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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."

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 for campus students. Strongly recommended for online students.  Required for campus students. Strongly recommended for online students.  SNHU Purchase Programs  Visit Dell   Visit Apple   Internet/ Bandwidth  5 Mbps Download, 1 Mbps Upload and less than 100 ms Latency  5 Mbps Download, 1 Mbps Upload and less than 100 ms 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.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Associate Dean of Liberal Arts Dr. Robert Denning: A Faculty Q&A

Related programs.

The Best 15 Creative Writing MFA Programs in 2023

April 7, 2023

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? This article walks you through the considerations for an MFA program, as well as the best Creative Writing MFA programs in the United States.

First of all, what is an MFA?

A Master of Fine Arts (MFA) is a graduate degree that usually takes from two to three years to complete. Applications require a sample portfolio for entry, usually of 10-20 pages of your best writing.

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.

Reasons to 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.

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 programs 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 (baltimore, md).

This is a two-year program, with $33,000 teaching fellowships per year. This MFA offers the most generous funding package. Not to mention, it offers that sweet, sweet health insurance, mind-boggling faculty, and a guaranteed lecture position after graduation (nice). No nonfiction MFA (boo).

  • Incoming class size: 8 students
  • Admissions rate: 11.1%
  • Alumni: Chimamanda Adiche, 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 (Austin, TX)

A fully-funded 3-year program with a generous stipend of $29,500. The program offers fiction, poetry, playwriting and screenwriting. The Michener Center is also unique because you study a primary genre and a secondary genre, and also get $3,000 for the summer.

  • 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 (Iowa City, IA)

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. Most students are funded, with fellowships worth up to $21,000. The Translation MFA, co-founded by Gayatri Chakravorti Spivak, is also two years, 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: 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

4) University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI)

Anne Carson famously lives in Ann Arbor, as do the MFA students U-Michigan’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 $23,000 stipend, summer funding, and health care.

This is a 2-3-year program, 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.

  • Incoming class size: 18
  • Acceptance rate: 4% (which maybe seems high after less-than-1%)
  • Alumni: Brit Bennett, Vievee Francis, Airea D. Matthews, Celeste Ng, Chigozie Obioma, Jia Tolentino, Jesmyn Ward

5) Brown University (Providence, RI)

Brown offers an edgy, well-funded program in a place that doesn’t dip into arctic temperatures. Students are all fully-funded for 2-3 years with $29,926 in 2021-22. 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.

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

Best MFA Creative Writing Programs (Continued) 

6) university of arizona (tucson, az).

This 3-year program 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 dry heat is good for arthritis.

This notoriously supportive program pays $20,000 a year, and offers the potential to volunteer at multiple literary organizations. You can also do supported research at the US-Mexico Border.

  • Incoming class size: 9
  • Acceptance rate: 4.85% (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 (Tempe, AZ):

Arizona State is also 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. Everyone gets a $19,000 stipend, with other opportunities for financial support.

  • 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 (new york, ny).

This two-year program is in New York City, meaning it comes with close access to literary opportunities and hot dogs. NYU is private, and 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.

  • Incoming class size: 40-60
  • Acceptance rate: 6%
  • 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 (New York, NY)

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.

  • Incoming class size: 110
  • Acceptance rate: 21%
  • 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 (Bronxville, NY)

Sarah Lawrence offers speculative fiction beyond the average fiction, poetry, and nonfiction course offerings. 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.

  • Incoming class size: 30-40
  • Acceptance rate: N/A
  • Alumni: Cynthia Cruz, Melissa Febos, T Kira Madden, Alex Dimitrov, Moncho Alvarado

LOW RESIDENCY

11 bennington college (bennington, vt).

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, and then you get a degree. The tuition is $23,468 per year, with scholarships available.

  • Acceptance rate: 53%
  • Incoming class: 40
  • Alumni: Larissa Pham, Andrew Reiner, Lisa Johnson Mitchell, and others

12)  Institute for American Indian Arts (Santa Fe, NM)

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 offered, in screenwriting, poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.

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

  • Incoming class size : 22
  • Acceptance rate: 100%
  • Alumni: Tommy Orange, Dara Yen Elerath, Kathryn Wilder

13) Vermont College of Fine Arts

One of few MFAs where you can study the art of the picture book, middle grade and young adult literature, graphic literature, nonfiction, fiction, and poetry for young people. Students meet twice a year for nine days, in January and July, in Vermont. 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 is $48,604.

  • 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 (el paso, tx).

The world’s first bilingual and online MFA program in the world. UTEP is considered the best online MFA program, and features award-winning faculty from across the globe. Intensive workshops allow submitting in Spanish and English, and genres include poetry and fiction. This three-year program costs $14,766 a year, with rolling admissions.

  • Alumni: Watch alumni testimonies here

15) Bay Path University (Long Meadow, MA)

This 2-year online program is dedicated entirely to nonfiction. A supportive, diverse community, Bay Path offers small class sizes, close mentorship, and a potential field trip in Ireland.

There are many tracks, including publishing, Narrative Medicine, and teaching. Core courses include memoir, narrative journalism, and the personal essay. The price is $785/credit, for 39 credits, with scholarships available.

  • Incoming class size: 20
  • Acceptance rate: an encouraging 78%
  • Alumni: Read alumni testimonies here

Prepare for your MFA in advance:

  • Best English Programs
  • Best Creative Writing Schools
  • Writing Summer Programs

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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Best Master's in Creative Writing (MFA) Online

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Learn about our editorial process .

Updated September 21, 2023

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Drawing on their firsthand industry expertise, our Integrity Network members serve as an additional step in our editing process, helping us confirm our content is accurate and up to date. These contributors:

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Are you ready to discover your college program?

Best Master's in Creative Writing Online

Master's in creative writing programs are ideal for students who love writing and aspire to make a living through the craft.Creative writers build worlds, develop stories, and create characters that engage and entertain readers. Writers often choose genres and stories that relate to their own interests. For instance, a traveler may write creative nonfiction pieces about tourist locations, and writers who are interested in the American West often write western novels.

Creative writing graduates can also pursue careers in other fields. For example, they may write marketing advertisements, political speeches, or technical pieces for instructional manuals. Over half of writers and authors are self-employed.

These careers require editing, writing, and research skills. Editors must also have an understanding of genre fundamentals. To gain the necessary knowledge, students can earn a master's in creative writing online.

The following guide provides information about the top online writing programs in the country and what you can do with a creative writing degree after graduation.

Featured MFA Programs

Best master’s in creative writing programs online.

We use trusted sources like Peterson's Data and the National Center for Education Statistics to inform the data for these schools. TheBestSchools.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site. from our partners appear among these rankings and are indicated as such.

#1 Best Master’s in Creative Writing (MFA) Online

The University of Texas at El Paso

  • El Paso, TX
  • Online + Campus

The University of Texas at El Paso hosts a top-ranked creative writing program. The MFA in creative writing builds specialized skills for advanced practice, preparing graduates for leadership positions with increased salary potential. After earning a master's degree, candidates can also pursue careers in new industries.

The master's curriculum explores theoretical and practical perspectives in the field. Learners take electives and other specialized courses to gain career-specific training. Applicants without a background in creative writing may need to complete prerequisite courses before enrolling in the master's program.

Online enrollees add to their resume by pursuing internship opportunities at approved locations in their local area. Graduate students also participate in networking events to expand their professional connections.

