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The 10 Best Creative Writing MFA Programs in the US
The talent is there.
But the next generation of great American writers needs a collegial place to hone their craft.
They need a place to explore the writer’s role in a wider community.
They really need guidance about how and when to publish.
All these things can be found in a solid Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing degree program. This degree offers access to mentors, to colleagues, and to a future in the writing world.
A good MFA program gives new writers a precious few years to focus completely on their work, an ideal space away from the noise and pressure of the fast-paced modern world.
We’ve found ten of the best ones, all of which provide the support, the creative stimulation, and the tranquility necessary to foster a mature writer.
We looked at graduate departments from all regions, public and private, all sizes, searching for the ten most inspiring Creative Writing MFA programs.
Each of these ten institutions has assembled stellar faculties, developed student-focused paths of study, and provide robust support for writers accepted into their degree programs.
To be considered for inclusion in this list, these MFA programs all must be fully-funded degrees, as recognized by Read The Workshop .
Creative Writing education has broadened and expanded over recent years, and no single method or plan fits for all students.
Today, MFA programs across the country give budding short story writers and poets a variety of options for study. For future novelists, screenwriters – even viral bloggers – the search for the perfect setting for their next phase of development starts with these outstanding institutions, all of which have developed thoughtful and particular approaches to study.
So where will the next Salinger scribble his stories on the steps of the student center, or the next Angelou reading her poems in the local bookstore’s student-run poetry night? At one of these ten programs.
Here are 10 of the best creative writing MFA programs in the US.
University of Oregon (Eugene, OR)
Starting off the list is one of the oldest and most venerated Creative Writing programs in the country, the MFA at the University of Oregon.
Longtime mentor, teacher, and award-winning poet Garrett Hongo directs the program, modeling its studio-based approach to one-on-one instruction in the English college system.
Oregon’s MFA embraces its reputation for rigor. Besides attending workshops and tutorials, students take classes in more formal poetics and literature.
A classic college town, Eugene provides an ideal backdrop for the writers’ community within Oregon’s MFA students and faculty.
Tsunami Books , a local bookseller with national caché, hosts student-run readings featuring writers from the program.
Graduates garner an impressive range of critical acclaim; Yale Younger Poet winner Brigit Pegeen Kelly, Cave Canem Prize winner and Guggenheim fellow Major Jackson, and PEN-Hemingway Award winner Chang-Rae Lee are noteworthy alumni.
With its appealing setting and impressive reputation, Oregon’s MFA program attracts top writers as visiting faculty, including recent guests Elizabeth McCracken, David Mura, and Li-young Lee.
The individual approach defines the Oregon MFA experience; a key feature of the program’s first year is the customized reading list each MFA student creates with their faculty guide.
Weekly meetings focus not only on the student’s writing, but also on the extended discovery of voice through directed reading.
Accepting only ten new students a year—five in poetry and five in fiction— the University of Oregon’s MFA ensures a close-knit community with plenty of individual coaching and guidance.
Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)
Cornell University’s MFA program takes the long view on life as a writer, incorporating practical editorial training and teaching experience into its two-year program.
Incoming MFA students choose their own faculty committee of at least two faculty members, providing consistent advice as they move through a mixture of workshop and literature classes.
Students in the program’s first year benefit from editorial training as readers and editors for Epoch , the program’s prestigious literary journal.
Teaching experience grounds the Cornell program. MFA students design and teach writing-centered undergraduate seminars on a variety of topics, and they remain in Ithaca during the summer to teach in programs for undergraduates.
Cornell even allows MFA graduates to stay on as lecturers at Cornell for a period of time while they are on the job search. Cornell also offers a joint MFA/Ph.D. program through the Creative Writing and English departments.
Endowments fund several acclaimed reading series, drawing internationally known authors to campus for workshops and work sessions with MFA students.
Recent visiting readers include Salman Rushdie, Sandra Cisneros, Billy Collins, Margaret Atwood, Ada Limón, and others.
Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ)
Arizona State’s MFA in Creative Writing spans three years, giving students ample time to practice their craft, develop a voice, and begin to find a place in the post-graduation literary world.
Coursework balances writing and literature classes equally, with courses in craft and one-on-one mentoring alongside courses in literature, theory, or even electives in topics like fine press printing, bookmaking, or publishing.
While students follow a path in either poetry or fiction, they are encouraged to take courses across the genres.
Teaching is also a focus in Arizona State’s MFA program, with funding coming from teaching assistantships in the school’s English department. Other exciting teaching opportunities include teaching abroad in locations around the world, funded through grants and internships.
The Virginia C. Piper Center for Creative Writing, affiliated with the program, offers Arizona State MFA students professional development in formal and informal ways.
The Distinguished Writers Series and Desert Nights, Rising Stars Conference bring world-class writers to campus, allowing students to interact with some of the greatest in the profession. Acclaimed writer and poet Alberto Ríos directs the Piper Center.
Arizona State transitions students to the world after graduation through internships with publishers like Four Way Books.
Its commitment to the student experience and its history of producing acclaimed writers—recent examples include Tayari Jones (Oprah’s Book Club, 2018; Women’s Prize for Fiction, 2019), Venita Blackburn ( Prairie Schooner Book Prize, 2018), and Hugh Martin ( Iowa Review Jeff Sharlet Award for Veterans)—make Arizona State University’s MFA a consistent leader among degree programs.
University of Texas at Austin (Austin, TX)
The University of Texas at Austin’s MFA program, the Michener Center for Writers, maintains one of the most vibrant, exciting, active literary faculties of any MFA program.
Denis Johnson D.A. Powell, Geoff Dyer, Natasha Trethewey, Margot Livesey, Ben Fountain: the list of recent guest faculty boasts some of the biggest names in current literature.
This three-year program fully funds candidates without teaching fellowships or assistantships; the goal is for students to focus entirely on their writing.
More genre tracks at the Michener Center mean students can choose two focus areas, a primary and secondary, from Fiction, Poetry, Screenwriting, and Playwriting.
The Michener Center for Writers plays a prominent role in contemporary writing of all kinds.
The hip, student-edited Bat City Review accepts work of all genres, visual art, cross genres, collaborative, and experimental pieces.
Recent events for illustrious alumni include New Yorker publications, an Oprah Book Club selection, a screenwriting prize, and a 2021 Pulitzer (for visiting faculty member Mitchell Jackson).
In this program, students are right in the middle of all the action of contemporary American literature.
Washington University in St. Louis (St. Louis, MO)
The MFA in Creative Writing at Washington University in St. Louis is a program on the move: applicants have almost doubled here in the last five years.
Maybe this sudden growth of interest comes from recent rising star alumni on the literary scene, like Paul Tran, Miranda Popkey, and National Book Award winner Justin Phillip Reed.
Or maybe it’s the high profile Washington University’s MFA program commands, with its rotating faculty post through the Hurst Visiting Professor program and its active distinguished reader series.
Superstar figures like Alison Bechdel and George Saunders have recently held visiting professorships, maintaining an energetic atmosphere program-wide.
Washington University’s MFA program sustains a reputation for the quality of the mentorship experience.
With only five new students in each genre annually, MFA candidates form close cohorts among their peers and enjoy attentive support and mentorship from an engaged and vigorous faculty.
Three genre tracks are available to students: fiction, poetry, and the increasingly relevant and popular creative nonfiction.
Another attractive feature of this program: first-year students are fully funded, but not expected to take on a teaching role until their second year.
A generous stipend, coupled with St. Louis’s low cost of living, gives MFA candidates at Washington University the space to develop in a low-stress but stimulating creative environment.
Indiana University (Bloomington, IN)
It’s one of the first and biggest choices students face when choosing an MFA program: two-year or three-year?
Indiana University makes a compelling case for its three-year program, in which the third year of support allows students an extended period of time to focus on the thesis, usually a novel or book-length collection.
One of the older programs on the list, Indiana’s MFA dates back to 1948.
Its past instructors and alumni read like the index to an American Literature textbook.
How many places can you take classes in the same place Robert Frost once taught, not to mention the program that granted its first creative writing Master’s degree to David Wagoner? Even today, the program’s integrity and reputation draw faculty like Ross Gay and Kevin Young.
Indiana’s Creative Writing program houses two more literary institutions, the Indiana Review, and the Indiana University Writers’ Conference.
Students make up the editorial staff of this lauded literary magazine, in some cases for course credit or a stipend. An MFA candidate serves each year as assistant director of the much-celebrated and highly attended conference .
These two facets of Indiana’s program give graduate students access to visiting writers, professional experience, and a taste of the writing life beyond academia.
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Ann Arbor, MI)
The University of Michigan’s Helen Zell Writers’ Program cultivates its students with a combination of workshop-driven course work and vigorous programming on and off-campus. Inventive new voices in fiction and poetry consistently emerge from this two-year program.
The campus hosts multiple readings, events, and contests, anchored by the Zell Visiting Writers Series. The Hopgood Awards offer annual prize money to Michigan creative writing students .
The department cultivates relationships with organizations and events around Detroit, so whether it’s introducing writers at Literati bookstore or organizing writing retreats in conjunction with local arts organizations, MFA candidates find opportunities to cultivate a community role and public persona as a writer.
What happens after graduation tells the big story of this program. Michigan produces heavy hitters in the literary world, like Celeste Ng, Jesmyn Ward, Elizabeth Kostova, Nate Marshall, Paisley Rekdal, and Laura Kasischke.
Their alumni place their works with venerable houses like Penguin and Harper Collins, longtime literary favorites Graywolf and Copper Canyon, and the new vanguard like McSweeney’s, Fence, and Ugly Duckling Presse.
University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN)
Structure combined with personal attention and mentorship characterizes the University of Minnesota’s Creative Writing MFA, starting with its unique program requirements.
In addition to course work and a final thesis, Minnesota’s MFA candidates assemble a book list of personally significant works on literary craft, compose a long-form essay on their writing process, and defend their thesis works with reading in front of an audience.
Literary journal Great River Review and events like the First Book reading series and Mill City Reading series do their part to expand the student experience beyond the focus on the internal.
The Edelstein-Keller Visiting Writer Series draws exceptional, culturally relevant writers like Chuck Klosterman and Claudia Rankine for readings and student conversations.
Writer and retired University of Minnesota instructor Charles Baxter established the program’s Hunger Relief benefit , aiding Minnesota’s Second Harvest Heartland organization.
Emblematic of the program’s vision of the writer in service to humanity, this annual contest and reading bring together distinguished writers, students, faculty, and community members in favor of a greater goal.
Brown University (Providence, RI)
One of the top institutions on any list, Brown University features an elegantly-constructed Literary Arts Program, with students choosing one workshop and one elective per semester.
The electives can be taken from any department at Brown; especially popular choices include Studio Art and other coursework through the affiliated Rhode Island School of Design. The final semester consists of thesis construction under the supervision of the candidate’s faculty advisor.
Brown is the only MFA program to feature, in addition to poetry and fiction tracks, the Digital/Cross Disciplinary track .
This track attracts multidisciplinary writers who need the support offered by Brown’s collaboration among music, visual art, computer science, theater and performance studies, and other departments.
The interaction with the Rhode Island School of Design also allows those artists interested in new forms of media to explore and develop their practice, inventing new forms of art and communication.
Brown’s Literary Arts Program focuses on creating an atmosphere where students can refine their artistic visions, supported by like-minded faculty who provide the time and materials necessary to innovate.
Not only has the program produced trailblazing writers like Percival Everett and Otessa Moshfegh, but works composed by alumni incorporating dance, music, media, and theater have been performed around the world, from the stage at Kennedy Center to National Public Radio.
University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA)
When most people hear “MFA in Creative Writing,” it’s the Iowa Writers’ Workshop they imagine.
The informal name of the University of Iowa’s Program in Creative Writing, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop was the first to offer an MFA, back in 1936.
One of the first diplomas went to renowned writer Wallace Stegner, who later founded the MFA program at Stanford.
It’s hard to argue with seventeen Pulitzer Prize winners and six U.S. Poets Laureate. The Iowa Writers’ Workshop is the root system of the MFA tree.
The two-year program balances writing courses with coursework in other graduate departments at the university. In addition to the book-length thesis, a written exam is part of the student’s last semester.
Because the program represents the quintessential idea of a writing program, it attracts its faculty positions, reading series, events, and workshops the brightest lights of the literary world.
The program’s flagship literary magazine, the Iowa Review , is a lofty goal for writers at all stages of their career.
At the Writers’ Workshop, tracks include not only fiction, poetry, playwriting, and nonfiction, but also Spanish creative writing and literary translation. Their reading series in association with Prairie Lights bookstore streams online and is heard around the world.
Iowa’s program came into being in answer to the central question posed to each one of these schools: can writing be taught?
The answer for a group of intrepid, creative souls in 1936 was, actually, “maybe not.”
But they believed it could be cultivated; each one of these institutions proves it can be, in many ways, for those willing to commit the time and imagination.
