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Write here. Write now.
Our MFA in Creative Writing program is a two-year, full time, residential degree program in creative nonfiction, fiction, or poetry. We welcome writers from all walks of life and embrace risk taking on and off the page. Our literary community is made stronger when more voices are heard.
“By becoming a better reader, I became a much better writer.”
In the MFA in Poetry program I was not only exposed to a diverse range of texts, I also learned creative ways of approaching even the most experimental ones. This reading stretched my writing and helped me uncover the more raw, authentic layers of my own voice and rhythm.
– MFA in Creative Writing, Poetry alumna Kelly Egan
“I’m a better writer than I was two years ago, and a better person, too.”
Kehinde Badiru, MFA ’23, reflects on his journey from eco-poetry in Nigeria to being awarded the inaugural Brenda Hillman Award.
MFA in Creative Writing Upcoming Events
Admissions and financial aid.
Admitted students in the MFA in Creative Writing program are automatically considered for scholarships. Fellowships, assistantships and community partner paid internships are also available.
School and Department Information
Chris Feliciano Arnold Director, MFA in Creative Writing [email protected] 925-631-8556
Collin Skeen Assistant Director of Admissions and Recruitment [email protected] 925-631-4190
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Department of English
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Mfa in creative writing.
Our innovative MFA program includes both studio instruction and literature courses. Writers can take workshop courses in any genre, and they can write a thesis in fiction, nonfiction, poetry or “hybrid” (multi-genre) form. In the second year, they teach popular Creative Writing courses to Davis undergraduates under faculty supervision, gaining valuable experience and sharing their insight and enthusiasm with beginning practitioners.
Sarah Yunus Graduate Program Coordinator, MFA Program in Creative Writing [email protected] (530) 752-2281 Pronouns: she/her
Admissions and Online Application
Events, Prizes, and Resources
At UC Davis, we offer you the ability to fund your MFA. In fact, all students admitted to the program are guaranteed full funding in the second year of study, when students serve as teachers of Introduction to Creative Writing (English 5) and receive, in exchange, tuition and health insurance remission as well as a monthly stipend (second year students who come to Davis from out of state are expected to establish residency during their first year). We have a more limited amount of resources – teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and out of state tuition wavers – allocated to us for first year students, but in recent years, we’ve had excellent luck funding our accepted first years. We help students who do not receive English department funding help themselves by posting job announcements from other departments during the spring and summer leading up to their arrival. We are proud to say that over the course of the last twenty years, nearly every incoming student has wound up with at least partial funding (including a tuition waiver and health insurance coverage) by the time classes begin in the fall.
We have other resources for students, too – like the Miller Fund, which supports attendance for our writers at any single writer’s workshop or conference. Students have used these funds to attend well-known conferences like AWP, Writing By Writers, and the Tin House Conference. The Davis Humanities Institute offers a fellowship that first year students can apply for to fund their writing projects. Admitted students are also considered for University-wide fellowships.
Cost of Attendance
The M.F.A. at Davis is a two-year program on the quarter system (our academic year consists of three sessions of ten-week courses that run from the end of September until mid-June). The program includes classes and a thesis project. It requires diverse, multidisciplinary study and offers excellent mentorship.
Writers concentrate in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or “hybrid” (multi-genre) forms. They take at least four graduate workshops, and they’re required to take one workshop outside their primary genre (many of our students choose to take even more). Writers at Davis also take graduate courses in literature from abundant options, including the program’s Seminars for Writers. Writers can also take graduate courses in literary study taught by scholars in the English Department. And many of our writers enroll in courses relevant to their work in other departments like art history, comparative literature, linguistics, and performance studies.
At the end of the first year, writers form a thesis committee with a Director and two additional readers from the faculty. In the second year, writers at Davis concentrate on Individual Study units with these mentors, working closely with their committee to create a book-length creative work. Writers present their projects at intimate, intense, celebratory defense in May with all members of their committee in attendance.
We’re a new MFA, but we’ve been a successful and respected Creative Writing Program since 1975—a “sleeper” program, as one guide to MFA programs called us. The people who founded the CW program at UC Davis were all lovers and teachers of literature, and chose to call the program an MA, rather than an MFA because they wanted to ensure that the degree would not be seen as a “studio” degree but one in which the study of literature was integral. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, most often under the leadership of Jack Hicks and Alan Williamson, the program emphasized writing on the American West and the wilderness. Our high profile faculty included Sandra McPherson, Gary Snyder, Sandra Gilbert, Clarence Major, Katherine Vaz, Elizabeth Tallent, Max Byrd, and Louis Owens.
We also created an introductory sequence of workshops taught by graduate students, which has become one of the highlights of the program for the second years who teach the courses and the undergraduates who take them. There’s more to teaching these courses than learning to teach; teaching helps our writers understand their own writing in ways that no other aspect of a writing program can do. Pam Houston joined the program in the early 2000’s and she led a faculty that included Lynn Freed and Yiyun Li. As an MFA, we remain a place that values sustained literary study as core to the making of art, but we’re also allowing our vision of genre to expand and embrace the other arts and media.
The town of Davis began as "Davisville," a small stop on the Southern Pacific railway between Sacramento and the Bay Area. Some of our graduate students choose to live in Sacramento or the Bay Area, making use of the commute-by-train option, which is still very much in place. For those commuting by car, Davis is a 15-25 minute drive from Sacramento and a 60-90 minute drive from the Bay Area.
Students also choose to live in Davis itself, which CNN once ranked the second most educated city in the US. Davis is a college town of about 75,000 people. Orchards, farms and ranches border it on all sides. The town boasts a legendary twice-weekly farmers market (complete with delicious food trucks and live music). Bike and walking paths lead everywhere (many students prefer not to own a car while they are here) and there are copious amounts of planned green space in every subdivision. The flatness of the land makes Davis ideal for biking, and the city over the past 5 decades has installed bike lanes and bike racks all over town. In fact, in 2006, Bicycling Magazine , in its compilation of "America's Best Biking Cities," named Davis the best small town for cycling. Packed with coffee houses, bookstores, and restaurants that serve cuisine from every continent, Downtown Davis has a casual vibe. It’s a great place to hole up and write. Davis is filled with hard wood trees, and flower and vegetable gardens, and wild ducks and turkeys walk the campus as if they own the place. It’s a gentle place to live. Although summers get quite hot, the other three seasons are mild, and each, in their own way, quite beautiful. For more about the town, check out the Davis Wikipedia page .