The University of Texas at El Paso at a Glance:

Type of School: Public, four-year

Admission Rate: 100%

Total Online Master's Programs: 14

Program Name: MFA in creative writing

Graduate Tuition In State: $5,497

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $14,766

#2 Best Master’s in Creative Writing (MFA) Online

University of Nebraska at Omaha

The University of Nebraska at Omaha offers an online creative writing program. Individuals prepare for advanced roles in the field during the rigorous master of fine arts in writing program. After completing a master's degree, candidates often advance in their current field or pursue new opportunities.

The master's curriculum emphasizes research methods and analytical skills. Learners focus the program with electives or a concentration. The master's program builds on undergraduate training or professional experience in writing.

Online enrollees gain real-world experience through internships offered in their local area. Experiential learning opportunities and networking events help graduate students expand their professional network.

University of Nebraska at Omaha at a Glance:

Admission Rate: 83%

Total Online Master's Programs: 6

Program Name: Master of fine arts in writing

Graduate Tuition In State: $5,558

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $14,440

#3 Best Master’s in Creative Writing (MFA) Online

Saint Leo University

  • Saint Leo, FL

The online master's in creative writing program, offered by Saint Leo University, ranks as a top program in the field. The creative writing master's program helps graduates move into leadership roles and increase their earning potential. Earning a master's degree can also help candidates pursue new career opportunities.

The master's curriculum emphasizes practical and theoretical approaches to creative writing. Learners take electives and other specialized courses to gain career-specific training. The master's program recommends a background in creative writing for applicants.

Online enrollees participate in internship programs at approved locations in their local area. Graduate students also attend networking events to expand their professional connections.

Saint Leo University at a Glance:

Type of School: Private, not-for-profit, four-year

Admission Rate: 72%

Total Online Master's Programs: 27

Program Name: Master's in creative writing

Graduate Tuition In State: $7,296

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $7,296

#4 Best Master’s in Creative Writing (MFA) Online

Central Washington University

  • Ellensburg, WA

Central Washington University, located in Ellensburg, enrolls master's students in its online creative writing program. The MA in professional and creative writing builds specialized skills for advanced practice, preparing graduates for leadership positions with increased salary potential. After completing a master's degree, candidates often pursue career advancement in their current field or a new one.

The master's curriculum emphasizes the best practices in creative writing. Learners choose electives and concentrations to prepare for focused career paths. The master's program recommends that applicants have a background in creative writing.

Online enrollees complete internship requirements at approved sites in their own community. Graduate students expand their professional networks through internships and online events.

Central Washington University at a Glance:

Admission Rate: 85%

Total Online Master's Programs: 17

Program Name: MA in professional and creative writing

Graduate Tuition In State: $9,582

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $22,449

What Is an Online Master's in Creative Writing Degree?

A master's in writing develops research, writing, and editing skills and explores story elements in different genres. For example, poetry learners study rhyme and meter, while children's writers explore child psychology and common writing techniques. Required courses often cover character development, setting research, and publishing.

Creative writing programs often include literature courses in which learners analyze famous works for writing insights. Students also create new pieces and critique classmates' work in writing workshops. These workshops hone writing, editing, and proofreading skills and increase students' professional networks. Additional requirements may include a thesis, portfolio, or internship.

Admission requirements often include writing samples and personal statements. Ideal applicants have previous writing experience.

Choosing an Online Program

Prospective students should consider program quality and flexibility when choosing a master's in writing. Learners may prefer departments with published authors as faculty, or they may prefer a program that offers the flexibility of asynchronous courses. They should also consider concentration options, completion times, and tuition costs.

The following guide provides more tips on finding the right program.

What Else Can I Expect From a Master's in Creative Writing Program?

Online MFA in creative writing programs usually offer concentrations in poetry, fiction writing, and creative nonfiction. Most programs include workshops and lectures on writing concepts like character building and plot development. These programs also introduce learners to different genres and often require a thesis.

Below are three common courses in online writing programs.

Master's in Creative Writing Curriculum

Literary genres for writers.

This course covers fiction and related subgenres, such as fantasy, romance, and historical fiction. Students explore the structures and general expectations of these genres. The course may also focus on a single type of writing, such as poetry, memoir, or nonfiction.

Character Development

This course trains students to create effective, believable characters. Coursework may prioritize character realism, consistency, and psychology within the story's context. Students examine the necessary traits of major and minor characters and build a portfolio of several character outlines.

Writing a Short Story

Learners in this course study short stories and analyze elements of writing styles. Additional topics may include syntax and short story structures. Students create a short story and undergo peer review to receive feedback. Programs may offer similar classes focused on other forms of writing, like nonfiction, poetry, or television writing.

Association of Writers and Writing Programs

AWP provides an online tool that allows users to search for writing programs by location, genre, and degree. The association connects website visitors with writing contests, funding, job opportunities, and avenues to publication. Professionals can also attend the annual AWP book fair and conference or browse the online database to find other meetings.

The Authors Guild

The Authors Guild supports writers by offering panels, book launches, and book expos. Website visitors can browse contests in fiction, poetry, and translations, or they can seek out fellowships and workshops. Members receive legal assistance for book contracts, access to writing resources, and insurance against copyright disputes.

The Writer's Center

The Writer's Center offers writing workshops for specific age groups, including adults, teenagers, and children. Members can also attend book launches and an annual poetry reading. This organization offers editing and project advising and maintains a blog that covers industry topics like publication practices, genre word counts, beta readers, and author experiences.

Careers in Creative Writing

Earning a master's in creative writing online prepares students to craft creative messages for books, articles, advertisements, speeches, scripts, and social media posts. Graduates can pursue any field that involves message creation and delivery.

The best candidates for writing careers are creative and have a strong grasp on writing structure and effective communication. Creative writers should also understand research methods, work well within deadlines, and be able to accept constructive criticism from editors. Below are a few creative writing jobs that graduates can pursue.

  • Collapse All

Writers and Authors

Writers and Authors research and write pieces for magazines, websites, publishing houses, and blogs, and may also create scripts for television, movies, or plays. They may write books for traditional or self-publishing in genres like fantasy, romance, mystery, and nonfiction.

Authors often polish their works based on editor critiques and may need to market their work as well. Companies usually expect writers to have a college degree and writing experience.

Median Annual Salary

Projected Growth Rate

make publication decisions for companies and help writers develop stories into polished products. These professionals may review small writing issues, like spelling and grammar, or larger issues, like structure, factual accuracy, continuity, and clarity.

Specific job titles include copy editor, publication assistant, and executive editor. Editors often work at newspaper and book publishing companies, or they work freelance.

Earning a master's in creative writing online gives prospective editors an advantage when competing for jobs.

Public Relations Specialists

help organizations create and uphold a positive image for the public, affecting their relationship with customers and investors. These professionals create press releases, write speeches, and research consumer preferences through social media. Public relations specialists may also review advertisements and communicate with media outlets about publicity opportunities.

These professionals can find work at advertising, educational, business, and government organizations. They need a bachelor's in a field like English, journalism, or communication. Employers may also require a portfolio and field experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to complete a master's in creative writing program.

Most students can earn a master's in writing in around two years.

What Can I Do With a Master's in Creative Writing?

This degree prepares students for careers as authors, editors, reporters, and public relations specialists. Graduates can also teach creative writing at colleges.

Is a Master's in Creative Writing Worth It?

Many writing careers do not require a master's degree. However, online writing programs help students polish writing skills, which can improve their salary and career prospects.

Can I Teach English With a Creative Writing Degree?

Earning a master's in writing online qualifies graduates to teach English courses at many colleges, as an MFA is often the minimum qualification for these roles. However, some schools require a doctorate for teaching positions.

What Is a Master's in Creative Writing?

Online MFA in creative writing programs explore brainstorming, writing, and editing practices for different genres. These programs often culminate in a thesis or portfolio.