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Top 5 Best MFA in Creative Writing Programs (in 2023)
Table of Contents
Johns hopkins university (maryland), krieger school of arts & sciences, university of nebraska, kearney (nebraska), 6. brown university (rhode island), 7. university of iowa (iowa), 8. cornell university (new york state), 10. new york university (nyc), what can creative writers do after graduation, writing sample, transcripts, statement of purpose, recommendation letters, common master’s in creative writing courses, admission requirements for online master’s in creative writing programs, pros and cons of mfa in creative writing, how long does it take to get a degree in creative writing, alternatives to creative writing majors, frequently asked questions, key takeaways.
Many people have a talent for writing, but not everyone can become a successful writer or author. In many cases, this is because even strong writers don’t have the necessary skills and knowledge for creative writing. This is exactly where an MFA in creative writing program comes in handy.
Read on for the best MFA programs in creative writing currently available in the USA, both on-campus and online.
Best MFA in Creative Writing Programs
Master of Fine Arts in Fiction/ Poetry
Johns Hopkins is a world-renowned private research university located in Baltimore, Maryland. The university’s Master of Fine Arts in Fiction/Poetry is one of the best MFA creative writing programs around, allowing students study and practice the art of writing fiction or poetry at the highest level. It also gives you the opportunity to learn with a faculty that is nationally and internationally renowned.
- Duration: 2 years
- Financial aid: Full tuition, teaching fellowship (for all students set at $33,000/year)
- Acceptance rate: 11.1%
- Location: Baltimore, Maryland
- Founded: 1876
- University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Mi chigan) , Helen Zell Writers’ Program
Master of Fine Arts
The University of Michigan is a public research university and the oldest in the state. Its Master of Fine Arts program is one of the top creative writing MFA programs in the country and exposes students to various approaches in the craft of writing. With options to specialize in either poetry or fiction, students study under award-winning poets and writers.
- Duration: 2 years
- No. of hours: 36
- Financial aid: Full funding
- Acceptance rate: 26.1%
- Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
- Founded: 1817
- University of Texas at Austin (Texas), New Writers Project
Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
The University of Texas at Austin is a well-known public research university that has around 50,000 students at the graduate and undergraduate levels. It offers one of the best MFA programs for creative writing around today and aims to enhance and develop its students’ artistic and intellectual abilities.
- Duration: 3 years
- Financial aid: Full funding
- Acceptance rate: 32%
- Location: Austin, Texas
- Founded: 1883
Master of Arts
The University of Nebraska offers programs in a wide range of majors and strives to provide quality education at an affordable cost, including this online MA program in English. The program offers a choice between four areas of focus, including Creative Writing which provides students with experiential learning in poetry or prose.
- Credit hours: 36
- Tuition : $315 per credit hour
- Financial aid : Grants, Work-study, Student loans, Scholarships, Parent loans
- Acceptance rate: 88%
- Location: Online
- Founded: 1905
5. Bay Path University (Massachusetts)
MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing
Bay Path University is a private university with various programs at undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate levels, including women-only undergraduate programs. This program in creative non-fiction writing is one of the first fully online programs in the nation which helps students develop in-depth creative writing knowledge in a range of literary genres.
- Credits: 39
- Tuition: $775 per credit
- Financial aid : Federal Stafford loan, Student loans
- Acceptance rate: 78%
- Founded: 1897
MFA in Literary Arts
Brown is a world-famous, Ivy League research university based in Providence, Rhode Island. Its two-year residency MFA in Literary Arts is designed to allow students maximum intellectual and creative exploration. The highly-competitive program offers extensive financial support: over the past 20 years, all incoming MFA students were awarded full funding for at least their first year of study.
- Tuition: $57,591 (but full funding available)
- Financial aid : Fellowship, teaching assistantships, and stipends.
- Acceptance rate: 9%
- Location: Providence, Rhode Island
- Founded: 1764
MFA in Creative Writing
The University of Iowa is a public research university located in Iowa City, and one of the most renowned public schools in the Midwest. In this two-year residency program, students learn from established professors and exciting young writers.
- Credits: 60
- Tuition: $12,065 for instate students, and $31,012 out-of-state
- Financial aid : Scholarships, teaching assistantships, federal aid, and student loans.
- Acceptance rate: 84%
- Location: Iowa City, Iowa
Cornell is a famous Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York. This highly-competitive program accepts only eight students every year, two from each concentration. This means that students enjoy not only a generous financial aid package but also the opportunity to work closely with members of the school’s celebrated faculty.
- Tuition: $29,500
- Financial aid : All accepted students receive a fellowship covering full tuition, stipend, and insurance.
- Acceptance rate: 14%
- Location: Ithaca, New York
- Founded: 1865
9. Columbia University ( NYC )
MFA in Fiction Writing
Founded in 1754, Columbia University is the oldest tertiary education institution in New York, and one of the oldest in the country. The school offers a Writing MFA with a choice of concentrations: nonfiction, fiction, poetry, or literary translation. The fiction concentration promotes artist and aesthetic diversity, with a diverse teaching staff and adjunct faculty including renowned writers and editors from a wide range of schools of writing.
- Credits: 60 points
- Tuition: $34,576
- Financial aid : Scholarships, fellowships, federal aid, work-study, and veterans’ grants.
- Acceptance rate: 11%
- Location: NYC, New York
- Founded: 1754
New York University, or NYU, is known for delivering high-quality, innovative education in a range of fields. Thanks to its location in the heart of NYC, the institution’s MFA in Creative Writing boasts renowned faculty across poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. The dynamic course aims to foster creativity and excellence through literary outreach programs, a public reading series, a literary journal, and special seminars from visiting writers.
- Credits: 32
- Tuition: $53,229
- Financial aid : Fellowships, scholarships, and federal aid.
- Location: NYC
- Founded: 1886
As a creative writer with an MFA, you’ll have a variety of career options where your ability to write creative pieces will be highly valued. Below are a few of the common jobs a creative writing graduate can do, with the average annual salary for each.
- Creative Director ( $90,389 )
A creative director leads a team of creative writers, designers, or artists in various fields, such as media, advertising, or entertainment.
- Editor ( $55,414 )
An editor helps correct writing errors and improve the style and flow in media, broadcasting, films, advertising, marketing , and entertainment.
- Academic Librarian ( $54,805 )
An academic librarian is responsible for managing educational information resources in an academic environment such as a university.
- Copywriter ( $53,800 )
Copywriters typically work to present an idea to a particular audience and capture their attention using as few words as possible.
- Writer ( $51,831 )
A writer usually provides written content for businesses in the form of articles, marketing content, blogs, or product descriptions, or they may write fiction or non-fiction books.
- Social Media Manager ( $52,856 )
A social media manager is responsible for creating and scheduling content on social media, and may also track analytics and develop social media strategies.
- Journalist ( $ 41,863 )
Journalists may work for newspapers, magazines, or online publications, researching and writing stories, as well as conducting interviews and investigations.
- Public Relations Officer ( $55,877 )
A public relations officer works to promote and improve the public image of a company, government agency, or organization, through work such as preparing media releases, online content, and dealing with the media.
- Lexicographer ( $70,250 )
Lexicographers are the professionals who create dictionaries: they study words and their meanings and compile them into a dictionary.
What You Need to Get into a Master’s in Creative Writing Program
Besides the application form and fee, most MFA in creative writing programs have the following requirements:
Make sure your resume includes all relevant information to showcase your interests, skills, and talent in writing.
Selection committees for MFA programs in creative writing look for applicants who are serious about writing and so typically ask for a 10-20 page writing sample. The best sample will show your talent in your preferred area of writing, such as fiction, non-fiction, or poetry.
You’ll need to show transcripts of your undergraduate studies.
A statement of purpose is usually one to two pages and should show your passion for writing as well as your potential to succeed in the program.
Most programs want to see letters of recommendation from academic or professional contacts who know you well.
Some universities may also have some additional requirements, so it’s best to check with the specific program.
Related reading: How to Ask a Professor for a Letter of Recommendation for Grad School
As part of your master’s in creative writing program, you’ll usually need to complete a number of compulsory courses, along with some elective subjects.
Common courses you’ll need to take include:
- Literary theory
- History of storytelling
- Genre conventions
- Market trends
- Marketing manuscripts to publishers
- Thesis or dissertation
Can you get a Creative Writing Degree Online?
Yes, there are a number of institutions that now offer online creative writing degrees, such as Bay Path University and the University of Nebraska . The advantage of online courses is that they offer a high degree of flexibility, allowing you to study from anywhere and often on your own schedule. This makes it possible to earn your degree while continuing with your current job or looking after your family.
However, you won’t get the benefits of a residency program, such as the opportunity to build close connections with your peers and work with the faculty in person. Some on-campus programs also offer full funding to cover your tuition and education expenses.
The admission requirements for online MFA programs are very similar to on-campus programs. You will usually need to submit an application including academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, personal statement, and a writing sample. Sometimes, GRE scores are also required, though this is not the case for all programs.
As with any creative writing program, your writing sample is critical. The selection committee wants to see a talent and passion for writing, and you will probably struggle to be successful in your application without a strong writing sample.
Like anything, studying an MFA in Creative Writing and pursuing a related career can have its benefits as well as drawbacks.
- It’ll motivate you to write
Many people are truly talented, but find it hard to sit down and write. However, an MFA will give you the motivation you need as you will have to keep writing to meet your deadlines.
Writing can be a solitary pursuit and it can be hard to connect with others who are passionate about writing. An MFA program will instantly provide you with a community of like-minded people.
- Teaching prospects
An MFA is one of the options that help you find a teaching job at the university level. Unlike some majors that require a PhD to enter academia, an MFA is often all you need to teach at a post-secondary level.
- Not the most marketable job skills
Although an MFA in Creative Writing will give you a number of skills that are useful in the job market, these are not as marketable as some other forms of writing. For example, copywriting arguably has a wider range of job prospects.
- It could limit your creativity
There is a risk that your writing could become too technical or formulaic as a result of the theories you learn during your MFA. It’s important to know the theory, but you don’t want to let it limit your creativity.
A master’s in creative writing typically takes around two, sometimes three years to complete. Unlike other master’s degrees where you can find accelerated options that you can complete in as little as 18 months or even one year, there are very few opportunities like this in the creative writing field, due to program requirements such as workshops and dissertations.
Not everyone who completes an MFA in creative writing goes on to work as a writer – instead, they use the writing skills and the knowledge gained in the master’s program to pursue other career paths. Many work as teachers, editors, librarians, journalists, or copywriters.
Similarly, there are alternative majors that can set you on the path to a career in the field of creative writing. Such alternatives include an MA in English , literature, humanities, media studies, and library sciences.
Related Reading: Master’s in Fine Arts: The Ultimate Guide
What can I do with an MFA in creative writing?
You will have a wide range of career options as an MFA graduate. You could teach creative writing at a secondary or tertiary level, or you could pursue a career in advertising, publishing, media, or the entertainment industry. You can also become an author by publishing fiction, non-fiction, or poetry.
Are MFA creative writing programs worth it?
Having an MFA opens doors to a range of well-paid careers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the median annual salary for writers and authors is a decent $67,120 . Therefore, studying in an MFA program is an excellent option if you are skilled in writing and want to make a living from your writing.
How do I choose an MFA in creative writing?
It’s important to consider whether an on-campus or online MFA program is best for you, depending on your lifestyle and commitments. Another key consideration is faculty – many universities have renowned authors on their teaching staff who will give you the highest levels of training in creative writing. You should also consider your preferred focus area, whether it is fiction, poetry, or nonfiction.
What are MFA writing programs?
An MFA in writing or creative writing is an advanced program that teaches you the art and practice of writing with creativity. During the program, you will hone your writing skills and equip yourself to publish your own work or pursue a career in media, teaching, or advertising.
Can you teach with an MFA?
Yes — teaching is one of the many career options you’ll have with an MFA on your resume. An MFA in creative writing can qualify you to be a teacher in creative writing, in schools or the higher education sector.
Is it really hard to get admission to MFA creative writing programs?
MFA creative writing programs are relatively competitive, and not all applicants get into every program. However, if you are talented and truly ambitious to become a professional, you shouldn’t find it too difficult to get into an MFA. Having said that, the most prestigious universities with the best creative writing master’s programs will accept only a small percentage of the applicants, so it’s important to prepare well.
What is the best creative writing program in the world?
There are a number of creative writing programs that are known for their famous faculty and excellent courses. Some of the best known include the Master of Fine Arts in Fiction/ Poetry from John Hopkins and the MFA in Literary Arts from Brown University. Outside the US, the most renowned program in creative writing is probably the University of Cambridge’s MSt in Creative Writing .
How hard is it to get an MFA in creative writing?
A MFA is an intensive, highly-involved degree that requires a reasonable amount of dedication. However, anyone with a passion for creative writing will find it very rewarding and satisfying. The best master’s in creative writing programs, especially those offering full funding to all students, are highly competitive.
Should I get an MA or MFA in creative writing?
Whether a MA or MFA in creative writing is right for you depends on your own interests and career ambitions. An MFA in creative writing is ideal for anyone who is passionate about fiction, poetry, or creative non-fiction, and wants to pursue a career in the field. A MA is a broader degree that will equip you for a wider range of career choices, though it will qualify you for many of the same roles as a MFA.
Can I get published without an MFA?
