Best Online MFA in Creative Writing Programs of 2023

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Updated June 12, 2023

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Writers and authors play a significant role in creating your favorite popular media.

Preparing for this fulfilling career requires more than a healthy imagination. You need a developed skill set — one an online master of fine arts in creative writing can help you build.

Plus, the best online MFA in creative writing programs feature the same rigor as on-campus programs while providing you with academic flexibility.

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Best online mfa in creative writing degrees of 2023.

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#1 Best Online MFA in Creative Writing Programs of 2023

Albertus Magnus College

  • New Haven, CT
  • Online + Campus

Avg. Cost per Credit: In-State | $849 Out-of-State | $849

Credits to Graduate: 36

In Albertus Magnus College's MFA in creative writing program, you can choose between a fully online master's program or a blended learning environment. This program can be completed full- or part-time. In addition to completing your coursework, you'll also build a portfolio of publishable work under the guidance of a mentor. 

To apply, you need a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA and to submit a 10-15 page writing sample. You need a valid ID to apply for an online degree.

#2 Best Online MFA in Creative Writing Programs of 2023

Bay Path University

  • Longmeadow, MA

Avg. Cost per Credit: In-State | $785 Out-of-State | $785

Credits to Graduate: 39

If you're an aspiring writer who hopes to apply your craft in professional settings, Bay Path University offers a no-residency MFA in creative nonfiction. The program occurs fully online, with three track requirements for you to choose from: publishing, teaching creative writing, and narrative medicine. These tracks allow for small classes and a career-focused degree program. 

You must hold a bachelor's degree, but standardized test scores are not required. Bay Path accepts applications year-round.

#3 Best Online MFA in Creative Writing Programs of 2023

Central Washington University

  • Ellensburg, WA

Avg. Cost per Credit: In-State | $223.28 Out-of-State | $533.53

Credits to Graduate: 45

Central Washington University's MA in professional and creative writing can be completed fully online or in person. You can choose a concentration in fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, in which you'll also complete a final portfolio. You can also take electives, including career-focused courses on subjects like grant writing and workplace research. You need to get accepted to CWU's graduate school before you're accepted into the program.

In addition to a 7-10 page writing sample and a college transcript showing a 3.0 GPA or higher, you need three letters of recommendation to apply.

#4 Best Online MFA in Creative Writing Programs of 2023

Concordia University-Saint Paul

  • Saint Paul, MN

Avg. Cost per Credit: In-State | $525 Out-of-State | $525

Interested in the theory and practice of writing? The two-year master's of fine arts in creative writing at Concordia University, St. Paul , is divided into five parts: learning literary research and craft, studying literature, workshopping with your peers, and writing a supervised thesis.

Applicants must apply online and submit a writing sample and their official college transcripts.

#5 Best Online MFA in Creative Writing Programs of 2023

Lindenwood University

  • Saint Charles, MO

Avg. Cost per Credit: In-State | $561 Out-of-State | $561

Credits to Graduate: 48

If you're not sure what format you want your MFA to take, Lindenwood University has you covered. Lindenwood's MFA in writing is available online, on-campus, or in a hybrid format. You'll learn from published writers in small class settings and have the opportunity to work on the campus literary review, the Lindenwood Review .

You must submit a 7-10 page writing sample and a statement of purpose along with your application. Applications are considered on a rolling basis.

#6 Best Online MFA in Creative Writing Programs of 2023

Saint Leo University

  • Saint Leo, FL

Avg. Cost per Credit: In-State | $675 Out-of-State | $675

If you're interested in fiction writing and poetry, the MA in creative writing at Saint Leo University may be for you. This program is low-residence, meaning you'll spend only five days on campus per year. Saint Leo's program design is especially geared towards parents, active-duty military, and others who find relocating to campus challenging.

The most important part of your application is your creative writing sample. Applications are considered on a rolling basis.

#7 Best Online MFA in Creative Writing Programs of 2023

Southern New Hampshire University

  • Manchester, NH

Avg. Cost per Credit: In-State | $627 Out-of-State | $627

Southern New Hampshire University offers a fully online MA in creative writing with 24/7 access to their virtual classrooms and a schedule you set yourself. You choose one of four specially focused concentrations within your degree: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or screenwriting. 

Classes start year-round, so you may apply whenever is most convenient. To apply, you must complete a free online application and submit your undergraduate transcripts.

#8 Best Online MFA in Creative Writing Programs of 2023

The University of Texas at El Paso

  • El Paso, TX

Avg. Cost per Credit: In-State | $359.44 Out-of-State | $884.67

Credits to Graduate: 33

The online MFA in creative writing from the University of Texas at El Paso offers courses in literature and the opportunity to complete an original thesis. It also has a distinct focus on workshops, so you can share ideas and get feedback from your peers while studying online. 

Applicants with a background in English are preferred, but all undergrad majors are considered. You must submit 8-10 poems or 20 pages of fiction along with your online application. Deadlines are firm.

#9 Best Online MFA in Creative Writing Programs of 2023

University of Arkansas at Monticello

  • Monticello, AR

Avg. Cost per Credit: In-State | $276.30 Out-of-State | $276.30

Whether you're most interested in fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, the MFA in creative writing at the University of Arkansas at Monticello has course options for you. This self-paced, fully-online program encourages you to work through all three forms of writing with the help of dedicated faculty mentors.

You need to have earned an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher to be considered for admittance. With your application, you must submit a writing sample, a critical analysis essay, and a personal statement.

#10 Best Online MFA in Creative Writing Programs of 2023

University of Denver

Avg. Cost per Credit: In-State | $806 Out-of-State | $806

If you're looking to hone your craft as a writer and also learn more about the business side of writing, consider the master's in professional writing program at the University of Denver . You choose between an asynchronous, fully online program or a hybrid option. During your master's, you take core courses on the craft and business of writing, concentration courses, and electives. 

You can apply by submitting your undergraduate transcripts and a personal statement. The application fee is currently waived.

MFA in Creative Writing: Program Expectations

MFA in creative writing programs' expectations vary by school. However, you can expect to take many classes in genre and nonfiction writing. Other activities include critiquing your peers' work and using their feedback to become a better writer.

  • Application requirements may include a writing sample, a statement of purpose, and recommendation letters.
  • You can graduate in two years if you enroll full time.
  • Graduation requirements may include maintaining a 3.0 GPA, a comprehensive exam, and a creative writing thesis.
  • Your program may involve an on-campus seminar or writing intensive.

Common Courses in Creative Writing

In your online MFA in creative writing, you'll develop advanced skills in writing and literary analysis. Many students focus on poetry or fiction, but some programs offer more options, such as screenwriting, creative nonfiction, and travel writing.

Some MFA programs feature traditional literature courses, while other programs use a studio model and focus on the study of literary craft.

MFA in creative writing programs commonly include the following courses. Keep in mind that course titles and content vary by program.

Writing Workshop

Most MFA programs feature courses with a workshop model, in which you share your work for critique and receive feedback on your writing. You also build critical skills by critiquing other students' work. In most MFA programs, you can expect to complete a workshop course almost every semester.

Forms of Fiction

This course introduces a craft-specific approach to literary writing. Fiction writers explore topics such as narrative structure, pacing, and plot. You may also take specialized courses that focus on your particular literary topics or forms, such as dialogue or the novella.

American Literature After 1945

Many MFA curricula include traditional literature classes. You gain specialized knowledge in certain areas or periods of literary study and develop critical perspectives. You examine major developments in American literature after World War II, such as postmodernism and multiculturalism.

Studies in Women's Literature

This class explores the impact of women's literature on world culture. It requires you to analyze how examples of women's literature relate to the times and places in which the authors lived. Learning outcomes include appreciating diverse voices and better understanding how authors' backgrounds impact their writing.

Advanced Topics in Rhetoric and Composition

Online MFA in creative writing programs offer this class to help you become a better persuasive writer. Coursework includes analyzing different cultures' rhetorical styles.

Your program may offer advanced topics in rhetoric and composition as an upper-division elective. Work with your academic counselors to choose the electives that best align with your career goals.

How Much Does a Creative Writing Degree Cost?

There's no denying that college can be costly — so you want to make sure it pays off. And while tuition rates can vary widely among online MFA programs in creative writing, you can help make it more affordable by applying for scholarships and teaching assistantships.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics , the average cost of tuition and fees for graduate programs in the 2020-21 academic year was $19,749.

Choosing to earn your MFA in creative writing degree online can also help you cut down on costs. Because online programs offer more flexibility, you can better balance work with school.

Plus, many online creative writing programs feature lower tuition rates than on-campus options.

Career and Salary Outlook for Creative Writing Graduates

Online creative writing master's programs can help you qualify for many careers, such as author, proofreader, and technical writer.

All media you consume starts with an idea — and oftentimes that idea comes from an author. These professionals use their creative writing skills to write scripts, novels, biographies, and other material.

Authors must know how to network with publishers and editors. And the majority of authors work for themselves. Other top employers include professional services companies.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021) $69,510

Job Outlook 6% increase from 2021-2031

Proofreader

Proofreaders do much more than just catch grammatical mistakes. They also use computer software to format documents and add simple graphics. Top employers for proofreaders include online and print publications.

An online master's in creative writing's emphasis on feedback can help you develop the attention to detail proofreading jobs require.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021) $45,410

Job Outlook N/A

Technical Writer

Technical writers produce the how-to guides and instructional manuals you encounter when buying a new product. Their ability to turn technical language into something anyone can understand makes them valuable for many industries. Major employers include professional, scientific, and technical services companies.

Keep in mind: Some technical writing jobs require more than a background in creative writing. You may also need education or experience in a technical field.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021) $78,060

Like proofreaders, editors correct the grammar mistakes other writers miss. Their responsibilities also include verifying information, improving texts' readability, and following their employer's style guide. Newspaper and book publishers employ a large percentage of editors.

An academic background in English, such as an online MFA in creative writing, can help you build the interpersonal and writing skills necessary for this job.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021) $63,350

Job Outlook 5% decrease from 2021-2031

Copywriters perform many roles, such as creating and editing content on different topics. Other responsibilities may include interviewing people and performing original research. Their work appears in print, on websites, and on social media.

An online master's in creative writing, attention to detail, and familiarity with content management systems can make you an attractive applicant for copywriter positions.

Median Annual Salary (May 2021) $57,000

Frequently Asked Questions About Creative Writing

Is an mfa in creative writing worth it.

The answer depends on your career goals and the stage of your writing journey. An online MFA in creative writing can offer you a structured environment to improve your writing, networking opportunities, and the chance to build a professional writing portfolio.

Which MFA programs have no residency requirement?

You can select from many fully online MFA in creative writing programs. While other online MFAs require a few on-campus residencies, usually over the summer. Check requirements closely before applying.

What's the difference between an MFA and an MA?

Although similar in many ways, MFAs and MAs differ in their academic focus. A typical MA offers a broad curriculum, while an MFA features instruction in one discipline.

Do creative writing grads make good money?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, writers and authors earned a median annual salary of $69,510 in 2021, which is above the national median for all occupations.

How long does it take to earn an MFA in creative writing?

A typical program takes full-time students two years. You may need an extra 1-2 years if you attend part time.

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Online MFA in Creative Writing Master of Fine Arts

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Earn an MFA in Creative Writing Online

  • $637/credit (48 credits total)
  • Transfer up to 12 graduate credits
  • 100% online – no residency required
  • Four fiction genres to choose from
  • Career-focused certificate included
  • No application fee or GRE/GMAT scores required

Online MFA in Creative Writing Program Overview

Share your story with the world and let the power of storytelling take your career to new heights with an online Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing . As one of the only programs available that encourages a focus on genre fiction, our online MFA lets you hone your craft in an area specific to your strengths and interests. You'll also learn about the business side of creative writing, preparing you to market your work in the real world.

While most MFA programs require a residency, Southern New Hampshire University's online MFA in Creative Writing can be completed entirely online, with no travel necessary.

“Traditional MFA programs, whether full-time or low residency, are out of reach for many writers,” said Paul Witcover , associate dean of creative writing. “The SNHU online MFA was designed to make the MFA experience accessible to all fiction writers, opening the door to diverse voices excluded for too long from the literary conversation. Our program is dedicated to giving writers the tools to succeed on the page and beyond it.”

Graduates leave the program with a completed and revised novel in one of our four offered genres: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance and Speculative. With the included certificates in either online teaching of writing or professional writing , you'll have the skills to support your writing career, no matter where it takes you.

.st0{fill:#21386D;} What You'll Learn

  • The business and technical sides of professional writing
  • How to navigate the publishing ecosystem, identify agents and editors, and market your work to appeal to decision-makers
  • Using social media to gain a following and build your brand
  • How to teach writing in a classroom setting

.cls-1 { fill: #21386d; } How You'll Learn

At SNHU, you'll get support from day 1 to graduation and beyond. And with no set class times, 24/7 access to the online classroom and helpful learning resources along the way, you'll have everything you need to reach your goals.

Why Emily Chose Online MFA in Creative Writing

The Value of an Online MFA

Emily Jones ’20 embraced a transformational experience through the online MFA in Creative Writing program, which supported her in taking her writing career to the next level. “I can now say, without even a hint of imposter syndrome, that I am a writer,” said Jones. “And that is because of Southern New Hampshire University.”

Career Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, writers and authors made a median annual salary of $69,510 in 2021, while editors made $63,350. 1

Paul Witcover with the text Paul Witcover

“Our mission is to give students a degree and associated practical skills they can use to forge successful pathways in academia, business, or by blazing their own career trail,” said Paul Witcover , associate dean of creative writing.

Earning one of the included certificates in online teaching of writing or professional writing will also be an invaluable addition to your resume for part-time, full-time and freelance jobs in a variety of fields, including:

  • Higher education. Instruct writing courses in higher education settings. In 2021, postsecondary teachers made a median annual wage of $79,640, and you can expect to see a 12% growth in available positions through 2031, according to the BLS. 1
  • Advertising. Use your storytelling skills in a way that influences consumer action. As a copywriter, you could find yourself doing any number of writing projects from crafting emails and ads to writing entire commercials.
  • Marketing. If you're more comfortable with long-form prose, many businesses have invested in content writers who create quality content such as blog posts, ebooks and podcasts to attract and retain customers.
  • Entertainment. Good at building suspense or setting up punchlines? From movies and plays to comedy and podcasts, being a good storyteller and writer is important to finding success in the entertainment industry.
  • History. Every person's life has a plot, but it takes writers like you to tell their stories in a compelling way. Help readers relive the experiences of historic figures and pop culture icons as a biographer.

Higher Education

Instruct writing courses in higher education at a college or university, either in-person or online.

Advertising

Influence consumer action through copywriting, from print ads to digital advertising and broadcast commercials.

Create written content such as blog posts, ebooks and podcasts to attract and retain customers.

Entertainment

From movies and plays to comedy and podcasts, writers often find success in the entertainment industry.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts favorable job growth in postsecondary education. And while statistics are not available for all job settings mentioned above, the BLS reports the following:

.cls-1 { fill: #21386d; } Job Growth

The BLS predicts an 8% growth in available postsecondary teaching positions through 2032. 1

.cls-1 { fill: #21386d; } Potential Salary

Writers and authors made a median annual salary of $73,150 in 2022, while editors made $73,080 and postsecondary teachers made $80,840. 1

Understanding the Numbers When reviewing job growth and salary information, it’s important to remember that actual numbers can vary due to many different factors — like years of experience in the role, industry of employment, geographic location, worker skill and economic conditions. Cited projections do not guarantee actual salary or job growth.

Start Your Journey Toward an Online MFA in Creative Writing

If you're looking to earn your Master of Fine Arts online, you've found the right program. Even though there are no residency requirements, you'll still interact frequently with other students and faculty members in asynchronous discussions, critique workshops and within our online writer’s community, where students come together to share industry news, extend writing tips and develop critique partnerships.

Jamilla Geter with the text Jamilla Geter

"I liked MFA-514 (Advanced Studies in Genre Literature) best," said student Jamilla Geter . "It was a great look into the different genres. It really helped me narrow down what genre I wanted to write in."

Felicia Warden with the text Felicia Warden

"Though it was not writing exactly, its connection to it – especially in our digital world – was made clear almost immediately," she said. "Writing is not just providing content of value to your readers, but also creating avenues of access so those readers can find your content. This course helped me to understand that and to learn how I can create those avenues."

Besides allowing you to focus on your own creative interests, part of our 48-credit online MFA curriculum requires you to choose from 2 certificate offerings designed to round out your education and better prepare you for a multitude of writing-related careers.

The first choice is a Graduate Certificate in Online Teaching of Writing , which is tailored to those who see themselves teaching in an online classroom setting as a supplement to their writing careers. Students practice approaches to editing and coaching, learning how to establish a virtual instructor presence and cultivate methods for supporting and engaging students within online writing communities.

Learn more about the online teaching of writing graduate certificate .

Students can also choose the Graduate Certificate in Professional Writing , which highlights the technical and business opportunities available to writers. Students will develop a range of skills, such as copywriting, social media, marketing principles and/or content generation, learning many of the freelancing skills integral to today’s project-driven economy.

Learn more about the professional writing graduate certificate .

All of our courses are taught by accomplished authors and industry professionals who know both the craft and business of creative writing. They will work closely with you to develop both your creative and professional skill set.

"All instructors within my program were extremely knowledgeable and helpful," Warden said. "I learned a lot about the different career paths my instructors chose. ... The course instruction, along with their anecdotal experiences, helped in offering knowledge in different areas of our field.

MFA Program Thesis

The thesis for the Online MFA in Creative Writing is required to be a novel of at least 50,000 words in one of the four genres the program offers: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance, and Speculative.

Every Southern New Hampshire University online MFA student who graduates from the program will do so with a revised novel manuscript in their chosen genre, which is completed in a three-course thesis series. Throughout your tenure in the program, you can either work on a singular idea that you will develop during the three thesis courses, or you can begin a new project for your thesis. You can also combine elements of the four genres offered in the program for your thesis. For example, your thesis might be a YA Speculative Fiction novel.

Kathleen Harris with the text Kathleen Harris

"My three thesis classes for the MFA degree were the most helpful," said Kathleen Harris '21 . "I was actually writing a book as my thesis, so it was both enjoyable and advantageous for the degree. And it was the end of a very long milestone of accomplishments."

Full Course Catalog
List of Courses
MFA in Creative Writing Online
Total Credits: 48

Minimum Hardware Requirements Component Type PC (Windows OS) Apple (Mac OS) Operating System Currently supported operating system from Microsoft. Currently supported operating system from Apple. Memory (RAM) 8GB or higher 8GB or higher Hard Drive 100GB or higher 100GB or higher Antivirus Software Required forcampus students. Strongly recommended for online students. Required forcampus students. Strongly recommended for online students. SNHU Purchase Programs Visit Dell Visit Apple Internet/ Bandwidth 5 Mbps Download, 1 Mbps Upload and less than 100ms Latency 5 Mbps Download, 1 Mbps Upload and less than 100ms Latency Notes:   Laptop or desktop?   Whichever you choose depends on your personal preference and work style, though laptops tend to offer more flexibility.  Note:   Chromebooks (Chrome OS) and iPads (iOS) do not meet the minimum requirements for coursework at SNHU. These offer limited functionality and do not work with some course technologies. They are not acceptable as the only device you use for coursework. While these devices are convenient and may be used for some course functions, they cannot be your primary device. SNHU does, however, have an affordable laptop option that it recommends: Dell Latitude 3301 with Windows 10.  Office 365 Pro Plus  is available free of charge to all SNHU students and faculty. The Office suite will remain free while you are a student at SNHU. Upon graduation you may convert to a paid subscription if you wish. Terms subject to change at Microsoft's discretion. Review system requirements for  Microsoft 365 plans  for business, education and government.  Antivirus software:  Check with your ISP as they may offer antivirus software free of charge to subscribers.  if (typeof accordionGroup === "undefined") { window.accordionGroup = new accordion(); } accordionGroup.init(document.getElementById('f756dce5bd874c61855f6f6e92d88470')); University Accreditation

New England Commission of Higher Education

Tuition & Fees

Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer a 25% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.

Online Graduate Programs Per Course Per Credit Hour Annual Cost for 15 credits 
Degree/Certificates $1,911 $637 $9,555 
Degree/Certificates
(U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)*
$1,410 $470 $7,050 

Tuition rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually. *Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.

Additional Costs: Course Materials ($ varies by course). Foundational courses may be required based on your undergraduate course history, which may result in additional cost.

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Creative Writing Online MFA

The Creative Writing Workshop Online MFA is our non-resident graduate program in fiction writing, nonfiction writing, and poetry writing, which culminates in the MFA degree. The Online MFA is taught by the same award-winning faculty of writers as the resident program. 

 Creative Writing Online MFA

About Creative Writing Online MFA

How it works.

UNO's innovative Online MFA program gives students from all over the world a chance to study with our award-winning faculty through online courses in spring and fall semesters. A highly ranked studio/research program, UNO's MFA degree trains students through writing workshops and literary studies. With 45 required hours, students can complete the degree by going full time for 5 semesters. Students also have the ability to go part time if work and or other obligations do not allow for full time study. As all Online MFA students pay "in state" tuition, and are not responsible for "non-resident" fees, UNO's program remains one the most flexible and affordable options for serious writers to earn the terminal degree in their field.

How It's Different

Unlike many Low Residency or distance learning MFA programs in which students are paired with a single faculty member for the duration of their studies, UNO's Online MFA is organized into standard semesters, providing students the benefit of exposure to a variety of professors in each genre over the course of their studies as well as continuous interaction with their classmates. Strong, often life-long writing relationships result from this approach, so that students leave the program with a writing community to support their growth after graduation.

  • Degree Requirements
  • Financial support
  • How to Apply
  • UNO Graduate School
  • Creative Writing Workshop (Resident) MFA
  • Creative Writing Books
  • Bayou Magazine

Compatibility Mode

Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing

2022 MFA Residency

A Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing should be more than just a writing workshop. It should prepare you for your post-degree career while giving you the space to grow and develop your own unique writing voice. Drexel University’s two-year, low-residency MFA in Creative Writing is designed with the university’s commitment to experiential and career-focused education in mind. Online workshops, reading tutorials, and one-on-one packet exchanges with notable published writers will help you deepen your understanding of your craft, while residencies and professional development will prepare you with the skills and connections you need to succeed after completing your creative writing degree.

What is an MFA in Creative Writing?

Designed for aspiring writers, an MFA in Creative Writing empowers you to enhance your creativity, while sharing and developing your work within a supportive academic community. Through workshops, residencies, and literary courses, you'll receive feedback from your peers and professors, gain insight about the world of professional writing, and work toward creating a publishable product.

What Is a Low-Residency MFA In Creative Writing?

There are three different types of MFA in Creative Writing programs: a traditional MFA, a low-residency MFA, and an online MFA. A traditional MFA takes two to three years and is completed entirely in person. Because of the rigorous schedule and, in some cases, teaching obligations, it can be extremely difficult to complete a traditional MFA and continue to work full-time.

A low-residency MFA lets students complete much of their coursework online, allowing them to attend the program remotely. Unlike an online MFA, which is completed entirely online, a low-residency MFA requires students to attend a few in-person residencies throughout the program. This gives you flexibility in completing your coursework while still benefiting from the workshop and networking experiences of a traditional MFA.

Earn Credit for Work Experience

If you have published a novel, you may be eligible to earn credit for your "work experience."

Accepted students can contact their academic advisor to request a formal review of their novel(s) for course credit consideration. A departmental committee will make the determinations on a case-by-case basis to decide if the body of the creative work is equivalent to the rigor of graduate-level learning. The committee will assess published novels considering criteria such as, but not limited to, craft, publisher, reviews, print runs, awards, or other honors.

Each novel considered equivalent to graduate level learning will be awarded three (3) credits. Credit earned through work experience can be used as MFA course equivalencies. The exact equivalents will be determined by the committee, MFA advisor and will vary from student to student. Accepted students can have up to five (5) novels assessed for course credit. A maximum of 15 quarter credits may be awarded as prior work experience equivalents.

Students who wish to transfer earned credits of a 3.0 or higher from another accredited institution, may transfer up to 15 credits with the approval of their academic advisor or the Program Manager. However, no more than 15 combined credits may be considered for transfer or prior work experience. Students must take a minimum of 30 quarter credits at Drexel University to be eligible to graduate.

For more information on converting work experience into course credit, schedule an academic advisor appointment with Nicole Pearson MFA advisor at [email protected] .

Early Action Application Deadline

Drexel University offers an early action deadline for the Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing program. Applications completed by the early action deadline will receive priority review by the committee, and accepted students will receive an earlier decision. The early action deadline for Fall 2024 is June 1, 2024.

Applications are still accepted up until the regular deadline for the term. The regular deadline for Fall 24 term is September 1, 2024.

MFA in Creative Writing Program Features

  • You'll take a concentration in fiction writing as well as electives in areas such as Novel Writing Intensive, Query Writing, or Revision Strategies
  • The majority of your creative writing coursework can be completed online to accommodate your busy schedule and distance learning needs
  • Opportunities to learn from award-winning writers such as Sadeqa Johnson, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Jason Rekulak, and Heather Webb
  • Learn how to pitch, and then actually pitch to working agents as part of our professional development training
  • Become part of the editorial leadership team of Drexel Paper Dragon , the MFA literary magazine
  • Receive instruction and mentoring in teaching composition
  • Upon successful completion of the pedagogy track you will receive a letter documenting your teaching experience while at Drexel
  • Drexel aims to offer the most civically engaged MFA in the country, using storytelling to effect change, build community, bring joy, and widen opportunities for expression in marginalized populations. Creative writing opportunities are available with incarcerated men and women, hospice patients, and children living with illness or disability
  • Travel with your Drexel MFA community on optional creative writing retreats in the spring to the Veneto region of north east Italy or the summer to Collioure, France
  • Join your fellow students and MFA alumni at optional creative writing retreats in the Highlights Retreat Center in the Pocono Mountains

Scholarship and Teaching Assistantship Opportunities

Are you ready to embark on a transformative journey in the realm of creative writing? Drexel University is thrilled to introduce new scholarships and funding opportunities exclusively for low-residency Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Creative Writing program applicants. These initiatives will enrich the vibrant tapestry of our program, and we can’t wait to welcome exceptional talents into our community.

Residencies for Creative Writing MFA Students

Throughout the MFA degree program, you’ll participate in three required in-person residencies where you’ll meet with authors of distinction, professors, and classmates for workshops, craft talks, and community building.

The Inaugural Residency Students convene in early October for a five-day orientation and intensive craft residency. You’ll meet with mentors and develop a customized plan for your own course of study. Past visiting authors included critically acclaimed novelists Lisa Wingate, Jamie Ford, Chris Bohjalian, Madeline Miller, and Jason Mott .

  • Timing: October
  • Fee: $650 — Transportation and lodging not included
  • Recommended Lodging: The Study — Approximately $220 per night, plus tax

The Professional Residency A distinctive factor of the Drexel MFA is the designated professional residency. This 3-day residency is designed to forge professional ties and gain real-world perspective on the publishing industry.

You'll convene in New York during spring break of the first year to meet with publishers, agents, and editors. Visiting authors Ann Garvin and Brenda Copeland will provide unparalleled education on the business side of publishing for emerging authors. This education includes active discussions on the current publishing landscape, instruction on pitching, synopsis, and query writing, and creating a plan for making your publishing dreams come true. Ann and Brenda will also provide intimate access to agents and editors in a low-pressure environment.

  • Timing: November
  • Recommended Lodging: TBD — Approximately $250 per night, plus tax

The Graduation Residency The culminating residency takes place on Drexel’s campus. It consists of writing workshops, individual craft meetings with mentors, career modules, and a celebration of students’ thesis work. Award-winning author Crystal Wilkinson will be this year’s visiting author.

  • Timing: June
  • Recommended Lodging: The Study — Approximately $220 per night, plus tax

Residency fees, lodging, and transportation are not included in the price of tuition. All prices are subject to change.

Running Wild Press Writing Contest

The Drexel University Creative Writing MFA program is excited to partner with Running Wild, LLC to launch the inaugural Running Wild Press Writing Contest . All Drexel students and alumni are encouraged to submit a book length (50,000 words or more) manuscript for a work of fiction to become eligible to win a professional book contract with Running Wild, LLC. Learn more.

2024 Residency Guest Authors

Spring 2024

Mary Beth Keane attended Barnard College and the University of Virginia, where she received an MFA. She was awarded a John S. Guggenheim fellowship for fiction writing, and has received citations from the National Book Foundation, PEN America, and the Hemingway Society. She is the author of and , which spent eight weeks on the New York Times Best Seller List. To date,  has been translated into twenty-two languages.

Fall 2024

Alyson Richman is the USA Today bestselling and #1 international bestselling author of several historical novels including and , which is currently in development for a major motion picture.  Alyson graduated from Wellesley College with a degree in art history and Japanese studies. She is an accomplished painter and her novels combine her deep love of art, historical research, and travel.  Alyson's novels have been published in twenty-five languages and have reached the bestseller lists both in the United States and abroad. She lives on Long Island with her husband and two children, where she is currently at work on her next novel. 

Previous Residency Guest Authors

Fall 2023

Rebecca F. Kuang is the award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the trilogy and , as well as the forthcoming . A Marshall Scholar, she has an MPhil in Chinese Studies from Cambridge and an MSc in Contemporary Chinese Studies from Oxford; she is now pursuing a PhD in East Asian Languages and Literatures at Yale, where she studies diaspora, contemporary Chinese literature, and Asian American literature.

Spring 2023

Crystal Wilkinson is the national award-winning author of (winner of a 2022 NAACP Image Award), (winner of the 2016 Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence), and . Her short stories, poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies including most recently in the , and . Her most recent novel, a lyrical exploration of love and loss, centers on several generations of women in a bucolic southern black township as they live with and sometimes surrender to madness. Crystal identifies as a southern, feminist fiction writer, and grew up in the hills of Kentucky. She currently teaches at the University of Kentucky where she is Professor of English in the MFA in Creative Writing Program and Associate Chair of the English Department. She is a 2020 USA Artist Fellowship Recipient, a 2021 O. Henry Prize winner and makes her home in Lexington, KY. Crystal is a fellow of the Academy of American Poets was named the Poet Laureate for Kentucky in 2021. Her culinary memoir, Praisesongs for the Kitchen Ghosts is forthcoming from Clarkson/Potter Penguin Random House in 2023.


Fall 2022

Bestselling author, National Book Award Winner, Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction Winner, Pushcart Prize nominee, and Carnegie Medals For Excellence Longlist nominee, Jason Mott has a BFA in Fiction and an MFA in Poetry, both from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. His poetry and fiction has appeared in various literary journals. He is the author of two poetry collections: and He is the author of four novels: and . , Jason’s debut novel, was adapted by Brad Pitt’s production company, Plan B, in association with Brillstein Entertainment and ABC. It aired on the ABC network under the title Resurrection. Jason’s fourth novel, , released in June 2021, was a Jenna Bush Hager “Read With Jenna” Book Club pick, Carnegie Medals For Excellence in Fiction Longlist selection, a 2022 Aspen Words Literary Prize Longlist selection, a Joyce Carol Oates Prize Longlist selection, the 2021 Sir Walter Raleigh Prize for Fiction winner, and the winner of the 2021 National Book Award for Fiction.


Spring 2022

Madeline Miller’s first novel, , was awarded the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction and was a New York Times Bestseller. Miller was also shortlisted for the 2012 Stonewall Writer of the Year. Her second novel, , was an instant #1 bestseller, and won the Indies Choice Best Adult Fiction of the Year Award and the Indies Choice Best Audiobook of the Year Award, as well as being shortlisted for the 2019 Women's Prize for Fiction. also won The Red Tentacle Award, an American Library Association Alex Award (adult books of special interest to teen readers), and the 2018 Elle Big Book Award. It is currently being adapted for a series with HBO Max. Miller's novels have been translated into over twenty-five languages including Dutch, Mandarin, Japanese, Turkish, Arabic and Greek, and her essays have appeared in a number of publications including and NPR.org.


Fall 2020 and Fall 2021

Jamie Ford is a Northwest author most widely known for his bestselling Seattle-based novels. His debut, , spent two years on the New York Times bestseller list, won the 2010 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, and was a finalist for the Washington State Book Award, the Pacific Northwest Book Award, and the Langum Prize for Historical Fiction. This multi-cultural tale was adapted by Book-It Repertory Theatre, and has recently been optioned for a stage musical, and also for film, with George Takei serving as Executive Producer. His second book, , was also a national bestseller. An award-winning short-story writer, his work has been published in multiple anthologies and has been translated into 35 languages. He says he’s holding out for Klingon, because that’s when you know you’ve made it. Jamie is the great-grandson of Nevada mining pioneer, Min Chung, who emigrated from Kaiping, China to San Francisco in 1865, where he adopted the western name “Ford,” thus confusing countless generations.


Spring 2020

Lisa Wingate is a former journalist, inspirational speaker, and New York Times Bestselling Author of thirty novels. Her work has won or been nominated for many awards, including the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize, the Oklahoma Book Award, The Carol Award, the Christy Award, and the RT Booklovers Reviewer’s Choice Award. Her blockbuster hit was voted by readers as the 2017 Goodreads Choice Award for Historical Fiction. has been a book club favorite worldwide and to date has sold well over one million copies.


Fall 2019

Chris Bohjalian is the #1 bestselling author of 20 books, and his work has been translated into over 30 languages. , an Oprah’s Book Club selection and a #1 bestseller, is a contemporary classic whose central questions of individual and societal responsibility remain just as pressing today as when the book was first published 20 years ago. Among Bohjalian’s many standout titles since then have been the New York Times bestsellers and . Bohjalian’s books have been chosen as Best Books of the Year by and . Bohjalian has written for and . He was a weekly columnist in Vermont for The Burlington Free Press from 1992 to 2015. His awards include the New England Book Award, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Freedom Award for his work educating Americans about the Armenian genocide, the ANCA Arts and Letters Award for , and other honors. He is a Fellow of the Vermont Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Archived Webinar

  • MFA in Creative Writing Online Open House

What Our Creative Writing Gradaute Students Say

mfa online creative writing

Lexi Reader "[The low-residency program] is nice because it allows me to still work full-time while I am receiving my education. But there is still in person communication which allows for connections to be made with teachers and staff." Read more .

Discover more MFA Spotlights

How to Get Your Book Published

Ann Garvin, PhD, is the USA Today Bestselling author of I Like You Just Fine When You're Not Around, The Dog Year, and On Maggie's Watch. View the video below for advice from Ann on how to get your book published.

Drexel's 10,000 Hours Podcast: Nomi Eve

They say to write what you know. That’s why Nomi Eve, a writer and the director of Drexel’s creative writing MFA, places her Jewish heritage at the center of her novels. Here, she talks about the process of writing historical fiction, and what she hopes her students get out of their MFA.

This program only admits new students in the fall term.

Related Program

  • MS in Strategic and Digital Communication  

Drexel University offers a variety of Graduate Minors that can be added to any master's degree program. State restrictions may apply to some programs.

This program is organized into four 10-week quarters per year (as opposed to the traditional two semester system) which means you can take more courses in a shorter time period. One semester credit is equivalent to 1.5 quarter credits.

Up to 15 credits can be transferred into the program (all transferred credits must be approved by Drexel). 

The curriculum and course descriptions for this program can be found in the Drexel University Course Catalog .

**This program is not accepting Screenwriting applications at this time, pending programmatic review.**

Admissions Criteria

  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university

Required Documents

With multiple ways to submit documents, Drexel makes it easy to complete your application. Learn more by visiting our Completing Your Application Guide .

  • A completed application
  • Official transcripts from all universities or colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions (including trade schools) attended 
  • Personal Statement (250-500 words) addressing:
  • Your experience with creative writing thus far
  • Why you are seeking an MFA
  • Writing Sample - Please provide 20-25 double-spaced pages, in Word or PDF file, of one of the following:
  • Collection of flash fiction
  • Completed short story
  • Novel-in-progress
  • Optional Addendum Essay: If you do not think that your academic record accurately reflects your ability to succeed in the MFA program, please submit an optional essay of no more than 750 words to explain.
  • Additional requirements for International Students

An in-person or virtual interview will be requested once all materials are received.

Scholarships and Teaching Assistantship Opportunities

Learn more about MFA scholarships and teaching assistantship opportunities .

The tuition rate for the academic year 2024-2025 is $712 per credit. (A 50% tuition savings off Drexel's regular tuition rate of $1423 per credit)

Ms in advanced teaching, learning, and curriculum.

For the academic year 2024-2025, students enrolled in an online graduate academic program will be charged a graduate online program fee of $125 per year.

  • This program is eligible for Financial Aid.
  • The 50% savings is a special tuition rate
  • This rate applies only to new online students and students being readmitted.
  • Tuition rates are subject to increase with the start of each academic year in the fall term.
  • All students must contact [email protected] within the first two weeks of the term to request tuition savings for which they qualify.
  • Special rates cannot be combined. If you qualify for more than one special rate, you'll be given the one with the largest savings.
  • When receiving special tuition plans with Drexel University Online, you may not combine them with other tuition benefits that may be available from Drexel University.