Woodland and Winters, two small towns close by to Davis, are also options for housing—and they’re good options for those who are not so desirous of the college town scene. Yet another option is to live in the scenic rural areas Davis is surrounded by.
To the west of Davis, Lake Berryessa and the Napa valley are close by. To the east, the Sierra mountains are close by; Reno and Tahoe are just a couple hours drive in that direction.
CalArts offers a variety of unique programs at the undergraduate and graduate level within its six world-renowned Schools—Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music and Theater.
Undergraduate core courses are the foundation of BFA studies at CalArts, providing a strong general education and opportunities to deepen every student's artistic practice.
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Explore is your first stop if you are considering applying to CalArts. Here you can find information about your program(s) of interest, events the Institute is hosting or attending, a virtual campus map, and much more. Your journey to CalArts starts here.
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CalArts is located in Santa Clarita, Calif., 30 miles north of Los Angeles. Explore the local area and community.
Offering innovative continuing education arts courses designed to meet the needs of both emerging artists and lifelong learners.
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A defining feature of the Creative Writing Program is hybridity and experimentation, so students are free to take courses in, and to write in, any genre they wish. Poets may take prose workshops to learn narrative conventions and how to deploy or challenge them; fiction and nonfiction writers may benefit from poetry workshops that hone their use of and engagement with language; and still other students may develop multidimensional writing practices. All students graduate with the ability to comprehend and critique work across genres, and an expanded sense of possibilities for their own work.
Students are encouraged to situate their creative practice in a critical context—to engage with the history, theory and politics of contemporary writing, and to think hard about what and why they write. The Program offers graduate students the chance to further develop both their craft and their knowledge base, and workshops combine attentive critique of student work with the discussion of readings on and in the various genres—or on special topics particularly relevant to writing today.
Collin Bailey Jonkman
The two most important things about the Writing Program for me were the mentorship—being pushed by, and being championed by, faculty—both while I was at CalArts and after I graduated. Also, the peer group with which I’m still in contact. We had daily workshops; a handful of people working on the same projects for two years, who knew each other’s work really well. Taking criticism and learning how to communicate better based on that feedback, is important, because most of the time you’re trying to write on your own; you’re in a vacuum. You have no idea whether readers are going to pick up what you’re putting down. It’s valuable to learn that you can build from that criticism rather than being destroyed by it.
CalArts is a great place to be if you’re not sure exactly what you’re doing yet, and you want the room to grow and find your style or your niche. You’re encouraged to experiment, and there are some great faculty members that say, ‘What you've done here is good, but you need to go further.’ Or, maybe, ‘What you’ve done here isn’t so good.’ I gained a lot of confidence. When I came out of the Program I felt like I was no longer a dabbler. It also taught me discipline and good habits–having to produce work on a weekly basis.
Aesthetics and Politics
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CCA’s blend of theory and practice inspires students at every level to make work that matters. Select your status to learn about the application process, requirements, and deadlines, as well as contact information should you need any support along the way.
Define your voice and explore your creative practice—fiction, nonfiction, and poetry—alongside writers, designers, and visual artists.
Writing at CCA is expansive
The future needs stories that depict and interrogate significantly different worlds, and there are few better pathways to realizing this than art that illuminates our shared future. Writing gives us freedom to live within and to interrogate. In MFA Writing, we’re deeply contemporary in our teaching—thinking and writing about climate change, as well as the writer’s role of articulating, with power and precision, their thoughts on shifting social and natural environments.
MFA writing professor Faith Adiele.
An exciting blend of the emergent and established
Our MFA Writing program recently celebrated its 20-year anniversary, and we embrace the rich literary history of the Bay Area, from the Beat poetry movement and the Language poets, to the annual Litquake literary festival, to the Slam/Spoken Word scene.
Follow MFA Writing
Huge thanks to Rebecca Foust for sharing her publishing wisdom today in the studio. Some takeaways:
Aim high—it’s better than the alternative.
Be like Tom Petty—study the person a step or two ahead of you and follow their lead.
Nothing’s ever finished, so you may as well send it out.
📝 Students who couldn’t make it, you are in luck! She shared some fantastic handouts and you can find extra copies in the studio.
Our first free all-program field trip takes us to City Arts & Lectures this Thursday to hear Leila Mottley talk about her new book Nightcrawling. We meet outside the Sidney Goldstein Theater at 7. See you there, MFAW.📚🤓
By popular demand, we're devoting next week's Tuesday Coffee Hour to a practical, in-depth conversation about getting published in literary magazines. On 10/4 from 3-4 pm Rebecca Foust, poet and assistant editor of fiction at Narrative Magazine, will join us in the garden to talk about specific submission strategies and answer your questions about the publishing process. This is for writers of all genres, so come one, come all!
October Happenings! Check out the fabulous upcoming events we’ve got lined up. ✍🏻📖💫
Join a top-ranking MFA Writing program
Study.com ranks our program among the top five in California. Located in one of the world’s creative capitals, we encourage MFA candidates to explore many different forms and incorporate visual art into their work.
View the list
Studios & Shops
Practice critique, readings, and performance.
MFA students are at home in the Humanities and Sciences Graduate Center on CCA’s main San Francisco campus. Outside the studio, we write and meet alongside redwood trees in our beautiful garden. Inside, we hold our workshops, readings, and craft talks. We also host our famed Tuesday Talks series in the Humanities and Sciences Graduate Center. Today’s most dynamic writers, including Hanif Abdurraqib, Camille Dungy, Andrew Sean Greer, R.O. Kwon, sam sax, and Tracy K. Smith, read and discuss new work and lead craft talks during masterclasses. There are endless opportunities to share your writing with peers, get constructive feedback, and nurture your craft.
Support to tell your stories
We help our students locate and tell their stories; we write what we want, how we want. We embrace all forms of writing, from literary novels and poetry to science fiction and mysteries. Our MFA Writing program is designed to make sure each student finds their voice. You can explore nonfiction, fiction, and poetry during supportive workshops that celebrate voice and form. We believe in grounding our work in craft so we emphasize close reading and individualized instruction.
Expand your creative practice
In addition to our vibrant writing workshops and dynamic seminars, we encourage graduate students to immerse themselves in our diverse art and design culture. Want to learn how to design beautiful publications, paint, or make a children’s book? Access CCA’s phenomenal resources, including Risograph printers for making broadsides, audio suites for recording podcasts, and a letterpress studio for making books and zines. You’ll work with top practitioners in their fields across the college’s faculty, grow as a writer, and learn to turn your research passions and written works into literal art objects.