Absolutely – you can get published without an MFA. However, studying an MFA will equip you with a range of skills and knowledge that will be extremely helpful in getting your work published, from honing your craft to submitting your manuscript to publishers.
What are the highest paying jobs with a master’s in creative writing?
An MFA in creative writing can help you land a range of jobs in the creative and literary fields. The highest-paying jobs for graduates with a master’s in creative writing include creative directors, with an annual salary of $90,389 , and lexicographers, who can expect to be paid around $70,250 annually.
An MFA in creative writing program will hone your talents and develop the skills you need to become a successful writer. The best MFA programs in creative writing will give you in-depth knowledge of the field as well as help you to develop practical skills in fiction, non-fiction, or poetry.
The acceptance rate for the best MFA writing programs is pretty low and competition is tough. Therefore, it’s important to understand the requirements well and prepare thoroughly – check out our guide to applying to grad school to help you put together your strongest possible application.
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Lisa is a full-time writer specializing in career advice, further education, and personal development. She works from all over the world, and when not writing you'll find her hiking, practicing yoga, or enjoying a glass of Malbec.
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Best College Rankings
The 25 Best Graduate Creative Writing Programs
If you’re interested in a creative writing career, this might arguably be one of the best times in history. A glance on the Internet, especially on social media sites, shows a growing demand for content. This means a demand for advanced writing skills, and other creative skills.
Are you planning to enhance your creative writing skills? Consider taking one of the best creative writing graduate programs . To get you started on your degree search, we’ve put together this list of best graduate writing programs . In fact, most of these are no- or low-residency creative writing programs. This includes colleges offering an online master’s degree (or hybrid) in Creative Writing.
A creative writer ay find themselves with a number of different career opportunities. Creative writers may write content, go into advertising, be a screen writer or go into publishing just to name a few options in this field.
Best MFA Creative Writing Programs
Western new england university, graduation rate, acceptance rate.
One of the best creative writing MFA programs is offered by Western New England University (WNE, est. 1919) is a low-residency program (College of Arts and Sciences). This is a 48-credit, hybrid MFA in Fiction, but enables a comprehensive study of all aspects of fiction. Students at this top creative writing school will undertake a mix of:
- craft classes
- individual conferences
- manuscript consultations
- special topics courses
- workshops in creative writing
For the residencies, these immersive, week-long gatherings are comprised of:
Four of these must be taken. The summer ones are held on-campus in Springfield, Massachusetts, with the winter ones either in the Berkshires or Dublin, Ireland. Those applying for the MFA program will need an undergraduate degree (please check with WNE for GPA requirements).
As one of the best creative writing MFAs , WNE’s Creative Writing MFA provides a mentored approach to education. To ensure students get the one-on-one attention they deserve, the program maintains the student-faculty ratio at 5:1. Faculty mentors and visiting writers are all published authors — many award-winning — covering several forms and genres, including:
- Literary Criticism
- Literary Fiction
- Non-Fiction Essays
- Young Adult and Middle-Grade Literature
The MFA is particularly well-suited to creative writers with a strong interest in craft and who want to master critical elements, such as:
- sentence craft
- story shaping
- voice development
Key courses in the creative writing program include:
- Fiction Workshop
- Special Topics in Creative Writing
- The Craft of Fiction
- Type: Private, non-profit
- Location: Springfield, Massachusetts
- Cost: $44,112
- #students: 3,673
- #grads: 1,121
- Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
- Has housing?: Yes
- Programs: Associates through doctorate level, plus certificates
Graduate rate:, acceptance rate:.
Lesley University (LU, est. 1909) offers a unique, low-residency, hybrid MFA in Creative Writing that will be attractive to writers seeking to explore new boundaries in their craft. LU’s best masters in creative writing requires 49 credits for completion, including a thesis and graduating seminar presentation. Students must also complete five residencies — two per year plus an exit one — in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Each nine-day residency involves:
There is also an exciting opportunity for a 12-day residency in Wales at the Dylan Thomas International Summer School. To qualify for admission into the MFA, applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree (please check with LU for GPA requirements).
If you’re looking for one of the best poetry MFA or screenwriting MFA programs , this just might be it. Available genres for Lesley’s MFA in Creative Writing are:
- Graphic Novels and Comics
- Writing for Stage and Screen
- Writing for Young People
While creative writers will select one genre, they will work with award-winning writers across several of these categories. This underlies the unique interdisciplinary aspect of the program. In addition to encouraging students to explore other genres, LU’s MFA allows them to incorporate other disciplines, as well. For example, students can work with faculty in Art and Design or Arts and Social Sciences to examine how their writing combines with such complementary fields as:
- art therapy
- visual arts
Graduates of LU’s low-residency Creative Writing program have pursued careers as:
Several creative writers have become teachers in writing programs at prestigious universities. Key courses for this MFA include:
- Craft and Reflection
- Creative Writing
- Interdisciplinary Studies
- Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
- Cost: $40,230
- #students: 4,200
- #grads: 2,339
- Programs: Bachelor’s through doctorate level degrees, plus certificates
Spalding University (SU, est. 1814) offers one of the best graduate creative writing programs in the country. Their low-residency Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Writing. This 65-credit hybrid degree provides the choice of six concentrations:
- Creative Non-Fiction
- Writing for Children and Young Adults
Students must complete five 10-day residencies, which are comprised of:
The residencies in Louisville, Kentucky, take place in spring and fall. The international ones are held in the summer. After each residency, students undertake a semester of independent study that is primarily focused on honing one’s writing abilities and writing process but is supported by reading and critical analysis. A thesis and the Graduation Residency complete the program. To qualify for admission into this creative writing program, applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree (please check with SU for GPA requirements).
Spalding’s Writing MFA is a high-value program that offers an intriguing combination of:
- academic rigor
As the world’s first certified compassionate university, SU’s promise of a supportive, non-competitive community seems very real. Additionally, SU takes pride in teaching students how to be successful creative writers amidst the other responsibilities of their daily lives and continues to provide support for alumni after graduation. Key courses for the creative writing students include:
- Advanced Independent Writing and Reading – Emphasizing the Research Project
- Intermediate Independent Writing and Reading in Creative Writing
- Introductory Independent Writing and Reading in Creative Writing
Additional: SU also offers a low-residency Master of Arts (MA) in Writing with tracks in: Creative Writing; and Professional Writing. This 35-credit hybrid degree can be completed in a year. Graduates can then pursue career goals or proceed directly into SU’s MFA.
- Location: Louisville, Kentucky
- Cost: $39,325
- Religious affiliation: Roman Catholic (Sisters of Charity of Nazareth)
- #students: 1,596
- #grads: 741
- Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
Queens University of Charlotte
Queens University of Charlotte (Queens, est. 1857) offers one of the best creative writing masters programs through the College of Arts and Sciences. This hybrid program requires 52 credits for completion and includes a thesis and a capstone project. While this is essentially a Master’s of creative writing focusing on publishing and editing, students can specialize in one of four genres:
- Creative Nonfiction
They must take four weeks of residencies selected from two track options. On-Campus Residencies are seven-day sessions held in Charlotte, North Carolina, at the start of each semester. International Residences are annual, culturally rich, 14- or 15-day affairs in one of Buenos Aires, Argentina; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; or Santiago, Chile. A final, on-campus Graduating Residency is also required. To qualify for admission into the MFA, applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent creative writing experience. (Please check with Queens for GPA requirements.)
The Queens’ Creative Writing MFA is for:
- published writers
- those who want to be published
- those who want to teach at colleges or universities
The creative writing program provides the:
- inspiration and support of a writing community
- the personalized attention of a dedicated instructor
- the private time needed to write and think
Queens also has opportunities to help graduates achieve their career dreams. This includes an Annual Alumni Weekend with craft seminars, publishing panels, and, every other year, top agents and senior editors from major magazines and publishing houses. There’s also Queens’ Book Development Program. It pairs applicants with a senior editor from a major publisher. Key course options for this MFA include:
- Dramatic Writing Workshop
- Guided Reading in Creative Writing
- Poetry Tutorial
- Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
- Cost: $38,480
- Religious affiliation: Presbyterian Church (USA)
- #students: 2,338
- #grads: 668
- Programs: Bachelor’s and master’s level degrees, plus certificates
Through its Harvard Extension School, Harvard University (Harvard, est. 1636) has one of the best Creative Writing masters programs. While Harvard’s is not an online MFA in creative writing, it is partly online and is called the Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Extension Studies in the field of Creative Writing and Literature. This 48-credit, low-residency, hybrid degree has the choice of a capstone or thesis track. Primarily taken online, the ALM has a single residency requirement comprising three weeks of study. It starts with a week-long masterclass on-campus and a weekend connecting with agents and editors. The additional two weeks of writing classes and final writing assignment can be done either online or on-campus. To qualify for admission into the ALM, students need a Bachelor’s degree and then must take two required graduate courses at Harvard, earning a minimum grade of B in each one.
Harvard’s Creative Writing and Literature ALM focuses on helping students gain a mastery in creative writing and literary analysis. Graduates will be able to write in multiple genres, including:
- Dramatic Writing
Students gain advanced creative writing skills in:
- point of view
- story and plot structure
They will also be able to assess literature as both creative writers and scholars. In addition to the acknowledged quality of a Harvard education, the ALM provides students with connection, camaraderie, and support. Many graduates in creative writing go on to careers in:
Key ALM courses and options include:
- Advanced Fiction – Writing the Short Story
- Global Environmental Literatures
- Writing a Nonfiction Book
- Cost: $35,760
- #students: 30,391
- #grads: 21,864
Ashland University (AU, est. 1878) offers a low-residency Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing. This is a 45-credit, hybrid degree featuring nine credits of in-residence course work and 36 credits of online study (including a full-semester thesis). The in-residence courses take place during a two-week summer workshop (with seminars and readings) held at AU’s Ashland, Ohio, campus. Three separate workshops/ residencies must be completed. Students have the incredible option to do one of their residencies in Paris. The final residency will feature their thesis defense. Students can choose a degree track in one of three genres:
- Fiction (literary and science fiction/ fantasy)
To qualify for admission, applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree with a GPA over 2.75.
Ashland’s approach to its Creative Writing Master’s program is one of mentored learning. No more than five students are assigned to a single faculty mentor, each of whom is a published author. During residencies, students can also build their own dynamic writing communities with fellow students. Other program benefits for a creative writer include creating a full-length manuscript in one’s chosen genre and having the chance to qualify for graduate assistantships in teaching or publishing. Key courses in this creative writing program include a:
- Summer Residency
Those obtaining a graduate teaching assistantship will undergo a Pedagogy Track with two additional courses — Composition/ Rhetoric Pedagogy and Supervised Teaching — and teach as many as five online undergraduate composition courses.
- Location: Ashland, Ohio
- Cost: $35,415
- Religious affiliation: Brethren Church
- #students: 4,447
- #grads: 1,299
- Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
The top-value Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing at Arcadia University (Arcadia, est. 1853) is a 39-credit, hybrid program. This creative writing program offers two genre choices: Fiction; or Poetry. Students must complete three separate week-long residencies involving:
- community building
- discussions with local or visiting writers
- faculty advisor meetings
- writing exercises
The first and third residencies are held on-campus in Glenside, Pennsylvania. The second is a study-abroad opportunity in Edinburgh, Scotland, which adds area tours to the activities list. For this MFA’s thesis requirement, students must produce a full-length manuscript in their chosen genre — and work with their advisor to create a plan to get that manuscript published.
Arcadia’s high-quality Creative Writing program is designed to prepare students for a career in:
Potential employment settings for creative writing graduates include:
- advertising agencies
- colleges/ universities
- healthcare organizations
- media outlets
Among the creative writing program highlights are:
- award-winning faculty
- large amounts of online content and connections
- weekly workshops with asynchronous discussion and reviews from instructors and peers
- regular, personal contact between students and faculty
Key course options for the MFA include:
- Craft of Contemporary Fiction
- Fiction Practicum
- Poetry Workshops
- Type: Private, nonprofit
- Location: Glenside, Pennsylvania
- Cost: $31,005
- Religious Affiliation: Presbyterian Church (USA)
- #students: 3,300
- #grads: 1,286
- Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
University of Nebraska Omaha
The low-residency Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Writing from the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO, est. 1908) is a 60-credit, hybrid program. Students can choose from one of six genres:
- Young Adult
Those wanting to specialize in a second genre can apply for an additional semester of study. In addition to a thesis requirement, students must complete:
- a craft paper
- a series of critical essays
- an internship
As for the residencies, students must complete five of them, including the final one where they will present their thesis and deliver a craft lecture. Held twice a year at a retreat in Nebraska City, Nebraska, each residency features:
- craft discussions
- an individual conference with one’s faculty mentor
UNO’s low-residency Creative Writing MFA is designed for writers seeking a literary career. The program allows for a personalized course of study under the guidance of a dedicated mentor, who is an accomplished (often award-winning) writer. That personalized plan will determine the critical development, reading, and writing a student will undertake each semester. During each residency, students form a supportive community with their single-genre workshop group. Then, through Special Topic Workshops and future residencies, they’ll also get to interact with all the other MFA students and study multiple genres. Key course options for the creative writing program include:
- Fiction Seminar
- Playwriting or Screenwriting Seminar
- Poetry Seminar
- Type: Public
- Location: Omaha, Nebraska
- Cost: $30,840
- Affiliation: University of Nebraska System
- #students: 15,892
- #grads: 3,124
Bay Path University
The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Nonfiction Writing from Bay Path University (BPU, est. 1897) is a fully online program. To graduate, students must complete 39 credits, including six for their thesis. In addition to their core courses, creative writing students must choose from one of three tracks:
- Narrative Medicine
Each track provides for an internship or practicum opportunity. Also, while this MFA is a no-residency program, BPU does have the option for a week-long Summer Writing Seminar in Ireland, which currently features Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon. New students can enter the MFA in January, May, or September. To qualify for admission, applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA in their English and Writing classes.