A scholarship opportunity is also available for writers with marginalized backgrounds or experiences. Please visit the overview page for more information.

Program Faculty


Program Director

Nomi Eve is the author of and , which was a Book-of-the-Month Club main selection and was nominated for a National Jewish Book Award. She has an MFA in fiction writing from Brown University and has worked as a freelance book reviewer for and .

Her stories and essays have appeared in , and . She teaches fiction writing at Drexel University and lives in Philadelphia with her family.

Tim Bascom is author of a new collection of autobiographical stories titled (Light Messages Press, 2020). He is also the author of two coming-of-ago memoirs set in Ethiopia, where his parents worked as missionaries before and during the Marxist Revolution: (University of Iowa Press, April, 2015, Finalist for the IndieFab Memoir of the Year) and (Houghton Mifflin, 2006, winner of the Bakeless Literary Prize in Nonfiction). He is the author of an additional collection of essays ( ) and a novel ( ), and his writing has won editor’s prizes at The Missouri Review and Florida Review, being selected for Best American Travel Writing and Best Creative Nonfiction as well as the anthologies and .

Eric Bell (he/him) is the author of (Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins, 2017) and (Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins, 2018), two middle grade novels about a gay seventh grade boy dealing with bullies, crushes, the power of art, and coming out. The first book was nominated to the . The books have also been translated into multiple languages. Eric is also featured in the queer middle grade short story anthology (Knopf). Eric is a teacher of writing classes, a virtual workshop leader, a freelance editor and writing coach, and an employee at a library. He lives and writes in Pennsylvania.

Isaac Blum (he/him) is an educator and author. His debut novel, , was longlisted for the National Book Award and a finalist for the William C. Morris Award. He’s taught English at several colleges and universities, and at Orthodox Jewish and public schools. He lives with his wife in Philadelphia where he watches sports and reads books that make him laugh while showing him something true about the world.

An award-winning author, Denny S. Bryce won the RWA Golden Heart® and was a three-time GH finalist, including twice for . She also writes book reviews for NPR Books and entertainment articles for FROLIC Media

Julie Cantrell is a multiple award-winning, New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author, editor, story coach, TEDx speaker, and ghostwriter. She served as editor-in-chief of the Southern Literary Review and has received the Mississippi Arts Commission Literary Arts Fellowship, the Rivendell Writer’s Colony Mary Elizabeth Nelson Fellowship, and the Pat Conroy Writer’s Residency Fellowship. Her novels have earned starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal and have been featured in Top Reads lists by LitHub, Redbook, Southern Living Magazine, REAL SIMPLE, BookBub, HuffPost, USA TODAY, and more. As a novelist, she’s received two Christy Awards, two Carol Awards, and the Mississippi Library Association Fiction Award. She was named a short-list finalist twice for the Mississippi Arts & Letters Fiction Award as well as a two-time short-list finalist for the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize. In addition to her work with survivors of abuse and her service as a literacy advocate, she’s a member of the Tall Poppy Writers and Her Novel Collective, two organizations that promote the power of story and elevate female voices.



215.895.1266

Paula Marantz Cohen is Distinguished Professor of English and Dean of the Pennoni Honors College at Drexel University. She is the author of ten books, including five best-selling novels. These include a series of satirical novels of manners: and a historical thriller, . Her novels have been featured in and and been Book of the Month and Mystery Guild selections. Her play, , was a finalist for the Julie Harris Playwriting Award and was given dramatic readings at the Jewish Ensemble Theater (JET) in Bloomfield, Illinois, and at Smith College.

She is a frequent contributor to and . She is a co-editor of and the host of the nationally distributed television talk show, , where her guests have included: the late Nora Ephron and Christopher Hitchens, the filmmaker John Waters, the eminent scientist E.O Wilson, and the chess master and political activist, Garry Kasparov – among other notable and influential figures.

Kelly Creagh is the author of (Atheneum,) and (Viking.) Her titles, which revisit, incorporate, and reimagine the classic gothic works of Edgar Allan Poe and Gaston Leroux, have been translated into multiple languages and, in the instance of , adapted for audiobook format. In addition to writing YA novels, Kelly crafts exclusive middle-grade, YA, and children’s short fiction, plays, and non-fiction pieces for notable technology-based educational companies that aim to develop student literacy and cultivate a love of reading in young people. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Spalding University and a BS in Theatre Arts from the University of Louisville. Based in Louisville, Kentucky, Kelly also works as a writing coach, a freelance writer, and a dance instructor. Currently, she is working on a second gothic-literature-inspired YA novel for Viking.

Dawson’s (she*/they) shorter fiction can be found in places such as , , , , and more. Her speculative stories focus on women’s issues, the queer community, and hope that maybe tomorrow can be better. In 2021, she collaborated with Institute of Holocaust Education and Circle Theatre to write , a TYA play that wove together four survivors' testimonies. She’s currently a teaching artist at Nebraska Writers Collective, and holds a BFA in Playwriting and Literature from The Theatre School at DePaul University, an MS in Second Education from University of Nebraska, and an MFA in Popular Fiction from Stonecoast. She lives in Omaha, NE, with her spouse and three dogs in the middle of a city park. Her debut novel about a magical circus, , will be released by Tor in Summer 2023. For more information, visit her at or on twitter at .

USA Today Bestselling author Sonali Dev writes Bollywood-style love stories that let her explore issues faced by women around the world while still indulging her faith in a happily ever after. Sonali’s novels have been on Library Journal, NPR, Washington Post, and Kirkus’s Best Books of the year lists. She has won the American Library Association’s award for best romance, the RT Reviewer Choice Award for best contemporary romance, multiple RT Seals of Excellence, is a and has been listed for the Dublin Literary award.

Richard Fellinger is an award-winning author of literary fiction, a former journalist, and writing fellow at Elizabethtown College. He's the author of the novels , winner of the Novel Excerpt Contest at Seven Hills Review and a finalist for an American Fiction Award, and . His story collection, , won the Serena McDonald Kennedy Award. He's a Pushcart Prize nominee and winner of the Flash Fiction Contest at Red Cedar Review. He earned his Bachelor's Degree at the University of Pittsburgh and MFA in Creative Writing at Wilkes University, where he won the Beverly Hiscox Scholarship for Excellence in Writing. He lives with his wife in Harrisburg, Pa.

Ted Flanagan is the author of (“[A] righteous, hard-charging, bell-ringing, mother-…… debut novel!!!!!” ~ James Ellroy), and his short fiction has appeared in , the recent anthology , among others. His nonfiction has appeared in the and he is a regular contributor to NPR affiliate WBUR’s essay site. Ted is a former Recon Marine and newspaper reporter who continues to serve as a 911 paramedic and firefighter, in addition to writing and teaching. Ted lives in central Massachusetts with his wife and three kids, and in addition to crime, he writes historical and literary fiction. Ted holds an MFA in Fiction from the Mountainview MFA program.

Tina Ann Forkner is a freelance editor, the author of five novels including and . She is a member of Tall Poppy Writers. Tina leads summer writing workshops for young writers at Laramie County Community College and writing seminars for adults at the Laramie County Library. She served on the library’s Foundation Board of Directors for six years and is still active as a past member. She is now writing her sixth novel. Tina lives in Wyoming and is a graduate of California State University, Sacramento.

Brandi Megan Granett is an author, online English professor, and writing coach. She earned her PhD in Creative Writing at Aberystwyth University and her MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College. Her next novel, , will be released in Fall 2019. , was published by Wyatt-Mackenzie in Fall 2016. Morrow published her first novel, , in 2000. Her short fiction appeared in , and other literary magazines and is collected in the volume, . When she is not writing or teaching or mothering, you will find her on the archery range.

Katie Rose Guest Pryal is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the bestselling author of three essay collections, including Life of the Mind Interrupted: Essays on Mental Health and Disability in Higher Education. She is also the author of four novels, including Entanglement and Chasing Chaos. She is a columnist for and the , and her work has appeared in many literary magazines, including and more. In 2016, she co-founded Blue Crow Books, a traditional small press that publishes fiction and narrative nonfiction. She earned her bachelor's degree in English cum laude from Duke University, her Master's degree in creative writing from the Writing Seminars of Johns Hopkins University, her law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her PhD in English from the University of North Carolina Greensboro.

Amy Impellizzeri’s novels ( ) have won accolades including Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Awards and National Indie Excellence Awards. Amy is also the author of the non-fiction book, Lawyer Interrupted (ABA Publishing 2015) (featured by and more), plus numerous essays and articles that have appeared in online and print journals including: and more. Amy is a past President of the Women’s Fiction Writer’s Association, a member of the Tall Poppy Writers, a 2018 Writer-In-Residence at Ms-JD.org (as well as a recipient of their 2019 "Road Less Traveled Award"), and a frequently invited speaker at legal conferences and writing workshops across the country.

Sadeqa Johnson is the award-winning author of and . Her accolades include being the recipient of the National Book Club award, Phillis Wheatley award and the USA Best Book award for best fiction. She is a Kimbilio Fellow, former board member of the James River Writers, and proud member of the Tall Poppy Writers.

Karen Karbo is the best-selling author of 16 works of fiction and non-fiction, including the international best seller . Her work has appeared in and the column. She has taught writing workshops at the University of Oregon, Rutgers University, Portland State University, Tin House, Portland Literary Arts, and the Todos Santos Writers Workshop. She launched Come to Karbohemia, her writing retreat in the South of France, in 2018.

Tif Marcelo is a veteran army nurse and holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Public Administration. She is the author of , a pick, the series, and her most recent work, Once Upon a Sunset. She and her work have been featured on and . She is a member of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs and is a proud Tall Poppy Writer. Currently, she lives in the DC metro area.

Courtney Maum is the author of the novels (a GOOP book club pick and one of top books of the decade), and (a Editor’s Choice and Best Book of the Year selection); the Zibby Award-winning guidebook , and the forthcoming memoir, . A nominee for the Joyce Carol Oates prize, Courtney’s short fiction and essays about creativity have been widely published in outlets such as The and , her short story was turned into an Audible original, and with her filmmaker husband, she has co-written films that have debuted at Sundance and won awards at Cannes. The executive director of the nonprofit learning collaborative, , Courtney currently works as a writing coach and hosts the conversation series through Edith Wharton’s storied home, The Mount.

Teresa Messineo is a graduate of DeSales, where she majored in English, Biology, and Theology, and received her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Publishing (MFA-CW). She is the recipient of the Ross Baker Memorial Award for Writing, that university’s highest honor for writers. She spent seven years researching , her historical fiction novel about frontline military nurses of the Second World War. HarperCollins published in 2017, and it is currently available in three languages in seven countries. Her second novel, , will be released by Severn House on March 31st, 2022.

Jon McGoran is the award-winning author of nine novels for adults and young adults including the YA science fiction thrillers and its upcoming sequel , as well as the acclaimed ecological thrillers and . Spliced was named to the American Library Association’s Excellence in Children's and Young Adult Science Fiction Notable List and the American Bookseller’s Association’s 2017 ABC Best Books for Young Readers. Spliced is also on the shortlist for South Carolina’s Young Adult Book of the Year. McGoran’s other books include the D. H. Dublin forensic thrillers and , based on the TV show, . He also works as a freelance writer, developmental editor and writing coach, and is cohost of , a podcast about writing and creativity.

Adele Myers is the author of , her debut novel about the rise and fall of Big Tobacco told through the eyes of a 15-year-old seamstress. , which launched in March 2022, was named an Indie Next List Pick, Barnes & Noble Discover Pick of the Month, and one of the best historical fiction books of the year by . Adele is currently working on her second book and lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband, son, and their dog Chipper.

Rachel Pastan is the author of four novels, most recently . Based on the life of Nobel Prize-winning geneticist Barbara McClintock, the novel was selected for the National Book Foundation’s 2022 Science + Literature award. She has worked as editor-at-large at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, where she developed the popular art and museum blog , and as editor of her small-town newspaper. Pastan was a long-time core faculty member at the Bennington Writing Seminars MFA program and has taught fiction writing at Swarthmore College, Temple University, and elsewhere.

Maegan Poland, PhD, holds a PhD in English, with an emphasis in creative writing, from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she was a Black Mountain Institute PhD Fellow. She also holds an MFA in Fiction from the University of Mississippi, as well as a BFA in Writing for Screen and Television from the University of Southern California, where she was a Trustee Scholar. Her debut short story collection What Makes You Think You Are Awake? won the Bakwin Award at Blair Press. Her fiction has appeared in numerous journals, including and Her writing has been awarded a Special Mention in the Pushcart Prize anthology, a Tin House scholarship and a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation. She has served as Fiction Editor for magazine, and as Managing Editor for .

Jason Rekulak is the author of (winner of a 2022 Goodreads Choice Award) and (a finalist for the Edgar Award). Both novels are in development as feature films for Netflix, and they have been translated into 25+ languages. Jason spent many years working in book publishing, where he ghost-wrote many odd books, collaborated with hundreds of authors and illustrators, and edited more than a dozen New York Times bestsellers. He is a member of the Writers Guild and the Mystery Writers of America.

Aimie K. Runyan writes to celebrate history’s unsung heroines. She has written five historical novels, including the internationally bestselling . Her most recent novel, is a Historical Novel Society Editor's Choice for February 2019. She is active as an educator and speaker in the writing community and beyond. She has been nominated for a 2019 Rocky Mountain Fiction Writer of the Year award and a 2019 Colorado Book Award. Her fifth novel, releases in August of 2020.

Hank Phillippi Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of 13 thrillers, winning the most prestigious awards in the genre: five Agathas, four Anthony’s, and the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award. She is also on-air investigative reporter for Boston’s WHDH-TV, with 37 Emmy’s and dozens more journalism honors. Her 2019 novel, , won the Anthony Award for Best Novel. Hank’s 2020 novel is the chilling psychological nominated for both the prestigious Anthony Award for Best Novel and Mary Higgins Clark Award. received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly, which called “a superlative thriller.”

Kelly Simmons is an advertising creative director and the author of the critically acclaimed novels and (Simon & Schuster) plus Target bestseller and her newest, (Sourcebooks.)

Eric Smith is a literary agent and Young Adult author from Elizabeth, New Jersey.

As an agent with P.S. Literary, he’s worked on New York Times bestselling and award-winning books. His recent novels include the YALSA Best Books for Young Readers selection (Inkyard Press, 2020), (Inkyard Press, 2021), and the anthology (Candlewick, 2021), co-edited with award-winning author Lauren Gibaldi.

His latest book, , was written with Alanis Morissette, Academy award-winner Diablo Cody, and Glen Ballard, and is an adaptation of the Grammy and Tony award winning musical. His next books include (Inkyard Press, 2023) and the anthology (Candlewick, 2023), another teamup with Lauren Gibaldi.

His other books include the IndieBound bestseller (Quirk), the duology (Bloomsbury), and (Flux). His writing has sold into nine languages.

Scott Stein is Teaching Professor of English at Drexel University, Director of the Drexel Publishing Group, and Founding Editor of Write Now Philly. He teaches courses on fiction writing, writing humor and comedy, publishing, Kafka, strange fiction, and superheroes. His MFA is from the University of Miami and his MA is from New York University. Scott’s novels are (Tiny Fox Press, 2020), (ENC Press, 2007), and (self-published, 2000). His short satirical fiction has been published in and . He has written book reviews, nonfiction, and essays for and the Newsletter.

Patrick Sylvain is a poet, writer, social and literary critic. Twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Published in several creative anthologies, journals, periodicals, and reviews including: , and . Sylvain has degrees from the University of Massachusetts (B.A.), Harvard University (Ed.M.), Boston University (MFA), and Brandeis University (PhD). Sylvain’s poetry chapbook, , is published by Central Square Press (2018), and he is the leading author of (Beacon Press, Feb 2022). Sylvain's bilingual poetry, , will be published by JEBCA Éditions, March 2023.

Belinda Huijuan Tang is a fiction writer living in Los Angeles. Her debut novel, , will be published by Penguin Press in 2022. She received her B.A. from Stanford University, a M.A. from Peking University in Beijing, and an M.F.A in Fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Truman Capote Fellow and Michener Copernicus Post-Graduate Fellow. In 2019, she was a work-study fellow at Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.

John Vercher’s debut novel, , was named one of the best books of 2019 by the Chicago Tribune. In the U.K., was named a Book of the Year by and . His second novel, , was published by Soho Press on June 7, 2022. It’s been called “simply brilliant” by in a starred review and “shrewd and explosive” by . selected the novel as a 2022 Best Book of the Summer, Publishers Weekly also included it in their Summer Reads 2022 list, and named it an Editors’ Choice in Adult Fiction for 2022. In 2022, John signed a two-book deal with Celadon Books (a Macmillan division). The first, Devil is Fine, will be published in 2024. John lives in the Philadelphia area with his wife and two sons.

Heather Webb is the USA Today and international bestselling author of historical fiction. In 2015, was a Goodread’s Top Pick, and in 2018, won the Women’s Fiction Writers Association STAR Award. Her latest, , was selected as a finalist for the 2020 RNA awards in the United Kingdom and also for the 2019 Digital Book World’s Fiction prize. To date, Heather’s books have been translated to over a dozen languages.

Allison Whittenberg is the author of and , published by Delacorte Books. Allison writes for middle grade readers and has several plays that have been performed including and .

Professional Development/Publishing Specialists

Brenda Copeland is an editor with more than twenty years’ experience at the big five publishers. She served for eleven years as an adjunct professor in the graduate publishing program at NYU, and now teaches at Drexel University’s low residency MFA in Creative Writing. Throughout her career, Brenda has published a robust list of fiction and non-fiction, quality books with strong commercial appeal. As an independent editor, she works closely with authors through all stages of the writing and publication process, helping them reach their creative potential.

Ann Garvin, PhD, is the Bestselling author of and . Her essays have been published in and . She has performed several times in . Ann is a sought-after speaker and has taught extensively in New York, San Francisco, Los Angelos, Boston, and at festivals across the country. She is the founder of the Tall Poppy Writers Marketing Co-op.

Creative Writing/Disability Arts Consultant

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25 Best Online Creative Writing MFAs for 2021

An online MFA in creative writing serves multiple purposes. MFA stands for a Master of Fine Arts and is a type of degree geared toward creative professions such as writing, graphic arts, and fashion design. For MFA in creative writing online programs, interested students typically have a background in literature, creative writing, professional writing, or journalism. However, an online MFA in creative writing major may permit applications from those who have a bachelor’s degree in a non-related discipline.

Due to the nature of the career, professionals should choose creative writing MFA online programs. With an online option, there’s no need to attend classes in person. Notably, many students might have a hard time finding local colleges that offer the major. Moreover, an MFA in creative writing online can be done on a person’s timeframe. Online programs provide more flexibility with class scheduling and how many courses must be taken per semester. Students enrolled in online creative writing MFA programs can continue working while still attending classes. Many individuals from creative writing MFA online programs still have full-time jobs. Additionally, any type of familial obligations won’t be disrupted while courses are completed.

Methodology: Ranking the Best Online Creative Writing MFA Programs

To rank the best online MFA Creative Writing programs, the editors of Best Masters Programs compiled fully online, hybrid, and low-residency programs from across the nation. Programs are ranked according to cost, potential salary, and student satisfaction, using data from IPEDS and Niche.

1. Northwestern University

mfa online creative writing

Founded as a private school in the early 1850s, Northwestern University is one of the founding member schools in the Big Ten Conference. Northwestern’s urban campus is home to nearly 22,000 students studying for academic degrees from eleven colleges/schools. Northwestern University is located only minutes from downtown Chicago and sits along the shores of Lake Michigan.

Degree : MFA – Prose and Poetry

2. University of Georgia

mfa online creative writing

Established in 1785, the University of Georgia is considered among the oldest public higher learning institutions in the nation, which makes it one of the colonial colleges. Additionally, this public ivy is a four designation school with a student enrollment of approximately 38,650 students. Highlight –UGA owns more than 40,000 acres in the state but also several international centers in England, Italy, and Costa Rica.

Degree : MFA – Narrative Media Writing

3. Fairfield University

Established by the Jesuits in the early 1940s, Fairfield University is now organized into five colleges/schools that serve more than 5,050 students online and from its suburban campus in Fairfield, Connecticut. The school offers more than four majors and other 19 minors through its programming.

Degree : MFA – Creative Writing

4. Seton Hall University

mfa online creative writing

Established in the mid-1880s as an all-women’s school, Seton Hill University is a private university that is now coeducation and serves approximately 1,550 students on its suburban campus and online. Seton Hall University is home to the National Catholic Center for Holocaust Education. Famous alumni include a state Supreme Court justice, a first lady of Pennsylvania, several CEOs include the CEO of Denver health.

Degree : MFA – Writing Popular Fiction

5. Oregon State University – Cascades

mfa online creative writing

Oregon State University – Cascades campus was established in 2001 in Bend, Oregon. OSU Cascades is home to approximately 1,150 students. The Cascades campus of Oregon State University is the only higher learning institution in the central area of the state that offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

6. Drexel University

mfa online creative writing

Established in the 1890s by financier Anthony Drexel, Drexel University is now a full-fledged institution of higher education with a student enrollment of approximately 24,050 students. Drexel University is well-known globally for its cooperative education, which allows for students to earn while they learn.

7. University of Nebraska Omaha

mfa online creative writing

Established in 1908 as a private school by seminary faculty, the University of Nebraska in Omaha now operates as a space-grant institution of higher education with a student enrollment of approximately 15,350 students. Highlight –The school became a public university in 1930 when it moved campuses across town.

Degree : MFA – Writing

8. National University

mfa online creative writing

Established in the early to mid-1970s by a retired United States Navy Captain, National University was developed to provide affordable education to working adults throughout the country. The university serves more than 23,850 students on its campuses and online. National University is considered a pioneer in distance learning, has been offering programs for more than two decades.

9. University of Texas at El Paso

mfa online creative writing

Established in 1914, the University of Texas (Texas -El Paso) is a member school of the state’s university system and home to the Sun Bowl every year. the University of Texas – El Paso holds the distinction of being the second largest of schools with a student enrollment that is a majority of Mexican American.

10. Concordia University St Paul

mfa online creative writing

Established in the mid-1890s, Concordia University St Paul (CSP) is a member school of the Concordia system with a student enrollment of approximately 5,350 students. The school maintains an urban campus in St Paul that covers more than 40 acres. Concordia University St Paul holds the distinction of having the largest student enrollment of any Lutheran church body in the nation.

Degree : MFA in Creative Writing

11. University of New Orleans

mfa online creative writing

Established in the mid-1950s as a research school, the University of New Orleans is now a member of the Louisiana state university system. As a space grant institution of higher education, The University of New Orleans serves approximately 7,750 students. The University of New Orleans is home to more than 100 clubs, which includes more than two dozen sororities and fraternities.

12. University of Houston-Victoria

mfa online creative writing

Established in the mid-1970s as a public school, the University of Houston-Victoria is a multiple campus school that serves approximately 4,350 students. The University of Houston is organized into three colleges/schools in education, business, and arts/sciences.

13. Wilkes University

mfa online creative writing

Established as a private junior college in the early 1930s, Wilkes University received its university states about six decades later. More than 2,050 students attend classes online or on-campus from the University’s seven colleges/schools. Wilkes University offers its students an impressive fourteen to one student to faculty ratio.

14. Eastern Kentucky University

mfa online creative writing

Founded in the mid-1870s as Central University, Eastern Kentucky University is a multiple campus school with branch facilities in Manchester, Lancaster, Corbin, and Hazard. Eastern Kentucky University‘s student enrollment (both on-campus and online) is approximately 15,650 students.

15. Albertus Magnus College

mfa online creative writing

Established in the mid-1920s by the Dominican Sisters of Peace, Albertus Magnus College is now home to more than 1,000 students studying online and on the school’s fifty-acre campus near Yale University. Alumni of Albertus Magnus College include a state representative and a federal judge.

16. Bay Path University

mfa online creative writing

Established in the late 189s, Bay Path University offers all-women’s undergraduate programs and coeducational programs to its approximate student body of 3,100 students. Bay Path University is also a member school of the eight college consortium in the Greater Springfield area. Bay Path University maintains several campuses in the area and has been honored to have women speakers that include Cokie Roberts and Maya Angelou.

Degree : MFA – Creative Nonfiction

17. Eastern Oregon University

mfa online creative writing

Founded as a public institution of higher learning for educating teachers, Eastern Oregon University now operates as a member school of the state of Oregon’s university system. The school’s campus in La Grande is home to approximately 3,550 students and is located in the Blue Mountain Range. The graduate degree programs allow for up to 15 credits to be transferred if eligible.

18. Mississippi University for Women

mfa online creative writing

The Mississippi University for Women was established in 1884 but now operates as a coeducational institution. The Mississippi University for Women is a space-grant school with a rural campus that serves approximately 2,550 students. The Mississippi University for Women holds the distinction of being the first public institution of higher education that was opened exclusively for women in the country.

19. Lindenwood University

mfa online creative writing

Established as a school for girls in the mid-1820s, Lindenwood University now serves approximately 7150 students from its 500 acre urban campus about 25 miles to the north and west of St Louis. Lindenwood University’s campus is situated on an elevated ground that overlooks the Missouri River and downtown Saint Charles.

20. Queens University of Charlotte

mfa online creative writing

Established in the mid-1850s, and affiliated with the Presbyterian Church USA, Queens University of Charlotte’s urban campus is home to more than 2,050 students vying for graduate and undergraduate degree programs from the university’s five colleges/schools. Students at QU ail from more than 40 states and 42 foreign countries.

21. Arcadia University

mfa online creative writing

The Arts & Sciences College at Arcadia University offers one of New Hampshire’s best online MFA creative writing programs with its Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree program in Creative Writing. Students enrolled in Arcadia University’s best online creative writing MFA degree program have the option of studying abroad (for instance, in Scotland) to gain a global perspective on writing. Graduates are required to complete 39 semester credits to graduate from the master’s program.

Founded as Beaver College in the mid-1850s, Arcadia University is a private higher learning institution with a student enrollment of more than 3,950 undergraduate and graduate degree students vying for degrees on the university’s 70+ acre campus in Glenside, a suburb of the greater Philadelphia area. The school’s Tower Castle is officially listed as a United States National Historic Landmark.

22. Southern New Hampshire University

mfa online creative writing

Founded as a business school in the early-1930s, Southern New Hampshire University is now considered one of the fastest-growing nonprofit schools in the nation. The school’s campus serves approximately 4,000 students, with another 85,000+ students studying online through the school’s robust distance learning program. University (Southern NH) offers one of New Hampshire’s best online MFA creative offers an honors program for those students who meet the requirements of this business degree option.

23. Full Sail University

mfa online creative writing

Full Sail University was founded in the late 1970s as a for-profit professional school and recording studio. At present Full Sail University has a student enrollment that is approximately 19,050 students who study both online and the school’s central Florida campus. Full Sail University’s beginnings are sourced to a radio school in Ohio.

24. Converse College

mfa online creative writing

Established as a private college in the late-1880s, Converse College’s urban campus in Spartanburg (and online) is home to approximately 1,150 students. Parts of the college are listed in the US National Register of Historic Places. The first class at Converse College began with about 165 students and sixteen members of the faculty.

25. Emerson College

mfa online creative writing

Established in the 1880s as an oratory and dramatic art school, Emerson College now offers more than 35 academic degree programs and professional training options as a member of the Pro Arts School Consortium in the Boston vicinity. Emerson College has moved several times since its inception but is currently located in Boston’s theater district near the Boston Common.

Degree : MFA – Writing for Film and Television, Popular Fiction Writing and Publishing

Why Should I Get My Creative Writing MFA Online?

Online creative writing MFA programs act as workshops for those who want to pursue a professional career in the industry. Examples of courses within the major include Poetry Writing, Writing in a Second Language, Grammar and Syntax, Teaching Writing, and Framing a Story. Many programs permit students to choose a variety of seminar and workshop topics as a way to design the major to meet their career goals. Each workshop and seminar will be assigned a credit value with students earning credits throughout each semester until they have enough for graduation.

Most programs end with a capstone project that allows the student to workshop his or her novel, short story, or poetry collection. By the end of the MFA in creative writing online program, the student may be ready to submit the work for publication to agents and publishing houses.

What’s the Difference Between an Online and a Low-Residency Creative Writing MFA?

A newer program now found at colleges around the world is the low residency MFA in creative writing major. The low residency program will take a similar amount of time as a traditional MFA program, but campus requirements are reduced. To receive a low residency creative writing MFA degree, a student almost follows a hybrid schedule. On average, when a student enrolls in this type of program, he or she will have to meet on campus for a limited number of visits. Some colleges require residencies twice a year or once per semester. Other schools may only ask that residences occur on an annual basis. The residences are short-term, high-intensity sessions with fellow students, faculty members, and guest speakers. A low residency MFA in creative writing workshop will typically last from one to two weeks. During the residency, a daily schedule is provided with a selection of lectures and workshops that student can attend to fulfill degree requirements. The rest of the coursework outside the residency will be done virtually.

Both a low residency creative writing MFA and an online creative writing MFA will not require students to live on campus. However, an online MFA program doesn’t include any on-campus visits for graduation. All workshops, lectures, courses, and seminars will be done virtually. Both an online and low residency creative writing MFA will award the same Master of Fine Arts degree. The only difference is the minimal residency requirement for the latter type.

How Much Can I Make with an MFA in Creative Writing?

An MFA creative writing salary has a substantial range. Most writers and authors will have advanced degrees in the field. These writers and authors have the potential to earn more because they have taken the time to hone their crafts. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for authors and writers is $63,200 per year. However, the highest earners in the field can make more than $122,000 annually. Writers and authors have a lot of flexibility when it comes to earning a living. They can work part-time, full-time, or on a per-project basis. Those with an MFA in creative writing won’t only submit their work for book publication. They also have the skill set to work for magazines, playhouses, and film and tv production houses. In addition to writing creatively, the graduate can supplement his or her income by writing for websites, blogs, and advertisers.

An MFA creative writing salary is slightly higher if the graduate chooses to work in the field as a technical writer. Technical writers earn an average of $72,850, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many skills taught in creative writing programs such as grammar, syntax, and structure, can be applied to non-fiction pieces. Technical writing jobs are also open to those who wish to remain self-employed.

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15 Best Creative Writing MFA Programs in 2024

May 15, 2024

Whether you studied at a top creative writing university or are a high school dropout who will one day become a bestselling author , you may be considering an MFA in Creative Writing. But is a writing MFA genuinely worth the time and potential costs? How do you know which program will best nurture your writing? If you’re considering an MFA, this article walks you through the best full-time, low residency, and online Creative Writing MFA programs in the United States.

What are the best Creative Writing MFA programs?

Before we get into the meat and potatoes of this article, let’s start with the basics. What is an MFA, anyway?

A Master of Fine Arts (MFA) is a graduate degree that usually takes from two to three years to complete. Applications typically require a sample portfolio, usually 10-20 pages (and sometimes up to 30-40) of your best writing. Moreover, you can receive an MFA in a particular genre, such as Fiction or Poetry, or more broadly in Creative Writing. However, if you take the latter approach, you often have the opportunity to specialize in a single genre.

Wondering what actually goes on in a creative writing MFA beyond inspiring award-winning books and internet memes ? You enroll in workshops where you get feedback on your creative writing from your peers and a faculty member. You enroll in seminars where you get a foundation of theory and techniques. Then, you finish the degree with a thesis project. Thesis projects are typically a body of polished, publishable-quality creative work in your genre—fiction, nonfiction, or poetry.

Why should I get an MFA in Creative Writing?

You don’t need an MFA to be a writer. Just look at Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison or bestselling novelist Emily St. John Mandel.

Nonetheless, there are plenty of reasons you might still want to get a creative writing MFA. The first is, unfortunately, prestige. An MFA from a top program can help you stand out in a notoriously competitive industry to be published.

The second reason: time. Many MFA programs give you protected writing time, deadlines, and maybe even a (dainty) salary.

Third, an MFA in Creative Writing is a terminal degree. This means that this degree allows you to teach writing at the university level, especially after you publish a book.

Fourth: resources. MFA programs are often staffed by brilliant, award-winning writers; offer lecture series, volunteer opportunities, and teaching positions; and run their own (usually prestigious) literary magazines. Such resources provide you with the knowledge and insight you’ll need to navigate the literary and publishing world on your own post-graduation.

But above all, the biggest reason to pursue an MFA is the community it brings you. You get to meet other writers—and share feedback, advice, and moral support—in relationships that can last for decades.

Types of Creative Writing MFA Programs

Here are the different types of programs to consider, depending on your needs:

Fully-Funded Full-Time Programs

These programs offer full-tuition scholarships and sweeten the deal by actually paying you to attend them.

  • Pros: You’re paid to write (and teach).
  • Cons: Uprooting your entire life to move somewhere possibly very cold.

Full-Time MFA Programs

These programs include attending in-person classes and paying tuition (though many offer need-based and merit scholarships).

  • Pros: Lots of top-notch non-funded programs have more assets to attract world-class faculty and guests.
  • Cons: It’s an investment that might not pay itself back.

Low-Residency MFA Programs

Low-residency programs usually meet biannually for short sessions. They also offer one-on-one support throughout the year. These MFAs are more independent, preparing you for what the writing life is actually like.

  • Pros: No major life changes required. Cons: Less time dedicated to writing and less time to build relationships.

Online MFA Programs

Held 100% online. These programs have high acceptance rates and no residency requirement. That means zero travel or moving expenses.

  • Pros: No major life changes required.
  • Cons: These MFAs have less name recognition.

The Top 15 Creative Writing MFA Programs Ranked by Category

The following programs are selected for their balance of high funding, impressive return on investment, stellar faculty, major journal publications , and impressive alums.

FULLY FUNDED MFA PROGRAMS

1) johns hopkins university , mfa in fiction/poetry.

This two-year program offers an incredibly generous funding package: $39,000 teaching fellowships each year. Not to mention, it offers that sweet, sweet health insurance, mind-boggling faculty, and the option to apply for a lecture position after graduation. Many grads publish their first book within three years (nice). No nonfiction MFA (boo).

  • Location: Baltimore, MD
  • Incoming class size: 8 students (4 per genre)
  • Admissions rate: 4-8%
  • Alumni: Chimamanda Adichie, Jeffrey Blitz, Wes Craven, Louise Erdrich, Porochista Khakpour, Phillis Levin, ZZ Packer, Tom Sleigh, Elizabeth Spires, Rosanna Warren

2) University of Texas, James Michener Center

The only MFA that offers full and equal funding for every writer. It’s three years long, offers a generous yearly stipend of $30k, and provides full tuition plus a health insurance stipend. Fiction, poetry, playwriting, and screenwriting concentrations are available. The Michener Center is also unique because you study a primary genre and a secondary genre, and also get $4,000 for the summer.

  • Location : Austin, TX
  • Incoming class size : 12 students
  • Acceptance rate: a bone-chilling less-than-1% in fiction; 2-3% in other genres
  • Alumni: Fiona McFarlane, Brian McGreevy, Karan Mahajan, Alix Ohlin, Kevin Powers, Lara Prescott, Roger Reeves, Maria Reva, Domenica Ruta, Sam Sax, Joseph Skibell, Dominic Smith

3) University of Iowa

The Iowa Writers’ Workshop is a 2-year program on a residency model for fiction and poetry. This means there are low requirements, and lots of time to write groundbreaking novels or play pool at the local bar. All students receive full funding, including tuition, a living stipend, and subsidized health insurance. The Translation MFA , co-founded by Gayatri Chakravorti Spivak, is also two years long but with more intensive coursework. The Nonfiction Writing Program is a prestigious three-year MFA program and is also intensive.

  • Incoming class size: 25 each for poetry and fiction; 10-12 for nonfiction and translation.
  • Acceptance rate: 2.7-3.7%
  • Fantastic Alumni: Raymond Carver, Flannery O’Connor, Sandra Cisneros, Joy Harjo, Garth Greenwell, Kiley Reid, Brandon Taylor, Eula Biss, Yiyun Li, Jennifer Croft

Best MFA Creative Writing Programs (Continued) 

4) university of michigan.

Anne Carson famously lives in Ann Arbor, as do the MFA students in UMichigan’s Helen Zell Writers’ Program. This is a big university town, which is less damaging to your social life. Plus, there’s lots to do when you have a $25,000 stipend, summer funding, and health care.

This is a 2-3-year program in either fiction or poetry, with an impressive reputation. They also have a demonstrated commitment to “ push back against the darkness of intolerance and injustice ” and have outreach programs in the community.

