“Read one hundred books. Write one.”

— Writing Seminars founder Liam Rector


The Bennington MFA Writing Seminars is now accepting applications for our dual-genre option. New applicants and current students who meet the criteria below are eligible to apply.

The dual-genre option is a five-term program of study reserved for students who are judged advanced enough in two genres to produce a satisfactory thesis that includes work from both genres. Students will study three terms in the major genre and two terms in the minor genre. Dual-genre students are not required to produce more writing or submit more packets per term than single-genre students.

To be considered for a dual-genre degree, applicants must apply in two different genres. If the applicant’s manuscripts are accepted in both genres, the applicant will study three terms in the major genre and two terms in the minor genre, successfully completing 80 graduate-credit hours over a minimum of five terms. Dual-genre students will work with three different teachers in the major genre and two different teachers in the minor genre and will attend a total of six residencies. The sequence of study will be:

  • terms 1 and 2: major genre
  • terms 3 and 4: minor genre
  • term 5: major genre

Students who do not initially apply in more than one genre may, in the first or second term, apply to study in a second genre. Application deadlines: September 1 for the upcoming winter term, and March 1 for the upcoming summer term. Though dual-genre students will complete a mandatory five-term course of study, students accepted into this option late in their tenure may be required to complete a longer course of study. The decision to approve or deny students into this option will be made by the program director, associate director, and a faculty advisory committee.

Any changes over the course of the dual-genre student’s study, including, in particular, any change in the designation of major and minor genres, may be made only in consultation with the program director, associate director, and the student’s immediate and most recent faculty advisors.

Dual-genre students may not submit work in more than one genre per term, with one exception: in the student’s final term, she must submit for the teacher’s approval a creative portfolio thesis that contains work in both major and minor genres. A faculty second reader will also evaluate the work of the entire thesis. The dual-genre student will write a graduating lecture that addresses either or both genres she is studying.

Page requirement for dual-genre theses: three-fifths of the thesis must be dedicated to the major genre and two-fifths must be dedicated to the minor genre. Manuscript length for prose: 125–150 pages, for poetry 60–80 pages.

Contact: Victoria Clausi, Associate Director, 802-379-1214, vclausi@bennington.edu