Students in Bay Path’s online MFA will gain a deeper understanding of creative non-fiction as a unique genre and learn what it takes to write publishable work based on their own experiences or the personal stories of others. Other benefits include:
- being mentored by award-winning writers
- gaining real-world experience and connections
- obtaining peer feedback in writing workshops
Creative writing program graduates can pursue careers in various fields, including:
- public relations
Popular job titles include:
- grant writer
Key courses in BPU’s MFA include:
- Reading and Writing about Culture, Race, and Identity
- Travel and Food Writing for Publication
- Writing Contemporary Women’s Stories
- Location: Longmeadow, Massachusetts
- Cost: $30,225
- #students: 3,224
- #grads: 1,429
The low-residency Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing at Drexel University (DU, est. 1891) is a 45-credit hybrid program. This MFA focuses on a Fiction concentration with opportunities to gain skills and understanding in other genres. (The program also previously offered a Screenwriting Track. Please check with DU about its availability.) Students must complete three separate five-day residencies. The first and third are at Drexel’s campus in Philadelphia, the second is in New York. Each residency has career development and writing mastery components. However, the second one helps set DU apart. In that Professional Residency, students form connections with:
Those applying for admission into the creative writing program must have a Bachelor’s degree (please check with DU for GPA requirements).
As one of the top MFA creative writing programs in the country, Drexel’s Creative Writing MFA was designed to develop writers who can create work worthy of being published and understand what it takes to be published. Students will be mentored by acclaimed authors, learn from award-winning writers, and get feedback from fellow students. Drexel also provides a rare opportunity to connect one’s creative writing to civic engagement activities. These experiences include:
- studying how to create grassroots change while in Haiti
- writing about the natural world while in Equatorial Guinea
- creating entertainment for terminally ill children
- telling the stories of hospice patients, incarcerated men and women, and military veterans.
Key courses in this creative writing program include:
- Fiction Writing Packet Exchange
- Fiction Writing Workshop
- Reading as a Writer (Genre Authors)
Tuition is currently at a special rate and may increase in each new semester. We’ve estimated total cost based only this special 50% off per-credit rate, available at time of publication.
- Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Cost: $30,195
- #students: 23,589
- #grads: 8,973
Southern New Hampshire University
Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU, est. 1932) has a fully online Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing. This 48-credit creative writing degree offers the choice of four genre fiction tracks:
SNHU’s program culminates with a three-course thesis where students create a full-length novel or story collection of publishable quality. Prior to that, creative writing students study the craft of writing and incorporate what they learn into their own writing. They also explore the publishing process to better understand the practical side of being a successful author and marketing one’s work. To qualify for admission into the MFA, applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA.
SNHU’s Creative Writing MFA is one of the few fully online top creative writing MFA programs and even fewer focused on genre fiction. What gives it even better value is its unique and beneficial career-building components. Specifically, students can choose from one of two built-in certificates: Graduate Certificate in Online Teaching of Writing; or Graduate Certificate in Professional Writing. That means creative writing graduates will be better prepared to teach at the college and university level or be ready to pursue professional writing opportunities in today’s marketing-oriented, project-driven economy. Key courses for the creative writing program include:
- Advanced Studies in Genre Literature
- Finding and Reaching an Audience
- The Business of Writing
Additional: SNHU also offers two other creative writing programs for graduate students. The low-residency Mountainview Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Fiction or Nonfiction is a 60-credit, hybrid degree. Meanwhile, the 36-credit Master of Arts (MA) in English and Creative Writing is a fully online program.
- Location: Manchester, New Hampshire
- Cost: $30,096
- #students: 134,345
- #grads: 22,746
Converse University (CU, est. 1889) — formerly Converse College — offers a low-residency Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing. This 48-credit hybrid degree comprises five separate nine-day residencies and four mentoring semesters. Residencies incorporate seminars, workshops, and lectures and are held twice a year on CU’s Spartanburg, South Carolina, campus. The Graduating Residency completes the program and features a thesis defense. Students can focus on one of three genres:
Those choosing Fiction can specialize in Young Adult Fiction. Alternatively, students in any genre can specialize in Environmental Writing. Those wanting to further broaden their career horizons can choose the Second Genre Emphasis. This adds 12 credits to their creative writing degree requirements, plus an additional residency and mentoring semester. To apply for admission into the MFA, students must have a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA.
The non-traditional format of CU’s Creative Writing MFA utilizes the mentor-apprentice relationship to help students develop advanced writing skills and a relevant understanding of contemporary literature and craft. This educational style also means students can personalize their course, project, and reading list selections. Additional program benefits include:
- faculty mentors who are award-winning writers
- free room and board during residencies for full-time students
- publishing opportunities through the Clemson-Converse Literature Series
Recent graduates have won numerous writing awards and secured book deals with major and top independent publishers. Key course options in this MFA include:
- Craft Topics in Environmental Writing
- Craft Topics in Young Adult Fiction Writing
- Poetry Writing
NOTE: According to the creative writing program site, room and board is provided included with tuition and fees to enrolled MFA students for both the summer and winter residencies. Summer accommodations are on-campus; winter accommodations are at local hotels.
- Location: Spartanburg, South Carolina
- Cost: $29,952
- #students: 1,377
- #grads: 640
Eastern Oregon University
Eastern Oregon University (EOU, est. 1929) offers a low-residency Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing. This 60-credit, hybrid degree has both a thesis and a practicum requirement. While students must select a primary genre for their thesis, they will study several genres, including:
- Graphic Novels
Students who want to specialize in a second genre can stay an additional year to do another thesis. For the ecologically inclined, EOU’s MFA has a Wilderness, Ecology and Community concentration. Either way, every student will have a unique nature experience through the summer residencies, which split time between a Wallowa Lake retreat and EOU’s campus in La Grande, Oregon. Students must complete three separate two-week residencies comprised of:
- craft seminars
- panel presentations
- writing workshops
The final residency features their thesis presentation.
EOU’s low-residency Creative Writing MFA follows a cohort model to help create a tight-knit, collaborative group of fellow writing students. At the same time, as the program is designed for working professionals, students will be able to study at their own pace to ensure they can balance their commitments. An additional benefit of EOU’s creative writing program is the hands-on experience provided through a variety of experiences during the practicum including:
- service learning
- teaching opportunities
Key course options for the creative writing program include:
- Literary/ Film Themes
- Special Topics in Writing
- Themes in Writing/ Rhetoric
- Location: La Grande, Oregon
- Cost: $29,880
- Affiliation: Oregon University System
- #students: 2,853
- #grads: 267
- Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
- Programs: Associates through master’s level degrees, plus certificates
West Virginia Wesleyan College
The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing from West Virginia Wesleyan College (WVWC, est. 1890) is a low-residency program. This 49-credit, hybrid degree requires a thesis and a critical essay. Students must also complete five total residencies — comprising craft seminars, readings, and workshops — with the last one centered on their thesis interview and presentation. Summer residencies are on-campus in Buckhannon, West Virginia, with the winter ones in Blackwater Falls State Park. (An Ireland MFA Residency is also an option.) Students must choose from one of three genre tracks:
For those wanting to study a second track, a Cross-Genre Concentration is available. It adds 12 credits, a residency, and a semester to the creative writing program’s original completion requirements.
Wesleyan’s low-residency Creative Writing MFA follows a student-centered model that is designed to replicate the flow of a writer’s life. Program participants can maintain their regular lives while learning to become dedicated writers in balance with those commitments. Students work one-on-one with a variety of accomplished faculty mentors. At the same time, everyone is part of a welcoming, supportive writing community. Study and coursework are focused on mastering craft and technique, along with the development and furtherance of the writer’s mind.
- Location: Buckhannon, West Virginia
- Cost: $26,729
- Religious affiliation: United Methodist Church
- #students: 1,066
- Programs: BMDC Bachelor’s through doctorate level degrees, plus certificates
Lindenwood University (LU, est. 1827) offers a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Writing that can be taken online, on-campus, or in a hybrid format. This 48-credit, creative writing MFA includes a thesis requirement and combines craft and literature classes with writing workshops to help students grow as writers and expand their literary knowledge and analytical abilities. With the fully online option, there are no residency requirements. Additionally, students can customize their degree outline, selecting courses across several genres and literary areas, or choosing an emphasis in:
To apply for admission, students must have a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
The University of Denver also offers a Ph.D. in English & Literary Arts with a concentration in Creative Writing. Students will choose either a “poetry” or “prose” track. Poets &Writers ranked the University of Denver as one of the best creative writing programs MFA in the country.
LU’s MFA in Writing is designed as a fully flexible option that fits the needs, interests, and schedules of all its students. Lindenwood aims to remove the barriers that may be stopping someone from pursuing their educational and career goals. Along with career resources, peer support, and networking connections, an additional benefit of this MFA is the chance to be an editorial assistant with the program’s annual literary journal. Graduates of LU’s MFA can pursue both employed and self-employed positions, achieving such job titles as:
- marketing writer
- staff writer
- technical writer
As this MFA is a terminal degree, graduates can also teach at the college and university level. Key course options for this MFA include Focused Scriptwriting Workshop and The Personal Essay and Memoir.
- Location: Saint Charles, Missouri
- Cost: $24,960
- Affiliation: Lindenwood University System
- #students: 7,382
- #grads: 2,660
Wilkes University (WU, est. 1933) offers two connected, low-residency creative writing graduate degrees — the Master of Arts (MA) in Creative Writing and the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing. The 30-credit MA offers seven tracks:
- Documentary Film
Four, eight-day, on-campus residencies are required, including a capstone one. (WU also has a “weekender” option where each residency is broken down into four consecutive weekends during the semester.) The MFA is the continuation of WU’s MA program. It requires an additional 18 credits and one more residency. MFA students will revise their MA thesis for publication or production, or start a new project based on the thesis. They will also complete a full-term internship in teaching or publishing. Those applying for the MA should have a Bachelor’s degree, but it’s not essential. Those applying for the MFA must have completed the MA program and earned a 3.5 GPA in every course.
Wilkes’s low-residency Creative Writing MA and MFA programs focus on writing craft and the business of writing. That real-world integration is what makes it unique. Every MA thesis is read by an agent, editor, publisher, or producer who provides detailed feedback and a personal meeting. Meanwhile, MFA internships give students real-world experience and connections. Also, WU’s MA and MFA teach students how to:
- live, think, and work as writers
- connect with audiences
- pitch ideas to editors, publishers, or producers
The proof? Hundreds of graduates have had their works published or produced. Countless others have become:
- book reviewers
- PR directors
- video game scriptwriters
Key courses and options for the MA include:
- Drafting Project in Fiction
- Genre and Context in Publishing
- Writing Plays
Key courses and options for the MFA program include:
- Literary Analysis
- Revision Term
- Writing in Education/ Publishing Internship
- Location: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
- Cost: $24,180
- #students: 4,680
- #grads: 2,329
- Programs: Bachelor’s through doctorate level degrees
University of Texas at El Paso
The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP, est. 1914) offers a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing that can be taken entirely online. The MFA program requires 48 credits for graduation, including six for a thesis. While there are no residency requirements for this degree, adventurous students can select the low-residency option and travel to a different international city every summer. Past host cities have included London, Madrid, and Paris. The program itself is built around a mix of: writing workshops, literature courses, form and theory explorations covering various genres and forms. For their thesis, students will select either: Fiction or Poetry. To qualify for admission into the MFA program, applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree and ideally a minimum 3.0 GPA.
UTEP’s MFA program is one of the few fully online Creative Writing MFAs in the United States and the only bilingual one. While classes are taught in English, students have the option to submit assignments in Spanish. Career-wise, the main focus of this high-quality program is preparing graduates for careers as published writers and/ or teaching creative writing at colleges and universities. This MFA program has a strong literary focus and foundation. In addition to academic ability, it favors talented and driven writers with distinct, developing, or new voices, and those with cultural and social awareness. Key course options for the MFA program include:
- Advanced Screenwriting
- Forms and Techniques of Fiction
- Storytelling – Film and Literature
- Location: El Paso, Texas
- Cost: $23,520
- Affiliation: University of Texas System
- #students: 24,879
- #grads: 3,762
Saint Leo University
The low-residency Master of Arts (MA) in Creative Writing at Saint Leo University (SLU, est. 1889) is a 36-credit, hybrid program. Students can choose from one of three degree tracks:
SLU is also said to have the only MA program that offers a track specialization in War Literature and Writing for Veterans — a uniquely relevant and poignant option in today’s world. Overall, the program combines creative writing and literary studies personalized to each student’s goals. The MA’s eight-day residency is held on-campus in St. Leo, Florida, each summer. Students must attend three of these. To be eligible for admission to the MA, applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.25 GPA.