  • Location: Ann Arbor, MI
  • Incoming class size: 18 (9 in each genre)
  • Acceptance rate: 2%
  • Alumni: Brit Bennett, Vievee Francis, Airea D. Matthews, Celeste Ng, Chigozie Obioma, Jia Tolentino, Jesmyn Ward

5) Brown University

Brown offers an edgy, well-funded program in a place that only occasionally dips into arctic temperatures. All students are fully funded for 2 years, which includes tuition remission and a $32k yearly stipend. Students also get summer funding and—you guessed it—that sweet, sweet health insurance.

In the Brown Literary Arts MFA, students take only one workshop and one elective per semester. It’s also the only program in the country to feature a Digital/Cross Disciplinary Track.  Fiction and Poetry Tracks are offered as well.

  • Location: Providence, RI
  • Incoming class size: 12-13
  • Acceptance rate: “highly selective”
  • Alumni: Edwidge Danticat, Jaimy Gordon, Gayl Jones, Ben Lerner, Joanna Scott, Kevin Young, Ottessa Moshfegh

6) University of Arizona

This 3-year program with fiction, poetry, and nonfiction tracks has many attractive qualities. It’s in “ the lushest desert in the world, ” and was recently ranked #4 in creative writing programs, and #2 in Nonfiction. You can take classes in multiple genres, and in fact, are encouraged to do so. Plus, Arizona’s dry heat is good for arthritis.

This notoriously supportive program is fully funded. Moreover, teaching assistantships that provide a salary, health insurance, and tuition waiver are offered to all students. Tucson is home to a hopping literary scene, so it’s also possible to volunteer at multiple literary organizations and even do supported research at the US-Mexico Border.

  • Location: Tucson, AZ
  • Incoming class size: usually 6
  • Acceptance rate: 1.2% (a refreshingly specific number after Brown’s evasiveness)
  • Alumni: Francisco Cantú, Jos Charles, Tony Hoagland, Nancy Mairs, Richard Russo, Richard Siken, Aisha Sabatini Sloan, David Foster Wallace

7) Arizona State University 

With concentrations in fiction and poetry, Arizona State is a three-year funded program in arthritis-friendly dry heat. It offers small class sizes, individual mentorships, and one of the most impressive faculty rosters in the game. Moreover, it encourages cross-genre study.

Funding-wise, everyone has the option to take on a teaching assistantship position, which provides a tuition waiver, health insurance, and a yearly stipend of $25k. Other opportunities for financial support exist as well.

  • Location: Tempe, AZ
  • Incoming class size: 8-10
  • Acceptance rate: 3% (sigh)
  • Alumni: Tayari Jones, Venita Blackburn, Dorothy Chan, Adrienne Celt, Dana Diehl, Matthew Gavin Frank, Caitlin Horrocks, Allegra Hyde, Hugh Martin, Bonnie Nadzam

FULL-RESIDENCY MFAS (UNFUNDED)

8) new york university.

This two-year program is in New York City, meaning it comes with close access to literary opportunities and hot dogs. NYU also has one of the most accomplished faculty lists anywhere. Students have large cohorts (more potential friends!) and have a penchant for winning top literary prizes. Concentrations in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction are available.

  • Location: New York, NY
  • Incoming class size: ~60; 20-30 students accepted for each genre
  • Acceptance rate: 6-9%
  • Alumni: Nick Flynn, Nell Freudenberger, Aracelis Girmay, Mitchell S. Jackson, Tyehimba Jess, John Keene, Raven Leilani, Robin Coste Lewis, Ada Limón, Ocean Vuong

9) Columbia University

Another 2-3 year private MFA program with drool-worthy permanent and visiting faculty. Columbia offers courses in fiction, poetry, translation, and nonfiction. Beyond the Ivy League education, Columbia offers close access to agents, and its students have a high record of bestsellers. Finally, teaching positions and fellowships are available to help offset the high tuition.

  • Incoming class size: 110
  • Acceptance rate: not publicized (boo)
  • Alumni: Alexandra Kleeman, Rachel Kushner, Claudia Rankine, Rick Moody, Sigrid Nunez, Tracy K. Smith, Emma Cline, Adam Wilson, Marie Howe, Mary Jo Bang

10) Sarah Lawrence 

Sarah Lawrence offers a concentration in speculative fiction in addition to the average fiction, poetry, and nonfiction choices. Moreover, they encourage cross-genre exploration. With intimate class sizes, this program is unique because it offers biweekly one-on-one conferences with its stunning faculty. It also has a notoriously supportive atmosphere, and many teaching and funding opportunities are available.

  • Location: Bronxville, NY
  • Incoming class size: 30-40
  • Acceptance rate: not publicized
  • Alumni: Cynthia Cruz, Melissa Febos, T Kira Madden, Alex Dimitrov, Moncho Alvarado

LOW RESIDENCY

11) bennington college.

This two-year program boasts truly stellar faculty, and meets twice a year for ten days in January and June. It’s like a biannual vacation in beautiful Vermont, plus mentorship by a famous writer. The rest of the time, you’ll be spending approximately 25 hours per week on reading and writing assignments. Students have the option to concentrate in fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. Uniquely, they can also opt for a dual-genre focus.

The tuition is $23,468 per year, with scholarships available. Additionally, Bennington offers full-immersion teaching fellowships to MFA students, which are extremely rare in low-residency programs.

  • Location: Bennington, VT
  • Acceptance rate: 53%
  • Incoming class: 25-35
  • Alumni: Larissa Pham, Andrew Reiner, Lisa Johnson Mitchell, and others

12)  Institute for American Indian Arts

This two-year program emphasizes Native American and First Nations writing. With truly amazing faculty and visiting writers, they offer a wide range of genres, including screenwriting, poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. In addition, each student is matched with a faculty mentor who works with them one-on-one throughout the semester.

Students attend two eight-day residencies each year, in January and July, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. At $12,000 in tuition a year, it boasts being “ one of the most affordable MFA programs in the country .”

  • Location: Santa Fe, NM
  • Incoming class size : 21
  • Alumni: Tommy Orange, Dara Yen Elerath, Kathryn Wilder

13) Vermont College of Fine Arts

VCFA is the only graduate school on this list that focuses exclusively on the fine arts. Their MFA in Writing offers concentrations in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction; they also offer an MFA in Literary Translation and one of the few MFAs in Writing for Children and Young Adults . Students meet twice a year for nine days, in January and July, either in-person or online. Here, they receive one-on-one mentorship that continues for the rest of the semester. You can also do many travel residencies in exciting (and warm) places like Cozumel.

VCFA boasts amazing faculty and visiting writers, with individualized study options and plenty of one-on-one time. Tuition for the full two-year program is approximately $54k.

  • Location : Various; 2024/25 residencies are in Colorado and California
  • Incoming class size: 18-25
  • Acceptance rate: 63%
  • Alumnx: Lauren Markham, Mary-Kim Arnold, Cassie Beasley, Kate Beasley, Julie Berry, Bridget Birdsall, Gwenda Bond, Pablo Cartaya

ONLINE MFAS

14) university of texas at el paso.

UTEP is considered the best online MFA program, and features award-winning faculty from across the globe. Accordingly, this program is geared toward serious writers who want to pursue teaching and/or publishing. Intensive workshops allow submissions in Spanish and/or English, and genres include poetry and fiction.

No residencies are required, but an optional opportunity to connect in person is available every year. This three-year program costs about $25-30k total, depending on whether you are an in-state or out-of-state resident.

  • Location: El Paso, TX
  • Acceptance rate: “highly competitive”
  • Alumni: Watch alumni testimonies here

15) Bay Path University

This 2-year online, no-residency program is dedicated entirely to nonfiction. Featuring a supportive, diverse community, Bay Path offers small class sizes, close mentorship, and an optional yearly field trip to Ireland.

There are many tracks, including publishing, narrative medicine, and teaching creative writing. Moreover, core courses include memoir, narrative journalism, food/travel writing, and the personal essay. Tuition is approximately $31,000 for the entire program, with scholarships available.

  • Location: Longmeadow, MA
  • Incoming class size: 20
  • Alumni: Read alumni testimonies here

Best MFA Creative Writing Programs — Final Thoughts

Whether you’re aiming for a fully funded, low residency, or completely online MFA program, there are plenty of incredible options available—all of which will sharpen your craft while immersing you in the vibrant literary arts community.

Hoping to prepare for your MFA in advance? You might consider checking out the following:

  • Best English Programs
  • Best Colleges for Creative Writing
  • Writing Summer Programs
  • Best Writing Competitions for High School Students

Inspired to start writing? Get your pencil ready:

  • 100 Creative Writing Prompts 
  • 1 00 Tone Words to Express Mood in Your Writing
  • 60 Senior Project Ideas
  • Common App Essay Prompts

Best MFA Creative Writing Programs – References:

  • https://www.pw.org/mfa
  • The Creative Writing MFA Handbook: A Guide for Prospective Graduate Students , by Tom Kealey (A&C Black 2005)
  • Graduate School Admissions

Julia Conrad

With a Bachelor of Arts in English and Italian from Wesleyan University as well as MFAs in both Nonfiction Writing and Literary Translation from the University of Iowa, Julia is an experienced writer, editor, educator, and a former Fulbright Fellow. Julia’s work has been featured in  The Millions ,  Asymptote , and  The Massachusetts Review , among other publications. To read more of her work, visit  www.juliaconrad.net

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The University of Texas at El Paso is proud to offer a fully online Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. Writers can complete the entire degree from anywhere in the world, as there is no residency requirement.

Our goal is to prepare serious writers for publishing and teaching careers. The degree plan consists of 48 hours of coursework - 42 hours of workshops and literature classes (14 courses), followed by 6 hours of thesis during which students complete a publishable manuscript in poetry or fiction.

We offer a workshop-heavy M.F.A., but we believe in the necessity of a background in theory and form. Our candidates enjoy a wide variety of graduate courses in literature, from the “Form of the Short Story” to “Asian American Poetry.”

We believe that the excellent reputation of our M.F.A. program is created by our faculty and the writers we graduate. Therefore, our primary goal is to connect our students with solid writers who will aid in their artistic and intellectual development.

The main criterion for admission is a writing sample in either fiction or poetry. We look for writers with distinctive or developing voices, a sense of cultural or social awareness, and a yearning to expand one’s use of the craft. It’s simple; if you’re good at what you do, we want you to study with us.

We encourage but do not favor undergraduate degrees in Creative Writing or English. Our students and graduates come from various fields, from physics to theater, and all of them enrich the writing experience. Some of our applicants are establishing themselves as writers, while some already have books published, but need the M.F.A. degree to advance in their teaching careers. Whatever level you find yourself at, we welcome your work.

Our classes and discussions are held in English, however if you feel more comfortable, or feel like exploring language, you may submit your creative assignments in Spanish.

We look forward to hearing from you.

No matter where you are in the world, write with us.

Sylvia Aguilar-Zéleny, Advisor for the Online MFA

For questions concerning the M.F.A. curriculum itself, please write us at [email protected]

For questions about the application process, please contact  [email protected]

Maestría en Escritura Creativa en Línea de UTEP

La Universidad de Texas en El Paso se enorgullece en ofrecer la Maestría en Escritura Creativa en línea completamente en español. Ahora también los escritores latinos podrán realizar sus estudios de posgrado con nosotros en tu idioma y desde cualquier lugar del mundo. 

El programa consta de 48 créditos académicos a completar en el curso de tres años. Nuestras materias cubren un amplio rango de tópicos como traducción literaria, guión, crónica, novela corta y prosa poética, entre otros. Además, si eres bilingüe puedes optar por llevar materias en inglés.

Nuestro objetivo es preparar a los escritores para que publiquen y emprendan una carrera como maestros a nivel licenciatura y posgrado. La tesis a desarrollar dentro del programa es un libro en los géneros de poesía, ficción, o no ficción. Así que al graduarte estarás listo para el mundo editorial.

Aceptamos postulantes de cualquier parte del mundo y de diversas carreras. Aunque la gran mayoría de ellos vienen del área de literatura, nuestros alumnos y graduados provienen también de áreas como física, comunicación, y teatro, consolidándose así un diálogo enriquecedor.

Buscamos escritores que tengan conciencia intercultural y social, así como un deseo por ampliar la técnica de su oficio. Todos nuestros profesores son escritores activos y destacados en la escena literaria de las Américas. Cada uno de ellos habrá de contribuir en tu desarrollo artístico e intelectual. Esta es tu oportunidad de discutir tu trabajo con voces experimentadas y consolidar tu progreso literario.

Nuestras clases son impartidas en inglés, sin embargo, nuestro profesorado es bilingüe, esto te permite escribir en el idioma que más te sientas cómodo, español o inglés, como prefieras.

Envíanos tu solicitud, queremos que estudies con nosotros, no importa en qué parte del mundo estés.

Sylvia Aguilar-Zéleny

Consejera del MFA en Línea

Universidad de Texas en El Paso. Para preguntas sobre el programa, por favor contactar a [email protected]

Preguntas sobre el proceso de admisión, por favor contactar a Samantharai Yrigoyen [email protected]

Program Information:

For prospective students, faq’s, step by step process, application check list, for current students, online mfa faculty, connect with us.

The University of Texas at El Paso Department of Creative Writing Education Building, Room 901 Additional Emails English: [email protected] Español: [email protected] MFA Online: [email protected] Undergrad: [email protected] 500 W University Ave El Paso, Texas 79968

E: [email protected] P: (915) 747-5237

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    University of New Orleans
   
  Jun 27, 2024  
2023-2024 University Catalog   

2023-2024 University Catalog

Student Learning Outcomes

 

Students will produce high quality/publishable/producible creative work in the genres of either fiction writing, poetry, nonfiction writing, or playwriting.   

Students will demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of literary techniques in the genre of study. 

Students will demonstrate mastery of grammatical rules and display ability to edit texts at a professional level.    

4

Students will analyze and display an expertise in the literature of their genre. They will articulate clear and complex ideas on both classical and contemporary writing in their field of study. 

5

Students will demonstrate an understanding of the craft elements at work in classic and contemporary literature. 

In addition to meeting the minimum standards for admission to the Graduate School, an applicant is accepted for graduate work upon the recommendation of the creative writing faculty on the basis of clearly demonstrated skills in a creative writing genre, a personal statement, and three letters of recommendation. All applicants must identify the genre in which they plan to specialize and submit a portfolio of their writing in the genre (two plays of any length, a feature-length film script, two short stories or a 25-page novel excerpt, ten poems, two short nonfiction pieces, or a 35-page book excerpt).

Degree Requirements

Resident option.

  • Completion of at least 45 hours of courses, primarily offered by the Department of Language and Literature and/or the Film and Theatre Department.
  • Fifteen hours of 6000-level course work in creative writing workshops, at least 12 of which will be in the thesis genre area. These required course are: for fiction writing ENGL 6161   ; for poetry writing, ENGL 6163   ; for nonfiction, ENGL 6154    ; and for playwriting, ENGL 6200    . 
  • Three hours in a craft seminar in their genre. These required courses are: for fiction writing, ENGL 6941    ; for poetry writing, ENGL 6943   ; for nonfiction writing, ENGL 6944    ; and for playwriting, ENGL 6946   . 
  • Any additional craft courses will count as electives.
  • Three hours in ENGL 6154 - Non-Fiction Writing Workshop   . For students whose genre is nonfiction writing, a workshop in a genre other than nonfiction is required in place of the three hours in ENGL 6154    required of students in the other genres.
  • Nine hours in Background Literature, Genre Studies and Professional Practice. Courses selected for this requirement in consultation with Program Director.
  • A grade of B or better in all required course work.
  • Nine hours of electives. Chosen in consultation with the Program Director, these elective hours will be expected to conform to a cohesive program of study.
  • An overall GPA of 3.0 in elective courses.
  • A creative thesis for which the student may receive six hours of preparation credit. The creative writing thesis will be prepared under the supervision of a committee approved by the Graduate School. The committee will ordinarily consist of three members of the graduate faculties of the departments of Film and Theatre and English. The thesis director and at least one other member should teach in the student’s genre area.
  • A comprehensive exam in the student’s genre area that will be prepared, administered, and graded by the thesis committee. It will concern itself with the literature of the student’s genre area.
  • Students who hold master’s degrees from other UNO programs may apply for admission, but upon acceptance they must meet all requirements for the M.F.A. degree listed above. However, only 9 hours from prior master’s courses can count toward completion of the MFA, and all 15 required workshop hours must be conducted at UNO.

Financial Aid

Graduate assistantships are also available for qualified students in all Master of Fine Arts programs of study.

  • The Online Master of Fine Arts is a unique option within the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. Online Master of Fine Arts students take all their courses through distance learning, with the option of completing some coursework at one of UNO’s summer study abroad sites. The program is a 45 hour terminal degree, with the curriculum centered on 18 hours of creative writing workshops, plus 12 hours of background courses, nine hours of electives, and six hours of thesis preparation; the required courses mirror the resident Master of Fine Arts degree.
  • Completion of at least 45 hours of courses primarily offered by Department of Language and Literature.
  • At least 27 hours of courses 5000 level and above must be taken online. The additional coursework may be completed in residence, through UNO Study Abroad.
  • A total of 15 hours of creative writing workshops (including those taken in residence) must be completed, at least 12 of which will be in the thesis genre area. The required online workshops are: for fiction writing ENGL 6171    or ENGL 6191   ; for poetry writing, ENGL 6173    or ENGL 6193   ; for nonfiction; ENGL 6174    or ENGL 6194   ; and for playwriting, ENGL 6200    .
  • Three hours in nonfiction writing are required of all students. For students whose genre is nonfiction writing, a workshop in a genre other than nonfiction is required in place of the three hours of nonfiction writing required of students in the other genres.
  • Three hours in a craft seminar in their genre. These required courses are: for fiction writing, ENGL 6941   ; for poetry writing, ENGL 6943   ; for nonfiction writing, ENGL 6944   ; and for playwriting, ENGL 6946   . 
  • Nine hours of electives. Chosen in consultation with the Director of Creative Writing, these elective hours will be expected to conform to a cohesive program of study. Any additional craft seminars beyond the one “in genre” required as outlined above will count as electives.
  • A creative thesis for which the student may receive six hours of preparation credit. The creative writing thesis will be prepared under the supervision of a committee approved by the Graduate School. This committee will ordinarily consist of three members of the graduate faculties of the departments of Film and Theatre and English. The thesis director and at least one other member of the thesis committee must teach in the student’s genre.
  • Students who hold master’s degrees from other UNO programs may apply for admission, but upon acceptance they must meet all requirements for the M.F.A. degree listed above. Moreover, only 9 hours from prior master’s courses can count toward completion of the MFA, and all 15 required workshop hours must be conducted at UNO.

MFA in Creative Writing Program Guide

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Whether focusing on poetry, fiction, or nonfiction, a creative writing degree prepares students for a multitude of career options. Spanning two years, a master of fine arts (MFA) program trains you to become a skilled writer, communicator, and editor who can receive and apply feedback effectively. This adaptable skill set enables you to work in industries like education, publishing, and journalism. Professionals in these fields flourish in business, where they can apply their skills to promote products, reach consumers, and maintain a company's brand. A creative writing degree can also bolster a student's chances of obtaining a publishing deal.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects growth for master's in writing careers through 2032, including an 4% increase for writers and authors , a 6% increase for public relation specialists , and an 7% increase for technical writers . This guide provides prospective students with the academic and career information necessary to find the MFA program that best suits their needs.

What are the best MFA programs? Here are our top 5:

Popular online master's in writing programs.

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Should I Get an MFA in Creative Writing?

Creative writing degrees are highly versatile. Students of all academic and professional backgrounds may enroll in an MFA program to strengthen their writing, develop editing skills, and cultivate professional relationships. In addition to gaining in-depth knowledge of literary genres, students benefit from classes in technical, journalistic, and business-oriented writing. Regardless of what areas they specialize in, writers learn to articulate complex and artistic ideas persuasively, which enables them to pursue occupations with nearly any company or organization.

Master's in writing programs also incorporate experiential learning and professional development opportunities into their curricula. Students attend writing conferences, writers' retreats, and guest speaker sessions. These events allow them to meet other writers and professionals in the field. It also exposes them to career opportunities. Additionally, MFA candidates benefit from university fellowships and internships, which typically center on editing, publishing, and teaching.

Creative writing degrees represent one of the fastest growing university programs in the U.S. According to the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) 2015 report, 30% of MFA full-residency programs enjoyed an enrollment increase. Distance education represents a viable option for students, especially low-residency programs that allow working professionals to earn their degrees while maintaining career and family responsibilities.

On the other hand, campus-based options offer opportunities for students to directly collaborate with a community of artists. This camaraderie empowers students and cultivates creative and professional relationships that last long after graduation. Traditional MFA programs especially suit learners who transition into graduate-level academics immediately after earning their bachelor's.

What Can I Do With an MFA in Creative Writing?

Through MFA programs, students develop creative writing, editing, critical-thinking, and professional leadership skills. Though common perceptions of writers paint them as loners, creative writing degrees necessitate collaboration. Students discuss famous literary works and each other's writing in workshops that help them become better orators and listeners. Even the thesis process requires communication because candidates must work with their advisers to revise their projects and prepare them for publication. Therefore, MFA graduates become exceptional team members, who give, take, and apply criticism effectively. These writers also possess strong grammatical and rhetorical skills, which they apply to diverse genres, including poetry, memoir, search engine optimization, and grant writing.

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These writers create content for blogs, journals, magazines, films, video games, and television series. They can also sell their own fiction, nonfiction, and poetry through either a publishing firm or a self-publishing platform. Depending on their specific position, authors can work independently or in project teams with technicians, designers, and managers. Median Annual Salary: $73,690*

Technical Writer

Also referred to as technical communicators , these writers craft how-to manuals and instruction guides for companies and organizations. Technical writers ensure that these materials are standardized and dispersed across all of a company's channels. Though students can pursue this career with a bachelor's, an MFA opens more doors through advanced skill and leadership training. Median Annual Salary: $80,050*

Postsecondary Teacher

As a terminal degree, the MFA prepares students for work as college and university instructors . Professors teach courses in their own genre, such as conventional literature classes or writing-intensive workshops. They also pursue creative projects, research, and publication. Like other educators, postsecondary teachers develop curricula, assess testing standards, and support university administration. Median Annual Salary: $79,870*

Public Relations Specialist

These professionals work in teams to cultivate and maintain a positive public image for their business or organization. Their work involves creating and implementing promotional and social media branding campaigns. Public relations specialists also handle press releases, field requests from news outlets, and write speeches for the company's top executives. MFA graduates typically need additional training to obtain this position, either through on-the-job experience or a certificate program. Median Annual Salary: $66,750*

Marketing Manager

These leaders work with teams of writers , graphic designers, sales agents, and advertisers to create and actualize promotional campaigns. They also negotiate marketing contracts, maintain budgets, and train employees. Additionally, marketing managers analyze brand effectiveness using data-analytical methods. As a high-level career, these professionals need a graduate degree, extensive continuing education, and at least five years of relevant work experience. Median Annual Salary: $131,870*

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

How to Choose an MFA in Creative Writing Program

When researching prospective master's in writing programs, students need to consider cost, length, and location. In general, graduate students can secure substantial funding through scholarships, grants, and fellowships. The most competitive MFA programs boast full tuition coverage and stipends. However, students should look at their financial situation practically, discerning how much they can afford without resorting to loans. They should also seek out private scholarships through local companies and professional organizations.

Most universities follow a two-year timeline as established by the Iowa Writers' Workshop, the first accredited MFA program in the U.S. However, creative writing represents a highly malleable field with different pedagogical philosophies and curricular design choices. Certain programs last three years, while others last up to five. Relatedly, prospective students should consider whether they want to enroll part or full time. Online and low-residency MFA programs often facilitate part-time enrollment, while traditional programs often require full-time participation.

Distance learners should note that remote creative writing degrees typically use a hybrid format, requiring them to attend conferences and summer retreats. Coursework and specializations reflect other important considerations. These factors fluctuate based on faculty interests and the school's overall direction. Some master's in writing programs highlight the American literary canon, while others focus on works from writers who occupy marginalized identities. And still others break with tradition altogether, emphasizing experimental writing styles and multimedia forms.

Finally, MFA applicants need to factor in location. For traditional students, this includes heightened tuition prices due to out-of-state residency status. Learners should also look into job prospects and cost of living. Many of the most popular programs are located in cities where rent is high and employment is competitive.

Programmatic Accreditation for MFA in Creative Writing Programs

To confer valid degrees, colleges and universities need to earn accreditation at the national, regional, and/or programmatic level. Schools with a religious or vocational focus typically seek out national accreditation. Schools may also earn the more prestigious regional accreditation from one of six organizations depending on their location. Students should look for nonprofit higher education institutions with national or regional accreditation. Students should confirm a school's accreditation status before starting the admission process.

In addition to national and regional backing, colleges and universities may also receive programmatic accreditation. For example, teaching programs usually need to earn the support of the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation if they want to uphold state licensure standards. Creative writing degrees stand out because they do not subscribe to formal programmatic accreditation. However, many MFA programs are AWP institutional members . Students who enroll at participating schools benefit from scholarship opportunities, writer-to-writer membership programs, and conference discounts.

MFA in Creative Writing Program Admissions

Creative writing degrees generally require standard admission materials. These comprise academic transcripts, resume/CV, recommendation letters, personal statement, and standardized test scores. Candidates should consult their prospective schools' websites for details, including the admissions deadline.

Conventional requirements aside, the most important part of an MFA candidate's application is their writing sample. Programs typically require students to declare genre specialization in fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction. A student's choice dictates the bulk of classes they take and their thesis requirement. Specifics vary by program, but poets can expect to submit around 10-15 pages worth of poetry. Fiction and nonfiction writers usually turn in 25-30 pages of prose. Crafting an effective writing sample requires time, so students should plan accordingly. They should also look into the program's guiding aesthetic. Some MFA programs prefer traditional works, while others find experimental narratives more engaging and indicative of a writer's potential.

Prerequisites

Bachelor's degree, professional experience, minimum gpa, admission materials, application:, transcripts:, letters of recommendation:, test scores:, application fee:, what else can i expect from an mfa in creative writing program.

Graduate creative writing degrees center on three specializations: poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. However, MFA programs aim for a holistic approach to the writing craft. This means that a poet must also take fiction and nonfiction classes, whether they be literature seminars or intensive writing workshops. Students also pursue coursework outside the three genres. Beyond some core classes, topics vary greatly based on faculty specializations.

Concentrations Offered for an MFA in Creative Writing
Concentration Description Careers
Fiction This concentration provides students with insight into narrative arc, plot, tension, and character building. Students strengthen their skills through literary study, independent writing, and workshop engagement. While the vast majority of MFA programs emphasize the short story form, writers also learn about flash fiction, novels, and even graphic narratives. Creative Writer/Author, Editor, Postsecondary Professor, Technical Writer
Creative Nonfiction Due to online publication, creative nonfiction represents the fastest growing literary genre. It encompasses personal narratives, essays, memoirs, and certain forms of journalism. Like their fiction peers, nonfiction students develop their skills through extensive reading and craft analysis. In workshops, writers learn to listen to and apply productive critiques through revision. Creative Writer/Author, Editor, Postsecondary Professor, Journalist
Poetry While poetry students may boast a natural talent for the genre, the MFA program helps them solidify this knowledge. Though craft classes, students learn about poetic forms and terms, such as blank verse, villanelle, and pyrrhic. Similar to the other two genres, poets also improve their art through advanced workshops. Creative Writer/Author, Editor, Postsecondary Professor, Marketing Specialist
Screenplay Writing As an artistic form with ties to live theater, screenplay writing enables students to create spec scripts and full narratives for television and film. Furthermore, as video games become more story-driven, screenwriting experience translates into job opportunities in this lucrative industry. Course topics include imagery, dialogue, the three-act structure, and the monomyth. Screenwriter, Script Writer , Postsecondary Professor, Copywriter
Education/Teaching Regardless of their genre, MFA candidates cultivate teaching experience, whether it is through coursework or as part of their fellowship. Graduate fellows usually teach first-year composition or introductory literature classes. Coursework covers rhetoric, writing pedagogy, and differential instruction methods. MFA programs also connect students with teaching internships at local community and nonprofit organizations. K-12 Teacher, Curriculum Designer, Postsecondary Professor, Public Education Advocate

Courses in an MFA in Creative Writing Program

While coursework differs based on the individual program, an MFA degree plan typically breaks down into four parts: literature courses, writing workshops, independent study, and thesis hours. Students can expect literature classes to encompass both classic and modern works. Independent study allows students to take classes outside the three main genres. Possible topics include journalism, gender studies, technical writing, and grant writing.

Reading Across Genres

MFA programs operate under the philosophy that experimenting across genres builds better writers. In this class, students learn how to effectively interact with works in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Learners also develop the skills to analyze how such fundamental ideas, like plot, character, and point of view, operate in each genre to achieve desired effects.

Poetic Forms

This class provides students who already write poetry with the knowledge and practice to advance their art. Unlike the workshop, this craft class emphasizes literary analysis that enables writers to break down a poem into component parts. Topics include meter, rhyme, rhythm, stanza pattern, and lineation. Students also delve into traditional and experimental poetic forms.

As one of the most popular creative nonfiction forms, the memoir tells the personal story of an individual or a community. In this course, writers learn the art of memoir through ideas like tone, voice, structure, and subtext. They also develop knowledge of subgenres, including the autobiographical memoir and those that deal with food, travel, family, addiction, and grief.

The Short Story

This narrative form represents the premier learning tool for MFA fiction students due to its relative brevity and popularity with literary magazines. This course provides writers with an in-depth study of the short story form, focusing on narrative arc, pacing, characterization, and internal/external action. Students also learn about short story history by reading the works of famous authors, such as Donald Barthelme, Alice Munro, and Octavia E. Butler.

Writing Workshop

While the structure of the workshop varies by MFA program and individual professors, this course always focuses on providing students with the feedback needed to improve their writing. Workshops also help students develop skills as editors and book reviewers. In addition to submitting creative work, students need to turn in written analyses of other students' writing.

How Long Does It Take to Get an MFA in Creative Writing?

Like other master's programs, creative writing degrees typically take two years, or 36 credits. Some schools follow a three-year curriculum. A student's enrollment status affects the timeline. Online and low-residency MFA programs provide more flexibility, allowing students to accommodate busy schedules by taking courses part-time. They may also offer accelerated degree plans that let students finish seminars and workshops in as few as 12 months.

Full-residency programs prefer a structured approach, similar to cohort learning, in which all students in the program take the same classes every semester, advancing through their degree work at a communal pace. Relatedly, MFA candidates who receive fellowships may not take more than the standard course allotment each term due to how university tuition waivers work.

Finally, the nature of a student's capstone project also affects their degree timeline. Many writers want their MFA thesis to be publishable manuscript, so they often take additional semesters to polish their work before submission and defense.

How Much Is an MFA in Creative Writing?

According to Peterson's , a higher education organization, graduate students who attend a public university pay $30,000 in average annual tuition, while those who attend private institutions pay $40,000 each year. However, prices vary with individual schools. The University of New Orleans and Columbia University offer two popular creative writing degrees. UNO's yearly graduate tuition is $8,892 for Louisiana residents and $13,462 for non-residents. Columbia charges $28,230 per semester.

MFA programs operate under the jurisdiction of the college of liberal arts or arts and sciences. This means they usually charge rates that match other graduate programs in that area. The most renowned and competitive creative writing degrees offer every student a full tuition waiver and monthly stipends. Other MFA programs provide institutional and departmental scholarships. Students should also seek out awards from professional organizations and businesses.

Beyond tuition and related fees, students need to consider cost of living, particularly housing. Websites like Payscale and Numbeo allow students to calculate living expenses using city-specific data. They can also compare prices between locations. MFA students should set aside money from conference attendance because these events represent important professional development opportunities for new writers. Research and technology costs also warrant consideration. Fortunately for writers, their field does not require expensive machinery or software. However, they should prepare to face high printing costs.

Certifications and Licenses an MFA in Creative Writing Prepares For

American grant writers' association (agwa) certified grant writer.

Organizations highly value grant writing, making it one of the most lucrative professions for freelancers. AGWA's certification series offers courses on proposal writing, program development, and review. Candidates take the exam in person, which comprises handwritten and computer-based sections. Candidates must hold a bachelor's degree to qualify for the program.

American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) Medical Writer Certified

AMWA operates an intensive, exam-based certification program that enables writers to demonstrate their knowledge and improve their marketability. The in-person test consists of 125 multiple-choice questions and takes 2.5 hours. To be eligible, applicants need to possess at least a bachelor's degree in any field and two years of paid medical communication experience.

Society for Technical Communication (STC) Certified Professional Technical Communicator

Operated by STC, this program offers technical writers three certification levels: foundation, practitioner, and expert. The foundation certification exam covers such topics as project planning, analysis, content management, organizational design, and written and visual communication. The exam costs $250 for STC members and $495 for nonmembers.

American Writers & Artists Inc. (AWAI) Copywriting Certifications

AWAI offers multiple training and certification options for copywriters. These include an accelerated foundation program, a master's program, and an advanced training program for seasoned professionals. Copywriters can also pursue training in specialized topics, such as web/online content, business-to-business copywriting, grant writing, resume writing, and event travel writing. Furthermore, AWAI offers membership that comes with benefits like discounts and a career database.

American Copy Editors Society (ACES) Certificate in Editing

Through ACES , writers can enroll in fundamental and advanced certification programs. Fundamental level classes cover topics like clarity, accuracy, and search engine optimization. The advanced program comprises courses in copyright/fair use, fact-checking, and numeracy. To obtain the certificate, students need to pass individual assessments that come after every module.

Resources for MFA in Creative Writing Students

Duotrope provides the tools writers need to locate agents and publishers. The website also operates a massive database of literary magazines and journals, which writers use to submit and track work for publication.

Poets & Writers

Poets & Writers offers the resources writers need to publish, promote, and develop their art. The organization also operates writing contests, workshops, networking events, and a database of MFA programs.

Writer's Digest

This organization regularly publishes articles on writing tips, literary discussions, and new books. Writer's Digest also operates numerous writing competitions, including those for poetry, fiction, and self-published books. Writers can strengthen their craft through free webinars and paid workshops.

Literary Hub

Literary Hub provides an interactive platform for writers to discuss craft, design, and literary criticism. The website also highlights relevant pop culture and political issues. Additional resources include book reviews, daily fiction, and podcasts.

Literary Marketplace

Facilitated by Information Today Inc., Literary Marketplace operates the world's largest searchable database of publishers, literary agents, and industry events. Users benefit from 180 search terms, enabling them to find publishers by size, location, and genre.

Professional Organizations for MFA in Creative Writing Students

MFA programs offer valuable academic training and networking opportunities, which new writers can bolster through engagement with professional organizations. These organizations facilitate literary databases, award competitions, topical webinars, and in-person writing workshops. Furthermore, students can take advantage of insider information and first-hand accounts to find the master's in writing programs that best suit them. Perhaps the greatest benefit of writer's organizations is their networking and community-building events. These include readings, guest speaker series, and annual conferences, like the AWP Conference and Bookfair which draws over 12,000 attendees each year.

Association of Writers and Writing Programs

Individual membership provides access to the writer's calendar, job list, and the writer to writer mentorship program. Members also enjoy career guidance and discounts on literature and conference attendance. Students can take advantage of the organization's comprehensive guide to writing programs.

Academy of American Poets

As the largest professional organization for poets, the academy offers up-to-date publishing news, award programs, and job opportunities. Members also benefit from a variety of creative networking events.

National Writers Union

Established in 1981, the NWU advocates for the rights and economic advancements of its members, who work in diverse writing and education fields. Operating 12 regional chapters, the union provides members with legal advice and promotional support. Emerging writers benefit from a searchable talent database.

The Authors Guild

As the oldest and largest professional organization for writers, the Authors Guild offers legal assistance, online seminars, media liability insurance, and an expansive resource library. Members also gain access to discounts, conferences, and awards.

Freelancers Union

The organization supports independent workers through government policy advocacy and community engagement programming. Members benefit from health, dental, and life insurance assistance. Freelancers Union also provides retirement support. Membership is free.

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MFA Programs Contact Form

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MFA Programs Database

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Our MFA database includes essential information about low- and full-residency graduate creative writing programs in the United States and other English-speaking countries to help you decide where to apply.

