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September 20, 2005


NEW YORK, September 20, 2005 – The City College of New York (CCNY) today announced that it has added two new graduate programs to its degree offerings, a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and a Master of Landscape Architecture.  The programs, which commenced with the Fall 2005 semester, reflect the College’s ongoing efforts to upgrade its curriculum and respond to the needs of students and prospective employers. 

The M.F.A. in Creative Writing replaces an existing M.A. program that currently has between 150 and 200 students, making it the largest graduate program in CCNY’s College of Arts & Sciences.  The M.A. degree will be phased out as current students who do not wish to work toward the M.F.A. complete their studies.

The new program adds three critical practice courses and three additional credits of thesis to the existing M.A. curriculum, bringing the total requirement to 42 credits.  Critical practice course offerings include Short Fiction, Fiction Structure, Translation, Prosody and Teaching of College Composition & Literature, a course in which graduate students teach a section of Freshman English.

“Our creative writing program has been recognized as being among the best in the country, and converting to an M.F.A. degree reflects that excellence,” said Professor Linsey Abrams, the program’s director.  Since the program was established over 30 years ago, it has fielded an illustrious faculty that has included Joseph Heller, Cynthia Ozick, Adrienne Rich and Susan Sontag.  Alumni include Oscar Hijuelos, Walter Mosley, Ernesto Quinones and Michelle Wallace.

With the addition this fall of the Master of Landscape Architecture Program, CCNY’s School of Architecture, Urban Design and Landscape Architecture will now offer graduate degrees in all three of its disciplines.  CCNY began offering the M.Arch. degree in 2004.

The Master of Landscape Architecture program is a 108-credit sequence requiring three years of full-time study to complete.  While CCNY currently offers an undergraduate major in this field, the graduate degree is better suited to the needs of most of its students, who already hold a bachelor’s degree in another field.  The undergraduate program will be phased out as current students complete their studies.

CCNY is the only school in the metropolitan New York area offering a landscape architecture major and is one of few schools in the country emphasizing urban landscape.  “Most programs focus on suburban and rural landscapes,” explained Professor Achva Stein, who recently joined the CCNY faculty to direct the program.  “We’re looking at issues in densely populated urban areas that have ramifications not only in the United States but all over the world.”

Professor Stein, who was born in Israel, previously headed the landscape architecture program at North Carolina State University and earlier established a similar program at the University of Southern California.  In addition, she has taught at Technion University in Israel.  She has a Masters degree from Harvard University and a Bachelors degree from the University of California at Berkeley.

About The City College of New York

For over 158 years, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines.  Over 12,200 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Science, the School of Architecture, the School of Education, the School of Engineering, the Center for Worker Education and the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education.