SLU’s low-residency MA in Creative Writing is a flexible option for working adults who dream of writing memorable works of fiction or becoming notable essayists, memoirists, or poets. Other students use this MA to advance their professional careers or use it as a foundational step to pursuing terminal degrees in fields such as:
- creative writing
Whatever one’s goals or dreams, SLU provides a dedicated faculty mentor (a published writer of national recognition) to help guide you. You will also have the regular feedback and community of your fellow writing students. Key courses and options for the MA include Foundations in Fiction and Theory and Practice of Creative Writing.
- Location: Saint Leo, Florida
- Cost: $23,400
- Religious affiliation: Catholic Church (Order of Saint Benedict)
- #students: 9,832
- #grads: 2,887
Concordia University-Saint Paul
Concordia University-Saint Paul (CSP, est. 1893) offers a fully online Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing through the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. This 36-credit program features 11 courses plus a thesis. CSP’s MFA program helps students hone their creative writing skills while also developing the ability to read and assess literature across three genres:
Students will develop their creative writing skills through craft and workshop courses while studying different literary forms, genres, and topics via literature and research courses. To qualify for admission, applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
CSP’s MFA in Creative Writing is well-suited to the needs of working adults. In addition to being fully online, year-round admission is possible. Classes are held once a week, and each course takes only seven weeks to complete. Students will have the chance to work with several published authors throughout their degree and gain the skills and perspectives needed to produce publishable work. This will allow them to pursue a career as a professional writer in a variety of different fields. As such, CSP’s Creative Writing MFA is suitable for those who want to become writers and those who are already writers but want to expand their career potential. Key courses in this MFA program include:
- Studies in the Craft of Creative Writing
- Researching and Writing About Literature
- The Culture of Writing, Editing, and Publishing
- Location: Saint Paul, Minnesota
- Cost: $18,900
- Affiliation: Concordia University System
- Religious affiliation: Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod
- #students: 5,585
- #grads: 2,007
Central Washington University
Central Washington University (CWU, est. 1891) offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Professional and Creative Writing that can be taken entirely online or in a multi-modal (hybrid) format. This MA requires 45 credits for completion. There is no thesis requirement, but students must complete an end-of-program Portfolio course. There are also no defined degree tracks, allowing students to customize their course of study based on their career goals and interests. Plus, with CWU’s 10-week quarter system, this well-ranked creative writing program can be completed in as little as four quarters. To qualify for admission, applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA (check with CWU about its current GRE requirements).
CWU’s Professional and Creative Writing MA is designed to help graduates successfully navigate a new world economy that emphasizes learning and adapting over knowing. By combining creative and professional writing with critical thinking skills, the program can benefit students seeking several different career outcomes. This includes students who need upgraded writing skills to advance in their careers, professional and creative writers who want to make themselves more marketable and pursue expanded opportunities, and students who need advanced writing abilities to pursue additional graduate programs. Others choose this MA to satisfy a personal dream of becoming a creative writer while continuing their established careers. Key courses and electives include:
- Advanced Poetry Writing
- Professional Writing with New Media
- Studies in Rhetoric
- Location: Ellensburg, Washington
- Cost: $17,469.15
- #students: 11,174
- #grads: 656
Mississippi University for Women
The low-residency Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing from Mississippi University for Women (MUW, est. 1884) is a 48-credit hybrid program. Much of the degree can be completed online, including a thesis, form and literature courses, and writing workshops. Workshops are available in:
- Writing for New Media
The MFA’s residency requirements comprise two Short Residencies and two Full Residencies. Short Residencies are five-day masterclasses that occur at different times of year but are often scheduled to coincide with major on- and off-campus events, such as the Eudora Welty Writers’ Symposium. Full Residencies occur in late May and are nine to 10 days of workshops, seminars, and readings. To be eligible for admission to the MFA program, students must have an undergraduate degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA.
MUW’s Creative Writing MFA program is designed for working adults. It is built to be both affordable and flexible. Students can customize their course of study, selecting classes in as many or few genres as they wish. (Residencies already ensure students gain a broader understanding and perspective by providing cross- and mixed-genre experiences.) Students can also tailor their selections to fit specific career goals, adding Residencies, Internships, and Literary Magazine Production experiences. The Full Residencies offer a strong career focus with professional topics that include:
- publishing and self-publishing
- writing for the web
- working with an agent
- creative writing pedagogy (teaching strategies for various environments)
Key course options for this MFA program include:
- Early Women Writers
- Medieval and Renaissance Narratives
- The Professional Writer
- Location: Columbus, Mississippi
- Cost: $17,343.10
- #students: 2,704
- #grads: 286
University of Houston Victoria
The University of Houston-Victoria (UHV, est. 1973) offers a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing that can be taken entirely online or in a low-residency, hybrid format. The degree requires 36 credits for completion, including six for a thesis. Students can choose the regular Creative Writing path or a specialized Concentration in Applied Literary Translation. Students can study any genre for the regular path but must select one for their thesis:
The main focus of the MFA is on developing one’s writing skills and understanding the literary form. However, several electives are available to help tailor the degree towards a student’s interest in literature or publishing. Those applying for the MFA program will need an undergraduate degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA on their last 60 undergraduate credits. (GRE scores may be required for those with a lower GPA; check with UHV to confirm.)
UHV’s online Creative Writing MFA program can be an affordable option that provides graduates with several potential career opportunities. While the program was created to help students pursue their dreams of becoming published authors, it also prepares them for nearly every writing career option. That means graduates can also pursue more practical jobs, including in
- literary translation
Additionally, since UHV is a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), students can integrate a Latino literature and cultural element into their studies and writing. Key courses and electives for the MFA include:
- Form and Poetics
- Graduate Poetry Writing Workshop
- Publication Design
UHV’s online Creative Writing MFA can be an affordable option that provides graduates with several potential career opportunities. While the program was created to help students pursue their dreams of becoming published authors, it also prepares them for nearly every writing career option. That means graduates can also pursue more practical jobs, including in:
- Location: Victoria, Texas
- Cost: $16,840.08
- Affiliation: University of Houston System
- #students: 4,922
- #grads: 1,409
- Programs: Bachelor’s and master’s degrees
Tiffin University (TU, est. 1888) offers a fully online Master of Humanities (MH) with a Creative Writing Concentration. It places third in our list of best online creative writing graduate programs.
This 30-credit degree allows students to understand and develop their abilities in several genres and compositional forms, including:
- Genre and Performance Writing
- Short Stories
The program combines a humanities foundation with hands-on writing experience and an academic study of selected genres and forms. The culmination is a capstone project, which requires each student to research a chosen area of interest and produce either a creative project, a portfolio project, or a thesis. To be eligible for admission to the MH, applicants must have an undergraduate degree with a preferred GPA of 3.0.
Tiffin’s online Master’s in Creative Writing is designed as a flexible, affordable graduate program option. With multiple start dates and a mix of seven- and 15-week courses, students can enter the program when it suits them and finish their degree in just 18 months. The primary focus of the MH is preparing graduates to pursue a variety of creative writing careers. Creative writing majors can become:
- content writer
- freelance writer
- video game writer
Some graduates go on to teach at the high school or community college level. Others use the MH as the foundation to pursue advanced graduate degrees. Key courses and options for the MH include:
- Creative Writing – The Novel
- Creativity and Its Development
- Critical Thinking and Reading
- Location: Tiffin, Ohio
- Cost: $16,500
- #students: 2,933
- #grads: 739
University of Arkansas at Monticello
The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing at the University of Arkansas at Monticello (UAM, est. 1910) is a fully online program. This program, which comes in second in our list of the best writing graduate programs , is the most affordable of the creative nonfiction MFA programs in this review article.
To graduate, students must complete 48 credits, including six for their thesis. The MFA offers three genres to choose from:
The core of the program features workshop courses that foster high-level skills in critical thinking and literary analysis while ensuring a mastery in creative writing. This focus is supplemented with multiple electives to allow students to tailor the program to best suit their interests and goals, including pursuing independent areas of study. To be eligible for admission to the MFA program, applicants must have an undergraduate degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA.
UAM’s online Creative Writing MFA is meant to be both flexible and affordable. It is designed for talented, self-motivated individuals who appreciate the freedom to follow their own pace and areas of study. To ensure each creative writing student has a fuller understanding of their own genre, they will work with a different faculty mentor each semester. Creative writing majors will also take workshops in the other two genres to help give their writing a broader perspective and more unique outlook and voice. Key courses and options for the MFA include:
- Advanced Workshop – Form and Craft
- Magazine Edit and Design
- Memoirs of the Mind
- Location: Monticello, Arkansas
- Cost: $13,262.4
- #students: 2,855
- #grads: 293
Western Connecticut State University
Western Connecticut State University (WCSU, est. 1903) has a MFA in Creative and Professional Writing. This best low-residency master’s in creative writing wins first place in our list of best writing masters programs online.
This hybrid creative writing degree requires approximately 60 credits for completion and includes:
- an internship or teaching practicum
- an enrichment project
Students must also complete four separate, week-long residencies comprising discussions, lectures, and workshops. Residencies are held twice a year on the WCSU campus in Danbury, Connecticut. (There is also an optional Dublin, Ireland, residency featuring workshops in Oscar Wilde’s home and events at the Bram Stoker Festival.) For their degree, students must select a primary and secondary genre specialization. One must be creative, such as:
The other must be practical, for example:
- Advertising Copywriting
- Historical Biographies
- Medical Writing
- Public Relations
- Technical Writing
WCSU’s low-residency MFA utilizes a student-driven mentorship model. For most courses, graduate students work with a faculty member to develop a personalized course plan. Then, there is WCSU’s practical education approach, which ensures students learn from successful creative writers across several genres and styles and apply what they’ve learned in real-world settings. This combination might be why WCSU has such a high success rate — 87 percent of graduates are full-time professional writers and/ or have published books. Key courses for this MFA program include:
- Genre History, Criticism, and Theory
- Reading for Writers
- The Individual Aesthetic and Process
- Location: Danbury, Connecticut
- Cost: $11,344
- Affiliation: Connecticut State University System
- #students: 5,246
- #grads: 606
- Programs: Associates through doctorate level degrees, plus certificates
What can I do with a master’s in creative writing?
Creative writing programs open up a lot of potential professional opportunities including, but not limited to, the following, listed below. Note that some of these opportunities may be available without having taken a top creative writing graduate program.
- Advertising manager
- Arts administrator
- Blogger – general
- College lecturer – lower division
- Communications director
- Community college lecturer
- Content writer (Web or otherwise)
- Customer service representative (CSR)
- Editorial assistant
- Educator – general
- Email marketing specialist
- Film and television
- Grant or funding proposal writer
- Human resources
- Instructional coordinator
- Market researcher
- Marketing communications
- Public relations specialist
- Sales agent
- Social media specialist
- Talent agent
- Technical writer
- Travel blogger
- Web content manager
- Writing consultant
- Writing instructor
Creative writing majors who combine their master’s degree with a minor specialization or other degree can also increase their career opportunities. There are also numerous other career opportunities, particularly in arts and education, in which it can be useful to have an MFA or MA in creative writing.
How long does it take to complete and online MFA in creative writing?
Of the online creative writing degrees that are mentioned in this college review article, they range from 30 to 65 credits. How long you take depends on whether you’re enrolled full- or part-time, how many semesters a college has in an AY (Academic Year), etc. Some creative writing programs could be completed in as little as one year, plus time for creating and defending a thesis, if necessary. Longer creative writing programs might take 2-3 years.
How do I apply for an online MFA in creative writing program?
So you’re ready to apply to graduate creative writing programs! You’ll want to consider the best creative writing MFA programs. The steps you’ll take are approximately in this order:
- Confirm that a specific graduate school is of interest to you. Call the college admission’s department if you cannot find all the details of their writing programs on their Web site or email them a message.
- Determine the requirements for admission to the creative writing degree program and confirm that you are eligible.
- File a FAFSA, if you plan to enroll full time and are interested in federal student loans for graduate programs.
- Check the program application deadline(s), application fees, etc., and prepare your application.
- Send out requests and fees for necessary transcripts.
- Send out requests for necessary references, with instructions on where they should send their typed, signed, dated reference.
- Complete and submit your application.
- Wait for a response.
How much can I make with an online MFA in creative writing?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook has the role “Writers and Authors” listed as having $69,510 as the median yearly pay for 2021. However, that does not indicate potential earnings, only median actual earnings as reported by American creative writers/ authors.
When you revist the list of potential careers, above, you’ll see the possibility for earning more as a creative writer. Factor in the possibility of writing content for yourself, on your own Web site (or scripted for your YouTube channel), monetized in one or more of multiple ways including affiliate marketing. Maybe you can set up the latter in addition to having a professional creative writing career (salaried or freelance). All of these combined will potentially exceed the aforementioned median salary.