Frame and finish your book
You’ll get regular feedback during writing workshops and meetings with full-time faculty who believe in meeting one on one—not as part of any requirement, but because personalized attention is how you grow as a writer. Close reading, editorial guidance, and individualized reading lists all push our writing students toward success. We teach you craft as well as how to establish and maintain a serious writing practice.
Your creative life at CCA and beyond
From studying one-on-one with faculty mentors to participating in craft workshops with visiting writers—among the best and brightest working today—you’ll be exposed to myriad forms. You’ll learn the elements of podcasting; how to make audio stories; how to prepare a full-length manuscript; and how to collaborate with painters, filmmakers, illustrators, photographers, and more.
Your community of mentors
- Memoirist and travel writer Faith Adiele
- Novelist Tom Barbash
- Novelist Rita Bullwinkel
- Novelist and memoirist Jasmin Darznik
- Poet Joseph Lease
- Poet and performer Trisha Low
- Poet and translator Denise Newman
- Novelist Aimee Phan
- Eco-memoirist Leslie Carol Roberts
More studios, shops, and labs
Access lithography presses and a range of bookbinding equipment at the San Francisco Center for the Book
The Black-and-White Darkroom has a range of enlarging stations and two print washers
Check out DSLR cameras, lighting kits, GoPros, and more from the San Francisco campus Media Center
Study with award-winning writers
The faculty of the MFA Writing program are not only well-known figures in American letters, but also committed teachers who have spent their careers teaching and advising emerging writers. They are experienced in working with a variety of different genres and encourage interdisciplinary work. This brings fresh voices and diverse experience to our community.
Jasmin Darznik, Chair of MFA Writing
Chair Jasmin Darznik is a New York Times- bestselling author of three books, The Bohemians, Song of a Captive Bird , and The Good Daughter . Born in Iran, she immigrated to America as a child and is a first-generation college graduate. After receiving a Ph.D. in English from Princeton University, she obtained an MFA in fiction from Bennington College, broadening her academic scholarship to tell stories about women who've been left out or obscured from the historical record. Her forthcoming novel, American Goddess, takes on themes of celebrity, gender, and ethnic identity in Old Hollywood.
MFA Writing Faculty
- Faith E Adiele
- Tom Barbash
- Rita Bullwinkel
- Jasmin Darznik
- Joseph Lease
- Denise Newman
- Leslie Carol Roberts
- Michael Wertz
View all MFA Writing faculty
Two-year intensive program
Our two-year program follows the traditional MFA writing footprint, with workshops and craft seminars each semester. In addition, we engage in practica or labs in areas such as sound, printing, and screenplays. Electives across the arts and design, and one-on-one work with a faculty member, round out your schedule as you work toward a final written thesis manuscript. To get a feel for what awaits, view sample courses .
Year 1: Fall Semester
Year 1: spring semester, year 2: fall semester, year 2: spring semester.
Total 48.0 units
Publish your dream project
MFA in Writing program alumni have impressive success getting their work out in the world, publishing books across genres. Recent publications include:
- Tom Comitta, The Nature Book , Coffee House Press, 2023
- Dior Stephens, Cruel/Cruel , Nightboat, 2023
- Alka Joshi, The Perfumist of Paris, Harper Collins, 2023
- Sonja Swift, Echo Loba, Loba Echo , Rocky Mountain Press, 2023
- Jessamyn Violet, Secret Rules to Being a Rock Star , Three Rooms Press, 2023
- Alka Joshi, The Secret Keeper of Jaipur , Harper Collins, 2021
- Julie Lythcott-Haims, Your Turn: How to Be An Adult , Henry Holt, 2021
- Alka Joshi, The Henna Artist , Mira Publishing, a division of Harper Collins, 2019
- Rheea Mukherjee, The Body Myth , Unnamed Press, 2019
- Adam Nemett, We Can Save Us All , Unnamed Press, 2018
- Sonia Belasco, Speak of Me As I Am , Philomel Books, 2017
- Julie Lythcott-Haims, Real American , St. Martin’s Griffin, 2017
- Molly Prentiss, Tuesday Nights in 1980 , Simon & Schuster, 2017
- Catie Jarvis, The Peacock Room , Hyperborea, 2016
- Andrew Nicholson, A Lamp Brighter Than Foxfire , Colorado State, 2015
- LaTasha Nevada Diggs, TWerk , Belladonna Press, 2013
In addition to becoming published authors, our students find traction at established and emergent platforms like Medium , and also work as educators; performance artists; editors; and writers for newspapers, magazines, and marketing agencies.
Potential career paths
- Freelance writer
- Content strategist
- Arts administrator
- Social activist
- Technical writer
- Publication and production assistant
- Small press publisher
Learn about career development
News & Events
What’s happening for mfa writing students.
Reading and lecture series span disciplines
How to Apply
Make writing your top priority.
Our two-year program welcomes students of all ages, career profiles, and backgrounds, including law, advertising, tech, music, and academia. We focus on your writing sample and your letters of recommendation in making admissions decisions.
Start your application
You’ll apply to CCA and submit all required application materials via SlideRoom. Afterward, you may be contacted for an interview with a faculty member as part of the application process. Being selected for an interview doesn’t indicate applicant status or increase or decrease an applicant’s chances of being admitted into their desired graduate program. Interviews are conducted at the program’s discretion and are used to gain more insight into an application.
Create an account and start your application
MFA Writing application requirements
- Application and $70 nonrefundable application fee To be completed and submitted on SlideRoom.
- Resume/curriculum vitae Please outline your educational and professional background and relevant experiences and activities, including community work. Resumes/CVs must be in PDF document format.
- Two recommendation letters You’ll request two letters of recommendation from academic or professional sources in SlideRoom by entering the contact information for your recommenders/references. They will then receive an automated email from SlideRoom with instructions for uploading their letter of recommendation.
- Unofficial college transcripts You are required to provide your complete undergraduate academic history. Students who have already taken graduate courses are encouraged to submit those transcripts, too. For international applicants, all transcripts must be in English or accompanied by a certified English translation. Please provide an unofficial transcript from the college where you will receive or have received your bachelor’s degree, as well as unofficial transcripts for all other undergraduate coursework. Unofficial transcripts will be used for review purposes. Once you have been admitted and enrolled, all students will need to submit official, sealed transcripts showing the completion of a bachelor’s degree to our graduate admissions office by August 1 of the fall semester they begin enrollment at CCA.
