IV. Degree Regulations

Master of Fine Art (Creative Writing)

Master's Examination

The Creative Writing MFA examination committee normally consists of three members appointed by the department Chair:

  • A member of the regular graduate faculty of the school who is not a member of the advisory committee, and who acts as chair of the master's examination committee and makes arrangements for the oral examination (normally, the SETS director or SETS Graduate Program Coordinator);

  • a member of the candidate's advisory committee (normally, the advisor);

  • a member of the associated graduate faculty or of the graduate faculty who may be a member of the advisory committee (normally, the second reader).


The chair serves to administer and ensure the proper conduct of the examination. The Chair is expected to exercise full control over the proceedings and does not participate directly in questioning the candidate during the examination. In unforeseen circumstances where an examiner is unable to attend due to, eg,, sudden illness, accident, etc., the chair will attempt to receive questions to ask on behalf of the absent member, to be answered by the student to the satisfaction of the examiners.

At the time of the defence, the Creative Writing MFA candidate will be expected successfully to complete a final oral examination devoted chiefly to the creative thesis: the candidate should display a sophisticated critical awareness of his or her own creative practice.

The examination is open to the public; members of the audience may question the candidate only upon invitation of the chair (program director) of the committee.

The program director is responsible for notifying the Assistant Vice-President (Graduate Studies) of the composition of the committee, and for reporting to the Assistant Vice-President (Graduate Studies) the outcome of the examination.

The examination is passed and the creative thesis approved if there is no more than one negative vote. An abstention is regarded as a negative vote. The report to the Assistant Vice-President (Graduate Studies) will record the decision as unsatisfactory or satisfactory. If unsatisfactory, the candidate may be given the opportunity of a second attempt. A second unsatisfactory result constitutes a recommendation to the Board of Graduate Studies that the student be required to withdraw (see Unsatisfactory Progress and Appeals of Decisions).

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1