How do I start a career in creative writing?
Begin by identifying the kind of creative writing career you want. The list of job titles above can help you get started. Once you know where you want to go to get a quality education, creating the plan and steps needed to get there becomes easier.
Next, focus on the foundational steps for the creative writing process listed below. These can help every writer build the career they want:
- Seek feedback
Create your opportunity
- Study marketing
- Be bold and innovative
Practice creative writing
Do your daily creative writing practice. You always hear athletes talk about staying ready. Practice helps you stay ready for when your opportunity arrives. Plus, when you get into the habit of writing purposefully every day, the quality of your work improves, and so does your productivity and efficiency. You will also learn to be more succinct with your writing while still conveying what you want to communicate.
Build your network and be active within it. Let your contacts know when you’re looking for work, and what types of writing work you’re suited for. Your network can’t help if they don’t know that you need help.
Seek feedback on your creative writing
Create a MasterMind Group (an advisory board) to provide feedback on your writing and marketing efforts. Depending on your current network and comfort level, the group can be comprised of other writers and/or people from different industries and professions.
Volunteer your creative writing talents
Volunteering is a great way to gain creative writing experience and expand your network, all while giving something back. Most non-profits need help in many areas, including a variety of writing-related tasks. Plus, if they hold charity events, you might meet key figures in your community. And, what better way to introduce yourself and your work to local luminaries than by helping promote their favorite cause. While some experienced writers say not to give your work away free, when it comes to non-profit group opportunities, think of your effort as an investment both for yourself and the non-profit.
If you’re not getting the opportunities you want — make your own! With all the DIY tools and platforms available, don’t wait for someone to give you a chance. You can:
- launch your own blog
- create a YouTube channel to showcase your scripts
- publish your own collection of poetry
- pen a series of essays on the latest hot-button topic
- write your own sports analysis or celebrity gossip column
Beyond these DIY methods, user-generated content platforms like Medium or Quora are also great options. They allow you to reach large audiences and gain valuable feedback. Some of them also have earning opportunities for writers, sometimes based on the response of readers.
Study marketing to boost your creative writing
Even authors with publishing contracts have to know how to self-promote. Learning basic marketing skills can help you launch and grow your career. At a minimum, create your own website and online portfolio, and make sure the content there is optimized for search engine rankings.
Learn how to use social media. It’s a critical way to:
- promote your name
- build a following
- garner attention for your work
You can also network there. It’s not always the best creative writer that gets hired; it’s often the one people know about and whose work they are familiar with.
Be bold and innovative in your creative writing
Leverage past experiences. This includes writing about what you know. If you’ve had another career or have experience in other fields, write about that or pitch this as an article idea to an industry publication.
While being bold, don’t limit yourself to just one opportunity or path. The Internet has made it much “easier” for creative writers to make a living online, and that includes aforementioned self-starter opportunities. Find and/or create multiple opportunities for yourself, and always come up with new ideas to pitch while waiting for a response to a previous pitch.
This concludes our creative writing mfa programs.
Other Articles of Interest:
- 30 Best Bachelor’s in Communications
- 20 Best Video Game Design Degree Programs
- 30 Best Bachelor’s in English
- 20 Best Bachelor’s in Media Communication
- 20 Best Bachelor’s in Journalism
- 35 Best Bachelor’s in Writing
- 30 Best PhD Programs in English
Editor’s Top Selections – Best Creative Writing MFA Programs
Created by CreativeWritingEDU.org Contributor
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
District of Columbia
Mississippi, new hampshire, north carolina, pennsylvania, rhode island, south carolina, university of arizona (public).
COLLEGE OF SOCIAL AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES
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
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
Also offers: BA in English-Creative Writing emphasis (on-campus)
- Full funding guaranteed in the second year of the MFA program in exchange for undergrad teaching positions
- Ranked among the top five public universities in the nation by the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education
- MFA students choose a single genre – fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, or a multi-genre focus
The University of California – Davis offers both an undergraduate and graduate program in creative writing that are designed to inspire the emerging or established writer! Focused on the mastery of craft with a solid foundation in literary traditions, the BA in English with a Creative Writing emphasis is designed to expand your knowledge and refine your writing skills in preparation for a variety of careers in areas like publishing, marketing, journalism, advertising, and more. The innovative Creative Writing MFA program features a nice blend of studio and literature courses in your choice of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or multi-genre. In the second year, you’ll teach creative writing courses to undergrad students as you prepare to become a successful practitioner in your own right. All students of the MFA are guaranteed full funding in their second year!
University of California-Irvine (Public)
SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES
MFA 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
- 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
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
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
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
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
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).
- 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)
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
- 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)
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)
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
- 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
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
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)
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)
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
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
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
- 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
- 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
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
- 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
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)
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)
- 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)
Ann Arbor, MI
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)
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)
- 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
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
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)
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
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)
- 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
- 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
- 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
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
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)
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)
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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)
- 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)
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
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
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
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
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
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)
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)
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)
- 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)
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
- 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
- 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)
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
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.
Accueil » Careers » 15 Best mfa Creative Writing Programs 2023 | Schools for Creative Writing in the World
15 Best mfa Creative Writing Programs 2023 | Schools for Creative Writing in the World
by Kamerpower · Published · Updated
15 Best mfa Creative Writing Programs 2023 | Schools for Creative Writing in the World. this list rounds up some of the best colleges for creative writing in the United States and the world. if you’re wondering where to brush up your writing skills, this article provides information on the best graduate schools for creative writing in the world. kamerpower.com
Who is a Creative Writer?
A Creative writer is someone usually a professional that writes for different print and online publications. Actually, the person writes interesting and entertaining articles, essays, stories or poems for books, magazines, websites, and scripts.
The Best Creative Writing Schools
- Northwestern University.
- Columbia University.
- University of Iowa.
- Emory University
- Oberlin College
- Hamilton College.
- Brown University.
- Washington University in St.
What Can I Do With a Creative Writing Degree?
However, you can do a lot with a creative writing degree even with an associate degree in creative writing, you can go into the following:
- Editorial assistant
- Newspaper journalist
- Web content manager
- Advertising copywriter.
- Creative director
- Digital copywriter
- Academic librarian
- Film director
- Marketing executive
- Public relations officer
- Social media manager.
If you want a few years to dedicate to your craft, an MFA in Creative Writing is a solid option. It’s also helpful for building a community and finding connections and giving you some credibility. And it’s of course a great way to help improve your writing.
Decide if you’d like experience teaching at the college level, Investigate what programs specialize in or are known for. Decide if prestige matters to you, Go to an AWP Conference, Talk to graduates of the program you’re interested in. Decide if you really need an MFA writing program after all.
obs directly related to your degree include Advertising copywriter, Arts administrator, Creative director, Digital copywriter, Editorial assistant, Lexicographer, Magazine journalist, Newspaper journalist.
Now, let’s get to the good stuff: the list of schools! The exact numbering is always arguable, so look at it as a general trend from absolutely amazing to still super great, rather than fixating on why one school is ranked #3 and another is ranked #4.
1. Cornell University
Actually, this is a private and statutory Ivy League research university in Ithaca, New York that was founded in 1865 by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White. Conversely, the department of English in this best graduate school for creative writers is in charge of the MFA/Ph.D. Program in Creative Writing. Also, creative writing here is small and highly selective.
2. Brown University
This school is a private Ivy League research university in Providence, Rhode Island that was founded in 1764. However, the MFA program in creative writing at this top school of creative writing is offered through the Department of Literary Arts. Also, the program is a two-year residency type.
3. University of Michigan
The University of Michigan is a public research university in Ann Arbor, Michigan and it was founded in 1817. Actually, this institution being one of the best accounting schools in the world has an acceptance rate of 29%. Also, the graduation rate is 91%.
4. Boston University
This University is a private research university in Boston, Massachusetts. Besides, this institution has been historically affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Also, Boston University has above 3,900 faculty members and almost 33,000 students.
5. University of Virginia
However, this is a public research university in Charlottesville, Virginia that was founded in 1819. So, the Creative Writing Program at this school for creative writing is a two-year residency MFA program. Also, this top school for creative writing has an acceptance rate of 30% and a graduation rate of 94% of students.
6. New York University
New York University is a private research university based in New York City. Actually, this best graduate school for creative writing was founded in 1831. Also, the creative writing program is located in the heart of Greenwich Village.
7. The University of Texas
Well, the University of Texas at Austin is a public research university in Austin, Texas that was founded in 1883. Actually, the Michener Center for Writers hosts an MFA in Writing Program this best writing school for creative writing majors. Thus, creative writing here is a three-year, full-time residency program.
8. Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University was founded in 1876. It is a private research university in Baltimore, Maryland. Actually, this institution was named after its first benefactor, Johns Hopkins. However, the MFA in Fiction and Poetry in this top school for creative writing in the world is known as The Writing Seminars. Actually, this is a two-year residency program.
9. University of Houston
Master of Fine Arts – University of Houston. Positioned at the intersection of the visual arts, performance, music, visual and media studies and design, School of Art students enjoy world-class resources and learn from renowned faculty at the University of Houston. Applicants to the MFA program must complete two separate and equally important applications. The University of Houston Graduate School application is required by the UH Graduate School and does not allow applicants to upload their portfolios; the Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts application is required by the School of Art and does allow for applicants to upload their portfolios.
- Complete the Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts MFA application form .
- Complete the University of Houston Graduate School application form .
10. Northwestern University
Northwestern’s part-time Master of Fine Arts in Prose and Poetry program provides students the opportunity to grow as artists within the specializations of fiction, nonfiction, popular fiction, poetry, and publishing and professional development. A dual-genre specialization is also offered. The 15-course curriculum includes workshops in a concentration, electives, and two thesis courses to complete the MFA program experience. Required courses vary by specialization.
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These lists are always a bit weird. Good schools here, but why aren’t programs like Houston and Northwestern ever on them rather than the usual, predictable suspects? I think both UH and Northwestern each have Pulitzer winners on their faculties. Northwestern is the highest paying fully-funded MFA program in the country (their stipend is like 35K a year I think). Or look at programs like Texas State and UC Berkeley and UC Irvine. Many of the ones in this list don’t even provide much funding.
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10 Best MFA Creative Writing Programs in 2023
To be honest, producing fascinating poems, interesting and fantastic stories, and other incredible stuff for a living is both educational and entertaining.
Even if you are a gifted writer, learning to make it innovative necessitates professional education. Now, if you’re looking for a place to improve your writing talents, this article will give you information about the greatest graduate schools on the globe for creative writing.
In fact, these Best MFA Creative Writing Programs prepare students to stand out among their peers . graduates from all of these colleges are frequently sought after by the world’s leading news organizations.
That looks like a lot of money, doesn’t it? As a result, attending one of these universities will provide you with an advantage in the job market.
Initially, stories are passed from one person to another. Oral storytelling traditions are how stories are passed down from generation to generation. Although the storyteller’s memories and voice were the primary “writing” tools.
The Bible and Homer’s Odyssey were among the first written pieces in the Western tradition; the Indian Vedas and Sanskrit poems were among the first in the Eastern tradition, and the Mayan Codices were among the first in Central America.
For a long time, the craft of writing was a tough thing to master. Monks, the wealthy, and the educated classes were the only ones who learned to write at first. Furthermore, inks and quills were costly to purchase. Making paper was, to be honest, really difficult.
In this article, we are talking about the best MFA creative writing programs online as well.
Table of Contents
Is the MFA Creative Writing Program Worth it?
There are also many online MFA creative writing programs available.
A Facebook companion as of late asked different scholars how much their MFA understudy loans came to, and many individuals who went to non-public schools said they were perched on advances in the $250,000 territory ! It’s difficult to envision that sort of speculation will at any point pay off. Likewise, that cash can purchase you a great deal of altering, one-on-one training, and time.
Moreover, It won’t quickly bring in more cash or open position. Truth be told, feel free to accept you won’t get this cashback either through a book advance or instructing position.
A normal development wouldn’t recover the expense of your schooling.
Assuming you’re prepared for all of that, and you pick the right program (inclining further toward that momentarily), it’s difficult to envision you will not further develop your game by a trillion places or more.
Whatever you do, don’t cough up a huge number of dollars assuming what you need is a gesture of congratulations. You will leave harsh and broke.
Best MFA Creative Writing Programs in the World:
I am sharing here the best MFA creative writing programs in the world list. So, you can get a quick review of where you are going.
- RMIT University.
- National Institute of Dramatic Art.
- The University of Western Australia.
- The University of Melbourne.
- Curtin University.
- The University of Notre Dame.
- Teesside University.
- Edge Hill University.
Best MFA Creative Writing Programs in New York:
I am listing down the top 6 best MFA Creative writing Programs in NY to narrow down your research. So, you can take a quick decision to choose the right one for you.
- Columbia University in the City of New York
- Syracuse University. Syracuse, NY
- New York University. New York,
- Cornell University. Ithaca, NY
- The New School. New York, NY.
- Stony Brook University.