- Proof of English proficiency (international applicants only) Review and plan to meet our English proficiency requirements for graduate students .
- Personal essay In a personal essay, submitted as a PDF, write 500 to 1,000 words about your writing experience, why you want to study writing at the graduate level, your educational objectives, and any critical influences on your work.
- Portfolio Your portfolio, submitted as one to two PDFs (up to 10 MB each), should consist of a selection of writing samples (totaling no more than 25 double-spaced pages) that reflect your main areas of interest. You may include poems, short stories, a section of a novel, text for performance (include video, if available), creative nonfiction, or writing for new genres. You’re welcome, but not required, to submit visual materials in support of your application, including book arts and videos. Please note: We do not accept co-written material.
For prospective student inquiries, including questions about the program or how to apply, please contact us
+1 415-548-2271 (call, text)
Nurture your craft in a dynamic environment
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Home / For Students / Applying to MFA Programs
Want to learn more about applying to MFA programs in Creative Writing? Trying to decide if it's right for you? Check out our FAQ below with advice from faculty members and Creative Writing Ph.D. students to help you decide and learn more.
You can also watch a Zoom recording of our MFA in Creative Writing Information Session.
Click on a Question to Get Started:
What is an MFA?
- Should I get one?
- Where should I go? How can I decide?
- How many programs should I apply to?
- What is a low-residency program?
Do I need to be published?
How much does it cost? What kind of resources will I need?
- What is a fully-funded program?
- What sort of teacher training will be provided?
What do you wish you would’ve known about MFA programs before you applied?
How do I apply? What materials do I need to apply?
- When should I start thinking about whether or not to apply for an MFA?
- Who should I ask for recommendation letters?
- How do I ask for recommendations?
What are other resources I can look into?
Which MFA programs have graduates from our undergraduate creative writing concentration gone to?
- "An MFA is a Masters Fine Arts, which you can get in Poetry, Fiction, or Nonfiction Writing (fewer programs are available in Nonfiction). There are also MFAs in visual art. The program is 2-3 years and involves taking seminars in which you study literature as well as participating in a group workshop where you read and comment on your peers’ writing. An MFA can qualify you to teach creative writing or other college-level writing/English courses. More importantly, it is time to read a ton and write a ton. I wouldn’t do an MFA because you are interested in professionalization; I would do an MFA if you have a writing project you are excited to pursue and/or if you are committed to simply developing and growing and improving as a writer."
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Should I get one? What should I consider in determining whether or not to pursue an MFA?
- "You should get an MFA if you have the passion/desire/drive to spend two years focusing on a writing project and workshopping that project with peers and faculty. An MFA alone will not qualify you for teaching at colleges and universities. You would need to have an MFA and at least one published book."
Where should I go? How can I decide?
- "Some of the best advice I received when I was applying was to not go anywhere that doesn’t fully fund you. Definitely look at work from the faculty and from students who came out of these programs. I’d also advise that you think about the type of writing environment you want—if you want to be able to work in multiple genres/cross-genre, for example, some programs are more accommodating to that than others."
- Go where you won’t go into debt and where you feel like the curriculum, faculty, campus location, and student body reflects your needs and interests as a writer and as a whole Although a valuable experience, an MFA is an investment that has no guarantee of a return--no matter how prestigious or celebrated the program--which is why going into debt for it is hard to justify. Visit the schools and talk to faculty and current students. Are they welcoming? Are they happy? Do they make you feel valued? Do they value similar things as you (professionally and personally)? Can you see yourself among them? Are there students of color in the program? If not, why not?
- "Please do not go into debt. This cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often. The best advice is to only go to a program that fully funds you ."
"I think applying only to what pops up when you Google “Top Ten 10 Best Creative Writing MFA programs” is not the kind of research you need to do. Find out the success rate of the graduates at programs you are interested in. Read the books of the teaching faculty. Research deeply before you apply. If you can, go visit and arrange to observe a class. Pay attention to the culture of the place to see if it suits you and ask other students in the program what has worked for them."
- "In addition to finding a school that will support you financially, and after narrowing your search according to where you’d like to live (or where you’d refuse to live), you should consider who you might like to study under. If you have favorite authors, find out if they teach, and where, and then investigate those programs. Be strategic."
How many programs should I apply to?
- "I applied to 4—I think that was the right number. I got into three of them, and the one I didn't get into wasn't the fanciest one. I worry that applying to too many programs is extremely expensive and time-consuming. Don't apply to any program you wouldn't happily go to, or that will be prohibitively expensive."
- "I applied to only two MFA programs, but I think applying to 5-7 FULLY FUNDED programs that might be a good fit for you is a more responsible and practical approach. There's no "right" number. You have to make a lot of assessments about your needs/desires/personal circumstances and try to match those with programs out there with a curriculum that matches your interests and faculty who could support your work. Many programs have fee offset grants if you inquire with the university to diminish application costs."
- "My answer to the "right" number of schools question: This question reminds me of the question of how many agents one should query. I think it depends on your temperament. I sent to a small handful (I applied to about five schools over a period of two application periods) of schools & I sent to one agent at a time. I am a turtle & this worked great for me, but it would drive some people crazy! It also depends on what your goals are. When applying to MFA programs, what I wanted was a program that would fund me. Of course, an exciting faculty is a plus but I, for one, refused to apply to programs with exciting faculty that weren't capable of funding my work."
What is a low-residency program?
- Low-residency MFA programs provide a combination of remote and in-person learning. A typical school year consists of one ten-day intensive/residency on campus per semester, supplemented by ongoing remote classes and mentorships throughout the year (including the option of a summer mentorship). This format is ideal for students who have full-time jobs and/or families and for writers who thrive in small groups and prefer working one-on-one with their mentors. The low-res format allows for maximum flexibility and is best suited to self-starters who are comfortable with working independently.
- You can find more information about Low Residency programs here and here.
- "Definitely not! Though it happens occasionally that someone starts an MFA having published a book, most people who start MFAs have never published a single poem/or story even in a journal. They’re looking at your potential. And, in fact, some MFAs might not want to accept a writer who already seems “established” (i.e. widely published in top-tier publications and/or a book or two)."
- "No, but publishing something demonstrates a certain amount of initiative on your part, while specific venues can signal certain aesthetic and/or political predilections."
