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UHV graduate English, creative writing programs earn national recognition

The University of Houston-Victoria’s graduate English and creative writing programs’ convenience, innovation and affordability recently caught the attention of a national higher education website.

Jeffrey Di Leo

NonprofitCollegesOnline.com ranked UHV No. 21 in the nation in its Best Online Master’s of English and Creative Writing list. The university offers a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies in English and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing. UHV achieved the ranking because it offers the programs online and it’s an accredited, nonprofit university with low tuition costs.

“UHV is always focused on offering a quality education through accessible, convenient means at an affordable price,” said Jeffrey Di Leo, dean of the UHV School of Arts & Sciences. “This recognition of our programs is yet another confirmation that our efforts are continuing to be successful.”

The M.A.I.S. in English is part of a flexible degree program that allows students to pursue two areas of study. In addition to English, the program offers concentrations in biomedical sciences, business, computer science, digital gaming and simulation, history, mathematics, psychology, publishing and more.

Saba Razvi

In addition to the wide variety of concentrations that can be paired with the English program, classes are offered at flexible times and online so students with jobs are able to coordinate their studies with their schedules.

“UHV’s commitment to a combined approach toward learning fosters a balanced appeal to both students seeking fresh discussion in encouraging classroom settings and students seeking lively academic experiences through online courses across a distance,” said Saba Razvi, a UHV assistant professor of English and creative writing, and director of the English program. “The program is successful because faculty members offer dynamic inquiries into innovative, cutting-edge books, ideas, artistic strategies and conceptual trends, all while appealing to an easygoing and comfortable environment.”

UHV first offered its master’s in creative writing in fall 2014. The program is available online except for a final capstone project in Victoria. As part of the program, students can choose from elective courses, including “Introduction to Publishing,” “Publication Design,” “Digital Publishing,” “Style and Editing,” “Literary Theory,” “Genre Studies” and “Studies in Latino Literature.”

Charles Alexander

“This ranking is a pleasant surprise for such a new program,” said Charles Alexander, UHV poet and designer in residence, and director of the master’s in creative writing program. “I attribute this program’s success to three things: the convenience of online classes, affordability and the excellence of our faculty and its focus on new approaches to writing.”

The creative writing and English graduate programs benefit from an immersion in a community of writers via a rich array of events in which local, national and international practices of literature and innovative publishing are present for the students through the UHV/American Book Review Reading Series, the Downtown Arts Series, Huizache, CentroVictoria, Chax Press, Cuneiform Press, Dalkey Archive Press and a new downtown bookstore. These options, as well as some new publications and activities under development, are integrated into the education students receive, Razvi said.

“Rankings like this help spread the word about our bourgeoning program and its offerings to those pursuing further graduate study or just a bold foray into literary and creative arts, bringing in new students and supporters,” Razvi said. “They also help amplify the prestige and growth of the UHV program, and by extension, the larger Victoria community. In a horizon full of choices, such a ranking helps our program shine bright enough to bring in curious and adventurous minds, further enlivening our endeavors.”

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973, offers courses leading to 70 bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degree programs and concentrations in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.