the steps to graduation pages;


Does my advisor need to be my thesis reader?

  • No, your advisor does not need to also be your thesis reader. Your thesis reader should be one of the professors that specializes in your designated genre, but the person who advises you can be from any area of Creative Writing.


The courses I ended up taking have deviated from the courses I submitted on my ATC form. How do I update the form to reflect the courses I took?


I ended up changing the title of my thesis after I submitted my Proposal for Culminating Experience form. How do I update my title?


I would like to change the committee member(s) for my Proposal for Culminating Experience. How do I update this information?