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Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

Transfer credits, next start date, grow your writing passion into a career with liberty’s online mfa in creative writing.

Many people write creatively, but few hone their skills to develop their writing craft to its highest form. Even fewer learn the other skills it takes to become a successful writer, such as the steps needed to get a book published and 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.

Employers in every industry need professionals who have strong writing skills, so you can be confident that your ability to write effectively can also help set you apart in your current career. With in-demand writing expertise and the ability to customize your degree with electives in literature or writing practice, Liberty’s online MFA in Creative Writing can help you achieve your professional writing goals.

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 nonfiction, or screenwriting. With a work-in-progress approach to writing practice and mentorship from our faculty of experienced writers and scholars, you can learn the specific skills you need to make your writing stand out.

What is an MFA in Creative Writing?

A Master of Fine Arts degree, or MFA, is a terminal degree in an artistic craft that demonstrates that you have achieved the highest level of training and skill in your discipline. Like a doctorate, an MFA often allows you to teach courses at the graduate level while also providing many opportunities for scholarship and leadership in education. If you want to grow your creative writing skills to become the best writer you can be, then the Master of Fine Arts can help you get there.

Why Choose Liberty’s MFA in Creative Writing?

Our online MFA in Creative Writing is mainly offered in an 8-week course format, and our tuition rate for graduate programs hasn’t increased in 9 years. Through our program, you can study the writing process and develop your creative skills through workshops with experienced writing professionals. With our flexible format, you can grow in your creative writing while continuing to do what is important to you.

As a terminal degree, the online MFA in Creative Writing can also help you pursue opportunities to teach writing at the K-12 or college level. You will gain comprehensive and in-depth exposure to writing, literature, publishing, and many other professional writing skills that you can pass on to students. Partner with the Liberty family and learn under faculty who have spent years in the field you love. Your career in professional writing starts here.

What Will You Learn in Our MFA in Creative Writing?

The MFA in Creative Writing program is designed to help you become an excellent creative writer across the genres of creative fiction, nonfiction, screenwriting, and poetry. You can learn how to produce aesthetically and culturally engaged 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 in 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 can develop your craft so that you will be ready for your thesis project.

Here are a few examples of the skills Liberty’s MFA in Creative Writing can help you master:

  • Marketing your projects and pursuing new writing opportunities
  • Organizing writing and adapting it to different types of writing
  • Tailoring writing to specific audiences and markets
  • Understanding what makes art effective, compelling, and impactful
  • Writing compelling stories that engage readers

Featured Courses

  • ENGL 600 – Editing, Layout, and Publishing
  • ENGL 601 – Writing as Cultural Engagement
  • ENGL 603 – Literary Theory and Practice
  • WRIT 610 – Writing Fiction

MFA in Creative Writing Degree Information

  • This program falls under the College of Arts and Sciences .
  • Download and review the Degree Completion Plan .
  • Download and review the Graduate Manual for MFA .
  • View our Graduate Arts and Sciences Course Guides (login required) .

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Military Benefits for Our Online MFA in Creative Writing Degree

Liberty University is dedicated to providing world-class educational experiences to military students across the globe. Whether you are a current service member, discharged or retired from service, or the spouse of a service member or veteran, we are here to support you every step of the journey.

As a thank-you for your dedication and service to our country, Liberty is honored to serve and support you in your pursuit of online education by offering 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)

Career Opportunities for MFA in Creative Writing Graduates

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

Admission Requirements for the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (MFA)

Applicants must have a regionally or nationally accredited bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 or above cumulative GPA for admission in good standing. Please visit our admission requirements page for more detailed admissions-related information. 

All applicants must submit the following:

  • Admission application
  • Application fee*
  • Official college transcripts
  • Unofficial college transcripts may be accepted with a completed official transcript request form**
  • Creative writing sample
  • Proof of English proficiency (for applicants whose native language is other than English)

*There is no upfront application fee; however, a deferred $50 application fee will be assessed during Financial Check-In. This fee is waived for qualifying service members, veterans, and military spouses – documentation verifying military status is required.

**An official transcript is needed within 60 days of acceptance or before non-attendance drops for the first set of matriculated classes, whichever comes first. 

Highlights of Our Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

  • 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 the majority of our undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs for the past 9 years – and counting.
  • With creative writing workshops and a thesis project, you will receive support and guidance to help you become the best writer you can be.
  • You can complete the MFA in Creative Writing in as little as 2 years!

*Some restrictions may occur for this promotion to apply. This promotion also excludes active faculty and staff, military, Non-Degree Seeking, DGIA, Continuing Education, WSB, and Certificates.

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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.

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Editor’s Top Selections – Best Creative Writing MFA Programs

online mfa creative writing free

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

online mfa creative writing free

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

online mfa creative writing free

  • 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

online mfa creative writing free

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)

online mfa creative writing free

  • 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.

College of Liberal Arts

Creative Writing, MFA

People with a passion for writing who want to sharpen their skills can sign up for the MFA in Creative Writing. The online program, which also offers a face-to-face option, gives writers a chance to thrive among classmates from the Americas and Europe, guided by an award-winning international faculty. This program is great for those who want to become writers or publishers.

Interdisciplinary work with English, Music, Theater, and Languages and Linguistics departments

Students publish the Rio Grande Review - the region’s premier literary journal

Students have won major international literary awards in the Americas and Europe

COHORT SUPPORT LED TO THIRD NOVEL

Award-winning novelist Alaíde Ventura Medina chose UTEP’s MFA program for its border location and multiculturalism. The native of Veracruz, Mexico, called the faculty supportive and passionate about their craft, and said the courses and student interaction helped her write her third novel. 

Career Opportunities

MFA in Creative Writing graduates could work as journalists, ad or technical writers, creative writing teachers in higher education or become full-time professional writers. Organizations who want a skilled writer prefer applicants with this degree.

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Best MFA Creative Writing Programs

Creative writing is a career chased by those who have a passion and talent for writing. Whether your medium is fictional stories, poetry, screenwriting, or non-fictional stories, creative writing allows you to express yourself through your work. If you think this is what you want to do with your life, you should pursue a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing.

Entertainment is one of the most commonly overlooked necessities in life. Everyone you speak to throughout your day will be looking forward to some form of entertainment. Most often, people go home at night to watch movies, TV shows, or read books. As a creative writer, you could help provide a steady stream of entertainment, making your job surprisingly vital to society. For anyone wanting a creative job, creative writing is a fantastic option.

Find your bootcamp match

Before we get to the best MFA in Creative Writing programs, let’s explore the difference between an MFA and Master’s Degree in Creative Writing.

MFA vs Master’s in Creative Writing

Chances are you have already completed an undergraduate degree in creative writing or a similar field. Assuming this is the case, you’re likely trying to decide your next step. With the two most common paths at this point being so similar, choosing MFA or a master’s degree can be a difficult decision. So what sets them apart and which one should you choose?

An MFA is often considered to be the highest-level academic degree you can earn for certain fine arts specializations, including creative writing. In a master’s of fine arts program , there is more of a focus on writing and preparing you to become a writer. It does require more credit hours than a master’s degree program, but if you want to be a writer, this path gives you the best education and preparation.

A Master’s Degree in Creative Writing, on the other hand, most often allows for a concentration in creative writing instead of a specialization. With a master’s degree, you would receive an education more focused on analyzing and studying literature rather than writing and composing. While a master’s degree is the quicker option, due to fewer required credit hours, it may not be the best if you plan to become a writer.