Best MFA Creative Writing Programs in California:
California is one of the leading states while we thinking of further education in any field. So. I am here to the short-listing top 6 MFA creative writing programs on the bases of positive feedback from the students. Go and grab your seat to make sure you are not one of those who lose this big opportunity in California.
- University of Southern California
- University of California-Davis
- University of California-Riverside
- University of California-Irvine
- California State University-Long Beach
- Saint Mary’s College of California
Which University has the Best Creative Writing program?
There are many universities that offer this program and we have listed the 10 best universities for you. I hope it will be helpful for you:
- Indiana University (Bloomington, IN)
- Washington University in St. Louis (St. Louis, MO)
- The University of Texas at Austin (Austin, TX)
- Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ)
- University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA)
- University of Oregon (Eugene, OR)
- Brown University (Providence, RI)
- Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)
- University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN)
- The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Ann Arbor, MI)
Let’s explore these universities one by one:
1. Indiana University (Bloomington, IN)
It’s one of the first and greatest decisions understudies face while picking an MFA program: two-year or three-year?
Indiana University puts forth a convincing defense for its three-year program, in which the third year of loan permits understudies a drawn-out timeframe to zero in on the proposition, generally a novel or book-length assortment.
One of the more seasoned projects on the rundown, Indiana’s MFA traces all the way back to 1948.
Its previous educators and graduated class read like the record of an American Literature coursebook.
Understudies make up the article staff of this commended artistic magazine, sometimes for course credit or payment. An MFA student serves every year as partner head of the much-celebrated and profound meetings.
These two features of Indiana’s program give graduate understudies admittance to visiting scholars, proficient experience, and a sample of the composing life past scholarly world.
2. Washington University in St. Louis
The MFA in Creative Writing at Washington University in St. Louis is a program progressing: candidates have nearly multiplied here over the most recent five years.
Perhaps this abrupt development of interest comes from the ongoing rising star graduate class on the artistic scene, similar to Paul Tran, Miranda Popkey, and National Book Award victor Justin Phillip Reed.
Whiz figures like Alison Bechdel and George Saunders have as of late held visiting residencies, keeping a vigorous air program-wide.
Washington University’s MFA program supports standing for the nature of the mentorship experience.
Three kinds of tracks are accessible to understudies: fiction, verse, and the inexorably important and famous imaginative verifiable.
A liberal payment, combined with St. Louis’ minimal expense of living, gives MFA up-and-comers at Washington University the space to create in a low-stress however invigorating imaginative climate.
Harvard’s MFA creative writing program is also the best program in the world.
3. The University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin’s MFA program, the Michener Center for Writers, keeps one of the most energetic, invigorating, dynamic scholarly resources of any MFA program.
This three-year program completely subsidizes competitors without showing associations or assistantships; the objective is for understudies to zero in all together on their composing.
More class tracks at the Michener Center mean understudies can pick two center regions, an essential and auxiliary, from Fiction, Poetry, Screenwriting, and Playwriting.
The Michener Center for Writers assumes an unmistakable part in contemporary composition, everything being equal.
Ongoing occasions for famous graduate classes incorporate New Yorker distributions, an Oprah Book Club determination, a screenwriting prize, and a 2021 Pulitzer (for visiting employee Mitchell Jackson).
In this program, understudies are solidly at the center of all the activity of contemporary American writing.
4. Arizona State University
Arizona State’s MFA in Creative Writing traverses three years, giving understudies sufficient opportunity to rehearse their specialty, foster a voice, and start to track down a spot in the post-graduation abstract world.
Coursework adjusts composing and writing classes similarly, with courses in art and one-on-one coaching close by courses in writing, hypothesis, or even electives in subjects like fine press printing, bookmaking, or distributing.
Instructing is additionally a concentration in Arizona State’s MFA program, with subsidizing coming from showing assistantships in the school’s English division. Other invigorating showing open doors incorporate showing abroad in areas all over the planet, financed through awards and temporary positions.
The Distinguished Writers Series and Desert Nights, Rising Stars Conference carry top-notch journalists to grounds, permitting understudies to associate with the absolute most noteworthy in the calling. Acclaimed author and writer Alberto Ríos coordinate the Piper Center.
Arizona State advances understudies to the world after graduation through temporary positions with distributors like Four Way Books.
John Hopkins creative MFA creative writing is also a famous program in the world.
5. University of Iowa
As an English and Creative Writing major here, you’ll take classes from incredible youthful scholars and set up teachers the same, and get to browse a wide scope of points.
6. University of Oregon
Getting going the rundown is one of the most established and most worshiped Creative Writing programs in the country, the MFA at the University of Oregon.
Long-lasting coach, educator, and grant-winning writer Garrett Hongo coordinates the program, displaying its studio-put-together way to deal with one-with-respect-to-one guidance in the English school framework.
Oregon’s MFA accepts its notoriety for meticulousness. Other than going to studios and instructional exercises, understudies take classes in more proper poetics and writing.
Tolerating just ten new understudies a year—five in verse and five in fiction—the University of Oregon’s MFA guarantees an affectionate local area with a lot of individual training and direction.
7. Brown University (Providence, RI)
Brown’s Literary Arts program offers one of the top MFAs in the US just as an undergrad major. For the major, you should take four experimental writing studios and six perusing escalated courses, which range a variety of offices and subjects, from music and writing to Middle East investigations and Egyptology.
8. Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)
Then again, the division of English in this best master’s level college for imaginative journalists is responsible for the MFA/Ph.D. Program in Creative Writing. Additionally, exploratory writing here is little and profoundly particular.
Moreover, it has an acknowledgment pace of 14% and a graduation pace of 93%. Additionally, the understudy workforce proportion is 9:1 while the educational expense is $57,626.
9. University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN)
Structure joined with individual consideration and mentorship describes the University of Minnesota’s Creative Writing MFA, beginning with its novel program prerequisites.
Essayist and resigned University of Minnesota educator Charles Baxter set up the program’s Hunger Relief benefit, supporting Minnesota’s Second Harvest Heartland association.
Significant to the program’s vision of the author in support of humankind, this yearly challenge and perusing unite recognized journalists, understudies, personnel, and local area individuals for a more prominent objective.
10. The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Ann Arbor, MI)
College of Michigan is one of the most outstanding state colleges in the nation and has a first-class MFA program. This current school’s undergrad experimental writing sub-focus expects understudies to submit applications for permission to cutting-edge experimental writing courses.
These applications give understudies significant practice in both structuring a composing portfolio and articulating their advantage in exploratory writing to a crowd of people who will assess their work. Assuming you’re hoping to go to a major school with an extraordinary experimental writing major, this is an awesome decision.
Best MFA Creative Writing Programs – FAQS
Creative writing’s goal is to motivate and communicate human experiences such as love and sadness. Creative writers, on the other hand, use poetics and storytelling to try to reach the truth about humanity.
If you want to see if you can do creative writing, remember that the first step is to use your imagination, regardless of whether you are attempting to express a sensation or a notion.
The greatest undergraduate institutions for creative writing in the world, on the other hand, prepare students to become internationally famous creative writers.
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Best MFA In Creative Writing Degrees
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Updated January 24, 2023
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Are you ready to discover your college program?
Every industry needs capable, talented writers.
A Master of Fine Arts degree or MFA in Creative Writing is the perfect degree for experienced writers who want to study a specific field or stay in academia. Considered a terminal degree, it is the highest degree of its kind. Students will practice writing prose while gaining more insight on the history and culture of writing.
The great thing about this degree is the opportunity to engage in one-on-one and group learning with professors and peers. Some students may even get the chance to travel abroad. In addition, as many people will choose to go in to education following this degree, schools generally offer graduate assistantships to help lower the cost of the program. Keep reading to learn more about this degree and how it can help you achieve your future goals!
What kind of MFA in Creative Writing degree should you get?
MFA programs in Creative Writing are either offered on-campus, online, or a hybrid program. An online program may be preferable for those who are already working and may not have enough time to commute to campus daily. Online degrees are completed using interactive lectures individual projects. Although an online degree will require a good computer, distance learning programs are generally affordable.
Before deciding which program is best, students should look carefully to see if the degree requires a residency or not. Most online programs that do require one are low-residency, meaning students will need to come to campus or a remote location a couple of times per year for an extended time. The residencies consist of intensive workshops with faculty to develop one’s writing skills.
Check out our list of the Best Online MFAs in Creative Writing .
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Explore our featured online programs and find the right match for you today.
How much do online MFA in Creative Writing degrees make?
It is important to understand that those who graduate from an online program will have the same salary potential as someone who did it on-campus. Based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics , the median pay of authors and writers as of 2017 is $61,820. Writers who are just starting out will earn significantly less, with the lowest 10 percent only making $28,610 or less. However, the highest 10 percent make $109,440 on average.
Pay for a writer will depend on your field and work situation. For example, someone who freelances may earn less than someone who signs a contract with a publishing company, but several other factors can determine pay. Another option is for people to become college professors, who can earn anywhere from $30,720 to $130,510 depending on the school, if the position is tenured or not, and if graduates have a PhD or not.
What can you do with an online MFA in Creative Writing?
Graduates will be prepared to work in a variety of fields such as magazine, film, television, publishing, or advertising. Many people also choose to go into teaching either at the secondary or college level. Other people may start out as freelance writers and eventually do other types of writing. However, it is important to know that not everyone must be a writer upon graduation of this degree.
While some people choose this degree to level up in their career, others do it for personal fulfillment. An MFA in Creative Writing is also a good opportunity for people to improve in their writing skill, as virtually any job requires some degree of writing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, writer and author positions are expected to increase 8 percent from 2016 to 2026. However, the definition of a writer has expanded more to someone who just publishes books, but also to those who may write online.
What are the requirements for an online MFA in Creative Writing?
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and a strong GPA. They will also need to submit letters of recommendation, transcripts, and a writing sample. The writing sample must be a substantial length and showcase the student’s writing from within the past few years. Some programs may require a portfolio of several works.
During the program students will take classes in a variety of genres. Some programs may even allow students to specialize in a genre or field. Some common specializations include poetry, nonfiction, or publishing. In addition to completing on-campus residencies (if applicable), there will most likely be a culminating project or thesis before graduation.
Most Affordable Online MFA Creative Writing Degrees
#1 Best MFA In Creative Writing Degrees
Mississippi University for Women
- Columbus, MS
- Online + Campus
The MFA in creative writing at Mississippi University for Women, one of the school's 13 master's degrees, offers a rigorous education. The program builds advanced knowledge and skills, helping students increase their career opportunities. Candidates benefit from flexible enrollment options, including schedules designed for full-time professionals.
Learners take advanced creative writing classes that build a theoretical and practical understanding of the field. Internships and hands-on learning opportunities encourage students to gain varied experience while building professional connections. Degree candidates specialize their creative writing education by choosing electives and concentrations.
Mississippi University for Women at a Glance:
Location: Columbus, Mississippi
School Type: Public
Admission Rate: 97%
Graduate Tuition In State: $7,425
Graduate Tuition Out of State: $7,425
Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 97%
Average Amount Aid Awarded: $7,762
Average Price After Aid: $11,725
#2 Best MFA In Creative Writing Degrees
University of New Orleans
- New Orleans, LA
The creative writing MFA at University of New Orleans stands out for its academic rigor and flexibility. The program serves students seeking advanced education and increased career opportunities. Graduate programs prioritize flexibility through their enrollment options, which help students balance school with work or other responsibilities.
During the program, learners take challenging courses that strengthen theoretical and practical creative writing knowledge. Students strengthen their knowledge through internships and other hands-on learning opportunities, which also build valuable professional connections. Faculty advisors help degree-seekers choose electives and concentrations to specialize their creative writing education.
University of New Orleans at a Glance:
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Admission Rate: 56%
Graduate Tuition In State: $6,090
Graduate Tuition Out of State: $10,660
Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 95%
Average Amount Aid Awarded: $9,730
Average Price After Aid: $10,780
#3 Best MFA In Creative Writing Degrees
University of Arkansas at Monticello
- Monticello, AR
University of Arkansas at Monticello offers a master of fine arts in creative writing for students seeking career advancement. The public institution serves degree-seekers with diverse needs by offering many enrollment options. Enrollees gain an advanced understanding of creative writing topics while strengthening their skills.
Master's candidates access a generous selection of college resources and support services during their studies. Financial aid advisors recommend scholarships and grants, while academic advisors help with course selections. Master's degree-seekers can also take advantage of tutoring, mental health counseling, and library services.
University of Arkansas at Monticello at a Glance:
Total Master's Programs: 7
Total Online Master's Programs: 4
Graduation Rate: 29%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13-to-1
Graduate Tuition In State: $6,631
Graduate Tuition Out of State: $12,511
Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $27,300
#4 Best MFA In Creative Writing Degrees
University of Houston-Victoria
- Victoria, TX
The master of fine arts in creative writing at University of Houston-Victoria is one of the school's 17 master's degrees. The program builds advanced knowledge and skills, helping students increase their career opportunities. Candidates may be able to choose from campus and online enrollment options, adding flexibility for enrollees who need to work full time while in school.