- "Again, don’t go into debt for an MFA. Find a program that will support you."
- "Every MFA program costs a different amount. Some programs provide full-funding, partial funding, or no funding. The best way to find out how much financial aid the program you are interested in provides is to visit the program’s website."
- "Keep in mind the cost of living in major metropolitan areas--and certain college towns-- is significantly higher than in other areas. Be active in researching the cost of on-campus housing & go on Craigslist, Zillow, etc., to have a good idea of the current state of the rental market within a 5-10 mile radius of campus."
What is a fully-funded program? (What are some fully-funded programs?)
- "'Fully funded' means you will receive both tuition remission (or its equivalent) and a stipend . In other words, you (as a single person) should not have to take on debt to complete the program; the university covers both the cost of attendance (tuition) and pays you an income (stipend), through a combination of fellowships, teaching assistantships, or other work-related opportunities, such as serving on the editorial board of an affiliated literary journal. At more prestigious programs, multi-year fellowships may be awarded in the financial aid offer associated with your acceptance letter (this is an ideal scenario in which you receive an income just to write, with no additional work-related responsibilities), while other fully-funded schools with less money of an endowment ($$) will fund your degree provided you also agree to teach or perform other related-labor; at such schools, short-term, competitive fellowships may also be available upon arrival. Apply for these, which look good on your CV and will give you a break from teaching in order to focus on your creative work. It can happen, however, that some fellowships ultimately provide less money than teaching does, especially after taxes. Again, make sure you have a sense of your budget based on the current cost of living (expect it to rise, especially in urban areas) so that you can confirm the university’s stipend will be enough to support your needs."
What sort of teacher training will be provided at a program in which teaching assistantships make up a large portion of the funding?
- "It REALLY varies, and this is a great question to ask current grads in these programs, either before or after you’re accepted, while you’re trying to decide where to go. In my MFA program (Iowa), training and oversight varied greatly depending on what department you were TA-ing/GSI-ing for. For the Literature department proper, we had a week-long orientation/training, and for Creative Writing we had minimal training, but were paired with a TA Coordinator (a second-year grad) who worked one-on-one with us to observe classes and provide feedback."
- "When I was an undergrad I ignored the best piece of MFA advice I was ever offered. When I told my writing mentor that I wanted to go to New York to get an MFA, she said I’d be better off moving there for a summer and waiting tables till I shook the desire out of my system and then could apply elsewhere. When I reflect on my NYC MFA experience for too long, I always come back to her wisdom and wonder what would have happened if I had listened to her. Which is to say, NYC is great but is incredibly expensive and isn’t."
- "Different programs have significant aesthetic differences. If you write very experimental, politically-charged, multilingual poetry, for example, you are going to feel out of place in any program that does not have a significant proportion of faculty whose work demonstrates similar concerns. DO A LOT OF RESEARCH. Also, know that you can apply to MFAs more than once; it is okay to approach your first round of applications as a practice round. And, if in that round, or a subsequent round, you only get into one program, make sure it’s a program you really want to attend. If you arrive at a program and it truly turns out to be a bad match, know that you can also apply to transfer to other programs. It’s not common, but people do it."
- " There is a range of amazing programs that will fully fund you, you can find a good fit that will not put you into massive debt. I also wish I’d known more about the pedagogical & cultural differences between programs, because there is a range, and prestige isn’t always the best indicator of what will be the best fit for you."
- "Do not go to a program you have to pay for in full unless this is really not a concern for you/your family. Just remember: you aren’t becoming a lawyer. There’s no promise of income at the end of the MFA tunnel. So that debt is going to be a huge burden for a long time."
- "Two-year programs go by in a flash."
- "Personal statement and a writing sample of about 25 pages. Some programs require the GRE. Three recommendations."
- "You can apply to most programs online. You need a BA or BS degree. The most important component of your application is your manuscript. Most programs ask for 10 pages of poetry; 25 pages of fiction. Personal statement, three letters of recommendation, current CV or resume."
- "You will need some kind of personal statement talking about your desire to get an MFA--why in general, why now, what it would mean for you in the future--as well as a writing sample (for poetry, this is usually anywhere from 10-15 pages). Some programs may also ask for a teaching statement and/or a diversity statement. You will also need 2-3 letters of recommendation."
- "You will also need money to pay application fees, sometimes between $70-120 per school. Sometimes, fee waivers are available. Make sure to ask."
When should I start thinking about whether or not to apply for an MFA? What is the typical timeline for applying, hearing back from programs, etc?
- "I strongly suggest you do not apply while still an undergraduate at UCSC. Creative Writing students at UCSC spend the spring of their senior year focusing on revising a manuscript. That will be the strongest work you do while at UCSC. If you apply in the fall of your senior year, it will not be with your strongest work. It’s hard to get into an MFA program. MFA programs prefer to take people who have been out of school for a while, have proved they will continue to write outside of school on their own, and perhaps even have a publication or two or have done some work in the writing/literary community."
- "In terms of applying and hearing back, it’s just like college. Applications are due in the Fall, you hear in the spring. Recently, the past few years, we’ve had more and more students applying in the Fall of their Senior year and I think that timing doesn’t allow for maximum realized potential on your final year at UCSC. Our program is designed to have you focus hard in your last year producing a manuscript you have revised, are proud of and may even send out for publication. I recommend taking a break and giving yourself a few years to do life after college. And graduate programs like applications from well-rounded people who have done something other than school. Another benefit of waiting is when you’re not in school and are out in the world, you’ll have more to write about. Consider internships at Literary publications, or even applying to artist colonies to have focused writing time which will also look good on your resume if you do ultimately apply . . . You can also join organizations for writers, like AWP, attend conferences and talk to people, which will help you know if an MFA is really the path for you."
- "I agree completely. Taking some time off between your undergraduate career and graduate school is usually a good idea. But if you think you want to go into an MFA program sooner than later after graduation, you should consider your senior thesis a springboard to the manuscript that will get you into a graduate program. If you graduate in June, your grad school applications will be due in a little more than five months. You can use that time to polish your manuscript, your CV, and your statement of purpose."
- Return to Question Index
Who should I ask for recommendation letters?
- "Ask previous, recent creative writing, English, and literature instructors who are very familiar with your writing, creative and critical. Ask the instructors of multiple courses for which you received high marks. Do not ask your piano instructor, even if you’re a Music major and no matter how close you are, if they have never read your writing."
How do I ask for recommendations? How far in advance should I ask?
