This program has grown dramatically and attained national prominence since its founding in 1979. It is one of the few programs in the nation offering all three advanced degrees: an M.A. and Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing and an M.F.A. in English: Creative Writing. Admission to the Creative Writing Program is extremely competitive, with only 10 new poetry and 10 new fiction students selected each year. Aside from teaching assistantships and the acclaimed Writers in the Schools organization, students can gain experience as staff members of the student-produced Gulf Coastliterary journal.