Adelphi University

Poetry: Jan-Henry Gray, Maya Marshall Prose: Katherine Hill, René Steinke, Igor Webb

Albertus Magnus College

Poetry: Paul Robichaud Fiction: Sarah Harris Wallman Nonfiction: Eric Schoeck

Alma College

Poetry: Leslie Contreras Schwartz, Jim Daniels, Benjamin Garcia Fiction: Karen E. Bender, Shonda Buchanan, Dhonielle Clayton, S. Kirk Walsh Creative Nonfiction: Anna Clark, Matthew Gavin Frank, Donald Quist, Robert Vivian

American University

Poetry: Kyle Dargan, David Keplinger Fiction: Dolen Perkins-Valdez, Stephanie Grant, Patricia Park Nonfiction: Rachel Louise Snyder

Antioch University

Poetry: Victoria Chang Prose: Lisa Locascio

Arcadia University

Poetry: Genevieve Betts, Michelle Reale Fiction: Stephanie Feldman, Joshua Isard, Tracey Levine, Eric Smith Literature: Matthew Heitzman, Christopher Varlack, Elizabeth Vogel, Jo Ann Weiner

Poetry: Genevieve Betts, Michelle Reale Fiction: Stephanie Feldman, Joshua Isard, Tracey Levine, Eric Smith

Arizona State University

Poetry: Sally Ball, Natalie Diaz, Alberto Álvaro Ríos, Safiya Sinclair Fiction: Matt Bell, Jenny Irish, Tara Ison, Mitchell Jackson, T. M. McNally Creative Nonfiction: Sarah Viren

Ashland University

Poetry: Dexter Booth, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, Adam Gellings, Tess Taylor, Vanessa Angélica Villareal Fiction: Kirstin Chen, Edan Lepucki, Sarah Monette, Nayomi Munaweera, Vi Khi Nao, Naomi J. Williams, Kyle Winkler Nonfiction: Cass Donish, Kate Hopper, Lauren Markham, Thomas Mira y Lopez, Lisa Nikolidakis, Terese Mailhot

Augsburg University

Poetry: Michael Kleber-Diggs Fiction: Stephan Eirik Clark, Lindsay Starck Nonfiction: Anika Fajardo  Playwriting: Carson Kreitzer, TyLie Shider, Sarah Myers Screenwriting: Stephan Eirik Clark, Andy Froemke

Ball State University

Poetry: Katy Didden, Mark Neely Fiction: Cathy Day, Sean Lovelace Nonfiction: Jill Christman, Silas Hansen Screenwriting: Rani Deighe Crowe, Matt Mullins

Bard College

Jess Arndt, Shiv Kotecha, Mirene Arsanios, Hannah Black, Trisha Low, Christoper Perez, Julian Talamantez Brolaski, Simone White

Bath Spa University

Poetry: Lucy English, Tim Liardet, John Strachan, Samantha Walton, Gerard Woodward Fiction: Gavin James Bower, Celia Brayfield, Alexia Casale, Anne-Marie Crowhurst, Lucy English, Nathan Filer, Aminatta Forna, Samantha Harvey, Philip Hensher, Steve Hollyman, Emma Hooper, Claire Kendal, Natasha Pulley, Kate Pullinger, C.J. Skuse, Gerard Woodward Nonfiction: Celia Brayfield, Lily Dunn, Richard Kerridge Scriptwriting: Robin Mukherjee

Poetry: Lucy English, Tim Liardet, Gerard Woodward Fiction: Gavin James Bower, Celia Brayfield, Anne-Marie Crowhurst, Nathan Filer, Aminatta Forna, Samantha Harvey, Philip Hensher, Claire Kendal, Natasha Pulley, Kate Pullinger, Gerard Woodward Nonfiction: Lily Dunn, Richard Kerridge

Bay Path University

Mel Allen, Leanna James Blackwell, Jennifer Baker, Melanie Brooks, María Luisa Arroyo Cruzado, Shahnaz Habib, Susan Ito, Karol Jackowski, Yi Shun Lai, Anna Mantzaris, Meredith O’Brien, Mick Powell, Suzanne Strempek Shea, Tommy Shea, Kate Whouley

Bennington Writing Seminars at Bennington College

Poetry: Jennifer Chang, Michael Dumanis, Randall Mann, Craig Morgan Teicher, Mark Wunderlich Fiction: Peter Cameron, Jai Chakrabarti, Stacey D’Erasmo, Monica Ferrell, Rebecca Makkai, Stuart Nadler, Téa Obreht, Moriel Rothman-Zecher, Katy Simpson Smith, Taymour Soomro Nonfiction: Garrard Conley, Sabrina Orah Mark, Spencer Reece, Lance Richardson, Shawna Kay Rodenberg, Hugh Ryan, Greg Wrenn

Binghamton University

Poetry: Tina Chang, Joseph Weil Fiction: Amir Ahmdi Arian, Thomas Glave, Leslie L. Heywood, Claire Luchette, Liz Rosenberg, Jaimee Wriston-Colbert, Alexi Zentner Nonfiction: Amir Ahmdi Arian, Leslie L. Heywood

Bluegrass Writers Studio at Eastern Kentucky University

Poetry: Julie Hensley, Young Smith Fiction: Julie Hensley, Robert Dean Johnson Nonfiction: Robert Dean Johnson, Evan J. Massey Playwriting: Young Smith

Boise State University

Poetry: Martin Corless-Smith, Sara Nicholson, Taryn Schwilling Fiction: Mitch Wieland (Director), Anna Caritj Creative Nonfiction: Chris Violet Eaton, Clyde Moneyhun

Boston University

Poetry: Andrea Cohen, Karl Kirchwey, Robert Pinsky Fiction: Leslie Epstein, Jennifer Haigh, Ha Jin

Boston University—MFA in Literary Translation

Odile Cazenave, Yuri Corrigan, Margaret Litvin, Christopher Maurer, Roberta Micaleff, Robert Pinsky (advising), Stephen Scully, Sassan Tabatabai, J. Keith Vincent, William Waters, Dennis Wuerthner, Cathy Yeh, Anna Zielinska-Elliott

Bowling Green State University

Poetry: Abigail Cloud, Amorak Huey, Sharona Muir, F. Dan Rzicznek, Larissa Szporluk, Jessica Zinz-Cheresnick Fiction: Joe Celizic, Lawrence Coates, Reema Rajbanshi, Michael Schulz

Brigham Young University

Poetry: Kimberly Johnson, Lance Larsen, Michael Lavers, John Talbot Fiction: Chris Crowe, Ann Dee Ellis, Spencer Hyde, Stephen Tuttle Nonfiction: Joey Franklin, Patrick Madden

Brooklyn College

Poetry: Julie Agoos, Ben Lerner Fiction: Joshua Henkin, Madeleine Thien Playwriting: Dennis A. Allen II, Elana Greenfield

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The Online MFA: Creative Writing

Online MFA Creative Writing

Students in National University’s 100% online MFA in Creative Writing program grow into professional writers in a rigorous program — without the residency expense — to complete their industry-ready script or publishable manuscript

For writers who aspire to be published authors, the structure of online MFA programs can be exactly what they need to finish their manuscript and open doors to a writing career. A writer’s struggle, however, isn’t always in generating creative ideas or artistic ambition, but with tapping into the momentum to finish a project while managing a busy life. National University’s online MFA Creative Writing program was the first in the nation to offer a completely online MFA with no residency requirements, recognizing that many aspiring writers have the inspiration, if not the time and resources, to bring their work to its full potential.

“The typical student is someone who has been writing for years, really enjoys it, and recognizes this inner potential. They might have a career in another field, but they want a plan to take their writing to the next level. That’s the story I often hear from new students in our MFA program,” says Frank Montesonti , Academic Program Director of National University’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program. The program, he emphasizes, is designed specifically for working adults who want to complete and publish their novel, poetry, script, or creative nonfiction work.

Start the Next Chapter of your Life, From Home.

Next Career Chapter

Writers with a goal of finishing a publishable manuscript, stresses Montesonti, often don’t have the time or money to participate in the residencies that many online MFA programs in creative writing require. National University’s online MFA in Creative Writing provides the full benefits of a writing career incubator without asking students to take time away from their jobs and families to travel to a campus residency.

“There are a lot of low-residency master’s in fine arts programs which force you to travel somewhere for two weeks or a month, and lots of people can’t do that with kids, jobs, or active military duty. It can be unrealistic economically, or for many reasons,” explains Montesonti.

National University has been consistently ranked as one of the best universities to earn an online master’s in creative writing. In 2005, it was the first to recognize that working adults with the motivation to become published writers didn’t need to spend thousands of dollars each year on residencies like many online MFA programs.

In addition to this cost savings, National University’s online MFA curriculum offers accelerated courses that students complete in one to two months. In addition to the core curriculum, students choose from elective courses including multicultural literature, historical literary periods, film theory, or critical study of a single renowned author, from Jane Austen to Gabriel García Márquez.

MFA students take one course or workshop at a time, allowing them to focus, to build creative relationships with their peers and faculty, and to fit achievable writing goals into their busy lives. Writers can enter the program at any point and it’s possible to finish your MFA online — and thesis work of a completed manuscript or feature-length script — in less than two years.

“Students tell me they feel want to improve in the craft of writing,” says Montesonti. “Our goal is to help you not just produce that first manuscript, but to take it to the next level.” To transform their craft and become stronger writers, creative writing students need perspective to shift their mindset about writing, a supportive and experienced community, and program content that challenges them to become professional writers.

Writing is, without question, a time-intensive craft, and online MFA programs should equip students with the skills they need to get words on the page every day. It also requires inner resources such as mental discipline, structured creativity, and training to maintain momentum. Finishing that first draft can feel like a daunting task. Revising a story and enduring the rewrite process takes practice and encouragement — an experience the National University MFA faculty members understand as published authors, screenwriters, and poets themselves.

“It’s frustrating when you don’t know who to talk to about your writing,” Montesonti says. “It’s hard to know if you’re doing the right thing and not wasting your time.” He relates to the online MFA students he teaches and mentors who enter the program with a great story or script in mind and want guidance that will make a perceptible difference in their writing.

Faculty members who teach in National University’s master’s in literature and MFA programs are published, produced, and active writers who both encourage their students to grow as writers and can have frank discussions about how to leverage an MFA education. Students personally choose their thesis advisor from the dozens of experienced faculty members, and this person provides close mentorship while you finish your manuscript, Montesonti explains.

“When an aspiring writer is exploring MFA programs, they’re trying to make sense of the progress they’ve made on their own,” he says. “They’re formulating a plan to achieve their writing goals.”

Getting your master’s in creative writing can be an empowering step toward becoming a professional writer or teaching creative writing to others. Prospective students can think of their MFA as a home you plan to live in—and write in—in order to complete your thesis. It’s important to know the layout, how it’s furnished, and whether the décor suits your style. Become familiar with the layout: what are the learning outcomes, requirements, and coursework for the program? In terms of “furnishings,” does it offer close mentorship by experienced, published writers? To know whether your personal writing “style” is a match for the MFA program, ask the admissions advisors which faculty specialize in your area of interest and can give you specific career advice.

For the sake of master’s thesis work, online MFA creative writing students at National University ultimately focus on one genre, but they’re not expected to decide before they test the waters. Unlike some online MFA programs in creative writing, genre-switching is not only encouraged, it’s required. Students complete five core classes, three of which are explorations of fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, or screenwriting. Advanced workshops and specialized electives allow students to take a deeper dive into their thesis preparation.

“When you find this craft you’re really passionate about, you want to pursue it,” asserts Montesonti. A published author and poet himself, Montesonti recounts how lucky he was to realize his passion at a young age. He’s always had a love for writing and storytelling, something he feels many of National University’s students have in common, regardless of their current career. “We’re going to be the community and support for an aspiring writer to get that first book written – and published.”

For someone who has been in another career field most of their life, wondering, “Can I do this?” Montesonti feels strongly that the evidence speaks for itself: absolutely.

“History is full of stories about writers who had different careers and didn’t write their first books until later in life – and who were wonderfully successful,” he quips. One of the most productive things writers can do when considering an MFA writing program is to denounce the myth of the writer emerging fully-talented, without practice, from their youth. Life experience, he points out, provides us with stories.

“We have students from all walks of life, experience, and backgrounds: nurses with twenty years of experience, retired doctors and teachers. I’ve had students who were soldiers, writing poems on the ground in Afghanistan for their poetry workshop,” he says.

Online MFA Programs Can Help You Leverage Your Support Network

While students entering the National University online MFA creative writing program typically have an idea of which types of stories they want to write, the top concern Montesonti hears is: Am I going to fit in?

“Once they know most of our students are just like them, they feel immediately at home,” says Montesonti. “Writing students want to be in a community of like-minded people. They want to get advice from published writers. You can sit down and write a draft, but without any kind of structured feedback it’s difficult to be confident your work is succeeding.”

A sense of community is critical to success as a published writer. It’s also integral to the National University online MFA program’s approach to supporting students. “Students tell me they feel comfortable in our MFA community, that it frees them to be bolder in their own writing.”

That “at-home” feeling is important for an MFA experience where students participate in a “writers’ studio” style learning environment — sharing weekly writing projects for critique and praise from writers on similar journeys, and from experienced faculty members.

National University’s online MFA program builds a community of support around each student in several ways. Students take one course at a time — two months for a workshop or one month for an elective course — and every week the students submit their writing, whether that’s a short story, a poem, or a chapter or scene from a longer piece of work. Professors and students discuss each submission, giving MFA students the chance to know what’s working and where they can strengthen their skills. This sounding board environment is how MFA students absorb readers’ reactions, praise, and constructive advice for improvement.

“All of the courses are led by published writers, our faculty. You turn in a story, the class discusses it, and the professor also provides critique and encouragement,” explains Montesonti. Online MFA creative writing students work toward completing a publishable manuscript or screenplay as their master’s thesis. “You will be working closely with published faculty talking about your work. When it comes to your thesis project, you choose a faculty member as your thesis advisor, and you work one-on-one together.”

According to National University surveys, more than a quarter of their graduates report they found publication for their master’s thesis project, from published novels to literary journals. For many alumni of the MFA in Creative Writing program, their thesis work was just the beginning of a career as a professional writer.

Leverage Your Support Network

With more than 1,000 graduates from across the country and around the world, National University’s online MFA program alumni community is a vibrant and diverse network that benefits students for years after graduation. National University holds MFA in Creative Writing alumni workshops and events for students and alumni to network and exchange knowledge.

“Online degrees with no residency requirement is the only format that works for many people,” Montesonti explains. “Some of our MFA students are in Guam, some are in New York.” Alumni of National University’s online MFA live and work all over the world. This translates into an open environment where a community of writers are turning their life experiences and creative inspiration into written works. And it creates bonds that continue beyond the MFA degree process. “People really do make friends in the program,” comments Montesonti. “And they keep in touch after graduation. I had two students who met in the program and got married.”

The diversity of experience is what makes National University’s online MFA creative writing program work as a global community — and what leads to compelling writing. Asynchronous learning — meaning, students complete coursework on their own schedules — makes it possible for MFA students to complete the program from anywhere. Some of their MFA students living with disabilities, Montesonti explains, only would consider a completely online format.

About twenty percent of National University’s creative writing students are active military who need the flexibility and accelerated coursework the program offers. National University was founded by retired U.S. Navy Captain David Chigos. As a Yellow Ribbon school , the university accepts the post 9/11 GI Bill®, making the online MFA program a welcoming choice for Veteran and active-duty students and their families.

“We’ve worked with the largest number of active duty military students of any MFA program around,” comments Montesonti. “There’s such a broad range of compelling stories to tap into.” From more accurate and positive portrayals of soldiers with PTSD to fiction that gets at the heart and vulnerability of extreme situations, these MFA students find storytelling a powerful tool.

“I like helping people tell their stories and express themselves,” Montesonti reflects. “Telling your story helps you make sense of your own life and your own experience. That’s valuable.”

Write to Build Skills and Stamina (your muse will thank you)

One of the strongest but intangible benefits of an online MFA program is perspective, adds Montesonti. “In an MFA program, you’ll get perspective from professors who have experience, and from your peers learning the same thing you are. You’ll get a ton of practice.”

The online MFA in Creative Writing at National University is a studio program. Through workshops, activities, and craft lessons — in addition to reading and coursework — MFA students can expect to make writing a daily habit. In the words of bestselling author Jane Green, “Writing is a muscle that needs to be exercised every day: the more you write, the easier it becomes.”

This practice, often outside the normal comfort zone, helps a writer explore new possibilities for their poetry, screenwriting, or fiction writing craft. Screenwriting for fiction writers, for example, can help a published author understand how their book might be adapted for the screen.

Learning from the Pros and Writing Like a Pro

Learning from the Pros and Writing Like One

All of the faculty members who teach screenwriting in the online MFA creative writing program live and work in Los Angeles and are actively involved in the film and television industry, says Montesonti. MFA students who want to focus on or explore screenwriting benefit from this close affiliation and direct experience. “It’s very LA-centered. If you want to study screenwriting in depth, our faculty are produced, professional screenwriters.” As an elective, MFA students passionate about film narrative can take a course focusing on a filmmaker who has inspired them.

Many students, Montesonti shares, are surprised to learn that the writing faculty doesn’t look down on a student’s aspirations to become a bestselling author or genre fiction writer. The program places high esteem on well-written fiction, including horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and romance, as MFA thesis projects. Writers interested in genre writing and young adult fiction will find several faculty members who specialize in these areas.

One of the opportunities master’s in creative writing students have at National University is to work as a student editor of The GNU, the university’s online literary journal. GNU is a student-run literary publication that accepts submissions from all over the country. The process of editing a literary journal and vetting submissions from writers and MFA alumni helps students understand what editors are looking for, and the range of work that a typical literary journal receives.

Adding value to the MFA experience, Montesonti and other experienced faculty members strongly encourage their students to complete electives in writing pedagogy. Earning your MFA qualifies writers to teach creative writing at the college level, and about 36% of National University MFA alumni pursue higher education teaching opportunities. Courses in Writing and Composition Pedagogy help prepare writers to teach others along the way.

Write Your Story

The MFA in Creative Writing at National University is a 100% online MFA program designed for writers, by writers, with no residency requirement, which means more time for writers to build their skills, finish their novel or script, and build a network of like-minded writers.

Regardless of your current career, or the location of your writing station, the program is designed for people with busy lives who want to complete and publish their novel, poetry, script, or creative nonfiction work.

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Master of Fine Arts in Writing, MFA

  • Communications

Elevate Your Writing Craft

Hone your writing skills in an area of your choice through the online Master of Fine Arts in Writing program from Lindenwood University. The Lindenwood online MFA in Writing allows you to customize your higher education degree to suit your interest by declaring an emphasis or taking courses in multiple genres. We offer a flexible, extensive online master’s in creative writing curriculum with a remarkable range of courses. Focus on fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry or young adult & middle-grade writing. 

You have a story to tell — perhaps in a poem, article or even a novel — and Lindenwood’s master’s in creative writing online program is here to help you fully express yourself as you share it. If you want to advance your writing abilities, our online Master of Poetry, Fiction or Creative Nonfiction program offers the tools and flexibility you need to succeed in your professional writing career. 

Program at a Glance

Credit Hours

Cost Per Credit

100% Online

Awards & recognitions.

mfa online creative writing

Ranked #4 Best Online Master’s in Creative Writing Degree Programs of 2024

mfa online creative writing

Ranked #5 Most Affordable Online MFA Program

mfa online creative writing

Ranked #6 Best Online Master’s Degrees in Creative Writing

mfa online creative writing

Course Spotlight

Your online MFA writing degree coursework can prepare you to leverage your passion for written expression as a platform for inspiration, information, persuasion, connectivity, and much more within the broad field of writing communications. The MFA degree online program explores written expression through the three primary literary lenses, covering foundational focuses such as the following: 

  • Creative Writing for the MFA
  • Focused Poetry Workshop
  • Fiction Writing Workshop
  • Classic Foundational Literature: Creative Nonfiction

Career Outlook

Our online MFA writing program in creative writing, poetry, or creative nonfiction helps prepare graduates for opportunities within creative writing and other areas across writing communications. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for a writer is $69,510. For those interested in pursuing a role as a technical writer, the pay is even more lucrative, with BLS reporting an annual salary of $78,060. 

Admissions Requirements

For admission to your MFA writing program, you will need to complete your online application and submit the following documents: 

  • Online Application
  • For the MFA, this statement should describe why you would like to pursue the MFA degree and the role writing has played in your life 
  • If GPA is lower, please discuss options with your enrollment counselor
  • NOTE: The MFA program admission is selective based on the program director’s approval of this submitted creative writing sample

Tuition Details

The cost per credit hour for this online MFA program is $561. Besides affordable tuition, we offer a generous transfer policy of up to 90 credits toward your degree completion to further offset tuition costs—to save you time and money on your education! 

Frequently Asked Questions

We do not charge any fees in addition to tuition for any of our online graduate degree programs, including this online MFA writing program.

The online MFA creative writing, nonfiction writing or poetry writing program at Lindenwood allows you to transfer up to 9 credits. Learn more about our transfer policy.

Yes, there are scholarships available for MFA students. Learn more about our scholarship policy by reaching out to an admissions advisor.

MFA Emphases Available

Explore creative writing alongside published authors with the online MFA Creative Nonfiction master’s program from Lindenwood University. The MFA creative nonfiction degree track examines the practice of writing as a creative art form—from many angles—from its history to its contemporary expression. This creative nonfiction MFA covers creative nonfiction expressed in many formats, including novels, short stories and essays, along with supportive topics in editing, publishing, literary analysis, and writing critiques. A master’s in creative nonfiction can help further develop your writing proficiency and style as a professional writer or prepare you for more advanced studies in this field.

Hone your creative writing skills as you design your own curriculum across a range of courses – workshops, craft and literature classes – in the Fiction concentration of the online MFA in Writing program. The MFA in fiction writing can help you further develop your approach to composition, creative dissertation, narrative, imagery in your writing and more specialized writing tools such as metaphor. A fiction writing program can help you earn your fiction writing degree credential for career paths in areas such as communications, your MFA studies can help you commit more fully to a professional creative writing path.

Considering pursuing an online MFA poetry program? This is your chance to pursue your MFA poetry online. Enhance your poetry capabilities as you design your own curriculum and take advantage of workshops, craft classes, and literature classes in the online MFA Poetry Writing program from Lindenwood University. The MFA in Poetry online track offers an opportunity to advance your approach to your poetry writing practice, through an exploration of key areas such as structure, form, figurative language, rhyme, mood, tone, and syntax. This master’s degree in poetry track prepares you to take your writing practice to the next level through publishing or continued study in this field.

Why Choose Lindenwood University Online?

Since 1832, Lindenwood University has served students worldwide with affordable, high-quality academic programs providing real experience and real success. After nearly 200 years of academic excellence, Lindenwood is committed to a set of core values, including integrity, dedication, excellence, creativity, and community.

We evolve our online degree programs to reflect the latest in academic research and innovation and to meet the top standards of higher education.

Affordability

Affordability

We are committed to offering our students studying online low tuition rates on top of multiple ways to save on your education.

Career-Focused

Our programs align curriculum to industry realities from experienced instructors who share real-world insights.

We employ experts who are dedicated to helping our students with financial aid planning, enrollment counseling, tutoring services, and more.

We are committed to helping you succeed.

Throughout each step of your online degree program, you will receive support. From enrollment and tuition planning to staying on the right track, your support team is there to ensure your success.

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Creative Writing Master of Fine Arts

Program Details

Program Length

mfa online creative writing

The fully online Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing is a two-year, 36 credit program divided into five different components: workshop courses, literature courses, craft courses, a literary research course, and a supervised thesis. Each workshop will be led by a published faculty member. During the course of the program, each student will have had the opportunity to work with multiple published authors.

This course of study is designed to advance the skills and knowledge of current and future writing professionals. By utilizing a combination of theoretical inquiry and practical application, students will gain greater insight into what makes writing worthy of publication. This online MFA will prepare students to pursue the life of a professional writer.

mfa online creative writing

Learn More about CSP

Masters/doctoral rfi, creative writing (mfa) program requirements.

Create an account and submit our online application . Once submitted, you can follow your application process through the application portal.

Submit official transcripts from an accreditor that is recognized by the US Department of Education stating the conferral of the Bachelor’s degree or higher with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 based on a 4.0 system.

*To be considered official, transcripts must be received in a sealed envelope from the institution or through secured electronic delivery.

Please upload a 10 to 20-page writing sample in fiction to your application portal.

PROGRAM DETAILS

The program combines the guidance of published authors with an in-depth course schedule that focuses on your development as a fiction writer. Every graduate with an MFA in Creative Writing from CSP will be well-equipped to pursue any number of careers as a writer.

Your path through the required coursework will be clear and expansive. Dive into creative writing elements, explore contemporary novels, consider the ethics of creative nonfiction, contemplate poetic works, and even learn the ins and outs of editing and publishing.

You’ll have the opportunity to work with multiple published authors who will provide their expertise alongside helpful critiques. Every workshop course is led by a published faculty member who seeks to elevate your ability as a writer by sharing their wealth of knowledge.

Whether you’re a current or future writing professional, by the end of the course you’ll have advanced your practical skills and knowledge as a creative writer. By utilizing a combination of theoretical inquiry and practical application, you will gain greater insight into what makes writing worthy of publication. This online MFA will prepare you to pursue the life of a professional writer in any number of vital roles such as authorship, communications, and marketing.

Dr. Debra Beilke

Dr. Debra Beilke

Professor of English

Matt Ryan

Associate Professor of English Director for the MFA in Creative Writing program

Dr. Theresa FitzPatrick

Dr. Theresa FitzPatrick

Associate Professor of English, Department of Humanities Chair

Technology Requirements

Students enrolling at Concordia University, St. Paul must have access to a computer that meets Concordia’s technology requirements. Contact the University Help Desk at  [email protected]  or  (651) 641-8866  with any questions regarding these requirements.

Student Testimonials

Prof. Shelly Schwalm, DCE

Prof. Shelly Schwalm, DCE

Assistant Professor of Christian Ministry, DCE (Director of Christian Education) Program Director

Jackie Martini

Jackie Martini

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Editor’s Top Selections – Best Creative Writing MFA Programs

mfa online creative writing

Created by CreativeWritingEDU.org Contributor

Editors Choice Best Master of Fine Arts Badge

Once few and far between, master’s degrees aimed specifically at teaching creative writing have ballooned to meet demand in recent years. As of 2022, there were more than 300 of them.

Each MFA offers a distinctive experience and comes with its own theories and techniques for fanning the creative spark in students.

  • Some come with exquisite and carefully curated libraries exhibiting the finest selection of literature for study.
  • Others offer a fully-funded education , covering tuition and offering a stipend to give you the free time you need to write to your fullest potential.
  • Many have well-known authors serving as guest lecturers or even permanent presenters, offering a kind of access to genius you can’t find anywhere else.

It’s nice to have choices, but having choices also means making hard decisions. We’re here to help take some of the pain out of that process by presenting our own select choices for the very best universities offering MFA Creative Writing programs today.

How We Made Our Selections for the Finest Creative Writing MFA Programs

Schools that only teach creative writing at the master’s level have made a conscious choice to focus on a high level of training in the craft of writing. It’s completely appropriate to hold them to high standards.

It’s notoriously difficult to weigh any kind of artistic education program against another, however. Every writer is different. The process and program that you will get the most out of may be completely different from what the next author would benefit from.

So we look at the kinds of factors these degrees deliver that don’t revolve around process. Regardless of how an advanced level of creative writing is being taught, there are just some things that offer a better education no matter how they are applied. In our view, those include:

Top-notch Instructors With Genuine Writing and Publication Expertise

There’s no substitute for professors who have been there and done that in creative writing. Competition for top writers to teach at creative writing MFA programs is intense, and for good reason: when you are trying to master the muse, you want to hear about it from someone who already has.

But literary success is no guarantor of teaching ability. You wouldn’t want to be in a class taught by brilliant sci-fi author Harlan Ellison, for example, who has a whole section on his Wikipedia entry titled “Temperament.” Mentoring and the gentle art of delivering critical feedback to boost and not hinder students are key skills.

So, the best MFA in creative writing degrees employ professors with the rare combination of literary and academic talent—which is what you will find at each of the schools on this list.

The Resources To Support Your Writing Vision

Writers only float in a sea of ideas. The top MFA programs in creative writing have the resources to fill that ocean:

  • Expansive libraries for conducting research
  • Endowments to help fund student fellowships
  • Visiting writer and other lecture and reading series to develop broad visions and connections
  • School-run or affiliated literary journals or publishers to open up publication opportunities
  • International or other off-campus programs to broaden your literary experiences
  • Calm and inspiring writing residency options to put you in the right frame of mind to write
  • Small class sizes and workshops to foster intimacy and feedback

Although not all these programs will check every one of those boxes, each of them has a wealth of different resources to offer to help get students off the ground in both their creative exercises and their publishing careers.

A Track Record of Educational Success in Creative Writing

Most MFA programs are quick to acknowledge that you can’t teach talent—but you can foster and hone it.

That leads to demonstrable results in the form of graduates who have attracted top-dollar publishing deals, industry awards and recognition, and who have gone on to critical acclaim or even become instructors themselves.

This kind of reputation is golden in the literary world and all of these schools will have people sitting up and taking note when their name pops up in your author bio.

Strong Publishing Industry and Literary Community Connections

When you produce successful writers and hire well-known authors to instruct classes, important industry connections are an asset included in the deal. Those industry ties prove to be among the most important characteristics of the best creative writing MFA programs.

Each of these programs has developed connections to major publishers, agencies, and trade groups that help lay the groundwork for you to launch your writing career. There is fierce competition to land book deals in the publishing industry today. Every editor receives stacks and stacks of submissions and query letters; even the best authors have trouble making it out of the slush piles without a recommendation or introduction.

These schools have the kind of connections that will help get you introduced to decision-makers in big agencies and book publishers. Who you know still isn’t as important as how good your writing is, but with these programs, you’ll get the best of both worlds.

Diverse and Original Coursework in Foundational and Advanced Writing Skills

A Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing puts a clear stamp on your work. It’s designed to get the best out of your native skill and polish it to the finest shine.

That means both ironing out the fundamentals of the writing craft and developing new and advanced skills. All of these degrees have a wide range of courses and workshops that offer a deep background in the knowledge and skills required for solid plotting, character development, and essential technical expertise as a writer. But they also go far beyond those to help you seek new sources of inspiration and experience. Exploring the poetry of science fiction; diving into post-apocalyptic writing; focusing on the art of telling a joke; comparing Western and Eastern literary forms and storytelling… all these kinds of classes and more offer you an edge in taking your writing to the next level with a degree from these schools.

Helping You Choose From Among the Finest Creative Writing MFA Programs in the Nation

All those features are what make these programs the best. But the real question you need to answer is which one will actually be the best for you ?

We can help you figure that out, too. Although each of these schools comes in on top of the pack of master’s-level creative writing programs in the country in general, each also has unique features that will determine how they fit in with your personal goals and style.

So for each listing, we give you plenty of additional information to help you make your decision. That includes data on:

You’ll also get a thumbnail sketch of what makes the school a great one, outlining many of the supporting facts behind the criteria we evaluated them on. But you’ll also get some of the highlights, the things that really make them stand out, such as:

  • Whether the school also offers undergraduate and doctoral degrees
  • Which concentration or specializations are offered
  • The formats in which the program is available
  • Whether the school is public or private
  • Rankings by respected third-party evaluators like The Princeton Review
  • Exemplary student-published literary magazines
  • Super low student-to-faculty ratios
  • Unique workshops or internship opportunities offered
  • Generous fellowship opportunities

It’s easy access to the kind of information that will help make your decision easy… all in one place.

State-By-State: Top Selections for the Best Creative Writing Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Programs in the U.S.

Competition to get into these elite MFA creative writing programs can be stiff. But if you are determined to get the finest graduate education in creative writing available today, then choosing from among these schools offers your best chances.

Find the Best MFA Creative Writing Programs in Your State

Connecticut.

District of Columbia

Massachusetts

Mississippi, new hampshire, north carolina, pennsylvania, rhode island, south carolina, university of arizona (public).

COLLEGE OF SOCIAL AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES

university of arizona

MFA in Creative Writing (on-campus)

Fully funded through graduate teaching assistantships

Also offers: BA in Creative Writing (on-campus)

  • Both programs allow students to focus on fiction, nonfiction, or poetry
  • MFA program is ranked among the top programs in the nation
  • Fully funded MFA offered through graduate teaching assistantships
  • MFA features unparalleled opportunities to write and research at the US-Mexico border through the Southwest Field Studies on Writing Program

The University of Arizona offers a BA and MFA in Creative Writing, both of which are part of one the top-ranked creative writing programs in the nation! Choose the BA in Creative Writing and you’ll learn from award-winning writers as you refine your skillset in writing, research, critical thinking, and literary analysis and explore the genres of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry (you’ll choose one genre as a focus after your first year of study). You’ll also be encouraged to take a variety of courses in professional and technical writing, the study of literature, writing and publishing, writing and community, and language, making this a truly well-rounded course of undergraduate study. The University of Arizona’s MFA in Creative Writing has been producing award-winning writers for 50 years and is regarded as one of the top programs of its kind in the nation. This fully funded, three-year program features your choice of fiction, poetry, or nonfiction concentration and a dynamic classroom experience that includes a world-class faculty and small, workshop-style courses.

University of Arkansas (Public)

FULBRIGHT COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES

Fayetteville, AR

university of arkansas

MFA in Creative Writing & Translation (poetry, fiction, literary translation) (on-campus)

Fully funded MFA with absolutely no tuition costs for students accepted into the program

  • Highly selective program admits up to five students each year in each genre (poetry, prose, and literary translation)
  • Outstanding opportunities to learn from established writers through the Walton Reading Series
  • Consistently ranked among the top MFA programs in the country by Poets & Writers
  • Named among the “Top Five Most Innovative” programs of its kind by Atlantic Monthly

The University of Arkansas’ MFA in Creative Writing & Translation is a unique course of graduate study that’s personalized with your choice of concentration in poetry, fiction, or literary translation. This program is among the nation’s oldest MFA programs, yet never fails to impress with its dynamic, forward-thinking curriculum. In fact, it was named among the “Top Five Most Innovative” programs of its kind by Atlantic Monthly ! For more than 50 years, the university’s MFA in Creative Writing & Translation has produced some of the country’s top writers – and it’s little wonder why. The robust curriculum of this program is built on a solid foundation of coursework in craft and literary studies and complemented with a superb, student-centered learning environment that boasts small class sizes and a dedicated faculty.

University of California-Davis (Public)

COLLEGE OF LETTERS AND SCIENCES

uc davis

Also offers: BA in English-Creative Writing emphasis (on-campus)

  • Full funding guaranteed in the second year of the MFA program in exchange for undergrad teaching positions
  • Ranked among the top five public universities in the nation by the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education
  • MFA students choose a single genre – fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, or a multi-genre focus

The University of California – Davis offers both an undergraduate and graduate program in creative writing that are designed to inspire the emerging or established writer! Focused on the mastery of craft with a solid foundation in literary traditions, the BA in English with a Creative Writing emphasis is designed to expand your knowledge and refine your writing skills in preparation for a variety of careers in areas like publishing, marketing, journalism, advertising, and more. The innovative Creative Writing MFA program features a nice blend of studio and literature courses in your choice of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or multi-genre. In the second year, you’ll teach creative writing courses to undergrad students as you prepare to become a successful practitioner in your own right. All students of the MFA are guaranteed full funding in their second year!

University of California-Irvine (Public)

SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES

mfa online creative writing

MFA in English-Creative Writing (Fiction, Poetry) (on-campus)

Full funding available through graduate teaching assistantships

  • UCI named a Fulbright Hispanic-Serving Institution (HIS) Leader
  • Your choice of poetry or fiction concentration/emphasis
  • Superb student engagement and feedback through the Graduate Writers’ Workshop

The University of California – Irvine is home to the esteemed MFA in English with a Creative Writing emphasis, an exciting course of graduate study that allows students to explore poetry or fiction through dynamic workshops and seminars. Designed to bring together a talented group of writers with plans on a writing-intensive career, the MFA program is rich in close mentorship from accomplished visiting writers. This highly selective program admits just 12 new students each year to ensure one-on-one guidance and support from the program’s faculty. This program is built on the Graduate Writers’ Workshop, a group that meets each quarter to share and critique one another’s writing. Throughout the course of the program, students participate in the Graduate Writers’ Workshop and attend graduate-level seminars.

San Diego State University (Public)

COLLEGE OF ARTS AND LETTERS

San Diego, CA

san diego state university

  • Competitive graduate teaching associate positions available
  • Exciting Fulbright Fellowships available to study in places like Austria, Brazil, and Poland.
  • Your choice of focus in fiction, poetry, or cross-genre

San Diego State University’s MFA in Creative Writing offers is innovative, personalized, and designed to arouse your creative skillset. As one of the oldest MFA Creative Writing programs in the nation, this course of graduate study enjoys a long history of producing skilled, inspired writers. But don’t expect a stale, rote curriculum. Instead, you’ll immerse yourself in a dynamic program that includes your choice of concentration in fiction, poetry, or cross-genre as you work toward producing a manuscript of your original work. Students of this program also enjoy studying under internationally acclaimed visiting writers from around the world, and many students receive Fulbright Fellowships to study in places like Austria, Brazil, and Poland.