- "I always ask for a copy of a student’s manuscript, statement of purpose, CV, and a list of the classes they’ve taken from me. Offering this material when you ask for a recommendation is always appreciated. You want to make your recommenders’ jobs as easy as you can."
"You should ask AT LEAST two months in advance. Make sure to remind the faculty member what classes you took with them, why you’re applying, what you’ve been up to since graduation, and ask them what you can do to make it easier for them. You should sign up for Interfolio so that the faculty member has to do fewer letters. It’s good to politely remind faculty as the deadlines get near."
- Poets and Writers MFA Program Finder
- University of Arizona Guide to Applying to MFA Programs
- Hebah Uddin’s article “Prepping for MFA Programs as a Person of Color”
- Gionni Ponce’s article “Seeking POC: How to Choose MFA Programs”
- Sonya Larson’s article “Degrees of Diversity: Talking Race and the MFA”
- Snigdha Roy’s article "How to Find a Writing MFA Program for POCs"
Here’s a list of universities with MFA programs in poetry, fiction, and/or creative nonfiction that graduates from our creative writing concentration have gone to:
- Columbia University
- Otis Art Institute
- University of Alaska
- New York University
- San Francisco State University
- Long Island University Brooklyn
- Saint Mary’s College
- The New School
- University of Virginia
- Mills College
- Sarah Lawrence University
- University of Glasgow
- Oregon State University
- California College of the Arts
- University of Massachusetts, Amherst
- University of North Carolina, Willmington
- California Institute of the Arts
- Colorado State University, Boulder
- University of New Hampshire
- San Jose State University
- West Virginia University
- Fresno State University
- Sierra Nevada College
- California State University Northridge
- Chapman University
- University of San Francisco
- University of Nevada, Reno
- University of New Mexico
- Portland State University
- Apply to the Creative Writing Concentration
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Last modified: February 17, 2021 220.127.116.11
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Our offices are not currently open to in-person walk-ins, but we are here to help.
If you are an MFA student and you have any questions for our advising staff or would like to schedule a Zoom meeting, please contact us at [email protected] .
We appreciate your flexibility, and we hope everyone stays healthy. If/when we are able to re-open in-person advising, we will update you.
MFA in Writing
Welcome. The MFA Program in Writing welcomes brave and innovative writers and encourages the formation of mutually-supportive, inspiring literary communities. The program is small, with typically 4 to 8 new students admitted and funded each year. The intimate nature of the program allows students to work very closely with writing faculty and each other within the quarterly cross-genre workshop.
The MFA program is a two-year full-time, in-person program foregrounding the interconnectedness of literary arts practice, modes of production and distribution, and the rigorous study of literatures, arts, and cultures. The program offers the option of extending to a third year; the majority of students choose to do so.
All graduate writing workshops are cross-genre and often interdisciplinary, investigating and often undermining a studio-versus-academic distinction in advanced literary education. Moreover, the program encourages interdisciplinary research and holistic approaches to teaching and learning. Therefore, teaching creative-critical reading and writing skills as a Teaching Assistant is a popular choice among all Writing students in the MFA program, most of whom are eligible for scholarships and fellowships in addition to union-represented compensation for Teaching Assistant work.
Program participants are encouraged to focus exclusively on writing, teaching, research, and art-making during their residency, allowing writers to integrate pedagogical training and artistic practice as a way to prepare for future scholarly endeavors while creating a book-length work of literature. To that end, each quarterly cross-genre workshop discusses writing-in-progress and published works in terms of poetics, prosody, and literary conventions alongside the interrelationship between aesthetic intervention/ experiment and radical social change across cultures, nations, regions, and movements.
While each writer’s extra-departmental coursework is flexible, program participants are expected to take five workshops. The cross-genre workshops function less as editorial sessions or as explications of craft techniques than as vibrant skill-sharing intellectual roundtables. UCSD’s writers generate dazzlingly diverse collaborations in writing and literary/arts events, many of which result in various forms of publication. Both faculty and graduate projects tend to repurpose, interweave, hack, and muddle generic categories and/or radically elasticize their conventions.
UC San Diego is a tier-one research university respected internationally for untangling mysteries and manifesting world-altering possibilities in the arts, humanities, and sciences. The MFA in Writing is part of the Department of Literature, a world literature department with a focus on critical theory, social justice, and cultural, ethnic, and gender studies, where faculty members work in multiple languages, geographies, and historical periods. All graduate writing workshops are offered in English, but program participants may work with Literature and extra-departmental faculty on bilingual or multilingual projects, including works in translation.
With ties to Visual Arts , Music , Ethnic Studies , Science Studies , the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers' Workshop and the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination , along with other departments, centers, and programs, unprecedented entanglements of artistic and scholarly experimentation are encouraged. The MFA program co-exists with a thriving undergraduate writing major and benefits from the long-established New Writing Series and the Archive for New Poetry . Current MFA Writing Faculty include Kazim Ali , Amy Sara Carroll , Ben Doller , Camille Forbes , Lily Hoang , Jac Jemc , Casandra Lopez , Brandon Som , Anna Joy Springer , and Marco Wilkinson . Emeriti Writing Faculty include Rae Armantrout and Eileen Myles .
- Department Statement
- Welcome Message
MFA Admission 2024
Application Period 9/6/2023 - 12/6/2023
Decision Notifications February - April 2024
Program Begins Fall 2024
[ Admission Overview ]
The MFA in Creative Writing is a two-year course of study in fiction, creative nonfiction or poetry with the option for a third year (dual-concentration) in an alternate genre. The program takes as its central mission the education and formal training of serious writers and is distinguished by its commitment to the writer as an intellectual functioning within a cultural context.
Combining work in writing, craft and literature, the MFA requires completion of a creative master’s thesis and 10 courses, including intensive writing workshops, craft seminars, and literature courses.
Students are admitted to the program primarily on the strength of a manuscript of original work submitted with the online application, which is judged according to its literary merit and its indication of the author’s readiness to study writing and literature on the graduate level.
For more information, contact the MFA in Creative Writing:
Saint Mary’s College 1928 Saint Mary’s Road PMB 4686 Moraga, CA 94575-4686 (925) 631-4762 [email protected] stmarys-ca.edu/mfawrite
Students in the MFA Program graduate with improved competency in their writing, particularly in their chosen genre (fiction, creative nonfiction, or poetry). In addition, they receive a sophisticated introduction to information technology as well as the professional aspects of the writing life. Students will be able to:
- ENGAGE at a professional level in the writing of their chosen genre (fiction, creative nonfiction, or poetry).