In either degree program, there are options for concentrations within creative writing. The most common are fiction, literary nonfiction, poetry, genre fiction, and at some schools, screenwriting. These are pretty self-explanatory; fiction focuses on writing fictional works, nonfiction focuses on nonfictional writing, poetry focuses on writing poems, genre fiction allows you to focus on one genre of fiction like romance or horror, and screenwriting focuses on writing scripts for movies, plays, and TV shows.

Jan Kahanek FVUl6kzIvLg Unsplash

Attending a school with a great MFA in Creative Writing program is essential to receiving the best education. While many schools offer these programs, you will want to be fully prepared for your career as a writer upon graduating, and not every school can promise you will be. Applying to one of the following 11 schools, which are ranked as some of the absolute best for MFA in Creative Writing programs, is a great way to secure your future writing career.

University of Nebraska-Omaha

In Omaha, Nebraska, you can enroll in the University of Nebraska’s MFA in Creative Writing program. Students of this program will complete 60 credit hours of coursework in various genres while focusing on one genre based on the student’s specialization. The program is made up of four 16-week long writing seminars and five 10-day long residency workshops. Both the seminars and the workshops are designed to help prepare you as a writer.

To enroll in this program, applicants will need to provide their official transcripts, a resume, two letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and a writing sample that consists of 15 to 40 pages in their genre. As with all MFA programs, you will also need to have completed a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing or a similar subject.

Queens University of Charlotte

The Queens University of Charlotte in Charlotte, North Carolina, offers a low-residency MFA in Creative Writing. This program ensures there are never more than four students per teacher, which helps students get the quality education they need. Students of this program will have opportunities to write for the school’s literary journal or start an internship to help get their work published.

Requirements to apply to this program include submitting a resume, official transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and a 25-page writing portfolio. There is no requirement as to the genre the writing portfolio must be in, though you should focus on the genre you wish to pursue in your career.

Lindenwood University

At Lindenwood University in Saint Charles, Missouri, students can enroll in an MFA in Creative Writing. This program consists of 48 required credit hours that can be completed entirely online or on-campus. For both paths, no residency is required. Students of this program can take courses designed for both creative writers and those interested in journalism and editing. Most of the courses are taught by experienced authors and journalists, giving students a unique perspective.

Many opportunities are available to you at Lindenwood University, including being an editorial assistant for the school’s literary journal. To enroll in this program, you will need to submit a sample of your reactive writing as well as your official transcripts.

National University-San Diego

For those who wish to complete an online master’s degree , National University in San Diego, California, offers a completely online MFA in Creative Writing with no residency required. This program offers online workshops and seminars to provide students with an interactive online learning experience.

Students of this program will be required to complete elective courses. Many of these courses are unique and can help customize your degree, like film and directing courses or literary studies courses.

University of Texas-El Paso

In El Paso, Texas, students can enroll in a unique bilingual MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Texas. In fact, this is the only bilingual MFA program available in the world, providing students with a classroom experience in which English and Spanish coexist. While this program is on-campus, the university also offers an online MFA in Creative Writing program that can be completed from anywhere in the world.

The programs at this university require students to complete 48 credit hours made up of 42 credit hours of workshops and six for thesis work. To enroll, students must provide official undergraduate transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose and either eight to 10 pages of poetry or 20 pages of fictional writing.

Eastern Kentucky University

At the Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky, students can enroll in a low-residency MFA in Creative Writing program that is primarily online. The program requires students to attend at least 12 credit hours of residencies which are available in the winter in Lexington, Kentucky and in the summer in Lisbon, Portugal. Students can choose which residencies to attend, providing freedom of scheduling and the ability to travel.

To apply to the program at Eastern Kentucky University, students will need to provide GRE scores, undergraduate transcripts, a well-written resume , multiple letters of recommendation, and a writing portfolio. Students must also have completed an undergraduate degree with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Oregon State University

Oregon State University offers an on-campus MFA in Creative Writing program at its Corvallis, Oregon, location as well as an online MFA in Creative Writing through its campus in Bend, Oregon. This university is known for having many successful graduates from the MFA program and currently has the highest cumulative GPA of any college in the state of Oregon.

These programs consist of many different focuses, from spiritual writing to physical geography writing, and take around two years to complete. After completion, students will be considered for external GTA positions by the school, helping students find employment right away. To enroll, you will need to submit a resume highlighting achievements and awards, a writing portfolio, transcripts, and a statement of objectives.

Bay Path University

Bay Path University in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, offers a fully online MFA in Nonfiction Writing with no required residencies. There is also an option for students to study abroad in Ireland through this program. This is a great option for anyone who is unable to attend residencies and other on-campus activities but still wishes to earn a degree. The program here consists of 39 required credit hours and is designed for students at all levels of their writing careers.

To be accepted into this program, you will need to have maintained a GPA of 3.0 or higher and submit official transcripts with a 250-word essay, 10 pages of writing samples, and two letters of recommendation.

University of Arkansas-Monticello

In Monticello, Arkansas, you can enroll in the University of Arkansas’ non-residency MFA in Creative Writing program. This program consists of 48 required credit hours in one of three genres: poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction. Students of this program will be able to learn at their own pace, with allowances of anywhere between three and 12 credit hours per semester.

To apply to the University of Arkansas at Monticello’s MFA in Creative Writing, you will need to apply with official transcripts showing a GPA of 3.0 or higher, a manuscript, a personal essay, a critical writing analysis, and three letters of recommendation.

University of New Orleans

The University of New Orleans in New Orleans, Louisiana, offers both online and on-campus versions of their MFA in Creative Writing program. Both programs take students around three years to complete and allow for focuses in poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction. Students of these programs will also have the opportunity to study abroad in Ireland or Italy over the summers.

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To enroll in one of these programs, students need to apply with GRE scores, official transcripts, and other documentation such as a resume and writing portfolio. Students do need to maintain at least a B in all classes to stay in the program once accepted.

Emerson College

In Boston, Massachusetts, you can attend Emerson College and enroll in its MFA in Popular Fiction Writing. This program is taught by award-winning faculty members and offers a concentration in all sorts of genres. Some of the more popular choices include mystery, horror, and young adult writing. The program requires students to complete 36 credit hours, 16 of which are workshops and four of which must be spent on a thesis.

Emerson College focuses on teaching students that writing is both a professional career and a form of art. They strive to help students learn about the history of their chosen genre, and help them to develop their own unique voice as a writer.

Creative writing is a great way to express yourself and your own interests in a way that benefits your career. Whether you wish to be a fiction writer, poet, or journalist, creative writing is a great skill to have. Being able to write unique works ensures an interested audience, which helps you become more successful.

While it is possible to land creative jobs without a degree , earning an MFA in Creative Writing is one of the best ways to turn your passion into a career. With plenty of job opportunities and a societal demand for constant entertainment, you are sure to make a decent living. 

Attending one of the best 11 schools listed above is the best way to make sure your education is tailored to your needs. With options for online and on-campus degrees, you can’t go wrong with any of the best MFA in Creative Writing programs mentioned above.

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10 MFA Programs for the Budget-Conscious

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Rare, exclusive fully-funded programs aren't the only option for a lower-cost degree.

Pencil and pencil shavings

It’s well-worn advice by now that you shouldn’t go into debt for an MFA. But how can you avoid it? Every year, the limited fully-funded programs—think Michener Center for Writers, Rutgers, Cornell, Brown, Purdue, Iowa, Johns Hopkins—receive a flood of applications. Fully-funded MFA programs at Syracuse University and Hunter admit around 6% and 2% of applicants, respectively. 