California College of the Arts (Private)

San Francisco, CA

california college of the arts

MFA in Writing (on-campus)

Also offers: BA in Writing and Literature (on-campus)

  • Superb faculty of accomplished scholars, writers, poets, and playwrights
  • Outstanding internship opportunities with Bay Area literary organizations available

For aspiring and emerging writers, the California College of the Arts offers a BA in Writing and Literature and an MFA in Writing! The BA offers a foundation in literature and critical inquiry and dynamic workshops in prose, poetry, drama, screenwriting, graphic novels, improvisation, and more. You’ll refine your skills in literary journalism, hybrid narratives, lyric essays, and much more as you conduct close readings and analyses of writing across time. BA students learn from acclaimed authors through the HearSay Reading Series… they contribute their talents to Humble Pie , the undergraduate journal… and they enjoy outstanding internship experiences with Bay Area literary organizations. The MFA program is offered at the Writers’ Studio, where students participate in workshops, readings, and craft talks and learn from accomplished authors through the famed Tuesdays Talk series. Here students explore nonfiction, fiction, and poetry in a close, supportive atmosphere that naturally elicits creativity and inspiration.

Saint Mary’s College of California (Private)

SCHOOL OF LIBERAL ARTS

saint mary's college california

MFA in Creative Writing (Creative Non-Fiction, Fiction, Poetry, Book Manuscript) (on-campus)

Also offers: BA in English – Creative Writing (on-campus)

  • Ranked among the top five regional universities in the West by U.S. News & World Report
  • All MFA students receive partial funding and opportunities to apply for teaching fellowships, assistantships, and paid internships
  • Exciting selection of undergraduate internship opportunities available
  • Two-year MFA also includes the option of completing a third year in an additional genre or taking a fifth semester Book Manuscript Intensive course

Saint Mary’s College offers both undergraduate and graduate programs for the creative writer in a supportive private school setting that’s heralded for its academic rigor and plentiful hands-on learning experiences. The BA in English with a Creative Writing emphasis offers a foundation in the creative writing process and options to focus on a specific genre of creative writing like poetry, fiction, nonfiction, dramatic writing, or screenwriting. All students of this program also participate in the Creative Writing Reading Series, which includes attending events and meeting with visiting writers. On-campus internship opportunities include working with the Office of Marketing and Communications or the Center for Writing Across the Curriculum and contributing to riverrun , the undergraduate literary journal, while off-campus internship opportunities include organizations and publications like Counterpoint Press, Diablo Magazine , No Starch Press, Sierra Magazine , and more! The MFA in Creative Writing is a two-year course of study that features an award-winning faculty (including visiting writers in residence); opportunities to contribute to the MFA journal, MARY: A Journal of New Writing ; and your choice concentration in creative nonfiction, fiction, or poetry. Students may also complete a third year in an additional genre or take a fifth semester Book Manuscript Intensive course.

Western Colorado University (Public)

COMMUNICATION ARTS, LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE (CALL) DEPARTMENT

Gunnison, CO

western colorado university

MA/MFA in Creative Writing (low-residency)

  • Supportive, student-centered learning environment features an average class size of just 16
  • BA students gain valuable experience by editing a book published by Western Press Books and preparing their own work for submission
  • MFA offers convenient and flexible online study complemented with one-week on-campus residencies
  • MFA offers your choice of one of five genre concentrations: nature writing, genre fiction, poetry, publishing, or screenwriting

Western Colorado University is home to not one, but two creative writing programs that are designed to meet you wherever you are in your career. The BA in English with a Creative Writing emphasis is ideally designed for emerging writers who seek a comprehensive course of study delivered within a supportive community. Students of this program enjoy a strong foundation in English literature traditions, theory, and criticism with advanced courses in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and scripts. You’ll also enjoy flexing your creative skills by contributing to WordHorde, the Creative Writing student organization, and lending help to other students through the Writing Center. Before you graduate, you’ll edit a book published by Western Press Books and prepare your own work for submission. The MFA Creative Writing program here provides an advanced course of study in one of five genres: nature writing, genre fiction, poetry, publishing, or screenwriting. This program comes complete with a dedicated faculty of award-winning writers and a low-residency model that delivers outstanding convenience and flexibility.

Western Connecticut State University (Public)

MACRICOSTAS SCHOOL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES

Danbury, CT

western connecticut university

MFA in Creative and Professional Writing (low-residency)

  • Outstanding record of graduate success: 87% of all graduates go on to publish books and/or work full-time as professional writers
  • Convenient and flexible program features a low-residency model that combines online study with dynamic residencies, either on-campus or abroad
  • Competitive graduate assistantships available

Western Connecticut State University offers the MFA in Creative and Professional Writing, which comes complete with a dynamic curriculum that’s delivered in a low-residency model for outstanding convenience and flexibility. We love this program because it offers a comprehensive graduate course of study in multiple genres (students here take workshops and course in all genres and styles), thereby preparing students as well-rounded, versatile writers who find success in both creative and professional writing fields. We also love this program’s exciting residency opportunities that now include options to study in Dublin, Ireland (during the Bram Stoker Festival) and at the Highlights Foundation Retreat Center in the Poconos!

Fairfield University (Private)

COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES

Fairfield, CT

fairfield university

MFA in Creative Writing (poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, screenwriting) (low-residency)

Also offers: Major in English-Creative Writing concentration (on-campus)

  • Options to focus the MFA on poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, or screenwriting
  • Ranked among the top national universities by U.S. News & World Report
  • Low-residency model features dynamic, engaging residencies on Ender Island in Mystic, CT

Fairfield University’s MFA in Creative Writing offers your choice of focus in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, or screenwriting and a low-residency model that’s sure to fit well into your busy schedule. The program’s flexible and challenging curriculum is ideally designed to allow students to design a course of study that best aligns with their professional goals and personal interests. It’s also home to the CT Writing Project, which is home to outstanding opportunities to learn from visiting writers; attend writers’ retreats; and more. Choose Fairfield for your creative writing master’s program and you’ll enjoy opportunities to complete an internship in journalism, public relations, business writing, publishing, and more.

District of Columbia - DC

American university (private).

Washington, DC

american university washington dc

  • Competitive Merit Awards (tuition and stipends) available
  • Exciting opportunities to study in an intimate learning environment that encourages constructive feedback and support
  • Your choice of focus on a single genre or multiple genres

American University’s MFA in Creative Writing has been producing the next generation of creative writers for more than 30 years! The only program of its kind in our nation’s capital, the MFA in Creative Writing is your opportunity to explore the art and craft of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. The flexible design of this program allows students to pursue a single genre or multiple genres, and the tightknit, supportive learning environment encourages superb guidance and feedback from peers and faculty. Students of this program contribute to Folio , the College of Arts and Sciences’ nationally recognized literary journal and Café MFA , the online journal of the Creative Writing program.

Florida State University (Public)

Tallahassee, FL

florida state university

Also offers: Major in Creative Writing (on-campus)

  • Ranked among the top national public universities by U.S. News & World Report
  • Home to a nationally and internationally renowned, award-winning faculty
  • Superb internship opportunities available

Florida State University offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in creative writing within one of the top writing programs in the country! Just some of the reasons why emerging creative writers flock to FSU include an award-winning faculty (many are recipients of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship and more)… opportunities to complete a teaching apprenticeship program through graduate teaching assistantships… and an Editing Internship, your chance to gain valuable, hands-on experiences with a magazine, newspaper, publishing house, television station, marketing firm, nonprofit organization, and more. FSU’s English Department is also home to the Southeast Review , a national literary magazine, and The Kudzu Review , the undergraduate literary magazine, both of which are great sources of hands-on learning experiences.

Florida International University (Public)

ARTS, SCIENCES, AND EDUATION

North Miami, FL

florida international university

  • Program graduates have published 200+ books
  • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the nation for social mobility and innovation by U.S. News & World Report
  • Home to a dedicated faculty of award-winning, working writers

Florida International University’s MFA in Creative Writing is where you’ll advance your understanding of professional standards and expectations as you hone your creative skillset in your chosen genre. Ideal for future endeavors in teaching, editing, publishing, the arts, and more, this illustrious program of study comes complete with an intimate learning environment; a curriculum of seminar-style courses, workshops, and form and theory courses; outstanding, one-on-one mentoring; and a dedicated faculty of award-winning, working writers. As you progress throughout the program, you’ll work toward the completion of a publishable, book-length creative thesis.

Stetson University (Private)

stetson university

MFA in Creative Writing (low-residency)

  • Program features a concentration in poetry and prose in the expanded field
  • Outstanding guidance and mentorship found here – residency workshops include a low, 5:1 student-to-faculty ratio
  • Exciting, low-residency model features online study combined with two residencies annually
  • Named among the nation’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report

Stetson University’s MFA in Creative Writing offers an outstanding course of graduate study that’s delivered in a low-residency format to accommodate your busy schedule. Choose this program and you’ll enjoy intensive, dynamic mentorship and engagement marked by small workshop groups, individual mentoring sessions, craft lectures, translation workshops, and more. This program is innovative and dynamic, allowing students to explore the many political, social, aesthetic, and cultural factors that are reflective of your work. The low-residency model features online courses that are complemented with two, ten-day residencies where students gather to learn from accomplished writers and exchange their work with faculty mentors. Residencies are held at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, and at various international locations! Past residencies were held in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil!

Georgia State University (Public)

Atlanta, GA

georgia state university

MA/MFA in English-Creative Writing concentration (on-campus)

Also offers: BA in English-Creative Writing (on-campus)

  • Ranked among the top innovative universities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report
  • Also offers: PhD in English, Concentration in Creative Writing, which is ranked among the top programs of its kind in the nation by Poets & Writers
  • Exciting international exchange and study abroad programs available to places like England, France, Italy, Germany, and China

Two creative writing programs, one world-class university—Georgia State University is where emerging writers head for outstanding instruction and inspiration! Choose the BA in English with a Creative Writing concentration and you’ll complete undergraduate study in British and American literature and culture alongside courses focused on the craft and art of creative writing and the poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction genres. The MA/MFA in English with a Creative Writing concentration features your choice of focus on poetry or fiction and a superb curriculum that prepares students for further study at the PhD level or for careers in a variety of writing-intensive fields. We love the English Department’s award-winning faculty of poets, and authors and the exciting opportunities to hone your craft by contributing to the award-winning Five Points: A Journal of Literature and Art and the student-edited literary magazine, New South .

University of Idaho (Public)

DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH

university of idaho

  • Fully funded MFA for all students through graduate teaching assistantships
  • Ranked among the top 8% best colleges in the nation by the Princeton Review
  • Ranked among the top 15% of American National Universities by U.S. News & World Report
  • Three MFA students are awarded fellowships to write in residence at the Taylor Ranch Research Station in the Frank Church Wilderness Area of the Selway-Bitterroot Mountains

The University of Idaho’s creative writing programs are part of the Department of English’s vibrant community where you can always find inspiration in the form of literary readings, scholarly lectures, conferences, student gatherings, and more. The BA in English with a Creative Writing emphasis boasts engaging courses in fiction, creative fiction, and poetry; esteemed professors who offer one-on-one mentorship; and outstanding opportunities to flex your creative writing skillset and gain valuable, hands-on experiences. The MFA offers a fully funded, three-year course of graduate study in nonfiction, poetry, and fiction. We love the mix of genre workshops, technique studios, and traditional seminars that provide students with an outstanding blend of study in the craft. And the practicum in literary magazine and editing production provides students with an expanded skillset upon graduation.

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (Public)

COLLEGE OF LIBERAL ARTS AND SCIENCES

university illinois urbana champaign

MFA in Creative Writing (Fiction, Poetry) (on-campus)

Fully funded program

Also offers: BA in Liberal Arts and Sciences-Creative Writing (on-campus)

  • Also offers a PhD in Writing Studies
  • Fully funded MFA offered through full tuition waivers, guaranteed teaching assistantships, and fellowships
  • MFA features your choice of focus on fiction or poetry and extensive study in literary publishing and editing

Two creative writing programs at one nationally renowned university – the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is where you want to be! The undergraduate creative writing major, which is one of the oldest programs of its kind in the country, is built on small, workshop-style courses in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction that are ideally designed to prepare students for exciting careers in a number of fields or for future graduate study. Students of this program edit and publish the Montage Arts Journal , the university’s undergraduate literary arts journal, which offers outstanding, hands-on learning experiences. The MFA Creative Writing program is a three-year, rigorous course of study in creative writing and literature that offers students the option of specializing in fiction or poetry. You’ll study under the program’s distinguished and dedicated graduate faculty as you take four workshops in your chosen genre and work toward producing a book-length, publishable manuscript. You’ll also receive extensive, hands-on experience in literary editing and publishing in this fully funded graduate program!

Northwestern University (Private)

WEINBERG COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES

Evanston, IL

northwestern university

MFA in Creative Writing (program is combined with a simultaneous MA in English) (low-residency)

Fully funded through fellowships and graduate assistantships

  • MFA is fully funded through fellowships and graduate assistantships
  • MFA allows students to work in one genre (poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction) and also explore a second genre

Northwestern University’s creative writing programs are home to an accomplished faculty of award-winning authors and offered in a supportive, creative community where inspiration naturally flourishes. The Creative Writing major enjoys an outstanding record of graduate success and a reputation as one of the finest undergraduate programs of its kind in the nation. Through this program, you’ll explore poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as other courses that explore hybrid genres. Students of this program enjoy a lively curriculum that includes learning from guest writers-in-residence through the Annual Writers’ Festival; participating in the Undergraduate English Association; and contributing their talents to the award-winning student literary magazines, Helicon and Prompt. The MFA + MA in Creative Writing and English program is a unique dual graduate program that provides students with the opportunity to pursue both creative and critical writing. This program boasts intimate classes; close mentorship from a renowned faculty of writers; and a variety of writing workshops in poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction. And while students of this program are admitted in one genre, they enjoy opportunities to explore a second genre. This program is fully funded through fellowships and graduate assistantships. During the program’s two funded summers, students serve as part-time editorial assistantships for the prestigious online literary journal, TriQuarterly !

School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Private)

Chicago, IL

school of the art institute of chicago

MFA in Writing (low-residency)

Also offers: BFA in Writing (on-campus)

  • Named as “the most influential art college in the United States” by a Columbia University’s National Arts Journalism survey
  • Consistently ranked among the top graduate fine arts programs in the nation by U.S. News and World Report
  • BA program emphasizes writing across genres, including interdisciplinary and hybrid genres
  • Low-residency MFA combines online study with engaging, on-campus summer residencies

Whether the BFA or MFA is what you seek, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago has what you need! The BFA features a dynamic course of study that emphasizes writing across genres, including interdisciplinary and hybrid genres, and producing a creative project of your choice. Students also enjoy the many immersive, hands-on learning experiences available here that include contributing to Mouth , the student-run literary journal and F newsmagazine , the award-winning student newspaper; attending readings and workshops through the Visiting Writer and Artist Lectures; and attending Publishing Panel presentations. The low-residency MFA is a three-year program that’s designed for 21 st century artists and writers. This flexible program engages students and prepares them across various teaching platforms, with much of the curriculum focused on writing and studying other artists’ writings. The low-residency model features online study complemented with three, consecutive summer residencies where you’ll connect with your peers on campus to create and critique work.

Indiana University-Bloomington (Public)

Bloomington, IN

indiana university bloomington

Fully funded program through fellowships and teaching assistantships

  • Highly selective MFA enrolls just eight students each year (four in fiction, four in poetry)
  • Outstanding reputation for its focus on a diverse student body
  • Fully funded program offered through fellowships and assistantships

Indiana University – Bloomington’s MFA in Creative Writing features three years of fully funded graduate study at IU’s flagship campus! This dynamic program is focused on honing craft concepts and workshopping original student poetry and fiction under an award-winning faculty as you work toward the completion a book-length manuscript in the genre of your choice. This highly selective program enrolls just eight new students each year (four in fiction, four in poetry) to ensure an intimate learning environment of top emerging writers.

University of Notre Dame (Private)

Notre Dame, IN

university of notre dame

Fully funded through tuition scholarships and fellowships

  • Consistently ranked among the top 25 institutions of higher learning in the nation by esteemed publications like U.S. News & World Report, Forbes , and Niche
  • Exciting study abroad experiences available to the University College Dublin, Oxford, Cambridge, the University of East Anglia, Trinity College (Dublin), St. Andrews (Scotland), and Galway, Ireland
  • All students of the fully funded MFA program gain teaching, editorial, and publication experience

The University of Notre Dame offers both an undergraduate and graduate program in creative writing – your opportunity to explore and refine your craft within a world-renowned university. The Major in English with a Creative Writing concentration allows students to study the many ways in which literature shapes the human experience. Through small class sizes (just 15-17 students), students here connect with one another and engage with the distinguished faculty while honing their critical thinking, public speaking, and writing skills. The creative writing faculty, which is ranked among the best in the nation, teaches 15-20 creative writing classes ranging from fiction to poetry to nonfiction prose to playwriting/screenwriting. Students here often round out their undergraduate experience by engaging in internship, service learning, and study abroad experiences and by contributing to the university’s student-run publications. Notre Dame’s MFA in Creative Writing boasts a two-year, fully funded course of study that’s marked by a rigorous, self-directed learning experience and a diverse, international body of students. All students of this program gain teaching, editorial, and publication experience; participate in outreach programs with community partners; engage with visiting writers and artists; and conduct their own reading series.

University of Kansas (Public)

COLLEGE OF LIBERAL ARTS

Overland Parks, KS

university of kansas

MFA – Tracks in Fiction, Poetry, Playwriting (on-campus)

Also offers: BA, BGS (Bachelor of General Studies) Literature, Language and Writing-option to earn a Creative and Analytical Writing certificate (on-campus)

  • Also offers: PhD in Creative Writing
  • Competitive graduate teaching assistantships available for MFA students
  • Home to an esteemed faculty of published authors
  • BA/BGS in Literature, Language and Writing offers a nice selection of afternoon, evening, online, and hybrid courses
  • MFA offers concentrations in fiction, poetry, or playwriting

The University of Kansas boasts both undergraduate and graduate programs for the creative writer! The innovative BA/BGS in Literature, Language and Writing provides students with a versatile foundation in technical writing, editing, marketing, writing, and authoring, while the Creative and Analytical Writing certificate provides a deep dive into the craft of creative writing. Just some of the highlights of the BA/BGS in Literature, Language and Writing include an outstanding selection of afternoon, evening, online, and hybrid courses… an experienced, published faculty… and unmatched student engagement and mentorship. The MFA program features a three-year course of study and options to focus on fiction, poetry, or playwriting. You’re sure to love learning from the widely published faculty here that have been recipients of distinctions like the Hugo Award, the Gertrude Stein Award, the Nebula Award, and more. The MFA is ideally positioned within a university that’s home to esteemed centers like the J. Wayne & Elsie M. Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction (dedicated to research and education in science fiction) and the Project on the History of Black Writing (research unit focused on literary recovery work in black studies).

Western Kentucky University (Public)

POTTER COLLEGE OF ARTS AND LETTERS

Bowling Green, KY

western kentucky university

  • Ranked among the top public universities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report
  • Competitive MFA teaching assistantships available
  • MFA tracks include fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, or scriptwriting; secondary concentration in literature, composition & rhetoric, or teaching English as a second language
  • Exciting undergraduate experiential learning opportunities available

Western Kentucky University offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in creative writing to meet students wherever they are in their academic and professional journey! The undergraduate Creative Writing program features a curriculum that’s grounded in the study of literature and marked by an exciting blend of courses in creative nonfiction, fiction, play/screenwriting, and poetry. Learning outside of the classroom is also standard fare here. You’ll find students learning from esteemed, visiting writers through the Readers Series; contributing to Zephyrus , the school’s literary publication; connecting with their peers through the English Club, the annual Senior Reading, and through the many open-mic nights and coffeehouse gatherings; and attending the annual Undergraduate Conference on Literature, Language, and Culture. The MFA in Creative Writing features a three-year course of study; tracks in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and scriptwriting; and secondary areas in literature, composition & rhetoric, or teaching English as a second language.

Eastern Kentucky University (Public)

COLLEGE OF LETTERS, ARTS, AND SOCIAL SCIENCES

Richmond, KY

eastern kentucky university

  • Low-residency model offers optimal convenience and flexibility for working adults
  • Superb summer residency offered in Lisbon, Portugal
  • Real-time online workshops ensure superb engagement and communication with faculty and peers

Eastern Kentucky University’s MFA in Creative Writing – Bluegrass Writers Studio features a low-residency model that’s designed with flexibility and convenience in mind. Students of this program study in a close-knit, supportive community alongside other emerging writers in both literary and genre-writing. The Bluegrass Writers Studio is an innovative program that offers students an optimal blend of online courses and workshops complemented with intensive residency workshops and unparalleled international literary and cultural experiences. The program’s Domestic Summer Residencies, which are held in Richmond and in Lisbon, Portugal, are rich in intensive workshops, lectures, and readings and focused on individual writing.

McNeese State University (Public)

Lake Charles, LA

mcneese state university

Also offers: BA in English-Writing (on-campus)

  • All MFA students are offered teaching assistantships that include a partial tuition waiver and stipend
  • Ranked as one of the top regional universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report
  • MFA in Creative Writing is the oldest program of its kind in Louisiana and one of the oldest in the southeast
  • Option to add an MA in English to the MFA in Creative Writing without adding any additional hours or costs

McNeese State University offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in creative writing, making it a sure bet for emerging writers like you! The BA in English with a Writing concentration offers a firm foundation in classic and contemporary literature alongside courses and hands-on learning experiences designed to hone your creative writing skills and elevate your knowledge and skills in the areas of editing, rhetorical writing, and technical writing . Students of this program enjoy small class sizes and a highly engaging learning environment that’s marked by high-quality instruction from a widely published, dedicated faculty. The MFA in Creative Writing is the oldest programs of its kind in Louisiana and among the oldest in the southeast! Offering outstanding, hands-on instruction through a host of creative writing programs, this program is where poetry and fiction writers flock to elevate their creative writing skills and produce a book-length manuscript. McNeese’s MFA is one of the only programs in the country to offer students the opportunity to concurrently earn an MA in English without adding any additional hours or costs!

University of Baltimore (Public)

YALE GORDON COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES

Baltimore, MD

mfa online creative writing

  • Named as one of the most distinctive programs of its kind in the nation by Poets & Writers Magazine
  • Competitive graduate fellowships and teaching assistantships available
  • Your choice of focus in fiction, nonfiction, or poetry
  • Exciting internship and study teaching opportunities available

The University of Baltimore’s MFA in Creative Writing is one of the top programs of its kind in the nation and a dynamic, inspiring hub for emerging writers in the genres of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Students of this program hone their creative voice and elevate their skillset in writing , editing, and publishing as they gain valuable, hands-on experience through internships and student teaching opportunities. Just some of the places where students here intern include the Baltimore City Paper , Baltimore Magazine , Baltimore Jewish Times , and Baltimore Style Magazine !

Johns Hopkins University (Private)

KRIEGER SCHOOL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES

johns hopkins

MFA in Writing Seminars-Creative Writing (on-campus)

Fully funded through teaching fellowships

Also offers: Major in Writing Seminars-Creative Writing concentration (on-campus)

  • Fully funded MFA features a generous teaching fellowship
  • The Writing Seminars program is the second-oldest creative writing program in the country
  • BA program features a focus on fiction and poetry
  • Home to a nationally and internationally renowned faculty and acclaimed visiting writers

John Hopkins University offers both an undergraduate and graduate program in their famed Writing Seminars program! Undergraduate students here enjoy a solid liberal arts framework that’s complemented with courses in fiction and poetry and seminars on literature and the history and technique of poetry and prose. The Writing Seminar’s MFA program offers an advanced exploration of fiction and poetry. This program boasts a nationally and internationally renowned faculty; acclaimed visiting writers; and a curriculum that’s rich in intensive literary seminars and small workshops. Students complete a first-year portfolio and then round out their graduate course of study with a second-year thesis. This highly selective, fully funded program includes a generous teaching fellowship!

Hampshire College (Private)

Amherst, MA

mfa online creative writing

MFA in Writing for Film and Television (low-residency)

  • Student-designed learning environment features personalized, independent work, close collaboration with faculty, and exciting hands-on experiences
  • MFA in Creative Writing features your choice of focus on poetry, fiction, or nonfiction
  • MFA Writing for Film and Television combines online study with weeklong residencies at the college’s Boston or Los Angeles campus
  • Hampshire is part of the Five College Consortium that allows students to explore academic offerings at Amherst College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst

Hampshire College offers no less than three, outstanding creative writing programs for emerging and practicing writers alike! The Major in Creative Writing offers a well-rounded exploration of fiction, literary journalism, and poetry through dynamic, workshop-style courses that feature intensive writing, active reading, and constructive feedback. Students of this program enjoy engaging with their peers and sharing ideas through writers’ coffeehouses; learning from acclaimed visiting writers; and flexing their creative skillset through one of the school’s publications. The low-residency MFA in Writing for Film and Television offers a convenient and flexible blend of online courses with week-long residencies at the Boston or Los Angeles campus at the beginning of each semester. This program features an esteemed faculty of filmmakers, producers, and screenwriters and the opportunity to produce a professional-caliber portfolio of original feature, pilot, and short screenplay samples. The Creative Writing MFA program is one of the longest-running programs of its kind in the nation. Some of the highlights of this program include an esteemed, published faculty; two award-winning literary journals; and close ties with the Boston publishing community.

Boston University (Private)

mfa online creative writing

  • Ranked among the top 5% of all creative writing programs in the nation by The Atlantic for the distinction of its faculty and alumni
  • Superb opportunity to study and travel abroad through the Global Fellowship
  • Small cohorts ensure an outstanding, student-centered learning environment

Boston University’s MFA in Creative Writing is built on the university’s legacy of academic excellence and the Creative Writing Program’s reputation as one of most prestigious programs of its kind in the country! This program features your choice of fiction or poetry and a one-year course of study that’s highlighted by creative writing workshops and literature courses. It’s designed in small cohorts that accept just ten fiction writers and eight poets annually, and it’s fully funded, covering all tuition costs and offering a stipend for all students. All students of this program teach at least one course and fulfill a foreign language requirement during their MFA. Students are also eligible to receive a Global Fellowship for travel and study anywhere outside of the U.S. upon successful completion of their coursework and submission of their thesis.

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (Public)

RESIDENTIAL COLLEGE

Ann Arbor, MI

university of michigan

Also offers: Major in Creative Writing and Literature (on-campus)

  • Outstanding study abroad opportunities available (University of Michigan has the most students studying abroad among the Big Ten universities)
  • Ranked among the top public national universities by U.S. News & World Report
  • Highly selective, fully funded MFA program accepts just nine poets and nine fiction writers annually
  • Undergraduate major in Creative Writing and Literature includes your choice of focus on fiction/creative nonfiction, poetry, or digital storytelling

Whether you’re interested in pursuing undergraduate or graduate study in creative writing, the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor has what you’re looking for! Undergraduate students in the Creative Writing and Literature program study fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction (and choose a focus on fiction/creative nonfiction, poetry, or digital storytelling) in a student-centered learning environment that features dedicated faculty mentors and small, engaging writing seminars. Whether your plans include graduate study or a career in an area like education, editing, journalism, publishing, or beyond, this program is designed with you in mind! The fully funded Creative Writing MFA program features two years of study and options to focus on fiction or poetry. We love the program’s esteemed faculty of published poets and fiction writers and the many opportunities to learn from acclaimed writers through the Zell Visiting Writers Series. This highly selective program accepts just nine poets and nine fiction writers annually.

Western Michigan University (Public)

Kalamazoo, MI

western michigan

MFA in Creative Writing

Also offers: BA in English-Creative Writing option (on-campus)

  • Superb record of student success: 9 out of 10 students are employed and working quickly in their fields upon graduation
  • Outstanding study abroad opportunities – more than 100 programs in 40 countries available
  • Engaging workshop-style courses ensure outstanding opportunities to hone your creative skillset

Western Michigan University is home to both BA and MFA programs in creative writing for the emerging writer! The BA in English with a Creative Writing option is built on a foundation in British and American literature and the English language and complemented with dynamic, creative writing workshops that vary from introductory to advanced. Students of this program explore writing poetry, plays, fiction, and creative nonfiction alongside focused study in news, feature, and professional writing. The MFA in Creative Writing program offers a streamlined path to writing-intensive careers in poetry, fiction, or drama or future PhD study within prestigious programs.

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (Public)

Minneapolis, MN

university of minnesota twin cities

  • Fully funded program through teaching assistantships and/or fellowships
  • Exciting program features an exploration of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction
  • Consistently ranked among the top graduate creative writing programs in the country

The University of Minnesota – Twin Cities offers an esteemed MFA in Creative Writing – a three-year course of graduate study that features a dynamic deep dive into writing, language, and literature, along with study in a related field. This exciting program, which has long been ranked among the top ten graduate creative writing programs nationally, offers a well-rounded exploration of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. In fact, students of this program are encouraged to experiment and write across genres as they work toward honing their own creative voice. Housed within the flagship institution of the University of Minnesota System, which enjoys a reputation as being among the most prestigious public research universities in the nation, this program comes with full funding for all MFA students and exciting opportunities to conduct research, intern with major corporations and organizations, and study abroad.

Hamline University (Private)

Saint Paul, MN

hamline university

MFA in Creative Writing (on-campus)  

Also offers: BFA in Creative Writing (on-campus)

  • BA in English-Creative Writing concentration (on-campus)
  • Exciting, undergraduate faculty-led research opportunities available
  • Home to a nice variety of internship experiences
  • Superb faculty of accomplished writers
  • MFA features your choice of focus on poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction

Hamline University is home to three different creative writing programs that are designed to meet you wherever you are in your career! Offering two undergraduate creative writing programs – one in creative writing and the other in English with a creative writing concentration, Hamline offers students the opportunity to hone their creative writing skillset and prepare for exciting careers in publishing, journalism, marketing, business, education, and beyond! The BFA in Creative Writing provides students with a well-rounded exploration of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, literary traditions, textual analysis, and the opportunity to refine your skillset in any number of genres. The BA in English with a Creative Writing concentration offers a journey in literature as you explore the process of writing a novel, script, or other creative work. We love their undergraduate creative writing programs here because they come complete with exciting opportunities to participate in faculty-led research; contribute to one of the many student-led publications like Runestone , the award-winning undergraduate online literary magazine; and complete internships with major names like Graywolf Press, the Minnesota Historical Society, and the Loft Literary Center. The MFA in Creative Writing boasts an in-depth course of study that’s marked by your choice of focus in poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction; an esteemed faculty of accomplished writers; and a curriculum that prepares you for in-demand teaching and publishing careers.

Augsburg University (Private)

DIVISION OF ARTS AND SCIENCES

augsburg university

MFA in Creative Writing (Teaching, Translation, Publishing) ( low-residency )  

  • MFA program features a low-residency model that combines convenient, flexible online study with summer residencies
  • Exciting study abroad opportunities to Denmark and Iceland for undergraduate students
  • Undergraduate creative writing students may qualify for the MFA Masterclass option – an opportunity to participate in a single summer residency that includes a creative writing workshop

Augsburg University’s undergraduate and graduate programs in creative writing are exactly what emerging and practicing writers are looking for! The BA in English with a Creative Writing concentration offers a nice blend of both English literature and the creative writing process. Through this course of study, students explore the craft under the guidance of a dedicated faculty of working writers. Students also enjoy plenty of opportunities to flex their creative skillset outside of the classroom, with opportunities to participate in the Many Voice Project – a series that brings together students, professors, and staff to explore successful communication among diverse readers and writers; contribute to Thó Win Magazine , the campus literary, visual, and musical arts publication; and study abroad to Denmark and Iceland. The low-residency Creative Writing MFA program offers students a deep dive into writing in multiple genres and features a convenient and flexible format that blends online study with summer residencies. Students of this program hone their skillset in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, screenwriting, and playwriting over the course of three years to prepare for exciting careers in fields like teaching, publishing, and translation. Are you an undergraduate creative writing student with future graduate study in your sights? You may qualify for the MFA Masterclass option, which allows undergrad students to enroll in a single summer residency that includes a creative writing workshop.

University of Mississippi (Public)

University, MS

the university of mississippi

MFA in English (on-campus)  

  • Also offers: Ph.D. in English with Creative Writing Concentration
  • Outstanding visiting scholars and creative writers - past visitors have included filmmaker, Spike Lee, Pulitzer Prize winner Jeffery Eugenides, and National Book Award winner Mark Doty
  • MFA in English named among The Atlantic Monthly’s “Top Five Up and Coming Programs”

Creative writing is part of the fabric of the University of Mississippi, and it shows! The BA in English with a Creative Writing emphasis boasts a curriculum that brings together study in literature from all time periods and through diverse perspectives, along with a close examination and exploration of the craft of creative writing. The MFA in English, which has been consistently ranked among the top programs of its kind in the nation, offers your choice of concentration in poetry & fiction or creative nonfiction. This highly selective program (accepting between 6-8 students each year) is supportive, engaging, and fully funded!

Washington University in Saint Louis (Private)

St. Louis, MO

washington university in st louis

Fully funded program available through fellowships

Also offers: BA in English-Creative Writing concentration (on-campus)

  • Small, student-centered learning environment boasts first-year seminars of 15 or fewer students
  • Highly competitive program accepts just 15 students (five each in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction)
  • Fully funded MFA program is offered through fellowships

Regardless of where you are in your academic journey or your career, Washington University in St. Louis has the creative writing program for you! The BA in English with a Creative Writing concentration brings together emerging writers in a small, student-centered learning environment that boasts engaging poetry and fiction writing workshops. Small, first-year seminars of 15 students or less transition nicely to second semester workshops that take students to the next level in their writing journey and guide them to become outstanding readers and critics of literature. Interested in adding an international dimension to your undergraduate creative writing program? Many students study abroad at some of the top universities like Oxford, Edinburg, Trinity College in Dublin, the King’s College in London, and the University of Sydney. The Creative Writing MFA is a two-year program that allows students to refine their craft in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. A distinguished, world-renowned faculty oversees dynamic and engaging workshops and craft courses, while the school’s reading series brings some of the most acclaimed authors and poets to the department for unmatched learning opportunities.

New England College (Private)

Manchester, NH

new england college

  • Low-residency MFA features a studio/research academic model that combines online study with on-campus residencies at the beginning of each semester
  • MFA features your choice of track in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, writing for stage and screen, or dual genre
  • MFA students may also pursue specialized study in areas like translation, editing & publishing, new media, performance, or cross-genre/hybrid forms
  • Competitive MFA teaching assistantships and scholarships available

New England College offers both a BA and MFA in Creative Writing to meet students wherever they are in their academic journey and career path! The BA in Creative Writing is supported by a dedicated faculty of published writers who are committed to providing students with close mentorship and support, while the program’s focus on individual transformation encourages students to explore many areas and genres. Through this program, students complete genre workshops in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction and courses focused on literary movements for a well-rounded course of study. The Creative Writing MFA is offered in a low-residency model that combines convenient and flexible online study with lively residencies at the beginning of each semester. Students here pursue a highly individualized program that features close mentorship by an award-winning faculty of writers and their choice of track in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, writing for stage and screen, or dual genre. Students may also pursue additional study in areas like translation, editing & publishing, new media, performance, or cross-genre/hybrid forms.

Rutgers University-Camden (Public)

GRADUATE SCHOOL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES

rutgers graduate school

  • Competitive teaching assistantships available
  • Multi-genre approach to learning includes workshops in your choice of genre (fiction, poetry, or nonfiction) and at least one other genre
  • Exciting opportunities to complete a writing residency at the Rutgers University Pinelands Field Station
  • Exciting study abroad opportunities available

Rutgers University – Camden offers an MFA in Creative Writing that features an in-depth exploration of the theory and practice of writing for poets, fiction writers, and nonfiction writers. This dynamic course of graduate study allows students to focus their work on a single genre yet still explore other genres. An outstanding faculty of esteemed writers and poets guides this esteemed program. Students here enjoy superb inspiration from a host of visiting writers and poets; they contribute to the university’s award-winning literary magazine, StoryQuarterly ; and they participate in inspiring writing residencies at the Rutgers University Pinelands Field Station. And if your academic goals include an international experience, you’ll be pleased to know that students here often study abroad in Europe, Asia, and South America.

Rutgers University-Newark (Public)

SCHOOL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES

rutgers university

  • Home to an outstanding, award-winning faculty of writers
  • Program enjoys exciting connections to big regional names for superb learning experiences
  • Fully funded, highly selective program accepts 14-16 full-time students per year—half in Fiction and half in Poetry

Rutgers University – Newark offers an established, dynamic, and nationally ranked MFA in Creative Writing that features your choice of fiction or poetry writing track. We love the many connections this program has to big names like the Newark Museum, the New Jersey Historical Society, and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, all of which offer students unique opportunities for hands-on learning experiences. This fully funded course of study provides students with an unmatched opportunity to explore their craft, while the esteemed, award-winning faculty (many of whom are the recipients of awards like the Guggenheim, the National Endowment of the Arts, National Book Awards, and more) ensure outstanding support and mentorship.

