Course requirements

We offer full tracks in poetry and fiction, and an abbreviated track in CNF.

Students in the fiction track are required to take three graduate creative  writing workshops and three graduate literature seminars over the course of two years.* During their first year, they will take the William Solomon Jewish Arts Seminar. During their second year, fiction students may take one graduate creative nonfiction workshop or one poetry workshop with the permission of the instructor. This workshop may be in lieu of one of the three required English literature seminars.

Students in the poetry track are required to take three to four graduate workshops in their genre over two years. They are also required to participate in the William Solomon Jewish Arts Seminar during their first year in the Program. In addition, they must take two or three graduate literature seminars.

Students who apply for the creative non-fiction track must apply for a second genre. Successful applicants will take two creative non-fiction workshops plus a third workshop in poetry, fiction or hybrid or multi-genre creative writing. (Please note the hybrid and multi-genre creative writing workshops meet on a Wednesday, not a Tuesday). During their first year, they will take the William Solomon Jewish Arts Seminar. 

In order to complete the MA within two years, you will need to write a thesis proposal for your creative work at the end of the first year and submit and defend the thesis by the end of the second year. You will not be allowed to submit and defend your thesis until ALL your coursework is completed.

The English Literature requirements defined above are valid for those students who do not have to take prerequisites. Students with little background in English literature will be asked to take between one and four additional courses in English literature.

For course descriptions of seminars given by the English Department, go to:  

Bar-Ilan University requires all Jewish MA students to take two courses from the Basic Jewish Studies listing, Courses in Basic Jewish Studies can be found at (though this site offers information only in Hebrew). Each year, two courses are offered in English and hundreds in Hebrew, though you needn't know how to write in Hebrew. Most of the tests are multiple choice and some of the instructors may allow you to be tested in English. Non-Jews may substitute the Jewish Studies courses with two general courses from any department.


*One-year options are sometimes available, depending on the course offerings, with permission of the program director. Please inquire.