Statistically, it’s a simple fact that not every writer who feels committed to completing an MFA will find a seat in a fully-funded program—and those application fees add up. For example, Vanderbilt’s fee is $85 and Boston University’s is $95. Plus, even at full funding, location matters, as living on a graduate student’s salary has wildly different implications in different housing markets; some “fully funded” students do end up taking out loans to bridge the gap between stipends and what it means to pay rent.

Highly selective programs with extensive funding can be a gift for writers, but you also need a backup plan. This isn’t about thinking of MFA safety schools, but rather applying widely to programs that are a good fit both academically and financially. There are over 160 residential MFA programs in the United States, all of which have a different mix of aid and aesthetic. Even if full funding is not advertised, at some schools, you may still get it.

No matter what you get from the Registrar’s office, for any offer of admission, prospective students should ask to speak to current enrollees and recent grads and do as much vetting as possible. No program is perfect. 

With that in mind, here are 10 programs for the cost-conscious to get started with, based on the institution’s financial transparency and publicly available data. 

Butler University

Indianapolis, where Butler University is located, boasts a low cost of living in what is still a relatively major city, Indiana’s largest. As a private school, residency conditions do not apply, and Butler’s tuition and fees run about 16K a year. The MFA was established in 2008 and matriculates upwards of 15 students annually. There are a wide variety of scholarships available, including many that are not linked to instruction. Butler offers some paid teaching positions for second year students; in any given cohort, about half of enrollees would be eligible. As a university founded in a Christian religious tradition, Butler may not be right for everyone, even though its mission and degree programs (including the MFA) are firmly secular. However, with funding, this very small school can be an economical choice in a Midwest capital.

Eastern Washington University  

Founded in 1978, the Eastern Washington University program offers full and partial funding for many students in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. A land-grant institution in Washington state that is closer to Idaho than Seattle, the MFA is housed in Spokane, a small walkable city with low living costs. A two year program, students who are not fully funded in their first year through a teaching assistantship have a chance to get second-year funding and stipend through community-based programs and publishing, including with the literary journal Willow Springs Magazine . EWU’s tuition is on the lower end, at $12,704 a year. Through a western states partnership, those who reside in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, or Nevada do not have to establish residency. A unique aspect of EWU is that classes are largely held in the evenings, making it possible to hold a day job if needed.

University of Florida, Gainesville

The University of Florida, Gainesville MFA program is a fully funded three-year program, and receives upwards of 500 applications a year. It admits only six students in each genre of poetry and fiction. Founded in 1949, UF is a well-ranked, established program and has maintained the very low application fee of $30. The town of Gainesville, in the central panhandle of Florida, is an inexpensive place to live, making it likely that a stipend will in fact cover living costs. UF is a very pedagogically focused school. It prioritizes permanent faculty rather than visiting writers or temporarily appointed professors to deliver instruction, and the admissions statement is clear that applicants are selected on what the committee sees as potential to develop through the course of study. The program emphasizes world literature, and over half of its faculty are bilingual and born outside America.

Long Island University

If you absolutely have to be in New York, take a look at Long Island University. Located in Brooklyn, this school has ample paid internship opportunities at PEN World Voices Festival, the National Book Foundation, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, among others. LIU also offers teaching assistantships that will offset costs. Tuition is half that of other NYC-based schools like Columbia, which is highly relevant for those students who may pay some out of pocket. As a private school, state residency requirements do not apply. Founded in 2007, LIU’s MFA has programs in poetry, fiction, playwriting, creative nonfiction, and cross-genre projects. New York is, of course, extremely expensive, so applicants must balance funding against cost of living. With a $50 application fee, for those who feel strongly about being in the epicenter of American publishing, LIU may be worth the relatively low initial cost. 

McNeese State

Established in 1982, the McNeese State University MFA offers all who are admitted some level of funding, though it does not provide free rides. By their own metrics, MSU students enrolled in the MFA pay about $1,500 per semester for three years. The application process begins at no cost—prospective students are not asked to contribute any application fees or paperwork until after they are accepted. This is a positive model that helps students understand if they are a good fit before committing to fees or devoting time to formal applications. Prospective students should send in their work in poetry or fiction, their statement of purpose, and an additional letter spelling out one’s interest in teaching introductory composition. MSU is in Lake Charles, Louisiana, a gulf town about halfway between Houston and New Orleans with a very low cost of living. Demographically, Lake Charles is nearly 50% Black. MSU as a university enrolls more female identified students and employs more female identified faculty than average, making it a highly diverse option.

University of Mississippi  

Founded in 2000, the fully-funded program at the University of Mississippi Oxford is free to apply to, and the phased application is very low stakes. Email in a writing sample along with a statement of purpose essay, and the first part of the application is done. Much like other Gulf schools, it’s only once these initial materials are reviewed are some students asked to move to Phase II, which requires filling out the graduate application and providing letters of reference. In many ways, applying to UM is like submitting to a literary magazine or pitching agents. Applicants will only hear back and be asked for additional materials if the committee is interested. UM offers funded positions that do not involve teaching, and specifically earmarks financial aid for students of underrepresented groups. Oxford is a diverse city that is approximately 22% Black.

University of New Hampshire  

The University of New Hampshire’s program is newer, founded in 2007. It is very small and also very selective. Graduate school tuition rates were $14,170 in 2020. Residents of Rhode Island receive a discount. UNH has a reputation of being very community-minded, the kind of school where students celebrate on another’s successes. An advantage of UNH is the availability of paid internships in research and communications, and stipend positions at the literary magazine, Barnstorm . Top applicants will receive tuition waivers and a stipend through teaching fellowships. Durham, New Hampshire, has a high cost of living for such a small city, but in contrast, the housing costs in Boston, about an hour away, are 60% more than this college town.

Texas State University

The Texas State University MFA, founded in 1991, is a large program, with upwards of 70 candidates enrolled at any given time. The cost of living in San Marcos, located between San Antonio and Austin, is slightly lower than the national average. While TXST is technically only partially funded, 90% of applicants receive full funding, a hefty percentage. In-state tuition rates are $8664 annually, but essentially no students pay the full balance. While 75% of candidates are from outside of Texas, the university has a generous out of state waiver that is not contingent on residency. In 2019, this applied to 100% of students, suggesting that while not guaranteed, getting a waiver is highly achievable. If not offered full funding, note that TXST is a 3-year program, which could potentially increase costs and delay entry into the job market by a year. The university is designated as a Hispanic Serving Institute, with 25% of enrolled students identifying as Hispanic or Latinx. 

University of Texas, El Paso

University of Texas, El Paso has both a residential and a fully online program; this section covers the residential course of study. Since 1992, UTEP has enrolled a cohort of a dozen MFA students, and like other Texas-based programs, it is a 3-year course of study. That said, this program has the lowest tuition of any program on this list, at $6600/year. Graduate stipends pay $1200 per month for ten months, which is fairly average, but put in context of El Paso’s extraordinarily low cost of living, those dollars will stretch much farther than in other cities. UTEP is distinctive in that it offers a bilingual English/Spanish MFA, though bilingualism is not required of any applicant. Classes draw on both Spanish and English texts, and the program offers support for student matters like housing and financial aid in both languages. The campus is located near a shared border crossing with Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.    

St Mary’s College

The St. Mary’s College program refreshingly focuses on life after an MFA and publishes statistics on the careers of its graduates. All incoming students are funded at 40–50% of tuition in their first year, and a smaller percentage in their second year. This brings tuition costs at this private school down to something that is more in line with a public school, with no penalty for not having California residency—although note that attending SMC means living in San Francisco, which is more expensive than New York. All students are invited to apply for graduate teaching assistantships, which offer an additional stipend. SMC is an option for students who are interested in interdisciplinary work, as there is funding for dual-concentration students who may take three years to complete their degree. The college also provides paid internships with Lambda Literary, Kearny Street Workshop, Hedgebrook, and is notably LBGTQIA+ friendly. Without a full portfolio of funding, St Mary’s can be unreachable for many, but because it has a free application process, it’s worth seeing where an application shakes out in the funding hierarchy. 