Learners strengthen their theoretical and practical understanding of creative writing through the program's challenging curriculum. Internships and hands-on learning opportunities encourage degree-seekers to gain varied experience while building professional connections. Concentrations and electives allow learners to customize the degree based on their career goals.
University of Houston-Victoria at a Glance:
Location: Victoria, Texas
Graduate Tuition In State: $6,338
Graduate Tuition Out of State: $13,934
Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 94%
Average Amount Aid Awarded: $8,905
Average Price After Aid: $10,063
#5 Best MFA In Creative Writing Degrees
University of Nebraska at Omaha
Students seeking career advancement benefit from the master of fine arts in writing at University of Nebraska at Omaha. The public university offers a variety of enrollment options for degree-seekers, including online programs. The writing program features a curriculum that covers advanced topics in creative writing.
Whether they study online or on campus, master's candidates can access a generous selection of college resources and support services. For example, career counselors host job fairs and offer resume workshops for specific industries. Master's degree-seekers can also take advantage of tutoring, mental health counseling, and library services.
University of Nebraska at Omaha at a Glance:
Total Master's Programs: 39
Total Online Master's Programs: 6
Admission Rate: 83%
Graduation Rate: 50%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17-to-1
Graduate Tuition In State: $5,558
Graduate Tuition Out of State: $14,440
Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $38,600
#6 Best MFA In Creative Writing Degrees
Eastern Kentucky University
- Richmond, KY
Learners can earn their MFA in creative writing at Eastern Kentucky University, which offers 40 master's programs. The program incorporates career-focused training to help students advance their professional opportunities. Working professionals benefit from the school's flexible enrollment options, which make it easier to schedule classes around other responsibilities.
The curriculum builds comprehensive knowledge, highlighting theoretical and practical approaches to creative writing. Internships and experiential learning opportunities build professional connections and provide real-world experience. Choosing a concentration also helps learners gain specialized skills in a specific area of creative writing.
Eastern Kentucky University at a Glance:
Location: Richmond, Kentucky
Admission Rate: 94%
Graduate Tuition In State: $9,900
Graduate Tuition Out of State: $13,950
Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 98%
Average Amount Aid Awarded: $8,121
Average Price After Aid: $14,674
#7 Best MFA In Creative Writing Degrees
Northern Arizona University
- Flagstaff, AZ
Northern Arizona University offers a master of fine arts in creative writing that helps graduates advance their careers. The Flagstaff-based public institution serves degree-seekers of all types thanks to its many enrollment options. During the program, learners build on their undergraduate knowledge to gain an advanced understanding of creative writing.
Master's candidates access a generous selection of college resources and support services during their studies. For example, career counselors host mock interviews to prepare graduates for the workforce. The university also offers library services, networking events, and more for graduate degree-seekers.
Northern Arizona University at a Glance:
Total Master's Programs: 62
Total Online Master's Programs: 25
Admission Rate: 85%
Graduation Rate: 57%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 19-to-1
Graduate Tuition In State: $10,305
Graduate Tuition Out of State: $19,522
Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $36,900
#8 Best MFA In Creative Writing Degrees
Old Dominion University
- Norfolk, VA
The MFA in creative writing at Old Dominion University, one of the school's 48 master's degrees, offers a rigorous education. The program incorporates career-focused training to help students advance their professional opportunities. Graduate programs offer flexible enrollment options that make it easier for enrollees to fit classes into their schedule.
The curriculum builds comprehensive knowledge, highlighting theoretical and practical approaches to creative writing. Students strengthen their career-readiness through internships and hands-on learning opportunities. Choosing a concentration also helps learners gain specialized skills in a specific area of creative writing.
Old Dominion University at a Glance:
Location: Norfolk, Virginia
Admission Rate: 89%
Graduate Tuition In State: $10,207
Graduate Tuition Out of State: $29,851
Average Amount Aid Awarded: $8,021
Average Price After Aid: $16,681
#9 Best MFA In Creative Writing Degrees
Texas Tech University
- Lubbock, TX
Texas Tech University offers 83 master's programs, including a highly ranked master's in creative writing. The program encourages career growth through its experiential learning components. Graduate programs prioritize flexibility through their enrollment options, which help degree-seekers balance school with work or other responsibilities.
Learners strengthen their theoretical and practical understanding of creative writing through the program's challenging curriculum. Students prepare for the workforce with internships and other hands-on learning opportunities. Concentrations and electives let learners individualize the program based on their interests and professional goals.
Texas Tech University at a Glance:
Location: Lubbock, Texas
Admission Rate: 69%
Graduate Tuition In State: $5,958
Graduate Tuition Out of State: $13,428
Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 78%
Average Amount Aid Awarded: $7,527
Average Price After Aid: $16,463
#10 Best MFA In Creative Writing Degrees
Western Connecticut State University
- Danbury, CT
The MFA in creative and professional writing program at Western Connecticut State University is one of 16 master's degrees offered at the university. The program helps students advance their education and increase their career opportunities. Graduate programs prioritize flexibility through their enrollment options, which help degree candidates balance school with work or other responsibilities.
The curriculum uses theoretical and practical approaches to encourage a comprehensive understanding of creative writing. Internships and hands-on learning opportunities encourage students to gain varied experience while building professional connections. Degree-seekers select electives and concentrations to specialize their creative writing education in a specific area.
Western Connecticut State University at a Glance:
Location: Danbury, Connecticut
Admission Rate: 76%
Graduate Tuition In State: $7,378
Graduate Tuition Out of State: $19,008
Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 85%
Average Amount Aid Awarded: $4,629
Average Price After Aid: $18,110
#11 Best MFA In Creative Writing Degrees
- Saint Charles, MO
Lindenwood University offers a total of 56 master's degrees, including a top-ranked MFA in writing. Students can increase their earning potential and advance their careers with this degree. Flexible enrollment options make it easier for busy degree-seekers and working professionals to attend a graduate program.
Learners gain theoretical and practical knowledge through the rigorous creative writing curriculum. Internships and hands-on learning opportunities strengthen classroom skills and help students expand their professional networks. Concentrations and electives let enrollees individualize the program based on their interests and professional goals.
Lindenwood University at a Glance:
Location: Saint Charles, Missouri
School Type: Private
Admission Rate: 88%
Graduate Tuition In State: $18,000
Graduate Tuition Out of State: $18,000
Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 100%
#12 Best MFA In Creative Writing Degrees
Bay Path University
- Longmeadow, MA
For students looking to advance their career, Bay Path University hosts an MFA in creative nonfiction writing. The private institution offers several enrollment options on its Longmeadow, Massachusetts, campus and through its online programs. During the program, learners take graduate-level courses in creative writing to enhance their understanding of the field.
Master's candidates rely on the school's support services to progress toward their degree. For example, financial aid counselors recommend scholarships, grants, and other forms of financial aid. Master's degree-seekers also attend networking and training events hosted by the university.
Bay Path University at a Glance:
Total Master's Programs: 21
Total Online Master's Programs: 8
Admission Rate: 72%
Graduation Rate: 54%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 12-to-1
Graduate Tuition In State: $14,670
Graduate Tuition Out of State: $14,670
Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $37,000
#13 Best MFA In Creative Writing Degrees
West Virginia Wesleyan College
- Buckhannon, WV
West Virginia Wesleyan College enrolls learners in 10 master's degrees, including an MFA in creative writing. The program helps students advance their education and increase their career opportunities. Graduate programs offer flexible enrollment options that make it easier for degree-seekers to fit classes into their schedule.
During the program, learners complete a challenging curriculum that builds comprehensive knowledge of creative writing. Internships and hands-on learning opportunities strengthen classroom skills and help students expand their professional networks. Degree-seekers choose concentrations and electives to build specialized skills in a specific area of creative writing.
West Virginia Wesleyan College at a Glance:
Location: Buckhannon, West Virginia
Admission Rate: 64%
Graduate Tuition In State: $12,006
Graduate Tuition Out of State: $12,006
#14 Best MFA In Creative Writing Degrees
Oregon State University
- Corvallis, OR
The MFA in creative writing at Oregon State University, one of the school's 78 master's degrees, offers a rigorous education. The program strengthens subject-specific knowledge, allowing graduates to pursue advanced career opportunities. Flexible enrollment options appeal to busy enrollees balancing school with work or other responsibilities.
Learners gain a comprehensive understanding of creative writing through a curriculum that highlights theoretical and practical approaches. Internships and other hands-on learning opportunities let enrollees apply classroom knowledge in real-world settings. Concentrations and electives let learners specialize their creative writing education around particular fields.
Oregon State University at a Glance:
Location: Corvallis, Oregon
Admission Rate: 82%
Graduate Tuition In State: $12,933
Graduate Tuition Out of State: $24,975
Average Amount Aid Awarded: $7,288
Average Price After Aid: $19,273
#15 Best MFA In Creative Writing Degrees
- Spartanburg, SC
The MFA in creative writing at Converse College stands out for its academic rigor and flexibility. The program appeals to students seeking a graduate degree that will increase their career opportunities. Candidates benefit from flexible learning options, which make it easier to work while enrolling in graduate school.
The curriculum balances theoretical and practical approaches to creative writing, emphasizing a comprehensive understanding of the field. Students can often complete internships and other hands-on learning opportunities, gaining varied experience while building professional connections. Learners choose concentrations and electives to build specialized skills in a specific area of creative writing.
Converse College at a Glance:
Location: Spartanburg, South Carolina
Graduate Tuition In State: $8,736
Graduate Tuition Out of State: $8,736
Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 99%
#16 Best MFA In Creative Writing Degrees
- La Jolla, CA
National University offers an MFA in creative writing for students seeking career advancement. Located in La Jolla, California, the private university offers a variety of enrollment options for degree-seekers, including online programs. During the program, learners complete a rigorous curriculum that builds on their undergraduate training.
While pursuing a master's degree, enrollees benefit from college resources and support services. Academic advisors help with course selections, while career counselors host workshops, offer internship programs, and provide career planning services. Master's degree-seekers can also take advantage of career advising, tutoring centers, and internship programs.
National University at a Glance:
Total Master's Programs: 54
Total Online Master's Programs: 41
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16-to-1
Graduate Tuition In State: $15,480
Graduate Tuition Out of State: $15,480
Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $51,900
#17 Best MFA In Creative Writing Degrees
Queens University of Charlotte
- Charlotte, NC
The MFA in creative writing at Queens University of Charlotte stands out for its academic rigor and flexibility. The program helps students advance their education and increase their career opportunities. Flexible enrollment options appeal to busy degree-seekers balancing school with work or other responsibilities.
Learners take challenging courses that strengthen theoretical and practical creative writing knowledge. Students often complete internships and other experiential learning opportunities to build career-ready skills. Degree candidates select electives and concentrations to specialize their creative writing education in a specific area.
Queens University of Charlotte at a Glance:
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
Admission Rate: 65%
Graduate Tuition In State: $13,824
Graduate Tuition Out of State: $13,824
#18 Best MFA In Creative Writing Degrees
- Evanston, IL
The MFA and MA in creative writing and English at Northwestern University, one of the school's 147 master's degrees, offers a rigorous education. The program serves students seeking advanced education and increased career opportunities. Candidates may be able to choose from campus and online enrollment options, adding flexibility for learners who need to work full time while in school.
Degree candidates can take advanced creative writing classes that build a theoretical and practical understanding of the field. Internships and hands-on learning opportunities strengthen classroom skills and help students expand their professional networks. Learners work with faculty advisors to choose electives or concentrations that customize the program.
Northwestern University at a Glance:
Location: Evanston, Illinois
Admission Rate: 9%
Graduate Tuition In State: $56,067
Graduate Tuition Out of State: $56,067
Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 64%
#19 Best MFA In Creative Writing Degrees
- Wilkes-Barre, PA
Students interested in career advancement can earn their creative writing MA/MFA at Wilkes University. From its campus in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, the private institution offers several enrollment options, including online programs designed for working professionals. Degree-seekers take graduate-level courses to strengthen their understanding of creative writing.
Master's candidates rely on the school's support services to progress toward their degree. Academic advisors help with course selections, while financial aid counselors connect students with ways to pay for their education. Master's degree-seekers also participate in training events, networking opportunities, and tutoring sessions.
Wilkes University at a Glance:
Total Master's Programs: 19
Total Online Master's Programs: 13
Admission Rate: 79%
Graduation Rate: 63%
Graduate Tuition In State: $25,104
Graduate Tuition Out of State: $25,104
Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $47,200
#20 Best MFA In Creative Writing Degrees
New England College
- Henniker, NH
New England College enrolls learners in 51 master's degrees, including a master of fine arts in creative writing. The program incorporates career-focused training to help students advance their professional opportunities. At the school, graduate programs offer flexible enrollment options, including schedules designed for working professionals.
Learners take theoretical and practical creative writing classes to gain a comprehensive knowledge of the field. Students complete internships and hands-on learning opportunities to complement their classroom knowledge and expand their professional networks. Degree-seekers can choose concentrations and electives to build specialized skills in a specific area of creative writing.
New England College at a Glance:
Location: Henniker, New Hampshire
Admission Rate: 100%
Graduate Tuition In State: $14,088
Graduate Tuition Out of State: $14,088
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