Monmouth University (Private)

THE WAYNE D. MCMURRAY SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES

West Long Branch, NJ

monmouth university

MA/MFA in Creative Writing Dual Degree (on-campus)

  • Ranked among the best regional universities in the North by U.S. News & World Report
  • Exciting undergraduate internship experiences available
  • Exciting MFA course options include opportunities to study themes like thrillers, romance, and fantasy

Whether you’re seeking an undergraduate or graduate creative writing program, Monmouth University has what you need! The BA in English with a concentration in Creative Writing features a well-rounded liberal arts core alongside an in-depth exploration of creative writing, including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Students of this program enjoy studying under esteemed visiting writers; contributing to The Monmouth Review ; and completing exciting internship opportunities with big names like Penguin, Random House, and St. Martin’s Press, and with organizations like the National Geographic Society and the Monmouth County SPCA. The MA/MFA is an innovative and unique dual degree in Creative Writing that boasts a published, award-winning faculty; outstanding course options in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry; and exciting options to explore themes like thrillers, romance, and fantasy. Students of this program begin by completing the 30-credit MA in English with a Creative Writing concentration and then complete an additional 18 credits of intensive creative writing study that culminate in a book-length creative thesis.

Columbia University in the City of New York (Private)

SCHOOL OF THE ARTS

New York, NY

columbia university city of new york

MFA in Writing (Nonfiction, Fiction, Poetry, Literary Translation) (on-campus)

  • Home to an outstanding, internationally acclaimed faculty of writers and editors
  • Major in Creative Writing offers your choice of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, or multi-genre concentration
  • MFA offers your choice of fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction concentration

Columbia University in the City of New York is where you’ll find both undergraduate and graduate programs in creative writing! These outstanding courses of study are housed in the famed School of the Arts, which enjoys a legacy of unmatched literary creation. Did you know that J.D. Salinger enrolled in a short story course here in 1939? Choose the Major in Creative Writing and you’ll study under an acclaimed, world-class faculty as you elevate your creative skillset in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, or multi-genre (combination of two genres). This program comes complete with writing workshops at all levels and exciting seminars that are sure to inspire and excite. The esteemed MFA Writing program is renowned for its faculty of acclaimed writers and editors; its focus on literary instruction; and its artistic and literary diversity. Students of this program choose a concentration in fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction. They study in intimate workshops (just 7 to 12 students) and regularly present their work, receive constructive feedback from their peers, and meet with faculty for one-on-one conferences.

Sarah Lawrence College (Private)

Bronxville, NY

sarah lawrence college

Also offers: Major in Writing (on-campus)

  • Home to one of the largest writing faculties in the country
  • Workshop-style courses offer unmatched support, guidance, and constructive feedback
  • Exciting research and teaching opportunities available to MFA students
  • MFA concentrations in poetry, creative nonfiction, or speculative fiction

Whether you’re interested in an undergraduate or graduate degree in creative writing, Sarah Lawrence College has what you need to prepare for an exciting career or future graduate school! One of the first things you’ll notice is the vibrant artistic and writing community at Sarah Lawrence. It’s home to one of the largest writing faculties in the country; an outstanding selection of courses in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry; and engaging workshop-style courses that offer unmatched support and guidance. Thanks to a prime location near NYC, creative writing students enjoy access to opportunities in a vibrant, second-to-none arts and culture scene. The MFA program here boasts a dedicated faculty of distinguished writers; concentrations in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, or speculative fiction; and a versatile curriculum that allows students to explore writing that transcends genres. Some of the features of the MFA we’re particularly fond of include frequent meetings with faculty; small, intimate classes; and exciting graduate teaching and research opportunities.

Syracuse University (Private)

Syracuse, NY

syracuse university

  • Highly selective MFA program admits just six poets and six fiction writers annually
  • Outstanding record of student success – 94% of graduates are employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation
  • Ranked among the best national universities by U.S. News & World Report

Syracuse University offers a BA and MFA in Creative Writing and a storied legacy of producing acclaimed writers. From Stephen Crane to Joyce Carol Oates, Syracuse has long been where emerging and practicing writers flock for intensive study and unmatched inspiration! The BA program offers a balanced blend of literary study, workshop-style writing courses, and craft classes in creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. The renowned MFA in Creative Writing program is a three-year, highly selective course of graduate study that admits just six poets and six fiction writers each year.

Pratt University-Main (Private)

SCHOOL OF LIBERAL ARTS AND SCIENCES

Brooklyn, NY

pratt university

  • BFA features your choice of specialization in fiction, poetry, or nonfiction
  • MFA boasts exciting opportunities to participate in guided fieldwork residencies with an outside community organization, nonprofit, or activist group
  • MFA offers superb faculty mentoring

Pratt University boasts a BFA and MFA in Writing – your pathway to outstanding careers in publishing, editing, journalism, marketing, business, education, and beyond! Undergraduate creative writing students here study in a studio-based learning environment that includes specializing in fiction, poetry, or nonfiction and exploring contemporary genres like playwriting, screenwriting, children’s book writing, and young adult writing. The MFA in Writing program offers a highly rigorous, engaging program of study that’s built to address the needs of today’s contemporary writer in changing times. Some of the features of this program that you’re sure to love include The Writing Studio, a weekly critiquing forum; outstanding, one-on-one faculty mentoring; and guided fieldwork residencies with an outside community organization, nonprofit, or activist group.

North Carolina State University at Raleigh (Public)

COLLEGE OF HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES

Raleigh, NC

nc state university

  • Outstanding, student-centered learning environment features a low, student-to-faculty ratio of just 15:1
  • Named the top public university in North Carolina by Money Magazine
  • MFA in Creative Writing is the only one of its kind in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill region
  • MFA is fully funded through graduate teaching assistantships

North Carolina State University at Raleigh is home to both an undergraduate and graduate degree in creative writing! The BA in English with a Creative Writing concentration features a solid English foundation alongside courses in several genres, including fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and screenwriting. Intensive writing workshops here are designed to create an engaging, tightknit learning environment where students are encouraged to hone their creative voice. The MFA in Creative Writing boasts a two-year intensive course of graduate study that’s rich in workshops and interdisciplinary coursework and culminates in a final thesis of your original work. Students of this graduate course of study apprentice under master writers and learn from an experienced faculty of working writers and poets.

Warren Wilson College (Private)

THE MFA PROGRAM FOR WRITERS AT WARREN WILSON COLLEGE

Asheville, NC

warren wilson college

  • Home to the first and one of the most prestigious low-residency MFA programs in the nation
  • Originally founded in 1976 by Ellen Bryant Voigt, and in residence at Warren Wilson College since 1981
  • Superb faculty of award-winning authors and poets (many of whom are recipients of the Pulitzer Prize, Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellowships, National Book Awards, and more)
  • Low-residency MFA effortlessly combines individualized mentorship with on-campus residencies for maximum convenience and flexibility
  • MFA features a superb standard student-to-faculty ratio of just 3:1

The MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College enjoys a national reputation as a top-ranked MFA program and features a prime learning environment that’s marked by extensive one-one-one exchanges between faculty mentor and student as well as on-campus residencies every six months. Well regarded for its craft-based rigor as well as its fostering of a supportive and noncompetitive environment, the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College prepares its graduates for a lifetime of writing.

Warren Wilson College’s undergraduate program in Creative Writing is designed to allow students to focus their undergraduate course of study on two genres (choose from fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry). It’s also home to the Writing Studio, a place where students hone their creative voice and explore new ideas and techniques. Outstanding student and faculty feedback and exciting opportunities to engage in hands-on learning round out this comprehensive course of study.

The undergraduate program benefits from presence of Warren Wilson’s highly-regarded MFA program through twice-yearly visits by MFA Writers in Residence: faculty members who provide a class and reading. They also have the opportunity to attend January residency lectures and readings and work with MFA Mentors as part of an undergraduate “Residency Class.”

Miami University-Oxford (Public)

miami university oxford

  • Outstanding record of student success – 96% of all graduates are employed or continuing their education
  • Ranked among the top 50 public universities in the nation by U.S. News & World Report
  • Fully funded MFA provides graduate teaching assistantships to all MFA students; non-teaching assistantships may also be available

Miami University – Oxford is home to both a BA and MFA in Creative Writing – your opportunity to refine your creative skillset and become a successful writer in any number of fields! The BA program boasts a full-time creative faculty of eight award-winning writers who provide unmatched learning opportunities for a select group of students (usually between 20-25) in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and screenwriting. Intensive, engaging workshop-style courses ensure outstanding collaboration, communication, and constructive feedback, while visiting authors offer readings and craft talks that are guaranteed to inspire. The MFA brings some of the most talented, emerging writers from across the country to participate in a close-knit, rigorous course of study in creative nonfiction, poetry, fiction, multimedia, and performance writing. Some of the highlights of this program include four, practice-oriented workshops and seminars in literature; close mentorship from faculty; and the opportunity to create a publishable, full-length work of fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction by the end of the program. This fully funded program provides graduate teaching assistantships to all MFA students; non-teaching assistantships may also be available. And each year, two MFA students are awarded creative writing internships in China!

Kent State University at Kent (Public)

kent state university

Northeast Ohio MFA in Creative Writing (on-campus)

  • Program is a superb consortium of four universities - Kent State University, Cleveland State University, the University of Akron, and Youngstown State University
  • The program is marked by outstanding faculty guidance and mentorship
  • Students enjoy exciting opportunities to participate in regional and national events and programs
  • Full and partial funding opportunities available

Kent State University’s Northern Ohio MFA in Creative Writing (NEOMFA) offers a superb course of graduate study for the emerging creative writer! This program is a consortium program between Kent State, the University of Akron, Cleveland State University, and Youngstown State University. It boasts an award-winning faculty of fifteen and unmatched opportunities to hone your craft in plays, poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. This program brings together a diverse group of students for superb instruction, hands-on learning, faculty mentorship, and individual attention. Students here enjoy access to exciting programs and events like the Juniper Institute of Massachusetts, the Imagination Writers Conference in Cleveland, and the annual Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference.

University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus (Public)

DODGE FAMILY COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES

university of oklahoma

MA in English-Creative Writing (on-campus)

  • Competitive graduate teaching assistantships available
  • Versatile and flexible programs give students the freedom to choose courses and create a personalized course of study that best reflects their personal interests and career goals
  • Option to round out your program by creating a thesis of your original work in fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction

The University of Oklahoma Norman is home to the esteemed MA in English with a Creative Writing emphasis – a superb graduate course of study for those with a love of creating the written word! We love the flexible and versatile design of this program that gives students the freedom to choose courses that best reflect their personal interests and professional goals. As a student of this program, you’ll work alongside a departmental advisor to design a personalized program of study. You’re also sure to appreciate the tightknit, engaging academic environment here that features small, seminar and pro-seminar courses and close mentorship from an internationally recognized faculty. You’ll also enjoy the option of rounding out your creative writing graduate program by creating a thesis of your original work in fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction.

Eastern Oregon University (Public)

COLLEGE OF ARTS, HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES

La Grande, OR

eastern oregon university

MFA in Creative and Environmental Writing (low-residency)

Also offers: BA/BS in English-Writing (on-campus, online)

  • Outstanding, student-centered learning environment features small class sizes and a low, student-to-faculty undergraduate ratio of just 17:1
  • Flexible BA/BS degree offers your choice of on-campus or online study
  • Low-residency MFA blends convenient, online study with on-campus summer residencies
  • Specialty, one-of-a-kind Wilderness, Ecology, and Community MFA program, which connects students to the Pacific Northwest’s rich tradition of writers

Eastern Oregon University is where emerging creative writers flock for unmatched academic opportunities at the undergraduate and graduate level! The BA/BS in English – Creative Writing program boasts small class sizes; superb support from a dedicated faculty; and an opportunity to complete your degree 100% online! The online program features a fully online course delivery and options to study on a part- or full-time basis for outstanding convenience and flexibility. The MFA in Creative and Environmental Writing offers an in-depth exploration of the craft; a low-residency curriculum model that ensures superb convenience for working adults; genre focus options in fiction, poetry, or young adult literature; and a superb opportunity to specialize your program through the one-of-a-kind Wilderness, Ecology, and Community program, which connects students to the Pacific Northwest’s rich tradition of writers such as Gary Snyder, William O. Douglas, Kathleen Dean Moore, Annie Dillard, Robert Michael Pyle, and more.

University of Oregon (Public)

DIVISION OF GRADUATE STUDIES

university of oregon

Each MFA student is offered a teaching appointment in return for a full tuition waiver and stipend.

  • Opportunity to fully fund your MFA through a teaching appointment
  • Ranked a top-tier public research university and the top public university in Oregon by U.S. News & World Report
  • Highly selective program accepts just 10 students annually – five in poetry, and five in fiction

The University of Oregon’s MFA in Creative Writing features two years of study; your choice of focus in poetry or fiction; and a rich curriculum that’s highlighted by engaging, workshop-style courses and craft seminars. This rigorous course of study, which is one of the oldest and most distinguished programs of its kind in the nation, boasts unmatched opportunities to hone your craft and enjoy career success in a variety of fields. This highly selective program admits just 10 applicants each year (five in fiction and five in poetry) to ensure an intimate, highly engaging graduate experience.

University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus (Public)

KENNETH P. DIETRICH SCHOOL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES

Pittsburgh, PA

university of pittsburgh

Also offers: BA in Writing (Fiction, Poetry, Nonfiction) (on-campus)

  • Ranked as the top university in the Northeast U.S. by the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education
  • Outstanding opportunities to learn from esteemed, visiting writers through the Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series
  • MFA features your choice of focus in fiction, nonfiction, or poetry

The University of Pittsburgh is home to a BA in Writing and an MFA in Writing, both of which are housed in the university’s famed Writing Program – a large and diverse community of artists who explore both traditional and emerging media. It’s where you’ll find students lending their talents to esteemed literary journals and digital publications and where visiting writers come to educate and inspire through the Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series. At the graduate level, the Writing Program admits nine students across the genres each year for a fully funded course of study in fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. We love the many exciting opportunities to expand your college experience through internships and study abroad experiences to places like London, Sydney, Berlin, Dublin, Paris, and Madrid.

Cedar Crest College (Private)

DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY, LANGUAGES AND LITERATURE

Allentown, PA

cedar crest college

Pan-European Creative Writing MFA (low-residency)

  • Options to focus on poetry, fiction, nonfiction, or travel writing
  • Home to the first pan-European graduate-level writer’s program offered by an American university
  • MFA boasts an award-winning internationally acclaimed faculty of writers
  • Exciting European residencies are complemented with online study for a flexible, versatile course of study

Cedar Crest is where you’ll find a superb course of graduate study in creative writing that comes complete with your choice of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, or travel writing focus… a low-residency model that delivers outstanding flexibility and convenience… and an unmatched opportunity to be inspired as you travel across Europe! The MFA in Creative Writing features an in-depth exploration of the craft of creative writing that culminates in the creation of your own original work of literature. Choose a focus (or two) and learn to refine your skillset under the guidance of an award-winning faculty of writers. This truly unique course of study brings together talented writers from around the world for three, 15-day intensive workshops held in superb European locations that are sure to spark your creativity. Residencies here are held in July and rotate between Dublin, Ireland; Barcelona, Spain; and Vienna, Australia. You’ll complete the rest of your program requirements through convenient online study.

Brown University (Private)

THE COLLEGE

Providence, RI

brown university

MFA in Literary Arts (on-campus)

Also offers: BA in Literary Arts (on-campus)

  • Outstanding, student-centered learning environment features a low, 6:1 student-to-faculty ratio
  • Superb record of student success – 96% of all graduates are employed or in grad school within six months of graduation
  • Home to exciting, dynamic creative writing workshops for outstanding, hands-on learning

Brown University’s undergraduate and graduate programs in Literary Arts offer a deep dive into the craft of writing. Choose the undergraduate program and you’ll develop your skills in one or more genres through four creative writing workshops and six, reading-intensive courses. This unique course of undergraduate study (it’s one of just a few in the nation) is where emerging writers in fiction, poetry, electronic writing (hypertext), and mixed media gather to elevate and refine their creative skillset. The MFA program welcomes just 12 graduate student writers annually for an in-depth exploration of creative writing and a choice of focus in fiction, poetry, or digital-cross-disciplinary. This innovative program is focused on student-centered learning and features a rigorous curriculum that’s delivered by a faculty of internationally acclaimed writers.

University of South Carolina-Columbia (Public)

Columbia, SC

university of south carolina columbia

Also offers: BA in English-Writing concentration (on-campus)

  • Fully funded, highly selective MFA program accepts just eight students annually – four poets and four fiction writers
  • Ranked among the nation’s institutions with the best first-year experience by U.S. News & World Report
  • Highly versatile BA allows students to create a personalized program through their choice of writing courses

The University of South Carolina – Columbia’s BA and MFA programs are designed to inspire the emerging writer for an exciting pathway to careers in publishing, journalism, editing, marketing, business, and beyond! The BA in English with a Creative Writing concentration features a core of literature courses that are complemented with creative writing courses. Under the guidance of a faculty advisor, you’ll create a personalized course of study that best matches your personal interests and professional goals. We love the small class sizes and the superb faculty that’s dedicated to your success. The fully funded MFA program here is chocked full of features that are sure to align with your career goals. You’ll appreciate the intimate learning environment that comes complete with an award-winning faculty of writers, world-class visiting writers, and plenty of exciting opportunities to flex your creative skillset through hands-on experiences. The highly selective Creative Writing MFA accepts just four poets and four fiction writers each year and caps workshops at just 12 students for a truly engaging, dynamic program of study. Interested in pursuing education after you graduate? You’ll love the MFA program’s signature writing outreach program, Split P, which allows MFA students to hone their teaching skills in local public elementary schools.

Vanderbilt University (Private)

Nashville, TN

vanderbilt university

  • Ranked among the top 15 MFA programs in the country by Poets and Writers magazine
  • All MFA students receive a three-year, 12-month funding package
  • Highly selective MFA accepts students in poetry and prose

Vanderbilt University offers emerging and practicing writers their choice of an undergraduate or graduate-focused course of study in creative writing, both of which are built on the university’s longstanding reputation as a world-renowned institution. Both programs are delivered in small, seminar-style classes that encourage creativity, collaboration, and outstanding constructive feedback. The Creative Writing MFA program, which has been part of Vanderbilt’s fabric for nearly a century, features a three-year, fully funded course of graduate study that brings together emerging writers of fiction and poetry. This highly selective program is home to just 18 students at any time (nine in poetry and nine in prose), which ensures a truly tightknit, supportive learning environment. Just some of the unique opportunities available to students of the MFA include serving on the editorial board of the Nashville Review ; studying under distinguished, visiting writers-in-residence; and teaching introductory creative writing workshops.

University of Texas at Austin (Public)

university of texas austin

New Writer’s Project – MFA in Creative Writing (on-campus)

Michener center for writers – mfa in writing (on-campus).

*Both MFA options are fully funded  with absolutely no tuition costs for students accepted into the programs

  • Home to the Oxford Summer Program – an exciting exploration of life and literature at Oxford University in England
  • Features two, world-class MFA programs – one in creative writing and one in writing – both offer fully funded programs of study
  • Outstanding opportunities to learn from esteemed, working authors, attend events, and become immersed in the writing community, both on-campus and throughout Austin

The University of Texas at Austin plays host to both undergraduate and graduate programs in creative writing that are expertly designed to inspire and prepare emerging writers for a host of outstanding professional opportunities in fields like marketing, publishing, business, editing, education, and beyond! The Major in English with a Creative Writing concentration features a solid foundation in British, American, and world literature alongside focused courses in the art and craft of creative writing. The New Writer’s Project – MFA in Creative Writing and the Michener Center for Writers – MFA in Writing boast fully funded programs of study that are delivered in tightknit learning environments under close faculty mentorship. The three-year studio MFA in Creative Writing program features opportunities to study and practice fiction and poetry and connect with students and faculty of its partner MFA program, the Michener Center for Writers. This MFA in Writing program features a three-year program of study that admits writers in a primary genre (fiction, poetry, playwriting, or screenwriting) yet also provides them with ample opportunities to study a second genre. While the MFA in Creative Writing offers teaching experiences, the MFA in Writing funds students through fellowships alone, thereby requiring no teaching requirements.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Public)

COLLEGE OF LIBERAL ARTS AND HUMAN SCIENCES

Blacksburg, VA

virginia tech

  • Exciting, study abroad opportunities include a faculty-led trip to London (offered through an exchange program with Loughborough University)
  • Fully funded MFA provides equal funding to all students
  • MFA program has been consistently ranked among the top 30 programs in the nation by Poets & Writers magazine
  • Highly selective MFA program admits just 4-5 students annually in each genre (fiction and poetry)

Virginia Tech is home to both a BA and MFA in Creative Writing and a rich learning environment that opens the door to a superb exploration of your creative interests. The BA program features an examination of major writers and literary traditions and a faculty of published writers that provide unmatched support and guidance as you work toward producing a portfolio of your own creative work. Explore your interests by choosing among the program’s more than 100 English courses (you’ll have 36 credits of free electives to personalize your course of study); study modern and contemporary literature; and dive deep into playwriting, nonfiction, or writing fiction for young people! The three-year, fully funded MFA features your choice of focus in poetry or fiction, a faculty of esteemed, published writers and scholars, and plenty of opportunities to explore your craft across genres.

Hollins University (Private)

JACKSON CENTER FOR CREATIVE WRITING

Roanoke, VA

hollins university

Also offers:

  • BA in Creative Writing (on-campus)
  • Superb undergraduate record of success – 95% of all graduates are employed or in graduate school within a year of graduating
  • MFA program features a personalized curriculum and outstanding faculty support
  • Hollins’ Creative Writing MFA has one of the highest publishing records of any graduate school in the nation
  • Hollins University has long been called “Pulitzer U” for its award-winning faculty and alumni

Hollins University’s Jackson Center for Creative Writing is where you’ll find exciting pathways to rewarding, writing-intensive careers in a variety of fields! Hollins’ multi-genre approach allows students to study and explore their craft in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction while also gaining a valuable foundation of knowledge in literature. Creative writing here is supported by a faculty of esteemed, award-winning writers and scholars and marked by outstanding, hands-on learning experiences both within and outside the walls of the classroom. At the undergraduate level, you’ll choose from a Major in Creative Writing or an English Major with a concentration in Creative Writing, while at the graduate level, you’ll have the opportunity to pursue the two-year MFA program, which is home to a versatile and personalized curriculum and the type of support that creates the most successful writers. This small program enrolls just 20-24 students at any given time, thereby keeping the learning environment small and highly engaging. This program includes funding opportunities that include travel and research funding.

University of Washington-Seattle Campus (Public)

Seattle, WA

university of washington

MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry, Prose) (on-campus)

  • Fully funded MFA – students funded through teaching assistantships, fellowships, and through the Amazon Literary Partnership
  • Home to an esteemed faculty of award-winning authors
  • Highly selective MFA program admits just 8-10 students annually

Creative writing is part of the fabric of the University of Washington – Seattle’s English Department, long offering outstanding courses of undergraduate and graduate study to produce competent, talented writers with skills that transcend career fields. The English major with a Creative Writing option is your opportunity to grow as a communicator and artist! This program features a small, student-centered learning environment that’s marked by writing workshops that are designed to spark your creativity and hone your skills. The MFA in Creative Writing is a two-year program of poetry and prose that boasts an outstanding faculty of award-winning writers (many of whom have been awarded fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts). This highly selective, fully funded course of study admits just 8-10 students each year, thereby ensuring outstanding support and collaboration. Students here participate in literary seminars and workshops and round out their graduate study by completing a creative manuscript of original work.

University of Washington-Bothell Campus (Public)

SCHOOL OF INTERDISCIPLINARY ARTS AND SCIENCES

Bothell, WA

MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics (on-campus)

  • Versatile and flexible MFA encourages writing across the genres and exploring hybrid genres
  • Evening courses accommodate the lives of today’s busy, working students
  • Lively, on-campus gatherings bring together students, faculty, and renowned writers and artists

The University of Washington (Bothell campus) offers an esteemed MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics – a program rich in exploration and discovery. This uniquely structured program is structured according to areas of inquiry instead of genres, which allows students to explore and experiment across genres. You’re free to hone your craft here as you see fit, with experimentation with hybrid genres encouraged. Each year, students meet at the Fall Convergence, which brings together internationally renowned writers and artists. And the school year closes with the Spring Festival, a place for students to share their thesis work and get inspired by a student-nominated speaker. This program features evening courses that are designed to accommodate the busy lives of working students.

mfa online creative writing

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

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Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing

Grow your passion for writing into a career with liberty’s online mfa in creative writing.

Do you want to become the best creative writer you can be and get your work into the hands of readers? Liberty’s 100% online Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing can help you develop your writing passion into a career so you can set your works free to impact culture and the world.

Our online MFA in Creative Writing is designed to help you build on your writing skills with specific workshops dedicated to the craft of fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, or screenwriting. With a progress-focused approach to writing practice combined with mentorship from our faculty of experienced writers and scholars, you can learn the specific skills you need to make your writing stand out.

What Will You Learn in Our Online MFA in Creative Writing?

  • How to market your projects and receive new writing opportunities
  • How to write compelling stories that engage readers
  • Organizing writing and adapting it to different types of writing
  • Tailoring writing to specific audiences and markets
  • What makes art effective, compelling, and impactful

The MFA in Creative Writing program is designed to help you learn to be an excellent creative writer across the genres of creative fiction, non-fiction, screenwriting, and poetry. You will learn how to produce aesthetically and culturally engaging creative works while gaining professional knowledge and practice. You will also study foundational contemporary literature so that you have a background in studying important works to draw on for your writing. To help you in your professional writing, you will also study many essential skills like editing, layout, and the business of publishing so that you can best position yourself for success in the market.

Through your creative writing courses and workshops, you will develop your craft so that you will be ready for your capstone project. This capstone will demonstrate your writing achievements and provide you with a guided process to help you complete a creative work you can be proud of.

Career Opportunities for Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Graduates

  • Book and magazine writer
  • Business communications specialist
  • Creative writing instructor
  • Publications editor
  • Screenwriter
  • Website copy editor and writer
  • Writing manager

Highlights of Our Online MFA in Creative Writing Degree

As a leader in distance education since 1985, we understand what it takes to create a flexible and affordable education for busy people. Since we have been investing in distance and online learning for decades, our experience has taught us how to streamline our degree options so you can focus on what really matters to you. While many schools offer online degrees, we believe Liberty stands out.

Here’s what sets us apart:

  • We are recognized by multiple institutions for our academic quality, affordability, and accessibility . Our commitment to excellence also helped us rank in the top 10% of Niche.com’s best online schools in America . Earning your online MFA degree from a nonprofit university with this kind of recognition can help set you apart from others in your field.
  • Your success is our success, which is why we are committed to providing quality academics at an affordable tuition rate. While other colleges are increasing their tuition, we have frozen tuition rates for our undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs for the past 9 years – and counting.
  • Liberty University has partnered with New York Times bestselling author and Christian novelist Karen Kingsbury to create the Karen Kingsbury Center for Writing. Your curriculum includes content developed by Kingsbury herself.
  • With creative writing workshops and a capstone that will guide you through the completion of a major work of writing, you will have support and guidance to become the best writer you can be.
  • You can complete the MFA in Creative Writing in as little as 2 years!

Master’s in Creative Writing Military Benefits

Service is important to us, so whether you’re currently serving in the Armed Forces, have served, or are married to someone who serves, we’re here to serve you.

Liberty’s military benefits are available to:

  • Active duty service members of the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Reserve/National Guard
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  • Spouses of service members and veterans/retirees
  • Current Department of Defense employees

We are proud to support you in your pursuit of a flexible and affordable online education by offering you the following benefits:

  • Tuition discounts – $275 per credit hour for graduate courses
  • Additional discount for veterans who serve in a civilian capacity as a First Responder (less than $625 per course)
  • 8-week courses, 8 different start dates each year, and no set login times (may exclude certain courses such as practicums, internships, or field experiences)

Credit Hours

mfa online creative writing

100% online, 8-week courses

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Transfer in up to 50% of the degree total

Next Start Date

Aug 19, 2024

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Liberty University is accredited by SACSCOC

mfa online creative writing

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As an accredited Christian college with a 7,000-acre campus in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty University offers you an education that is both academically challenging and rooted in a biblical worldview.

At Liberty, you’ll benefit from 35+ years of learning, growing, adapting, and innovating for the distance learner — and more than a decade of researching the needs of the online student. You can be confident that we’ve taken the time to learn what’s important to you.

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Throughout your educational journey, you will have access to academic resources that will aid in the completion of your degree. Services include our Jerry Falwell Library, writing center, tutoring, study aids, IT assistance, 30+ tutorial videos, live webinars, and personalized help from our academic advising team.

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As a nonprofit (not-for-profit) university, Liberty is in the business of training skilled professionals to make a difference in the world – not gaining profit, revenue, or producing dividends for shareholders. In keeping with our commitment to your education, we invest our resources back into degree programs and into your student experience.

While many other online colleges have raised tuition, Liberty has been able to keep costs low as a nonprofit university and has not increased tuition for 9 straight years. Lower tuition means less student loan debt for students.

For Liberty University, nonprofit is more than a status; it is a valuable opportunity to invest in the lives of students who will go out and impact the world.

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Master of Fine Arts (MFA) offered in On-campus, Online, and Blended formats.

St. charles / st. louis / online master of fine arts in writing (mfa).

The award-winning  MFA in Writing program at Lindenwood University in St. Louis (St. Charles, MO) focuses on the study and practice of the craft of creative writing.

We offer a wide variety of courses in small class settings, which allows personalized attention from faculty. Our courses focus on refining the craft (techniques) of writing, and most incorporate workshop components. We also offer professional courses focused on publishing, teaching, writing-related work, and courses in which students can serve as editorial assistants for  The Lindenwood Review   literary journal. 

The MFA program offers workshop classes, literature classes, and craft classes in a wide variety of genres and focus areas. Students may take all coursework fully online, or they may choose to include up to one hybrid class per term (which is offered virtually and at our St. Louis / St. Charles campus; see our Local Students page  for more info). Classes are offered intermittently on a rotating schedule.

This master's degree in writing offers classes taught by  experienced writers  who are published authors, journalists, and editors.

MFA in Writing program acceptance is based upon approval of a submitted creative writing sample and statement of purpose. 

Visit our About the MFA page and our Prospective Students  page for more information, or contact us at [email protected] .

  • Ranked as #2 after Harvard University for Best Online Masters in Creative Writing Programs by both BestColleges.com in 2019 and TheBestSchools.org in 2020.
  • Ranked in top five most affordable online creative writing MFA programs in 2020 and 2023 by AffordableColleges.com .
  • Ranked in top ten by  BestCollegeReviews.org for 2020.
  • Ranked the #1 Best Online MFA Creative Writing Program by CollegeChoice.net in 2018 and 2023 .
  • Ranked by OnlineMasters.com as "Most Innovative" program and as the #2 online Masters in Creative Writing program.
  • Ranked #3 in "Most Affordable Online" programs by OnlineU.org in 2020.
  • Also nationally recognized by GreatCollegeDeals.net .

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Arizona State University

Creative Writing, MFA

  • Program description
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english, literature, poetry, prose, story

ASU's creative writing program, distinguished by an outstanding faculty whose works have received major national and international recognition, is consistently ranked among top-tier programs in poetry and fiction. The program's curricular strengths, community outreach and close mentorship combine to advance pragmatic, effective outcomes for students, graduates and artist-citizens.

The MFA in creative writing at ASU has always been an unswervingly student-first program. Through small classes, intimate workshops and one-to-one mentoring, the centuries-old apprenticeship model thrives within the New American University. Poets and fiction writers work with outstanding faculty who have published more than 80 books and garnered national and international attention through awards and honors that include:

  • Guggenheim, Howard Foundation, Lannan Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and United Artists fellowships
  • international Griffin Poetry Prize and Whiting Award
  • multiple Pulitzer Prizes
  • two medals of achievement from the National Society of Arts and Letters
  • two Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets
  • Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets

Additionally, in concert with the Master of Fine Arts program, several campus entities contribute to the MFA experience: the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing offers students a wide range of fellowships, support for professional development, and other teaching and leadership opportunities including a Community Outreach Graduate Assistantship. The Center for Imagination in the Borderlands brings writers and other artists for intensive workshops, classes and public events, and offers an artistic development and teaching assistant fellowship and two research assistantships. The Master of Fine Arts program also hosts a newly inaugurated series of craft lectures and an alumni reading series.

Furthermore, students have access to a variety of additional professional development opportunities, including serving on the editorial board of an international literary journal Hayden's Ferry Review, translation experience through the Thousand Languages Project and internships with award-winning independent literary press Four Way Books.

  • College/school: The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Location: Tempe

48 credit hours including a written comprehensive exam and the required applied project course (ENG 593)

Coursework (39 credit hours)

Other Requirement (6 credit hours) ENG 592 Research (6)

Culminating Experience (3 credit hours) ENG 593 Applied Project (3)

Additional Curriculum Information The creative writing program requires 48 credit hours of study evenly divided between writing courses and literature courses designed to inform that writing.

While students are expected to satisfy these requirements in the genre in which they were accepted, the program encourages cross-genre study, and electives can include courses taken outside of the creative writing program or even outside of the English department.

A written comprehensive exam and an applied project are required.

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree from a regionally accredited institution. Applicants should have an undergraduate major in English or creative writing; however, exceptional students who do not have either of these undergraduate majors may be admitted on the basis of writing excellence.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  • graduate admission application and application fee
  • official transcripts
  • statement of purpose
  • resume or curriculum vitae
  • three letters of recommendation
  • creative manuscript
  • statement of teaching philosophy
  • academic writing sample
  • proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information An applicant whose native language is not English (regardless of current residency) and has not graduated from an institution of higher learning in the United States must provide proof of English proficiency . Applications will not be processed without valid proof of English proficiency. Please note that official scores must be sent to ASU in order for the application to be processed.

The personal statement should include the applicant's writing background, intended area of specialization and a brief self-evaluation of recent work (double-spaced, up to three pages or 750 words). The creative manuscript should be up to 20 pages of poetry or up to 30 pages of prose (prose should be double-spaced). Students applying for a teaching assistantship must submit a statement of teaching philosophy and an academic writing sample.

SessionModalityDeadlineType
Session A/CIn Person 01/01Final

Program learning outcomes identify what a student will learn or be able to do upon completion of their program. This program has the following program outcomes:

  • Create original fiction or poetry that incorporates theoretical and foundational literary knowledge.
  • Explicate their creative works articulately.
  • Analyze and critique the writing of other creative writers.

A Master of Fine Arts in creative writing graduate is prepared primarily for the professional creation of new art, including fiction, poetry and other written forms. In addition to working as novelists, poets and short story writers, graduates go on to careers in education, arts administration, media and entertainment, and in political and community organizations. Career examples include:

  • book designer or marketer
  • book or magazine editor
  • creative writing professor
  • essayist or journalist
  • grant writer and developer
  • literary or events coordinator
  • nonprofit administrator
  • public relations and communications manager
  • screenwriter
  • secondary education teacher

Department of English | RBHL 152 [email protected] 480-727-9130 Admission deadlines

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Fully Funded MFA Programs in Creative Writing

Cornell University in Ithaca New York

As part of our series  How to Fully Fund Your Master’s Degree , here is a list of universities that have fully funded MFA programs in creative writing. A Master’s of Fine Arts in creative writing can lead to a career as a professional writer, in academia, and more.

Fully funded MFA programs in Creative Writing offer a financial aid package for full-time students that includes full tuition remission as well as an annual stipend or salary during the entire program, which for Master’s degrees is usually 1-2 years. Funding usually comes with the expectation that students will teach or complete research in their field of study. Not all universities fully fund their Master’s students, which is why researching the financial aid offerings of many different programs, including small and lesser-known schools both in the U.S. and abroad, is essential.

In addition to listing fully funded Master’s and PhD programs, the ProFellow fellowships database also includes external funding opportunities for graduate school, including fellowships for dissertation research, fieldwork, language study, study abroad, summer work experiences, and professional development.

Would you like to receive the full list of more than 1000+ fully funded Master’s and PhD programs in 60 disciplines? Download the FREE Directory of Fully Funded Graduate Programs and Full Funding Awards !

Here is the list of 53 universities that offer fully-funded MFA programs (Master’s of Fine Arts) in Creative Writing.

University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL): Students admitted to the MFA Program are guaranteed full financial support for up to 4-years. Assistantships include a stipend paid over nine months (currently $14,125), and full payment of up to 15 credit hours of graduate tuition.

University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ): All accepted MFA students receive full funding through a graduate teaching assistantship for 3 years. This package includes tuition remission, health insurance, and a modest stipend (in 2018 it was about $16,100 per academic year).

Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ): 3-year program. All students admitted to the MFA program who submit a complete and approved teaching assistantship application are awarded a TA by the Department of English. Each assistantship carries a three-course per year load and includes a tuition waiver and health insurance in addition to the TA stipend ($18,564 per year). In addition, students have diverse opportunities for additional financial and professional support.

University of Arkansas (Fayetteville, AR): Four-year program. Teaching assistantships currently carry an annual stipend of $13,500 for students with a BA. TAs also receive a waiver of all tuition costs and teach two courses each semester. Nearly all of our accepted students receive TAs. Additionally, the students compete each year for several fellowships.

Boise State University (Boise, Idaho): 3-year fully funded MFA program dedicated to poetry and fiction. All students receive a tuition waiver, health insurance, and a Teaching Assistantship with a stipend of $11,450 per year.

Bowling Green State University (Bowling Green, OH): 2-year program, graduate assistantships (including stipend and scholarship) are available for all eligible face-to-face students. 100% tuition scholarship. Graduate stipend (the 2020-21 stipend is $11,500).

Brown University (Providence, RI): All incoming MFA students received full funding. All graduate students receive a fellowship that pays a monthly stipend and provides tuition remission, the health fee, and health insurance. The stipend for the 2020-2021 academic year is $29,926. Also, students in good standing receive a summer stipend of $2,993.

Boston University (Boston, MA): Tuition costs will be covered for every admitted student for the MFA degree in the BU Creative Writing Program. In addition, admitted students will receive university health insurance while they are enrolled, and all admitted students will receive stipend support of roughly $16,000 for the academic year.

Cornell University (Ithaca, NY): All MFA degree candidates are guaranteed 2 years of funding (including a stipend, a full-tuition fellowship, and student health insurance).

University of California Irvine (Irvine, CA): 3-year program. The Department is committed to providing 3 full years of financial support to all domestic students in the MFA Programs in Writing. Financial support for MFA students is given in the form of Teaching Assistantships providing full tuition coverage as well as University health insurance. Students will earn an estimated $22,569 for the academic year.

University of California San Diego (La Jolla, CA): MFA in Writing students are eligible for financial support if they study full-time, maintain good academic standing and make timely progress toward the degree. All students are eligible for full funding, including international students provided they meet the English language certification requirement for teaching assistants.

University of California Riverside (Riverside, CA): All incoming students are granted a full fellowship and stipend for their first year. After the first year, students receive full tuition and a salary through teaching assistantships.

Florida Atlantic University (Boca Raton, FL): 3-year program. All of the MFA students qualify for a position as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. The GTA position comes with a tuition waiver and a stipend. The standard stipend is $9,000, but some enhanced stipends are available. The Graduate College offers several fellowships for current graduate students.

Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL): The majority of students receive support in the form of a teaching assistantship and are provided with a stipend, a tuition waiver, and a health-insurance subsidy. MFA students receive a three-year assistantship. For 2022-23, MA/MFA stipends will be $16,400, and typically these amounts go up each year. Also, The FSU Graduate School offers several fellowships and awards.

Georgia College & State University (Milledgeville, GA): The MFA Program offers workshops in fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry, and students take cross-genre workshops. All students admitted to the MFA program receive a Graduate Assistantship for all 3 years that includes a stipend and tuition remission.

University of Houston (Houston, TX): MFA students can receive a teaching assistantship for 3 years. Starting salary for MFAs is $17,935/9 months. Students in the Creative. As part of the assistantship, students are awarded either a Graduate Tuition Fellowship, which remits tuition, or a Creative Writing Program Fellowship, which covers the cost of tuition.

University of Idaho (Moscow, Idaho): All English Teaching Assistants (TA’s) are offered full tuition waivers. Teaching Assistants are given a stipend of $14,000 per year. Also offers three scholarships and three outstanding fellowships to support qualified MFA, graduate students.

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (Urbana, IL): Three-year MFA program. Students accepted into the MFA program will receive full tuition waivers, guaranteed teaching assistantships.

Indiana University (Bloomington, IN): M.F.A. programs offer a generous teaching package to creative writing students. All applicants receive consideration for appropriate fellowships that will carry a stipend of about $19,000, plus tuition and fee-remission that covers roughly 90% of the cost of enrollment.

Iowa State University (Ames, IA): 3-year MFA program. Starting half-time 20 hours per week teaching assistantships for MFA students total $19,250 over 10 months and also receive a full-tuition waiver scholarship (approximate value $10,140) and health insurance coverage. The department has several resources available through which to offer fellowships and scholarships to qualifying new students.

University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA): 2-year residency program. Financial assistance is available for all students enrolled in the program, in the form of teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and fellowships. Most fellowships and assistantships provide either tuition scholarships or full tuition remission.

John Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD): 2-year program. All students receive full tuition, health insurance, and a generous teaching fellowship, currently set at $30,500 per year. Some students work as assistant editors on The Hopkins Review. They often win prizes such as Stegner Fellowships or grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.

University of Maryland (College Park, MD): This 3-year program accepts 8 applicants who are fully funded by Teaching Assistantships for up to three years of graduate study. Our aid packages include a stipend of about $20,000 per academic year and 60 credit hours of tuition remission.

Miami University (Oxford, OH): All students admitted to the MFA program in Creative Writing hold generous Graduate Assistantships (which include a summer stipend). Non-teaching assistantships may also be available.

University of Miami (Coral Gables, FL): An intensive two-year study with a third year option. The James Michener Fellowships and Teaching Assistantships support all our graduate students. Awards include a full tuition waiver and annual stipend of $18,915.

University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI): All MFA students accepted into the program are offered a full tuition waiver, a stipend of $23,000/yearly as well as $5,000 in summer funding, and health care benefits. Additionally, various fellowships and prizes are awarded each year to MFA students.

University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN): All admitted MFAs receive full funding, in the form of teaching assistantships or fellowships. Teaching assistantships carry a full tuition waiver, health benefits, and a stipend of about $18,600. Also, a variety of fellowships are available for graduate students.

University of Mississippi (University, MS): All of our students are fully funded.  We offer two main sources of funding, the Grisham Fellowships and Teaching Assistantships.

University of Nevada Las Vegas (Las Vegas, NV): 3-year program. All MFA students admitted to the Creative Writing International program at UNLV are offered Graduate Assistantship funding of $15,000 per year (which includes in-state tuition and provisions for health insurance).

Northwestern University (Evanston, IL): Funding is provided for 3 full years, summers included. Tuition is covered by a tuition scholarship during any quarter in which you are receiving a stipend.

University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, IN): Every student admitted to the MFA receives a full-tuition scholarship, a fellowship that carries a full stipend of $16,000 per year and access to a 100% health insurance subsidy.

North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC): A two-year, fully-funded program, They accept only about a dozen students each year and offer full funding in the form of a graduate teaching assistantship to all eligible admitted applicants.

Ohio State University (Columbus, OH): All admitted students are fully funded for our 3-year MFA program in Creative Writing. In addition, all students receive either a graduate teaching associateship, a Graduate School fellowship or a combination of the two. For graduate teaching associateships, the student receives a stipend of at least $17,000 for the nine-month academic year.

University of Oregon (Eugene OR): A two-year residency MFA program. All incoming MFA students funded with a teaching appointment. Student instructors receive tuition remission, monthly stipends of approximately $18,000.

Oregon State University (Corvallis, OR): All students admitted to the MFA program will automatically receive a standard teaching Graduate Teaching Assistantship contract, which provides full tuition remission and stipend of approximately $12,800 per year to cover living expenses. In addition to tuition remission, all graduate students have the option to receive 89% coverage of health insurance costs for themselves and their dependents.

University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA): 3-year MFA program. All students admitted to the program will receive Teaching Assistantships for two or three years. All Teaching Assistantships include salary, medical benefits, and tuition remission.

Rutgers University–Newark (Newark, NJ): Each full-time incoming student receives in-state Tuition Remission and a Chancellor’s Stipend of 15K per year. Students are also eligible for Teaching Assistantships, and Part-Time Lectureships teaching Comp or Creative Writing. Teaching Assistantships are $25,969 (approximate) plus health benefits.

University of South Florida (Tampa, FL): 3-year program. MFA students receive a tuition waiver, a teaching assistantship that comes with a stipend, and enrollment in group health insurance.

Southern Illinois University (Carbondale, IL): Almost all MFA students hold graduate assistantships, which provide stipends for the academic year and full remission of tuition. The annual stipend, which comes with tuition remission, ranges from $13,000 to $14,500.

Syracuse University (Syracuse, NY): Three-Year M.F.A. in Creative Writing. All students are fully funded. Each student admitted receives a full-tuition scholarship in addition to an annual stipend of $17,500.

University of South Carolina (Columbia, SC): 3-year MFA program. The MFA at Carolina is pleased to provide fellowship and/or assistantship funding to all accepted students, earning our program the designation of “fully funded” from Poets and Writers.

University of Tennessee — Knoxville (Knoxville, TN): There is no cost to apply to the MFA program. All of our PhD candidates and MFA students are fully funded, with generous opportunities for additional financial support.

University of Texas in Austin (Austin, TX): All students in the New Writers Project receive three years of full funding through a combination of teaching assistantships (TA), assistant instructorships (AI), and fellowship support. The complete package includes full tuition remission, health insurance, and a salary.

University of Texas James Michener Center (Austin, TX): A three-year, fully funded residency MFA program that provides full and equal funding to every writer. All admitted students receive a fellowship of $29,500 per academic year, plus total coverage of tuition.

Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN): Each year a small, select class of talented writers of fiction and poetry enroll in Vanderbilt’s three-year, fully-funded MFA Program in Creative Writing. The University Fellowship provides full-tuition benefits, health insurance, and a stipend of $30,000/yearly. In 2nd year and third-year students have the opportunity to teach for one semester.

University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA): Three-year MFA program. Students will receive fellowship support and/or teaching income in the amount of $20,000 each academic year, as well as full funding of your tuition, enrollment fees, and the health insurance premium for single-person coverage through the university.

Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, VA): Three-year MFA degree offers tracks in Poetry and Fiction, and all students are fully and equally funded via GTA-ships of more than $20,000 per year.

Washington University in St. Louis (St. Louis, MO): Because of selectivity and size they are able to offer all the new students full and equal financial aid for both years in the program in the form of a University Fellowship, which provides a complete tuition waiver plus a stipend sufficient for students to live comfortably in our relatively inexpensive city. All MFA students receive health insurance through Washington University.

Western Kentucky University (Bowling Green, KY): Three-year, fully-funded, residential MFA program in creative writing offering generous assistantships, which will allow MFA students to gain valuable experience tutoring and teaching.

West Virginia University (Morgantown, WV): A three-year program. All Master of Fine Arts students receive a full tuition waiver and an assistantship, which includes a stipend valued at $16,750.

Wichita State University (Wichita, Kansas): Most of the MFA students are GTAs who teach two composition classes each semester. They pay no tuition, receive $4,250 each semester and may buy discounted health insurance. The MFA program also awards two $12,500 fellowships each year.

University of Wisconsin–Madison (Madison, WI): All accepted MFA candidates receive tuition remissions, teaching assistantships, generous health insurance, and other financial support. In addition to the approximately $14,680 paid to each MFA annually in exchange for teaching, every MFA candidate will receive another $9,320 in scholarships each year.

University of Wyoming (Laramie, WY): All of our full-time MFA students are fully funded with two-year graduate assistantships. Currently, assistantships include a stipend of $12,330 per academic year, a tuition and fees waiver, and student health insurance. Students also receive summer stipends of up to $2,000 for the summer.

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Shapiro Library

Online MFA in Creative Writing

Need more help, ask a librarian.

   [email protected]

Academic Support Center

   Writing Support This link opens in a new window    Book a 1:1 Appointment This link opens in a new window

Hello and welcome to the Research Guide for SNHU’s Online MFA in Creative Writing.

Here, you’ll find a treasure trove of both academic and professional resources to help guide you through the Online MFA in Creative Writing program, with resources for research, databases, and even plenty of links for pleasure reading.

In the “Reading as a Writer” section, you’ll find our collection of literature, including eBooks, short stories, and literary journals, as well as access to book reviews. We’ve collected a list of genre-specific professional writing organizations in the “Professional Organizations and Associations” sections for further support on writing and publishing within your genre. The “Career Resources” section includes field-related reading on a variety of writing career paths, and a link to SNHU Career. Struggling with writing, citing, or figuring out a pesky grammar rule? Check out our “Grammar and Writing Support” for real-time help.

The Research Guide is intended to be just one of many areas of support for you in the Online MFA. Catch up with your peers, stay on the pulse of industry trends, get help polishing your job package materials, and check out more resources in the Writer’s Community .

Advice to Writers: Quote of the Day

Snhu writing communities & resources.

  • SNHU Creative Writing Review Club This link opens in a new window Those who enjoy writing fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and screenplay writing will submit a work of theirs once a month for critique and discussion.
  • The Penmen Review This link opens in a new window The Penmen Review is Southern New Hampshire University’s online journal for creative writers, featuring resource articles, spotlight interviews and writing in all genres, selected by our editorial board from submitted work.
  • MFA Writer’s Community This link opens in a new window This is a collaborative learning space for all students in your program or course. Your active participation with fellow classmates, faculty and staff are encouraged. The academic resources and social feed contained in the community will help customize your learning experience.

Book Browse - Blog feeds

More from Book Browse Website This link opens in a new window

  • Next: Reading as a Writer >>

Brooklyn College

Creative Writing, M.F.A

School of humanities and social sciences, program overview.

This small, highly personal two-year program confers Master of Fine Arts degrees in fiction, playwriting, and poetry. It offers single-discipline and inter-genre workshops, literature seminars, small-group reading tutorials, and one-on-one tutorials, all of which emphasize relationships between students and eminent faculty. Additionally, students have the opportunity to work on our literary journal, The Brooklyn Review , and give public readings and performances in Brooklyn and Manhattan. The program offers fellowships and prizes. Students may also teach undergraduate courses for the English Department.

Creative Writing, M.F.A

Where You'll Go

Our graduates have had their work published widely and have won competitions sponsored by the Iowa Review , the Colorado Review , the Mississippi Review , and Zoetrope, among many others. They have had books published, received major prizes, founded presses and literary journals, and been included in numerous anthologies, including The Best New Young Poets , Best American Short Stories , Best American Nonrequired Reading , O. Henry , and Pushcart . Our playwrights have won Obie Awards, Guggenheim Fellowships, and the Pulitzer Prize; started theater companies; and had their plays produced in the United States and abroad.

Program Details

The program information listed here reflects the approved curriculum for the 2023–24 academic year per the Brooklyn College Bulletin. Bulletins from past academic years can be found here .

Program Description

Our small, highly personal two-year program confers a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing in fiction, poetry, or playwriting. The program offers single-discipline and inter-genre workshops, literature seminars, small-group reading tutorials, and one-on-one tutorials, which all emphasize relationships between eminent faculty members and students. Additionally, students have the opportunity to work on The Brooklyn Review and give public readings/performances in Brooklyn and Manhattan. The program offers some fellowships as well as prizes and a winter writing residency at the Espy Foundation in Oysterville, Washington. Students may also teach undergraduate courses for the English Department.

Our graduates have had their work published widely and have won competitions sponsored by the Iowa Review, the Colorado Review, the Mississippi Review , and Zoetrope. They have been included in The Best New Young Poets anthology and The Best American Short Stories . Our playwrights have won Obies, started theater companies, and had their plays produced here and abroad.

Matriculation Requirements

Fiction and Poetry: Applicants must offer at least 12 credits in advanced courses in English. Thirty pages of original fiction or 20 pages of original poetry must be submitted for evaluation.

Playwriting: Applicants must offer at least 12 credits in advanced courses in English or theater. One original full-length play or two or more original one-act plays must be submitted for evaluation.

Applicants who do not meet course requirements but whose manuscripts show unusual talent are considered for admission. Manuscripts should be submitted directly to the deputy chair in the English Department at the time of application. Applications are not considered for spring semester admission.

Foreign applicants for whom English is a second language are required to pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a score of 650 on the paper-based test or 280 on the computer-based test or 114 on the internet-based test before being considered for admission.

General matriculation and admission requirements of Graduate Studies are in the chapter “Admission.”

Program Requirements (36 Credits)

Thirty-six credits are required for the degree: 24 credits in the respective creative writing specialization, plus 12 credits in literature courses.

Students may substitute for no more than two such courses any two 7000-level courses from the departments of Art; History; Modern Languages and Literatures; Philosophy; Speech; Television, Radio and Emerging Media; or Theater, or the Conservatory of Music, or another department with the approval of the deputy chair for graduate studies (these courses may also be taken through e-permits at other CUNY branches, including the Graduate Center, or through individual or small group tutorials). Students may substitute one writing workshop or tutorial outside of their major writing specialization for one literature course.

Permission to register for any of these substitute courses may be required from the graduate deputy chair of the appropriate department.

A substantial manuscript must be submitted and filed according to instructions available from the deputy chairperson. Students specializing in fiction or poetry must submit original creative writing, in publishable form, such as a novel or collection of stories or poems. Students specializing in playwriting must submit a full-length play or a number of one-act plays, in producible form, that would constitute a theatrical production. In cooperation with the Theater Department, efforts are made to produce the student’s major work.

Students choose a specialization in one of the following:

Playwriting

Recommendations.

Students are urged to take one workshop, one tutorial, and one literature course each semester in order to complete the program in four semesters. A reading knowledge of a foreign language is strongly recommended.

Student Learning Outcomes

Department goal 1: read and think critically..

Program Objective 1: Learn to read literature with a focus on the ways in which form serves content.

Program Objective 2: Use close reading effectively to identify literary techniques, styles, and themes.

Program Objective 3: Learn to read and comment constructively and critically on the creative writing of peers in the workshop context.

Department Goal 2: Understand how language operates.

Program Objective 1: Demonstrate knowledge of literary tropes and techniques (for example: metaphor, simile, metonymy, synecdoche, word play, and sonic effects such as alliteration, assonance, consonance, and rhythm, etc.)

Department Goal 3: Express ideas–both orally and in writing–correctly, cogently, persuasively, and in conformity with the conventions of the discipline.

Program Objective 1: Create original examples of creative writing that demonstrate complexity through attention to rhetoric, syntax and tone.

Program Objective 2: Comment and write cogently and persuasively about classmates’ writing in the workshop context.

Program Objective 3: Demonstrate the ability to respond to constructive criticism from instructor and peers by effectively revising writing assignments.

Program Objective 4: Demonstrate the ability to use the currently accepted conventions of standard English mechanics and grammar, with an eye toward how those standards can be stretched in order to achieve innovative modes of expression.

Department Goal 4: Conduct research.

Program Objective 1: Learn how to research and seek out historical and contemporary literary voices relevant to their individual voice.

Program Objective 2: Make use of the opportunities that Brooklyn College and New York City afford by attending readings, plays, literary panel discussions, and submitting to literary magazines.

Outcomes for demonstrating achievement of objectives

Written work (including poems/stories/plays, in-class writing exercises, short written reflections on literary techniques used by published writers, workshop responses for peers, revised writing samples, etc.)

Contributions to class discussions and workshops

Attendance at readings, panels, performances or a related research project (such as researching literary magazines/submitting one’s work); documented via written summary of the activity handed into instructor

Admissions Requirements

  • Fall Application Deadline—January 15
  • Spring Application Deadline—The program does not accept applications for spring

Supporting Documents for Matriculation

Submit the following documents to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

  • Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Applicants who earned a bachelor’s degree outside the United States need to submit a Course by Course International Transcript Evaluation. See Graduate Admissions for more information.
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  •  A manuscript of original work in your intended genre (for fiction, about 30 pages; for poetry, about 20 pages; for playwriting, one full-length play, or two or more one-act plays).
  • A personal statement (one–two pages).

Required Tests

  • F-1 or J-1 international students must submit English Proficiency Exam. TOEFL- 79, IELTS- 6.5, PTE- 58-63, Duolingo 105-160.

Refer to the instructions at Graduate Admissions .

Geoffrey Minter

3149 Boylan Hall E: [email protected] P: 718.951.5000, ext. 3651

Or contact:

Office of Graduate Admissions

222 West Quad Center 2900 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11210 E:  [email protected] P: 718.951.4536

Office Hours

Mondays–Fridays, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

To make an appointment with a graduate admissions counselor, visit:

BC Admissions Appointment Tool

Specializations

English  7910X  to be taken in the first semester. English  7912X  to be taken four times, but not more than once in any semester; English  7911X  once in the second semester; English  7913X  to be taken two times in the second year, but not more than once in any semester.

Joshua Henkin, Coordinator

The M.F.A. fiction specialization at Brooklyn College is a two-year course that maintains an enrollment of 30 students. While every member of the ongoing and visiting faculty works according to their methods, we are united in our conviction that newer writers need a balance of encouragement and serious, thoroughly considered feedback.

The curriculum is designed sequentially. Students take a workshop every semester. The specialization typically offers two traditional short fiction workshops and one novel-writing workshop in the fall and three short fiction  workshops in the spring. The novel-writing workshop is meant to address the particular needs of students who are writing novels and who would prefer to receive input on longer sections than a traditional workshop allows.

First-year students take a craft course in the short story in the fall and a reading seminar in the spring. The reading seminars, led by faculty members, discuss classic and contemporary literature from a writer’s point of view. If a traditional literature course is devoted, for instance, to understanding why Faulkner and García Márquez are considered great writers, the reading seminars are more concerned with how writers like Faulkner and García Márquez achieved their effects.

Second-year students take, along with their workshops, a one-on-one revisions/thesis tutorial in the fall and in the spring. The first is devoted to helping students with work that has already been discussed in their workshops, the second to helping them look over what they’ve done during their time at Brooklyn College, toward the completion of their theses. Both represent the specialization’s desire to give each student individual attention outside of the workshops.

We who teach in the fiction-writing specialization do so in part because we want not only to be useful to younger writers but to know them. We care about each student we admit. We are trying, to the best of our abilities, to maintain the M.F.A. program we wish had been available to us.

Over the course of the last decade, our graduates have published more than 50 books, including Helen Phillips’s The Need  (Longlisted for the National Book Award); R.O. Kwon’s  The Incendaries  (National Bestseller and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Award for Best First Book and finalist for the  Los Angeles Times  Best First Book Prize); Garrard Conley’s  Boy Erased  ( New York Times  Bestseller; adapted for film starring Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman, and Lucas Hedges); Jai Chakrabarti’s  A Play for the End of the World  (Longlisted for the PEN Faulkner Award, winner of the National Jewish Book Award); Thomas Grattan’s  The Recent East (Longlisted for the PEN Hemingway Award) and Robert Jones Jr.’s  The Prophets  (National Book Award Finalist and  New   York Times Bestseller).

English  7932X  to be taken four times, but not more than once in any semester; English  7933X  to be taken four times, but not more than once in any semester.

The playwriting specialization at Brooklyn College was started over 30 years ago by Jack Gelber, one of America’s most important experimental writers. Mac Wellman and Erin Courtney continued that tradition for a 20 year period, while seeking to embrace the widest definition of that concept. Now, Dennis A. Allen II and Sibyl Kempson are serving as interim leaders of this innovative course of study.

The playwriting specialization is dedicated to the proposition that writing for the theater is not a business of finished thought and dead rules. Rather, we endeavor to pursue kinds of writing that involve an ongoing conversation with theater of the past and (hopefully) the future. To this end, we encourage our M.F.A. playwrights to become students of the theater in every sense: to follow the current scene as well as study the classics from as many traditions as possible; to study the techniques of making theater as well as theory; and lastly, to become as well-read as possible in all the written arts, with special emphasis on what is most contemporary, most challenging, most alive. It is our conviction that each generation must reinvent a theater appropriate to the time; a theater the time deserves; a theater that refuses to settle for the merely tendentious, and the dreary dead hand of the already known.

We are looking for aspiring writers who follow the theater because they love theater and all that pertains to theatricality. Theatricality diversely considered, rotated in four-dimensional space. We are looking for writers unwilling to settle for less. We believe the gathering of diverse people, ideas, and cultures strengthens both our insights into the work we present on stage and our relationships with each other.

Talk to a Playwright

If you have questions you would like to ask students in the specialization, feel free to contact the following:

  • Frank Boudreaux
  • Leslie Gauthier

English  7922X  to be taken four times, but not more than once in any semester; English  7923X  to be taken four times, but not more than once in any semester.

Julie Agoos, Coordinator

Since its inception, the Brooklyn College Master of Fine Arts specialization in poetry has balanced a firm grounding in the history and tradition of the craft with cutting-edge experimental writing. Moderately priced and highly selective, this two-year specialization offers intensive workshops (limited to 10 students), private tutorials, and courses in the history and craft of the genre.

Attracting a diverse student body from all across the country, it has graduated such writers as John Yau, Sapphire, Paul Beatty, David Trinidad, Star Black, Karen Kelley, Tom Devaney, and Anselm Berrigan. Brooklyn’s “experimental tradition” is best exemplified by the late-modernist masters John Ashbery and Allen Ginsberg, both of whom taught in the specialization. Other teachers have included Mark Strand, William Matthews, Ann Lauterbach, Douglas Crase, David Shapiro, C. K. Williams, Susan Fromberg Schaeffer, Joan Larkin, and, more recently, Ron Padgett Joshua Clover, Marjorie Welish, and LaTasha N. Diggs.

At present, the permanent staff includes Julie Agoos, author of  Echo Systems  (2015),  Property  (2008),  Calendar Year  (1996), and  Above the Land  (1987), for which she won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award; Ben Lerner, author of  The Lichtenberg Figures  (winner of the Hayden Carruth Award from Copper Canyon Press, a Lannan Literary Selection, and one of 2004’s best books of poetry, according to  Library Journal ),  Angle of Yaw  (Copper Canyon, 2006, and a finalist for the National Book Award and the Northern California Book Award), and  Mean Free Path  (Copper Canyon, 2010); and Mónica de la Torre, author of  Repetition Nineteen  (Nightboat, 2020),  The Happy End/All Welcome (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2017),  Public Domain (Roof Books, 2009), and  Talk Shows  (Switchback Books, 2006).

Recent alumni of the M.F.A. poetry specialization have received such major recognitions as selection for The National Poetry Prize Series ( Courtney Bush , i love information , selected by Brian Teare, NY:  Milkweeds, 2023), the Donald Hall Prize for Poetry ( Sahar Muradi , OCTOBERS , selected by Naomi Shahib Nye, Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2023), and the 2022 APR/Honickman First Book Prize ( Chelsea Harlan , Bright Shade , selected by Jericho Brown, Philadelphia: The American Poetry Review, 2022). Others have received international honors for poetry and journalism ( Mohammed El-Kurd,  RIFQA , Haymarket Books, 2022, Winner of The Calgary Peace Prize); for translation  (Matthew Reeck , winner of the 2020 Albertine Prize for “Muslim”: A Novel , by Zahia Rehmani, Deep Vellum, 2019); for YA fiction ( Victoria Bond , winner of the 2020 John Steptoe/Coretta Scott King New Talent Author Award for Zora and Me (trilogy), with illustrator TR Simon, MA:  Candlewick Press, 2020, 2018, 2011); and for books on art (John Yau, Please Wait by the Coatroom:  Reconsidering Race and Identity in American Art , Black Sparrow Press, 2023, deemed a “revelatory volume” by Publishers Weekly, among other ravishing reviews). Our alumni currently occupy major Fellowships at the New York Public Library (Alexandra Kamerling, 2023 NYPL Dance Research Fellow), and the Library of America (Susana Plotts-Pineda, 2023 Latino Fellow), and have written, directed, and premiered feature film documentaries ( Jodie Childers , with Dan Messina, director and cinematographer of Down by the Riverside , 2023 World Premiere, Woodstock Film Festival;  Tom Devaney ,  Bicentennial City , Green House Media, 2020). Recent and forthcoming publications include Claire DeVoogd , VIA (Winter Editions, 2023), Anselm Berrigan , Pregrets (Black Square Editions, 2021), Katherine Duckworth , Slow Violence (NY:  Beautiful Days Press, 2023), Marcella Durand, To Husband Is to Tender (Black Square Editions, 2021), Tom Devaney , Getting to Philadelphia (Hanging Loose Press, 2020), Tom Haviv , Flag of No Nation (Jewish Currents, 2019), Gracie Leavitt , Livingry (Nightboat, 2018), Kennia Lopez , The Exodus (Tolson Books, 2020), Chime Lama , Sphinxlike (Finishing Line, 2023), Sharon Mesmer , Greetings from My Girlies Leisure Place (Bloof Books, 2015),  Jed Muson , Commentary on the Birds (Rescue Press, 2023), Joshua Wilkerson , Meadowlands/Xanadu/American Dream, Beautiful Days Press, 2022),  John Yau , Tell It Slant , Omnidawn, 2023);  Charles Theonia , Gay Heaven Is a Dance Floor but I Can’t Relax , Archway Editions (March, 2024), and Zohra Saed  with  Sahara Muradi , eds., One Story, Thirty Stories: An Anthology of Contemporary Afghan American Literature (AR: University of Arkansas Press, 2022).

Talk to a Student

If you have questions you would like to ask students in the specialization, feel free to contact any of the following, all of whom are currently or recently enrolled:

  • Jackie Braje
  • Melina Casados
  • Anneysa Gaille
  • Monique Ngozi Nri
  • Suchi Pritchard

Departmental Information

Application process, how do i apply.

For comprehensive application information and the link to the online application, visit the  Admissions page .

What is your rate of acceptance?

In recent years, we have received approximately 500 applications for 15 spots in fiction, approximately 120 applications for 10 spots in poetry, and approximately 70 applications for five spots in playwriting.

When will I find out if I was accepted?

Though it varies year to year, we plan to notify applicants in March and early April. We appreciate your patience.

Do you require the GRE?

I’m not sure if i have the 12 credits of advanced english requested on your admissions page. what should i do.

As per our Admissions page, “Applicants who do not meet course requirements but whose manuscripts show unusual talent are considered for admission.”

May the 30-page fiction manuscript consist of multiple works?

Yes, your 30-page fiction manuscript may come in any form you wish (short stories, excerpt(s) from a novel, flash fiction, or any combination of the above, up to 30 pages). We simply recommend that you send in whatever you think is your very strongest work.

How should the 20-page poetry manuscript be formatted?

You may format your poetry as you see fit. Please do not exceed 20 pages.

What should be in the personal statement?

Your one- to two-page personal statement should serve as a way for us to get to know you and come to understand why you want to pursue an M.F.A. at Brooklyn College.

Who should write my recommendation letters?

Your two recommendation letters should come from people familiar with your writing, such as professors, mentors, and/or employers.

How should recommendation letters be submitted?

They should be submitted online (this will be an option when you’re completing the online application). For more information, refer to the  Supporting Documents  page.

Do I need to send in transcripts from all of the institutions where I took undergraduate classes?

We require transcripts from all colleges and universities that you attended.

What is an official transcript?

Transcripts must arrive in envelopes sealed by the institution’s registrar office. Your college institution should mail transcripts to the Brooklyn College Office of Admissions.

I am an international student. Is it true that I have to have my international transcripts evaluated before my application will be complete?

Yes (though please note that students who received degrees from universities in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom are exempt from this requirement). For all other international applicants, see more information about the required international transcript evaluation.

Do international students with undergraduate degrees from U.S. universities need to take the TOEFL?

Once you have received a B.A. from a U.S. university, you no longer need to submit your TOEFL scores to apply to the M.F.A. program.

May I apply to two different genres?

No, you may only apply to one genre per year.

What are the program codes for Fiction, Playwriting, and Poetry?

  • Fiction—324
  • Playwriting—325

Is there any way I can check my application status online?

Yes. Once you’ve completed your application, you may  check online for status updates .

I was not accepted to your program. Can you provide feedback on my application?

Because of the large number of qualified applicants, we may not be able to accept very strong candidates, nor can we offer specific feedback on individual applications. Note that the manuscript is by far the most important element of the application. We encourage interested applicants to reapply in the future.

How do I reapply?

As per the  Graduate Admissions Office website , “To reapply, you need to complete and submit a new  graduate degree application  online. You do not need to resubmit any supporting documents (i.e. transcripts, letters of recommendation) if you applied within the last two years.” The $125 application fee is waived for re-applicants for up to one year. (If you applied for fall 2014 entry, for instance, you may reapply for fall 2015 without paying an additional fee.) You must send a new personal statement and manuscript to the Department of English each time you reapply.

Getting to Know the Program

Do you hold an open house.

Yes. Information will be available soon.

May I speak to a current or recent student?

Yes. Please see the student and alumni lists within each specialization.

May I come and visit an M.F.A. class?

In most cases, prospective students are permitted to visit classes once they’ve been accepted into the program.

Can you send me printed materials about the M.F.A. program?

Comprehensive information about our program, including the online application, is available on our website and on the more general Brooklyn College website under “Graduate Programs” and “Admissions.”

May I take a class in the Brooklyn College M.F.A. program as a nonmatriculated student?

Because of the small size of our program, only students matriculated in our M.F.A. program may take our graduate creative writing classes.

Where can I obtain information pertaining to international students?

The  Brooklyn College Office of International Student Services  will assist you with immigration issues, financial aid, and housing.

Financial Information

What is the cost of tuition.

Up-to-date tuition information is available on the  Bursar’s website .

How many credits are required for the M.F.A. program?

Unlike other masters students, M.F.A. students take a nine-credit-per-semester load. Tuition should be calculated based on nine credits per semester.

Do you offer funding?

Yes. In addition to the salary for teaching undergraduate composition, our graduate students are eligible to receive some departmental funding. There is no special application for this funding; all admitted students will be considered automatically. The Office of Financial Aid primarily helps students obtain federal student loans and, if they are eligible, Work-Study funding. All students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) , which can be submitted online.

Do you offer teaching opportunities?

Yes. Students who wish to teach while they are enrolled in the M.F.A. program, but who don’t have prior composition teaching experience at the college level, are required to take English 7506, Practicum in Teaching College-Level Composition (which counts toward the M.F.A. degree requirements as an elective). The course includes a tutor-internship in an instructor’s classroom. After completing 7506, students may be assigned to teach their own section of a composition course, English 1010 or English 1012. The salary for one section of English 1010 or English 1012 is $6,875. Students may teach for up to three years, starting while they are students in the program and continuing after they graduate. There are also teaching opportunities at other CUNY schools.

I am an international student. How would this affect my employment opportunities at the university?

International students on F-1 Student Visas are permitted to work or teach up to 20 hours per week while they are in the program, and eligible to continue doing so, full-time, for one year after graduation, if the work is in the field for which they received the degree.

Do you offer a part-time, low-residency, or online option?

Do you offer a health insurance plan.

Health insurance is available via the  New York State of Health Insurance Exchange , as per the Affordable Care Act, where you can search for insurance plans.

  • Brooklyn College students are profiled in  Poets & Writers ‘ “MFA Nation” feature .
  • Fiction student Jai Chakrabarti talks about his M.F.A. experience in  Litbridge’s  “Interview with Brooklyn College.”
  • Fiction director Josh Henkin discusses the Brooklyn College M.F.A. as part of  The Coffin Factory ‘s “MFA Corner.”
  • Flavorwire’ s list of  “The 25 Most Literary Colleges in America”  ranks Brooklyn College at #3.
  • The  Masters Review Blog   profiles the Brooklyn College M.F.A. program .
  • The New York Times  profiles playwriting director Mac Wellman in two articles:  “Mac Wellman, a Playwriting Mentor Whose Only Mantra Is Oddity”  and  “At Brooklyn College, Learning From Mac Wellman.”
  • Brooklyn Magazine ‘s list of  “The 100 Most Influential People in Brooklyn Culture”  features M.F.A. fiction alumni Halimah Marcus and Ben Samuel, playwriting alumnus Scott Adkins, and faculty members Ben Lerner (poetry) and Erin Courtney (playwriting).
  • Ploughshares  explores the Brooklyn writing scene in its  “Literary Boroughs” feature .

From the Literary Scene:

  • The Brooklyn Review
  • Recommended Reading
  • Poets & Writers Daily News

Program Awards

2019–20 program awards.

Zoya Haroon received the 2020 Ross Feld Award.

Chelsea Baumgarten received the 2020 Carole and Irwin Lainoff Prize.

The 2020 Himan Brown Awards in Creative Writing went to: Taylor Clarke, DJ Kim, and Sally Helm (fiction, first year); David Olesky, Elizabeth Robau, and Jessica Shabin  (fiction, second year); Noelle Viñas (playwriting, first year); Michael Shayan (playwriting, second year); Chime Lama and Peter Soucy (poetry, first year); and Alexandra Kamerling and Kennia Lopez (poetry, second year).

2018–19 Program Awards

Nalea Ko received the 2019 Ross Feld Award.

Jill Winsby-Fein received the 2019 Carole and Irwin Lainoff Prize.