A comprehensive list of MFA programs from Poets & Writers can be found here .

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Dominican University of California’s low residency MFA in Creative Writing program invites the public to attend its spring 2022 series of virtual retreats and workshops that will highlight the program’s supportive, creative environment across the genres of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and narrative medicine. The first one in a series of seven free events is February 2, featuring an online creative writing workshop entitled “On Future Worlds” with educator/writer/coach Raina León, professor of English Education at St. Mary’s College. Starting in January 2022, Raina will be a writing mentor in the MFA program and will join the adjunct faculty at Dominican. The MFA is designed to support poets and writers who wish to complete and publish a book manuscript. The focus is on honing students’ writing skills while they learn about the publishing industry. However, since the MFA is recognized as a terminal degree in academe, graduates are eligible to apply for college-level teaching positions. Graduates also are prepared for jobs that require strong writing skills, such as publishing, editing, marketing, public relations, social media and web content strategy. The MFA starts with a residency and runs for two years, for a total of five residencies and four mentorship semesters. All MFA students attend the winter (January) and summer (June) residencies together. During the Fall and Spring mentorship semesters, students are broken out into smaller groups of three to five students per mentor, in accordance with the AWP guidelines and best teaching practices. Here are the free spring 2022 events: February 2 , 6-8 p.m. PST. On Future Worlds . This free workshop presented by Raina León, professor of English Education at St. Mary’s College, has a new date and will include reading news articles that explore potential crises and imagine what inner and outer worlds might emerge, ones that are about flourishing and collective organizing and possibility. The workshop, originally scheduled on January 25, will study science fiction (in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and visual arts) alongside the news to inspire generative writing from a place of artivism for preservation and action. January 26 , 6-7 p.m. PST. MFA in Creative Writing Program Overview . Led by Dominican MFA Director Judy Halebsky, whether one is a poet looking to hone his/her craft, an aspiring novelist who wants to get that book written, or a memoirist with an urgent story to tell, Dominican’s MFA program will help one achieve his or her writing goals.  An admissions counselor will also be available to answer application questions. February 12 , 10-11 a.m. PST. The Nuts and Bolts of Applying to the MFA in Creative Writing Program . A hands-on workshop about putting together an MFA application with guidance and writing prompts to help participants craft their Letter of Intent or Artist Statement. This info session is led by MFA Director Judy Halebsky.  An admissions counselor will also be available to answer questions about the program and the application process. February 26 , 10 a.m. to noon PST. Writing To Restore The Self . This free workshop, presented by psychotherapist, teacher, and poet Eliot Schain, will feature writing and discussion about imagery that can help process both positive and negative experience and unite disparate parts of the self. March 12 , 10 a.m. to noon PST. Do the Math: How to Keep Pressing Forward When We Feel Stuck . Join author Kim Culbertson in a free workshop using five specific craft exercises. The workshop will focus on character, POV, conflict, and setting tricks to help when one feels stuck on his/her manuscript. Kim calls it “doing the math” because sometimes one just has to add, subtract, multiply, or divide to get to the root of that writer's block.  March 14 , 6-7 p.m. PDT. Putting together a Writing Sample for Applying to MFAs, Grants, and Fellowships.  The writing sample is often the most important part of an application to MFA programs, grants or fellowships. This session shares insights into how selection committees read the writing submitted and offers strategies on how to show your best work. Led by MFA Director Judy Halebsky. An admissions counselor will also be available to answer application questions.  April 13 , 6-7 p.m. PDT Writing an Artist Statement / Letter of Intent for Applying to MFAs, Grants, and Fellowships. Programs, as well as artist residencies and grants, ask applicants to submit a Letter of Introduction or an Artist Statement. This session will provide approaches to writing this letter and will include writing prompts to help one make a letter that shines. Led by MFA Director Judy Halebsky. An admissions counselor will also be available to answer application questions.  For more information about these free events, or to learn more about the MFA in Creative Writing program, please contact Natalie Babler, Administrative Manager in the School of Liberal Arts and Education , at [email protected] .

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UMass Boston

online mfa creative writing free

  • Creative Writing MFA

Further your commitment to writing as the center of your professional life.

Intensive study and practice of fiction and poetry writing with award-winning and nationally renowned faculty at the most diverse university in new england..

UMass Boston's Creative Writing MFA offers you an intense, 3-year program and focused opportunity to further your commitment to writing as the center of your professional life. Through a combination of mentoring by accomplished faculty in a series of creative writing workshops, courses focused on the study of literature offered through the English MA Program, and electives that include the practice of literary editing, the teaching of creative writing, documentary poetics, the art of memoir, and more—you will have the guidance to develop and shape your work to the full extent of your talent.

All accepted students receive funding. Graduate assistantships offer the opportunity to work with students as teaching assistants and fellows, or in editorial positions with one of our sponsors, including 826 Boston, Hanging Loose Press, Write on the Dot, Consequence Magazine, Breakwater Review, and Arrowsmith Press.

Career Possibilities

Pursue a career as a professional writer, publishing your work in literary journals, magazines. Work as an editor and collaborate with writers to refine their work and shape the final product for publication. These are just a few of the possibilities.

Become a(n):

  • Writer/Author
  • Literary Agent
  • Writing Instructor/Professor

Start Your Application

Plan Your Education

How to apply.

Applicants must meet general graduate admission requirements in addition to the following program-specific requirements:

  • A 3.0 GPA overall and in the student’s major
  • Three substantive and detailed letters of recommendation, from former teachers familiar with the applicant’s most recent academic and creative work
  • A 3-5 page personal statement focusing on the role of the candidate’s reading life in his or her development as a writer. (Note: The general Graduate Admissions application refers to this as a statement of interests and intent. They are one and the same.)
  • Applicants must indicate whether they are applying in FICTION or POETRY in their Statement of Purpose. If you want to apply in both genres, include one writing sample in FICTION and one in POETRY and indicate in the Statement of Purpose that the application is for both.
  • A writing sample of 10 manuscript pages of poetry or 20 manuscript pages of fiction

Deadlines & Cost

Deadlines: January 15 (priority) for fall. While rare, if space is available, we’ll happily consider applications until June 1 (final deadline).

Application Fee: The nonrefundable application fee is $75. UMass Boston alumni and current students that plan to complete degree requirements prior to graduate enrollment can submit the application without paying the application fee.

Program Cost Information: Bursar's website

Writing Workshops (24 Credits)

Complete one from below four times.

  • CW 601 - MFA Poetry Workshop 6 Credit(s) or
  • CW 602 - MFA Fiction Workshop 6 Credit(s)

Literature Courses (9 Credits)

Complete three graduate literature courses.

Electives (9 Credits)

Complete three from below.

  • CW 605 - Memoir Workshop 3 Credit(s)
  • CW 606 - Literary Editing and Publishing 3 Credit(s)
  • CW 614 - The Teaching of Creative Writing 3 Credit(s)
  • CW 675 - Creative Writing Internship 3 Credit(s)
  • CW 697 - Special Topics in Creative Writing 1-6 Credit(s)

Students may elect courses offered by other graduate programs with approval from the graduate program director.