- ARTICULATE the correspondences between their own writing and the corpus of literature and thought which primarily informs their aesthetics.
- USE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY with a high level of sophistication, either for the purpose of academic research or for the purpose of primary research that may inform a given piece of writing.
- WORK EFFECTIVELY as professional writers: publish work in literary journals and magazines; solicit and procure literary agents; solicit and procure publishers for manuscripts or book projects; give public readings; apply for and receive funding for literary projects; exhibit a preparedness for finding employment in various professional fields, such as education, journalism, public relations, publishing, arts administration, and technical writing.
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The M.F.A. centers around the Graduate Writers' Workshop, a group which meets each quarter in poetry and fiction, in which faculty and students share in criticism and discussion of student writing. There are twelve MFA students in poetry and twelve in fiction, half in their first year and half in their second year in the Writing Program. About two-thirds of the Writing Program student's work consists of participation in the Workshop; the other third is devoted to graduate-level seminars offered by the MFA faculty and other faculty of the Department of English and Comparative Literature and other graduate programs. The aim of the Programs in Writing is the training of accomplished writers who intend to make their writing their life. What we expect of our students is passionate precision, character, and stamina. What we want most for our students is that each will sooner or later write something that lasts. Successful writing, we think, is writing that succeeds itself each time it is read with interest and care by a succession of new readers. To facilitate such writing, the faculty has kept the Writing Program small in order to ensure the high quality of the students as well as to permit much teaching on a one-to-one basis. All students consult frequently with the staff for assistance with their work. In recent years, visiting writers and lecturers have included: Ralph Angel, John Ashbery, Wilton Barnhardt, John Calvin Batchelor, Ethan Canin, Jennifer Clarvoe, Killarney Clary, Gwyneth Cravens, Stuart Dybek, Robert Farnsworth, Amy Gerstler, Louise Glück, Jay Gummerman, Ursula Hegi, Brenda Hillman, Rust Hills, T.R. Hummer, Cynthia Huntington, P.D. James, Brigit Pegeen Kelly, Margot Livesey, Thomas Lux, Lynne McMahon, Heather McHugh, Maile Meloy, Jeredith Merrin, Josephine Miles, Wright Morris, Howard Moss, Carol Muske-Dukes, Robert Olmstead, Ann Patchett, Bette Pesetsky, Martha Rhodes, Mark Richard, Mary Robison, Thomas Sanchez, Sherod Santos, Christine Schutt, Lynn Sharon Schwartz, Alan Shapiro, Jim Shepard, Mona Simpson, Ted Solotaroff, Pamela Stewart, Robert Stone, Mark Strand, Melanie Thernstrom, Lawrence Thornton, Brad Watson, Joy Williams, and William Wiser.
Contact MFA Programs in Writing: Phone 949-824-6718, Email: [email protected] .
Meet Our Students
Graduates of the Programs in Writing have gone on to publish works of fiction, poetry, and nonficiton, and have received distinguished prizes and fellowships such as the Pulitzer Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, Pushcart Prize, PEN/Faulkner Award, Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award, National Endowment for the Arts Award, Shelley Memorial Prize, Art Seidenbaum Award, Mary McCarthy Prize, Katharine Bakeless Nason Literary Prize, Kathryn A. Morton Prize, Staige D. Blackford Prize, Tufts Poetry Award, The Nation Discovery Award, and the Ken Kesey Award.
Contact mfa programs in writing.
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2023-24 edition, english, m.f.a..
The aim of the MFA Programs in Writing at the University of California, Irvine is the training of accomplished writers who intend to make writing their life. What the program expects of its students is passionate precision, character, and stamina. What the program wants most for its students is that each will sooner or later write something that lasts. To facilitate such writing, the faculty keeps the program small in order to ensure the high quality of the students, as well as to permit teaching on a one-to-one basis and to allow students to consult frequently with the faculty and staff for assistance with their work. Workshops in fiction and poetry are at the core of this two-to-three-year program. From over five hundred applicants, a maximum of twelve new students are enrolled each year. Graduates of the Programs in Writing receive a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in English.
Each quarter the candidate will be enrolled in either the poetry or fiction section of the Graduate Writers’ Workshop, which will constitute two-thirds of a course load, the other course to be selected in consultation with the student’s advisor. It is expected that M.F.A. candidates will complete at least one supervised teaching seminar.
In addition to course work, the candidate is required to present as a thesis an acceptable book-length manuscript of poetry or short stories or a novel. The normative time for completion of the M.F.A. is three years, and the maximum time permitted is four years.
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University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA •
- • Rating 3.98 out of 5 4,006 reviews
Sophomore: So far I have not started my sophomore year as I am transferring from Pepperdine University. However, from what I have heard, seen, and experienced from USC is that it gives students the opportunity to explore their creative and intellectual sides simultaneously. I recently attended a transfer orientation session and it was filled with school spirit and gave us transfer students an opportunity to connect with the school as well as with other transfers. This orientation was packed with exciting events that truly made each person who attended eager to get on campus in August. USC offers many different programs along with a variety of specific classes and clubs. I am excited to see how this year goes and I am looking forward to joining the many opportunities that USC offers their students! ... Read 4,006 reviews
- grade A+ Overall Niche Grade
Acceptance rate 13%
Net price $26,021
SAT range 1410-1540
#7 Best Colleges in California .
LOS ANGELES, CA ,
4006 Niche users give it an average review of 4 stars.
Featured Review: Sophomore says So far I have not started my sophomore year as I am transferring from Pepperdine University. However, from what I have heard, seen, and experienced from USC is that it gives students the opportunity... .
Read 4006 reviews.
Overall Niche Grade : A+ ,
Acceptance Rate : 13% ,
Net Price : $26,021 ,
SAT Range : 1410-1540 ,
La Jolla, CA •
- • Rating 3.98 out of 5 1,155 reviews
Freshman: My experience at Narional has been good overall! The classes are set at a really good pace. The professors are super helpful and invested in the students. The only feedback for change that I have is the administration/financial aid side of things is kind of tricky once you are a student. I’ve been at National for 7 months now and still haven’t received my financial aid. Granted the school hasn’t been demanding I pay for my classes right now, I just have Large bill. And advisors don’t know much about that. They did just recently do something where they cross trained the admin team so that they are able to help with everything so that should be really helpful. I love Narional university and I would recommend them to anyone! ... Read 1,155 reviews
- grade A Overall Niche Grade
Acceptance rate 55%
Net price $9,966
SAT range 750-1170
#13 Best Colleges in California .