The 2019 Himan Brown Awards in Creative Writing went to: Chelsea Baumgarten, Avi Cummings, and Adrienne Wong (fiction, first year); Drew Pham, Erica Recordon, and Wesley Straton  (fiction, second year); Nazareth Hassan (playwriting, first year); Arika Larson (playwriting, second year); Kennia Lopez and Charles Theonia (poetry, first year); and Adam Bangser and Henry Peterson (poetry, second year).

2017–18 Program Awards

Sameet Dhillon received the 2018 Ross Feld Award.

Jenzo Duque received the 2018 Carole and Irwin Lainoff Prize.

The 2018 Himan Brown Awards in Creative Writing went to: Jivin Misra, Erica Schecter, and Wesley Straton (fiction, first year); Sam Baldassari, Maddie Crum, and Alyssa Northrop  (fiction, second year); Eri Borlaug (playwriting, first year); Jerry Lieblich (playwriting, second year); AJ Stoughton and Oscar Vargas (poetry, first year); and Laura Amelio and Marko Gluhaich (poetry, second year).

2016–17 Program Awards

Alexander Celia received the 2018 Ross Feld Award.

Alexandra Kessler received the 2017 Carole and Irwin Lainoff Prize.

The 2017 Himan Brown Awards in Creative Writing went to: Sandra Hong, Jess Silfa, and Stephen Snyder (fiction, first year); Joyce Li, Anna Marschalk-Burns, and Jon Sands (fiction, second year); Jerry Lieblich (playwriting, first year); Zach Rufa (playwriting, second year); Erika Kielsgard and Amanda Killian (poetry, first year); and Jenny Stella and Mike Smith (poetry, second year).

2015–16 Program Awards

Alexander Kessler received the 2017 Ross Feld Award.

Jane Pek received the 2017 Carole and Irwin Lainoff Prize.

The 2016 Himan Brown Awards in Creative Writing went to: Isabella Moschen, Kristen Olds, and Kelly Suprenant (fiction, first year); Nate Bethea, Casey Gonzalez, and Eric Boehling Lewis (fiction, second year); Corinne Donly (playwriting, first year); Paul Hufker (playwriting, second year); Rami Karim and Leah Williams (poetry, first year); and Courtney Bush and Stacy Skolnik (poetry, second year).

2014–15 Program Awards

Jacob Kaplan received the 2015 Ross Feld Award.

Lindsay Whalen received the 2015 Carole and Irwin Lainoff Prize.

The 2015 Himan Brown Awards in Creative Writing went to: Heloise Cormier and Paul Hufker (playwriting); Tom Haviv, Emily Heilker, James Loop, and Sahar Muradi (poetry); and Ben Cake, Molly Dektar, Eve Gleichman, Jacob Kaplan, Ilana Papir, and Jane Pek (fiction).

Courtney Bush received the 2015 Creative Writing Scholarship for Poetry. Mike Mikos received the 2015 Creative Writing Scholarship for Playwriting. Lisa Skapinker Metrikin received the 2015 Creative Writing Scholarship for Fiction.

2013–14 Program Awards

Marie Avetria received the 2014 Ross Feld Award.

Amanda DeMatto received the 2014 Carole and Irwin Lainoff Prize.

The 2014 Himan Brown Awards in Creative Writing went to: Heloise Cormier and Frances Koncan (playwriting); Georgia Faust, Sahar Muradi, Liz Roberts, and Ryan Schaefer (poetry); and Alice Broussard, Eve Gleichman, Laura Horley, Laura Macomber, Matthue Roth, and Joshua Sperling (fiction).

James Loop received the 2014 Creative Writing Scholarship for Poetry. Mike Mikos received the 2014 Creative Writing Scholarship for Playwriting. Molly Dektar received the 2014 Creative Writing Scholarship for Fiction.

Selected Student Publications

Greg ames, m.f.a. fiction 2002.

  • Buffalo Lockjaw , 2009

Mark Ari, M.F.A. Fiction 1985

  • The Shoemaker’s Tale , 2000

Rilla Askew, M.F.A. Fiction 1989

  • Strange Business , 1992
  • The Mercy Seat , 1997
  • Fire in Beulah , 2001
  • Harpsong (Stories and Storytellers Series), 2007
  • Kind of Kin , 2013

Paul Beatty, M.F.A. Poetry 1989

  • Big Bank Take Little Bank , 1991
  • Joker Joker Deuce , 1994
  • The White Boy Shuffle , 1996
  • Tuff , 2001
  • Slumberland , 2008
  • The Sellout , 2015

Lauren Belski, M.F.A. Fiction 2010

  • Whatever Used to Grow Around Here , 2012

Adam Berlin, M.F.A. Fiction 1991

  • Headlock , 2000
  • Belmondo Style , 2004
  • Both Members of the Club , 2013
  • The Number of Missing , 2013

Anselm Berrigan, M.F.A. Poetry 1998

  • They Beat Me over the Head With a Sack , 1998
  • Integrity & Dramatic Life , 1999
  • Zero Star Hotel , 2002
  • Some Notes on My Programming , 2006
  • To Hell With Sleep , 2009
  • Free Cell , 2009
  • Notes from Irrelevance , 2001
  • Loading , 2013
  • Primitive State , 2015
  • Come in Alone , 2016

Marie-Helene Bertino, M.F.A. Fiction 2007

  • Short story: ‘North Of’, 2008
  • Safe As Houses , 2012
  • 2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas , 2014

Star Black, M.F.A. Poetry 1984

  • October for Idas , 1997
  • Double Time , 1997
  • Balefire , 1999
  • Ghostwood , 2003
  • Velleity’s Shade , 2010

Victoria Bond, M.F.A. Poetry 2005

  • Zora and Me (co-author), 2010

Thomas Bradshaw, M.F.A. Playwriting 2004

  • Play: ‘Strom Thurman is Not a Racist’, 1985
  • Play: ‘Cleansed’, 1985
  • Play: ‘Phophet’, 2006
  • Play: ‘Purity’, 2007
  • A new play for the anthology , 2008
  • Play: ‘Southern Promises’, 2008
  • Play: ‘The Bereaved/Mary’, 2009
  • Play: ‘Intimacy’, 2014
  • Play: ‘Dawn’, 2010

Joanna Cantor, M.F.A. Fiction 2011

  • Alternative Remedies for Loss , 2018

Maisy Card, M.F.A. Fiction 2010

  • These Ghosts Are Family , 2020

Bryan Charles, M.F.A. Fiction 2003

  • Grab On To Me As Tightly As If I Knew The Way , 2006
  • Pavement’s Wowee Zowee (33 1/3) , 2010
  • There’s a Road to Everywhere Except Where You Came From: A Memoir , 2010

Erin Courtney, M.F.A. Playwriting 2003

  • Play: ‘Demon Baby’, 2006
  • Play included in anthology of 7 edgy works, 2008

Amanda Davis, M.F.A. Fiction 1998

  • Circling the Drain , 2000
  • Wonder When You’ll Miss Me , 2003

Molly Dektar, M.F.A. Fiction 2015

  • The Ash Family , 2019

Tom Devaney, M.F.A. Poetry 1998

  • The American Pragmatist Fell In Love , 1999

Heidi Diehl, M.F.A. Fiction 2011

  • Lifelines , 2019

Marcella Durand, M.F.A. Poetry 1995

  • Western Capital Rhapsodies , 2001
  • Traffic & Weather , 2008
  • Area , 2008

Juliet Escoria, M.F.A. Fiction 2011

  • Black Cloud , 2014
  • Witch Hunt , 2016
  • Juliet the Maniac , 2019

Amy Fox, M.F.A. 2005

  • Screenplay: ‘Heights’, 2005
  • Screenplay: ‘Equity’, 2016

James Franco, M.F.A. Fiction 2010

  • Palo Alto: Stories , 2010
  • Strongest of the Litter : (The Hollyridge Press Chapbook Series), 2012
  • 113 Crickets: Summer 2012 , 2012
  • Actors Anonymous , 2013
  • Directing Herbert White : Poems, 2014
  • A California Childhood , 2014
  • Straight James / Gay James , 2016

Elizabeth Gaffney, M.F.A. Fiction 1997

  • Metropolis: A Novel , 2005
  • When The World Was Young , 2015

Sean Garritty, M.F.A. Poetry 2006

  • Lie Nearest Truth , 2011

Thea Goodman, M.F.A. Fiction 1995

  • The Sunshine When She’s Gone , 2013

CJ Hauser, M.F.A. Fiction 2009

  • The From-Aways , 2014

Elliott Holt, M.F.A. Fiction 2006

  • Short story: ‘Fem Care’, 2011
  • You Are One of Them , 2013

Andy Hunter and Scott Lindenbaum, M.F.A. Fiction 2008

  • Electric Literature (Founders) , 2009

Tanwi Nandini Islam, M.F.A. Fiction 2009

  • Bright Lines , 2015

Amelia Kahaney, M.F.A. Fiction 2006

  • The Brokenhearted , 2013

Andrew Kaufman, M.F.A. Poetry 1986

  • Earth’s Ends , 2004
  • Both Sides of the Niger , 2013

John M. Keller, M.F.A. Fiction 2004

  • A Bald Man With No Hair and Other Stories , 2012
  • Know Your Baker , 2013
  • The Box and the Briefcase, the Moleque and the Old Man and the First Coming of the Second Son of God , 2014
  • Abracadabrantesque , 2015
  • Johnny Allan , 2019

Stellar Kim, M.F.A. Fiction 2005

  • Short story: ‘Findings and Impressions’, 2007

Suki Kim, M.F.A. Fiction 1997

  • The Interpreter , 2003
  • Without You, There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea’s Elite , 2014

Amy King, M.F.A. Poetry 2000

  • Antidotes for an Alibi , 2006
  • I’m The Man Who Loves You , 2007
  • Slaves to Do These Things , 2009
  • I Want to Make You Safe , 2011

Kristen Kosmas, M.F.A. Playwriting 2011

  • The Mayor of Baltimore and Anthem , 2013

R.O. Kwon, M.F.A. Fiction 2008

  • The Incendiaries , 2018

Gracie Leavitt, M.F.A. Poetry 2011

  • Monkeys, Minor Planet, Average Star , 2014

Marlene Lee, M.F.A. Fiction 2010

  • The Absent Woman , 2013

Halimah Marcus, M.F.A. Fiction 2012

  • Short story: ‘Swimming’, 2010

Sharon Mesmer, M.F.A. Poetry 1990

  • The Empty Quarter , 2000
  • Half Angel Half Lunch , 2002
  • In Ordinary Time , 2005
  • The Virgin Formica , 2008

Emily Mitchell, M.F.A. Fiction 2005

  • The Last Summer of the World , 2007
  • Viral: Stories , 2015

Cristina Moracho, M.F.A. Fiction 2008

  • Althea & Oliver , 2014

Stephen Motika, M.F.A. Poetry 2010

  • Western Practice , 2012

Christina Olivares, M.F.A. Poetry 2010

  • No Map of the Earth Includes Stars , 2015

Jeffrey Oliver, M.F.A. Fiction 2002

  • Failure to Thrive , 2011

Helen Phillips, M.F.A. Fiction 2007

  • Short story: ‘Twenty Tales of Natural Disaster’, 2010
  • And Yet They Were Happy , 2011
  • Here Where the Sunbeams Are Green , 2012
  • The Beautiful Bureaucrat , 2015
  • Some Possible Solutions , 2016
  • The Need , 2019

Sapphire, M.F.A. Poetry 1995

  • American Dreams , 1996
  • Push , 1997
  • Black Wings & Blind Angels , 2000
  • The Kid: A Novel , 2012

Sara Shepard, M.F.A. Fiction 2005

  • The Visibles , 2009
  • Everything We Ever Wanted , 2011
  • The Perfectionists Series , 2014-2015
  • Pretty Little Liars Series , 2006-2014
  • The Lying Game Series , 2010-2013
  • The Heiresses , 2014
  • The Amateurs , 2016

Mohan Sikka, M.F.A. Fiction 2006

  • Short story: ‘Uncle Musto Takes A Mistress’, 2007
  • Short story: ‘The Railway Aunty’, 2009

Lysette Simmons, M.F.A. Poetry 2013

  • Dear Robert , 2013

David Trinidad, M.F.A. Poetry 1990

  • Monday, Monday , 1985
  • November , 1986
  • Hand Over Heart , 1994
  • Three Stories , 1998
  • Plasticville , 2000
  • Phoebe 2002: An Essay in Verse , 2003
  • The Late Show , 2007
  • Saints of Hysteria: A Half-Century of Collaborative American Poetry , 2007
  • By Myself, An Autobiography , 2009
  • Dear Prudence: New and Selected Poems , 2011
  • Peyton Place: A Haiku Soap Opera , 2013
  • Notes of a Past Life , 2016

Jenny Williams, M.F.A. Fiction 2011

  • Short story in Battle Runes: Writings on War , 2011
  • The Atlas of Forgotten Places , 2017

John Yau, M.F.A. Poetry 1978

  • Radiant Silhouette: New and Selected Work , 1974-1988, 1989
  • Forbidden Entries , 1992
  • Edificio Sayonara , 1992
  • A.R. Penck , 1993
  • In the Realm of Appearances: The Art of Andy Warhol , 1993
  • Hawaiian Cowboys , 1994
  • Berlin Diptychon: Poems , 1995
  • The United States of Jasper Johns , 1997
  • My Symptoms , 1998
  • Randy Hayes: The World Reveiled , 2000
  • Borrowed Love Poems , 2002
  • My Heart Is That Eternal Rose Tattoo , 2002
  • Ing Grish , 2005
  • Paradiso Diaspora , 2006
  • The Passionate Spectator: Essays on Art and Poetry , 2006
  • A Thing Among Things: The Art of Jasper Johns , 2008
  • Further Adventures in Monochrome , 2012

Young Jean Lee, M.F.A. Playwriting 2005

  • Play: ‘The Appeal’, 2006

Julie Agoos

Julie Agoos is professor and coordinator of the Poetry specialization. Agoos, who received her M.A. from Johns Hopkins University, publishes widely in journals and is the author of three collections of poems,  Property  (Ausable/Copper Canyon, 2008),  Calendar Year  (Sheep Meadow, 1996), and  Above the Land  (Yale University Press, 1987), for which she won the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award. Her latest book  Echo System  was published in 2015.

Anselm Berrigan

Anselm Berrigan ’98 M.F.A. is the author of five books of poetry, most recently the book-length poem  Notes from Irrelevance  (Wave Books, 2011). Other titles include  Free Cell  (City Lights, 2009),  Some Notes on My Programming  (Edge, 2006), and  Zero Star Hotel  (Edge, 2002).  Skasers , a book jointly written with poet John Coletti, was be published in 2012 by Flowers & Cream Press. He is the current poetry editor for  The Brooklyn Rail  and a member of the subpress publishing collective. From 1998 to 2007 he worked for The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church in various capacities, including a stint as artistic director from 2003 to 2007. Berrigan is also co-chair of Writing at the Milton Avery Graduate School for the Arts, Bard College’s interdisciplinary summer M.F.A. program.

Erin Courtney

Erin Courtney’s play  I Will Be Gone , directed by Kip Fagan, premiered at Actors Theater of Louisville, Humana Festival in 2015. Her play  A Map of Virtue,  produced by 13P and directed by Ken Rus Schmoll, won a special citation OBIE in 2012. She has written two operas with Elizabeth Swados,  The Nomad  and  Kaspar Hauser : Both were commissioned and produced by The Flea Theater. Her play  Honey Drop  was developed at The Atlantic Theater, the Clubbed Thumb/Playwrights Horizons Superlab, and New Georges. Her other plays include  Alice the Magnet, Demon Baby, Quiver and Twitch , and  Black Cat Lost . She is an affiliated artist with Clubbed Thumb, a member of the Obie Award–winning playwright collective 13P, and the co-founder of the Brooklyn Writer’s Space. Courtney teaches playwriting at Brooklyn College, where she earned her M.F.A. with Mac Wellman. She earned B.A. from Brown University, where she studied with Paula Vogel. She has been a member of New Dramatists since 2012 and is a 2013 Guggenheim Fellow.

LaTasha Diggs

A writer, vocalist and performance/sound artist, LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs is the author of  TwERK  (Belladonna, 2013). Diggs has presented and performed at California Institute of the Arts, El Museo del Barrio, The Museum of Modern Art, and Walker Art Center and at festivals including: Explore the North Festival, Leeuwarden, Netherlands; Hekayeh Festival, Abu Dhabi; International Poetry Festival of Copenhagen; Ocean Space, Venice; Poesiefestival, Berlin; and the 2015 Venice Biennale. As an independent curator, artistic director, and producer, Diggs has presented events for BAMCafé, Black Rock Coalition, El Museo del Barrio, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, and the David Rubenstein Atrium. Diggs has received a 2020 C.D. Wright Award for Poetry from the Foundation of Contemporary Art, a Whiting Award (2016) and a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship (2015), as well as grants and fellowships from Cave Canem, Creative Capital, New York Foundation for the Arts, and the U.S.-Japan Friendship Commission, among others. She lives in Harlem.

Myla Goldberg

Myla Goldberg is the best-selling author of  Bee Season ,  Wickett’s Remedy , and  The False Friend . Her short stories have appeared in  Harper’s,  and she is an occasional contributor to NPR. She teaches at various M.F.A. programs and leads writing workshops in and around New York City.

David Grubbs

David Grubbs, associate professor in the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College, has released 11 solo albums and appeared on more than 150 commercially released recordings. He is known for his cross-disciplinary collaborations with writers such as Susan Howe and Rick Moody, and with visual artists such as Anthony McCall, Angela Bulloch, Cosima von Bonin, and Stephen Prina. His work has been presented at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, MoMA, the Tate Modern, and the Centre Pompidou. Grubbs was a founding member of the groups Gastr del Sol, Bastro, and Squirrel Bait, and directs the Blue Chopsticks record label. He is currently completing the book  Records Ruin the Landscape: John Cage, The Sixties, and Sound Recording  for Duke University Press. Grubbs was a 2005–06 grant recipient from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts and has been called one of two “Best Teachers for an Indie-Rocker to Admire” in the  Village Voice  and “le plus Français des Américains” in  Libération.  He holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Chicago.

Joshua Henkin

Joshua Henkin , professor and coordinator of the fiction specialization, is the author of the novels Swimming Across the Hudson , a  Los Angeles Times  Notable Book;  Matrimony , a  New York Times  Notable Book; and  The World Without You , which was named an Editors’ Choice Book by  The New York Times  and  The Chicago Tribune  and was the winner of the 2012 Edward Lewis Wallant Award for Jewish American Fiction and a finalist for the 2012 National Jewish Book Award. His short stories have been published widely, cited for distinction in  Best American Short Stories , and broadcast on NPR’s “Selected Shorts.” His reviews and essays have appeared in  The New York Times , the  Los Angeles Times ,  The Wall Street Journal ,  The Boston Globe , the  Chicago Tribune , the  San Francisco Chronicle , and elsewhere.

Lisa Jarnot

Lisa Jarnot is the author of four books of poetry and a biography,  Robert Duncan, The Ambassador from Venus  (University of California Press). Her  Joie de Vivre: Selected Poems 1992–2012  was published by City Lights in 2013.

Associate Professor Ben Lerner is the author of three books of poetry:  The Lichtenberg Figures  (2004),  Angle of Yaw  (2006), and  Mean Free Path  (2010), all published by Copper Canyon Press. He has been a finalist for the National Book Award in poetry and the Northern California Book Award, a Fulbright Scholar in Spain, and a Howard Foundation Fellow. In 2011 he became the first American to win the Preis der Stadt Münster für Internationale Poesie for the German translation of  The Lichtenberg Figures . His first novel,  Leaving the Atocha Station  (Coffee House, 2011) won  The Believer  Book Award and was a finalist for the  Los Angeles Times  Book Award for First Fiction and the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Award. It was named one of the best books of the year by  The New Yorker ,  The Guardian ,  The New Statesman ,  The Boston Globe ,  The Wall Street Journal ,  The New Republic , and  New York Magazine , among many others. His recent criticism can be found in  Art in America ,  boundary 2 , and  Critical Quarterly , where he also serves as poetry editor.

Fiona Maazel

Fiona Maazel is the author of the novels  Last Last Chance . (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008) and  Woke Up Lonely  (Graywolf, 2013). She is a 2008 National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” honoree and winner of the Bard Prize for fiction in 2009. Her work has appeared in  Anthem, Bomb, Book Forum, Boston Book Review, The Common, Conjunctions, Fence, Glamour, The Millions, Mississippi Review, N+1, The New York Times, The NY Times Sunday Book Review, Salon, Selected Shorts, This American Life, Tin House, The Village Voice, The Yale Review , and elsewhere. She lives in Brooklyn.

Ernesto Mestre

Ernesto Mestre is the author of two novels,  The Lazarus Rhumba  and  The Second Death of Unica Aveyano . His fiction has been collected in various anthologies, including  Best American Gay Fiction 1996 ,  A Whistler in the Nightworld: Short Fiction from the Latin Americas , and  Cubanisimo!: The Vintage Book of Contemporary Cuban Literature .

Meera Nair’s debut collection,  Video , received the Asian-American Literary Award for Fiction in 2003. She has published fiction in  The Threepenny Review  and  Calyx , and in the anthology  Charlie Chan Is Dead . She is at work on her first novel, which will be published by Pantheon.

Sigrid Nunez

Sigrid Nunez has published six novels, including  A Feather on the Breath of God ,  The Last of Her Kind , and, most recently,  Salvation City . She is also the author of  Sempr e  Susan: A Memoir of Susan Sontag.  Among the journals to which she has contributed are  The New York Times ,  Threepenny Review, Harper’s ,  McSweeney’s ,  Tin House, The Believer , and  Conjunctions.  Her honors and awards include four Pushcart Prizes, a Whiting Writer’s Award, a Berlin Prize Fellowship, and two awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters: the Rosenthal Foundation Award and the Rome Prize in Literature. She has taught at Amherst College, Smith College, Columbia University, and the New School, and has been a visiting writer or writer in residence at Baruch College, Vassar College, Boston University, and the University of California at Irvine, among others. She has also been on the faculty of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and of several other writers’ conferences across the country.

Jenny Offill

Jenny Offill’s novel,  Last Things , was chosen as a notable or best book of the year by  The New York Times , the  Village Voice,  and the  Guardian  (U.K.), and was a finalist for the  Los Angeles Times  First Book Award. She is also the editor, along with Elissa Schappell, of two anthologies,  The Friend Who Got Away  and  Money Changes Everything . She has written one children’s book,  17 Things I’m Not Allowed to Do Anymore , and has two more forthcoming from Random House. She received a NYFA fellowship in fiction in 2008 and was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University from 1991 to 1993. Her flash fiction is featured in the anthology  Long Story Short  (UNC-Press, 2009).

Julie Orringer

Julie Orringer is the author of a novel,  The Invisible Bridge,  and an award-winning story collection,  How to Breathe Underwater,  which was a  New York Times  notable book and was named Book of the Year by the  LA Times  and the  San Francisco Chronicle.  Her stories have appeared in  The Paris Review, The Yale Review,  and  The Washington Post,  and have been widely anthologized; she has received fellowships from the New York Public Library, Stanford University, The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the National Endowment for the Arts. She lives in Brooklyn, where she is working on a new novel.

Helen Phillips

Helen Phillips is the author of the novel-in-fables  And Yet They Were Happy  (Leapfrog Press, 2011), which was a semifinalist for the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award, a finalist for the McLaughlin-Esstman-Stearns First Novel Prize, and declared a notable collection of 2011 by The Story Prize. Her second book,  Here Where the Sunbeams Are Green  (Random House Children’s Division/Delacorte Press, 2012), is a children’s adventure novel, and has been published internationally as  Upside Down in the Jungle  (Chicken House UK, 2012; Chicken House Germany, 2013). She is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, the Italo Calvino Prize in Fabulist Fiction,  The Iowa Review  Nonfiction Award, the  DIAGRAM  Innovative Fiction Award, the  Meridian  Editors’ Prize, and a Ucross Foundation residency. Her work has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and was featured on NPR’s Selected Shorts in fall 2012. She has been published in  Tin House, BOMB ,  Mississippi Review,  and  PEN America , among many others. A graduate of Yale and the Brooklyn College M.F.A. program, she is an assistant professor of creative writing at Brooklyn College. Named one of the Breakout Brooklyn Book People of 2011 by  The L Magazine , Helen (born and raised in Colorado) now lives in Brooklyn with her husband, artist Adam Douglas Thompson, and their baby girl.

Madeleine Thien

Madeleine Thien is the author of four books, including  Dogs at the Perimeter , and a story collection,  Simple Recipes . Her most recent novel,  Do Not Say We Have Nothing , was shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize, the Women’s Prize for Fiction, and The Folio Prize; and won the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor-General’s Literary Award for Fiction. The novel was named a  New York Times  Critics’ Top Book of 2016 and longlisted for a Carnegie Medal. Madeleine’s books have been translated into twenty-seven languages and her essays and stories have appeared in  The New York Times ,  The Guardian ,  Brick ,  The Sunday Times ,  frieze ,  Granta , and elsewhere. Her first libretto will premiere with Vancouver City Opera in 2021.

Mónica de la Torre

Mónica de la Torre ’s is the author, most recently, of  Repetition Nineteen , a book of poems and prose (Nightboat, 2020). Her other poetry books include  The Happy End/All Welcome  (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2017)  Public Domain  (Roof Books, 2009) and  Talk Shows  (Switchback Books, 2006). Two Spanish-language collections of poems,  Acúfenos  (Taller Ditoria, 2006) and  Sociedad Anónima  (UNAM/Bonobos, 2010), were published in Mexico. She is a member of the women’s collective whose eponymous book,  Taller de Mecanografía , appeared in 2011 from Tumbona Ediciones. She has translated an array of poets from the Spanish including Gerardo Deniz, Lila Zemborain, and Amanda Berenguer. Her latest translation is  Defense of the Idol  by Chilean modernist Omar Cáceres (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2018). Born and raised in Mexico City, she has lived in New York City since the 1990s, where she frequently writes about art and collaborates with other writers and artists. She served as  BOMB Magazine ’s senior editor from 2007–16, and has taught poetry and translation at Columbia, Brown, and Bard’s M.F.A. programs.

Ellen Tremper

Ellen Tremper , professor and chair of the English Department, received her Ph.D. from Harvard University. Specializing in 19th- and 20th-century British poetry and fiction, she has published many articles on Henry James, Virginia Woolf, and children’s literature, and is the author of  “Who Lived at Alfoxton?”: Virginia Woolf and English Romanticism  (Bucknell University Press) and  I’m No Angel: The Blonde in Film and Fiction , which was published by the University of Virginia Press in 2006.

Mac Wellman

Mac Wellman, professor and coordinator of the playwriting specialization, received his M.A. from the University of Wisconsin. His recent work includes The Difficulty of Crossing a Field  (Montclair, 2006) and  1965 UU  (Chocolate Factory, 2008). His most recent collection of plays is  The Difficulty of Crossing a Field  (University of Minnesota Press, 2008). Four other collections of his plays have been published:  The Bad Infinity  and  Cellophane  (PAJ/Johns Hopkins University Press), and  Two Plays  and  The Land Beyond the Forest  (Sun & Moon). He has written a volume of stories,  A Chronicle of the Madness of Small Worlds  (Trip Street Press, 2008), as well as three novels:  Q’s Q  (Green Integer, 2006),  Annie Salem  (Sun & Moon 1996), and  The Fortuneteller  (Sun & Moon, 1991). His recent books of poetry are  Miniature  (Roof Books, 2002),  Strange Elegies  (Roof Books, 2006), and  A Shelf in Woop’s Clothing  (Sun & Moon, 1990). In 1997 he received the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award. In 2003 he received his third Obie, for lifetime Achievement ( Antigone, Jennie Richee  and  Bitter Bierce  all cited). In 1990 he received an Obie (Best New American Play) for  Bad Penny ,  Terminal Hip  and  Crowbar . In 1991 he received another Obie for  Sincerity Forever . He has received numerous honors, including both NEA and Guggenheim Fellowships. In 2004 he received an award from the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts. He is the Donald I. Fine Professor of Playwriting at Brooklyn College. Currently, he is working on two plays for chorus:  The Invention of Tragedy  (Classic Stage Company) and  Nine Days Falling  (Stuck Pigs Company, Melbourne, Australia).

The Support You’ll Find

Brooklyn College is an integral part of the cultural and artistic energy of New York City. Our faculty members in English offer incomparable expertise and tremendous talent, and each brings a unique perspective to their teaching and mentoring in and out of the classroom.

Eric Alterman

Eric Alterman

Sophia Bamert

Sophia Bamert

Matthew Burgess

Matthew Burgess

Monica De La Torre

Monica De La Torre

Joseph Entin

Joseph Entin

Nicola Masciandaro

Nicola Masciandaro

Simanique Moody

Simanique Moody

Roni Natov

Jonathan Nissenbaum

Helen Phillips

Tanya L. Pollard

Karl T. Steel

Karl T. Steel

Dorell Thomas

Dorell Thomas

Ellen Tremper

Internships and Employers

Brooklyn College creative writing alumni have found employment with many organizations, including:

  • BRIC (Arts and Media in Brooklyn)
  • Central Casting
  • New York City Department of Education
  • New York University

Student Resources

The Brooklyn College campus with a view of the Library and East Quad

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NOTICE: NOTIFICATION — DATE

Virtual Open House

What should you look for when choosing an MFA program? What makes Spalding’s graduate writing programs unique? Sign up today to reserve your spot for our virtual info session on July 16!

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MFA Virtual Open House

Is an mfa in writing worth it.

An MFA in writing lets creative writers develop their craft while building a network of accomplished peers to provide camaraderie, support and practical assistance over a lifetime of writing and publishing. Hundreds of our alumni have published books and produced plays, films and TV shows.

The MFA is also the appropriate degree for writers seeking a career in academia teaching creative writing — although the market for creative writing professors is extremely tight, and landing a tenure-track position also requires significant publications (normally a book or two). Still, many of our alums hold creative writing professorships at top universities.

The MFA can also be useful professionally. While it is not focused on the career search in the way an MBA is, an MFA communicates creativity, independent thinking and intellectual curiosity — all attributes that employers value. Our alums’ job titles include magazine editor, arts administrator, screenwriter, TV producer, speechwriter, podcaster, business proposal writer, grant writer, book publicist, corporate communications director, marketing copywriter — even business analyst.

How hard is it to get into a creative writing MFA program?

It varies widely by program. At the Naslund-Mann Graduate School of Writing, we don’t have a fixed number of slots to award each semester—we can accept as many or as few students as meet our admission requirements. We look for a highly accomplished writing sample, a critically astute commentary on a work the applicant admires, and a thoughtful personal statement demonstrating motivation, and willingness to learn. We don’t require the GRE or letters of recommendation because neither adequately reflects applicants’ readiness for graduate study in creative writing. Our acceptance rate is about 60 percent.

What is the average age of MFA creative writing students?

Many writers come to an MFA program after years, even decades, in an unrelated career or raising a family. Our students’ average age is 44. We also have students as young as 22. And our oldest student was 80 when she graduated and went on to publish as an alum.

Is an MFA a professional degree?

Yes. The MFA is the credential needed for teaching creative writing at the post-secondary level. It also gives writers a significant foundation for creating a successful writing career. MFA students gain insight into the work of editors, publishers, literary agents, and other creative professionals. They graduate with years of experience working one-on-one with mentors who are writers, playwrights, and screenwriters with years of professional experience.

Can you become a professor with an MFA in creative writing?

Yes. The MFA is the degree typically required for creative writing professors at the undergraduate or graduate level.

Does GPA matter for a creative writing MFA?

At Spalding, GPA is not a primary consideration when reviewing applications. The strength of the writing sample is our main concern.

We don’t require an undergraduate degree in English. In fact, many of our students come into the MFA program with established careers in entirely different fields, such as law, medicine, social work, education, business, and journalism, to name just a few.

Is it better to get an MFA or an MBA?

The MFA is the degree of choice for pursuing an artistic or literary career.

An MBA is traditionally the degree for seeking a career in the corporate world. Recently, the MFA has gained cachet in that area as well, because MFA students are taught to think creatively.

Do you need an MFA to be a writer?

An MFA isn’t required for a career as a writer, but it does give writers a thorough understanding of craft and a community or network to support them as they make their way through the world of publication and production.

Is a fully funded MFA better than one where I have to pay tuition?

While a fully funded MFA may sound like the better financial choice, often, students in those programs are required to work for the university, teaching classes while completing their studies. Teaching stipends are often too small to live on, so many students have to take on yet another job outside of the university to pay their bills. This workload can leave little time for writing and reading.

At Spalding, we provide scholarships and assistantships in the form of partial tuition remission. Our students don’t need stipends because they return home after residency and continue their working lives during their independent study. Students can choose the slower pace of our extended independent study option to help fit their studies into an already busy life. This model teaches students to integrate their writing practice into their daily lives—an essential skill for creating a sustainable writing life.

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mfa online creative writing


    University of Houston
   
  Jun 27, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog (Catalog goes into effect at the start of the Fall 2024 semester)    

2024-2025 Graduate Catalog (Catalog goes into effect at the start of the Fall 2024 semester)
|

College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences    > Department of English    > Creative Writing, MFA

Admission Requirements

In addition to meeting the college graduate admission requirements   , applicants to the MFA in Creative Writing program must meet the following minimum requirements for admission to the program and for the degree:

  • The applicant should have completed 12 hours of advanced English with an average of 3.0 or better grade point average.
  • The applicant should have two years of college-level study in one foreign language or otherwise demonstrate, with a passing score on the GSFLT, a reading knowledge of a foreign language.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Submission of a manuscript consisting of a maximum of 10 pages of poetry or 20-25 pages of fiction.
  • A statement of intent (1,000 or fewer words): reasons for pursuing graduate study in creative writing, which writers in the applicant’s genre the applicant is reading, and comments on those writers.
  • On a separate sheet of paper, list awards and publications of the applicant.
  • Two official copies of transcripts from each school attended.

The GRE Advanced Subject (Code 64) score is not required for MFA applicants.

  • an overall undergraduate or graduate grade point average of 3.00 or higher (on a 4‐ point scale) from an institution accredited by one of the six regional accrediting associations as specified in the UH Minimum Qualifications for Admission to Masters and Doctoral Programs ( General Admission Policy   ), or
  • a grade point average in the top 80% on other GPA scales and a combined IELTS score above 7 or TOEFL score above 79 or a DUOLINGO score above 105.

Consult the Creative Writing Program for additional information and more specific requirements.

Degree Requirements

Students must complete a minimum of 36 hours of approved graduate courses. these courses must be distributed over creative writing workshops and courses in literary studies. Specific requirements are as follows:

  • 15 hours in creative writing, including 9 hours in the primary genre, 3 hours of Master Workshop, and 3 hours of Poetic Forms and Techniques for poetry students, Fiction Forms and Techniques for fiction students, or Nonfiction Forms and Techniques for nonfiction students. Students are strongly encouraged to take the course in Forms and Techniques early in the MFA program.
  • 3 hours of Writers on Literature
  • 12 hours in English or American literature or other literary studies (Students should divide their courses between early and later literatures. Early British literature is defined as British literature before 1800 and early American literature is defined as American literature before 1865.)
  • 6 hours of elective courses (literature or other literary studies, workshop in the primary genre, workshop in a crossover genre, Writers on Literature, or coursework in another department that complements the student’s program). In addition, MFA students must complete a creative thesis for 6 credit hours.

In addition, MFA students must complete a creative thesis for 6 credit hours.

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MFA in creative writing program hosting reading series

Randolph College’s Master of Fine Arts in creative writing program is hosting a series of public readings in conjunction with its summer residency.

Each reading begins at 8 p.m.

Sunday, June 23 in Main Hall: Mira Jacob, Jean Chen Ho, Joy Priest, and Lilly Dancyger

Monday, June 24 in Main Hall:  Anjali Sachdeva, Danez Smith, Clare Beams, and Cindy Juyoung Ok

Tuesday, June 25 at the Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College: Jane Wong, Andrés Cerpa, and Ibtisam Barakat

Wednesday, June 26, also at the Maier: Maurice Carlos Ruffin, Jos Charles, and John Vercher

Friday, June 28 in Main Hall: Angel Nafis, Anthony Cody, and Crystal Hana Kim

Saturday, in Main Hall: Eloisa Amezcua, Chet’la Sebree, and Phillip B. Williams

Find out more about the MFA in creative writing program at https://www.randolphcollege.edu/mfa-cw/ .

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  25. MFA in creative writing program hosting reading series

    MFA in creative writing program hosting reading series. Randolph College's Master of Fine Arts in creative writing program is hosting a series of public readings in conjunction with its summer residency. Each reading begins at 8 p.m. Sunday, June 23 in Main Hall: Mira Jacob, Jean Chen Ho, Joy Priest, and Lilly Dancyger