  • ENGL 459 Seminar for Tutors may be taken for graduate credit (see Undergraduate Catalog)
  • ENGL 675 - Reading and Writing Poetry 3 Credit(s)
  • ENGL 676 - Reading and Writing Fiction 3 Credit(s)
  • ENGL 681 - Advanced Workshop in Poetry 3 Credit(s)
  • ENGL 682 - Advanced Workshop in Fiction 3 Credit(s)

Thesis Courses (6 Credits)

Complete the course below both semesters of the third year.

  • CW 699 - MFA Thesis 3 Credit(s)

Graduation Criteria

Complete 48 credits from twelve courses including four writing workshops, three literature courses, three electives, and two semesters of thesis workshops.

The MFA degree requires six semesters of full-time study, with 9 credits required in each of the first four semesters, and 6 credits in the final two semesters, during which students will concentrate on completing a thesis in fiction or poetry under the direction of a faculty member. MFA workshops are limited to 12 students, and seminars are limited to 15. Students have the opportunity to interact with writers in our Global Voices Visiting Writer series (recent visitors have been Raquel Salas Rivera and Carole Maso), and work with visiting prose writers - recently these have included Jane Unrue, ZZ Packer, and Fanny Howe.

Capstone: Completion of an MFA thesis of 48 to 64 pages of poetry or 100 to 200 pages of fiction written under the supervision of a thesis advisor, reviewed by a thesis committee, and subject to a public defense.

Statute of limitations: Five years.

Contact & Faculty

Graduate Program Director John Fulton john.fulton [at] umb.edu (617) 287-6700

English & Creative Writing MFA Department englishmfaprogram [at] umb.edu (617) 287-6702

Fiction Faculty

John Fulton , Program Director & Associate Professor Askold Melnyczuk , Professor Eileen Pollack , Visiting Assistant Professor

Poetry Faculty

Jill McDonough , Professor Shangyang Fang , Associate Lecturer

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Learn more about UMass Boston's English department, our programs, and our faculty.

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Jane Friedman

3 Myths About the MFA in Creative Writing

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Today’s guest post is an excerpt from DIY MFA by Gabriela Pereira ( @DIYMFA ), just released from Writer’s Digest Books.

Most writers want an MFA for one of three reasons: They want to teach writing, they want to get published, or they want to make room in their life for writing. It turns out these reasons for doing an MFA are actually based on myths.

Myth 1: You Need an MFA to Teach Writing

Many writers get the MFA because they think it will allow them to teach writing at the college or graduate level. Once upon a time this might have been the case, but these days so many MFA graduates are looking for jobs and so few teaching positions exist, that it’s a challenge to get a teaching job with a PhD, much less with a terminal master’s degree. The writers who do manage to snag a coveted teaching position are often so overwhelmed with their responsibilities that they have to put their own writing on the back burner. While in the past an MFA may have served as a steppingstone to becoming a professor, it’s not the case anymore.

More important, many teachers in MFA programs do not have that degree themselves. Some professors are successful authors with prominent careers, while others are publishing professionals who bring the industry perspective to the courses they teach. This goes to show that the MFA has little impact on a writer’s ability to teach writing. Being a successful author or publishing professional is much more important.

Myth 2: The MFA Is a Shortcut to Getting Published

No agent will sign you and no editor will publish your book based on a credential alone. You have to write something beautiful. If you attend an MFA program and work hard, you will become a better writer. And if you become a better writer, you will eventually write a beautiful book. An MFA might help you on your quest for publication, but it’s certainly not required. After all, many writers perfect their craft and produce great books without ever getting a degree.

Ultimately getting published is a matter of putting your backside in the chair and writing the best book possible. For that, you don’t need an MFA.

Myth 3: An MFA Program Will Force You to Make Writing a Priority

If you can find time to write only by putting your life on hold and plunging into a graduate program, then your writing career isn’t going to last very long. Only a small percentage of writers can support themselves and their loved ones through writing alone. This means you must find a balance between your writing and the rest of your life.

Even within your writing career, you must become a master juggler. Forget that glamorous image of the secluded writer working at his typewriter. These days, writing is only a small piece of the writer’s job. In addition to writing, you must promote your books, manage your online presence, update your social media … and likely schedule these tasks around a day job, a family, and other responsibilities.

The danger with MFA programs is that they train you to write in isolation but don’t always teach you how to fit writing into your real life, or even how to juggle writing with all the other aspects of your writing career. Not only that, but external motivators like class assignments or thesis deadlines don’t teach you to pace yourself and build up the internal motivation you need to succeed in the long-term.

Genre Writing in MFA Programs

Most MFA programs focus on literary fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. While these are noble areas of literature, they cover only a tiny slice of the wide and diverse world of writing. Heaven forbid a writer in a traditional MFA program produces something commercial—or worse, genre fiction. While a handful of MFA programs allow writers to study genre fiction or children’s literature, the majority still focus on literary work alone. If you want to write genre fiction, commercial nonfiction, or children’s books, you likely will not learn much about them in your MFA courses.

Writers of genre and commercial fiction are among the most dedicated, driven writers I know. They take their craft seriously and work hard to understand the business side of the publishing industry. In addition, a vast number of associations, conferences, and guilds are dedicated to specific genres or commercial writing. Literary writers are not the only ones who crave knowledge and community. Commercial and genre writers want it, too.

This is why I created DIY MFA : to offer an alternative for writers who do not fit the strict literary mold of the traditional MFA system.

Should You Pursue an MFA?

MFA programs are not a bad thing. In fact, they are exceptional at serving a small and very specific group of writers. If you write literary fiction, creative nonfiction, or poetry, and if you thrive in a formal academic environment, then the traditional MFA is a great option. If you can afford the tuition without taking out loans, and if you have the time to make the most of the experience, then you are one of those ideal candidates for graduate school.

One reason I am extremely grateful for my own MFA is that it gave me the opportunity to work with several phenomenal teachers. I studied YA and middle-grade literature with the brilliant David Levithan. The legendary Hettie Jones was my first workshop teacher. I worked closely with Abrams publisher Susan Van Metre, who served as my thesis advisor and mentor. These experiences were invaluable, and at the time I didn’t think I could make connections with such literary luminaries any other way. Now I know, however, that you can make connections and find great mentors without attending an MFA program.

The “Do It Yourself” MFA

As an MFA student, I discovered the magic equation that sums up just about every traditional MFA. The Master in Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing is nothing more than a lot of writing, reading, and building community. In the workshops, you exchange critiques with other writers and work toward a manuscript that becomes your thesis project. Most programs also require you to take literature courses both in and outside your chosen area of literature. Finally, you are asked to attend readings or talks by other writers—to build your personal writing community. To create a personalized, do-it-yourself MFA, you have to find a way to combine these three elements.

Write with focus. You have to commit to a project and finish it. In traditional MFA terms, this project is your thesis, and it’s a crucial part of your development as a writer. But you don’t need to complete a thesis to get this experience; you just need to finish and polish a manuscript. While you can feel free to play and explore early on, you must eventually choose a project and see it through from beginning to end. When you write with focus, you write with a goal in mind.

Read with purpose.  This means reading with a writer’s eye. If you’re like me, you were a bookworm long before you could hold a pencil in your hand. Writers love books. In fact, many of us become writers so we can create the very books we love to read.

Reading for pleasure is wonderful, and it certainly has its place. Reading with purpose is different: It is reading in a way that serves our writing. It’s not just about finding out what happens in the story; it’s about learning how the author pulls it off. Reading this way isn’t just an intellectual exercise. When we read with purpose, we examine how an author crafts a story so we can emulate those techniques in our own work.

Build your community.  In the traditional MFA, building a community happens organically. You meet fellow writers in your workshops and literature courses. You go to readings and conferences to connect with authors. You attend a publishing panel and learn about the industry. The community element is baked into the MFA experience.

DIY MFA

To learn more about crafting your own customized MFA experience, sign up for the DIY MFA newsletter , and check out the new book, DIY MFA .

Gabriela Pereira

Gabriela Pereira is the Creative Director at DIY MFA , the do-it-yourself alternative to a master’s degree in writing. She develops tools and techniques for the serious writer, to help you get the knowledge without the college. With an MFA in creative writing, Gabriela is also a freelance writing teacher, and has led workshops throughout New York City via writing programs like: 826NYC, East Harlem Tutorial Program and Everybody Wins. When she’s not working on DIY MFA, she loves writing middle grade and teen fiction, with a few short stories for “grown-ups” thrown in for good measure.

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[…] Today’s guest post is an excerpt from DIY MFA by Gabriela Pereira (@DIYMFA), just released from Writer’s Digest Books. Most writers want an MFA for one of three reasons: They want to teach writing, they want to get published, or they want to make room in their life for writing. It turns out these reasons …  […]

Here

I find screenwriting programs to be more honest with respect to story telling.

Shux

So true, I did a screen writing module in my degree. It was easy, fun and clear to write a script. So weird!

Jodie

THANK YOU! I needed this. I occasionally doubt myself and my future success possibilities because of my lack of an MFA. I’ve been gradually letting that notion go, and this helps!

Also, I’m not interested in social media with exception of using Twitter as a news aggregator. From my perspective it’s an unwanted hassle. I write fiction and have neither the time nor inclination for blog posts or podcasts, but I do understand the nature of the disadvantage this might impose. And I think reality reliably informs us a social media presence is not necessarily mandatory to find success.

[…] view post at https://janefriedman.com/mfa-creative-writing-3-myths/ […]

[…] 3 Myths About the MFA in Creative Writing (Jane Friedman) Most writers want an MFA for one of three reasons: They want to teach writing, they want to get published, or they want to make room in their life for writing. It turns out these reasons for doing an MFA are actually based on myths. […]

[…] to the rest at Jane Friedman and thanks to Matthew for the […]

[…] the program could help build contacts, at the very least. Here is an article by Jane Friedman with 3 Myths About the MFA in Creative Writing to help answer some of the […]

[…] Jane Friedman […]

[…] Honoree Corder’s Website Removed by S.J. Pajonas How Do You Like Them Apples! MFA: Myths for Authors Write, Camera, Action! DRM Drama Audio on the Go Singles’ Night (1) Singles’ Night (2) Swan […]

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5 in-demand freelance jobs you can do from home—some pay over $200 an hour

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More Americans are freelancing — and as demand for independent workers surges, so has the availability of high-paying freelance opportunities. 

The number of professionals freelancing in the U.S. hit an all-time high in 2023, increasing to 64 million people, or 38% of the U.S. workforce, from 60 million the year earlier according to recent research from Upwork. 

Businesses are increasingly relying on freelancers to save on headcount and real estate expenses, Yoav Hornung, head of verticals and innovation at Fiverr, recently told CNBC Make It . 

Many of these project-based jobs can come with six-figure payouts. The number of independent workers making $100,000 or more a year grew by 53% between 2021 and 2023, according to an October 2023 report by MBO Partners, a provider of back-office services to independent workers.

But the services people are hiring independent contractors for are constantly changing. To help freelancers find the best opportunities, Freelancer.com has identified five in-demand freelance jobs , based on more than 250,000 listings posted on its database between January and March 2024. The earnings information comes from this sample of projects.

All of these jobs can be done from home and pay over $100 per hour:

1. Programming 

Average hourly rate: $250 

2. eCommerce development and management 

3. graphic design .

Average hourly rate: $140 

4. Transcription

Average hourly rate: $200 

5. Creative writing 

While coding, programming and other tech specialties have long been sought-after freelance services, demand for e-commerce contractors has "exploded" in recent months, Sebastián Siseles, international vice president at Freelancer.com, tells CNBC Make It .

The global e-commerce market has been steadily growing over the last several years, a trend that was accelerated during the Covid-19 pandemic when more companies had to shift to online business models. This has sparked demand for other freelance services related to running an e-commerce site, Siseles points out, including user interface design and copywriting. 

If you're interested in freelancing, make sure you understand the timeline of the job you're applying for and how you'll be compensated. Freelance jobs may last for part of a day, a week, a month, a year or even longer — and while some jobs are priced hourly, others might have a fixed project rate. 

You can also set yourself apart as a freelancer by creating a digital portfolio of work samples to share with prospective clients. To find out where the jobs are and list your own services, consider creating a profile on Upwork, Freelancer.com, Fiverr, TaskRabbit or a different website advertising freelance jobs.

Want to land your dream job in 2024?  Take  CNBC's new online course How to Ace Your Job Interview  to learn what hiring managers are really looking for, body language techniques, what to say and not to say, and the best way to talk about pay.

Plus, sign up for   CNBC Make It's newsletter  to get tips and tricks for success at work, with money and in life.

I started a business with $1,000—now it brings in over $25 million a year

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  2. Master of Fine Arts Online

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  3. Online MFA in Creative Writing Program

    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. Request Info Apply Now.

  4. The Best 15 Creative Writing MFA Programs in 2023

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  19. MFA In Creative Writing Hosting Free Online Events

    Dominican University of California's low residency MFA in Creative Writing program invites the public to attend its spring 2022 series of virtual retreats and workshops that will highlight the program's supportive, creative environment across the genres of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and narrative medicine. The first one in a series of seven free events is February 2, featuring ...

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    In late 2019 I applied to around 15 of the best Creative Writing MFA's in the United States. All of these programs have less than a 3% acceptance rate--the most competitive among them less than 1% (yes, they received over 1000 applicants and accepted less than 10).

  21. Creative Writing MFA

    UMass Boston's Creative Writing MFA offers you an intense, 3-year program and focused opportunity to further your commitment to writing as the center of your professional life. Through a combination of mentoring by accomplished faculty in a series of creative writing workshops, courses focused on the study of literature offered through the ...

  22. 3 Myths About the MFA in Creative Writing

    Myth 2: The MFA Is a Shortcut to Getting Published. No agent will sign you and no editor will publish your book based on a credential alone. You have to write something beautiful. If you attend an MFA program and work hard, you will become a better writer.

  23. Creative Writing

    Mason Creative Writing embraces a community of writers, faculty, and students through our undergraduate BFA and graduate MFA programs. Coupled with Watershed Lit: Center for Literary Engagement and Publishing Practice, Mason Creative Writing is the perfect place to cultivate your literary art, learn from accomplished and dedicated faculty ...

  24. Recommend an online MFA : Creative Writing program? : r/writers

    If you have the money and time for an online or a low-residency MFA, it is a great way to kick your writing practice into better shape! But they're usually not funded (or, if they are, far less than most full-time residency MFAs). So if you're in a position to consider it, I suggest looking into in-person MFAs that fully find students.

  25. Seeking Recommendation for Affordable Online MFA Program

    Seeking Recommendation for Affordable Online MFA Program. Hello! As the title says, I am looking for any recommendations for an affordable (<$20k) online MFA writing program. Preferably, I'd love one that specializes in genre fiction. I'm a few months away from completing my undergrad creative writing program and wanted to nail down a list of ...

  26. In-demand freelance jobs you can do from home—some pay over ...

    4. Transcription. Average hourly rate: $200. 5. Creative writing. Average hourly rate: $140. While coding, programming and other tech specialties have long been sought-after freelance services ...