LA JOLLA, CA ,
1155 Niche users give it an average review of 4 stars.
Featured Review: Freshman says My experience at Narional has been good overall! The classes are set at a really good pace. The professors are super helpful and invested in the students. The only feedback for change that I have is... I love Narional university and I would recommend them to anyone! .
Read 1155 reviews.
Overall Niche Grade : A ,
Acceptance Rate : 55% ,
Net Price : $9,966 ,
SAT Range : 750-1170 ,
Los Altos Hills, CA •
- • Rating 3.98 out of 5 508 reviews
Junior: I have been at Foothill for almost three years now and throughout these past years I feel like I am very satisfied with my education here. To begin, the professors show that they care for their students by being flexible to meet with students one on one and they are very big on advocating for diversity within their classrooms. In every class I have taken, the professors make it a point to emphasize the importance of valuing everyone in the class. Most importantly, the professors provide students with the information of almost every resource that is available to us such as tutoring, mental health services , and financial aid resources. What I also really love about the school is the campus. The style of the campus gives me an old town vibe and I completely fell in love with it. There are so many trees and open space so it is possible to study or do homework at the tables that are spread out in the quad. Overall, this school is a good choice to keep in mind! ... Read 508 reviews
- grade A minus Overall Niche Grade
Acceptance rate 100%
Net price $9,820
SAT range —
#1 Best Community Colleges in California .
LOS ALTOS HILLS, CA ,
508 Niche users give it an average review of 4 stars.
Featured Review: Junior says I have been at Foothill for almost three years now and throughout these past years I feel like I am very satisfied with my education here. To begin, the professors show that they care for their... .
Read 508 reviews.
Overall Niche Grade : A minus ,
Acceptance Rate : 100% ,
Net Price : $9,820 ,
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Los Angeles College of Music
- • Rating 3.94 out of 5 31
- • Rating 4.02 out of 5 466
Bard College at Simon's Rock
GREAT BARRINGTON, MA
- • Rating 3.27 out of 5 350
Malibu, CA •
- • Rating 3.76 out of 5 1,348 reviews
Alum: Pepperdine University is incredible. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there - I loved my professors, loved the location, and loved the stunning campus. Everyone there was remarkably friendly, and when I switched my major to Art History, I felt very welcomed by the department and encouraged in the pursuit of my goals. My professors were eager to offer help and advice, and it was clear that they enjoyed their careers and loved teaching and mentoring students. The other classes that I took outside of my major (as part of Pepperdine's liberal arts curriculum) were also excellent. I found my religion classes (three required) especially fascinating; given that I was not a Christian student, all the material was new for me and quite enlightening. The classes I took for my minor - Creative Writing - were also fantastic, particularly my Spiritual Writing class (taught by an outstanding professor). I had an amazing time at Pepperdine, and in all honesty, wish I could go back! ... Read 1,348 reviews
Acceptance rate 53%
Net price $40,945
SAT range 1260-1440
#21 Best Colleges in California .
MALIBU, CA ,
1348 Niche users give it an average review of 3.8 stars.
Featured Review: Alum says Pepperdine University is incredible. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there - I loved my professors, loved the location, and loved the stunning campus. Everyone there was remarkably friendly, and when I... .
Read 1348 reviews.
Acceptance Rate : 53% ,
Net Price : $40,945 ,
SAT Range : 1260-1440 ,
Las Positas College
Livermore, CA •
- • Rating 3.79 out of 5 608 reviews
Junior: I love the professors and the staff! The facilities are maintained and are being updated, and any new construction is there to benefit the students and staff. They are very protective of their students and staff and everyone is treated well. There’s resources for anyone and they genuinely do want to see everyone’s success. One thing I would like to see changed is the hours the administration, cafeteria, library, and student store remain open until. I feel the pandemic changed the hours of operation drastically and they never went back to the old hours, which had a lot of benefit to late-night students. ... Read 608 reviews
Net price $7,675
#2 Best Community Colleges in California .
LIVERMORE, CA ,
608 Niche users give it an average review of 3.8 stars.
Featured Review: Junior says I love the professors and the staff! The facilities are maintained and are being updated, and any new construction is there to benefit the students and staff. They are very protective of their... .
Read 608 reviews.
Net Price : $7,675 ,
Orange, CA •
- • Rating 3.69 out of 5 2,268 reviews
Alum: Overall, I had a very positive experience going to Chapman. The campus was beautiful; there was always a new part of campus to discover with its unique layout. The professors provided such a positive teaching atmosphere that inspired students to ask questions. I always felt like the teachers went above and beyond to be available to help their students. The smaller class sizes helped foster a community that took pride in helping and reaching out to one another. The food on campus? DELICOUS! The cafeteria set up allows for students to eat and study or conduct group meetings thanks to the spacious tables with ample seating. Athletics at Chapman turns students into family. Teams would support each other and have lots of laughs on trips to games. Coaches would be mindful of student schedules and would establish a healthy balance between school and sport. Chapman was absolutely a delight to attend. If anyone is looking for a family away from family, this is it. ... Read 2,268 reviews
Acceptance rate 60%
Net price $40,451
SAT range 1210-1410
#25 Best Colleges in California .
ORANGE, CA ,
2268 Niche users give it an average review of 3.7 stars.
Featured Review: Alum says Overall, I had a very positive experience going to Chapman. The campus was beautiful; there was always a new part of campus to discover with its unique layout. The professors provided such a positive... .
Read 2268 reviews.
Acceptance Rate : 60% ,
Net Price : $40,451 ,
SAT Range : 1210-1410 ,
- Will you get in? Understand your chances of getting accepted into any college in the country, and it's completely free
University of California - Riverside
Riverside, CA •
- • Rating 3.63 out of 5 3,658 reviews
Freshman: My experience at UCR has been great so far. First, I love the diversity we have here on campus! I was able to meet people from everywhere, and everyone is very friendly, so it was really easy to make a few friends along the way. Most of my professors have been great, and I could tell that they were really passionate about what they were teaching. Although I am not the biggest fan when it comes to long lectures, I feel like I am actually learning something, rather than when I was in high school. I also love the abundance of events that occur daily. The organizations/clubs are really awesome too, with most of them sounding very interesting to join. I am currently in two clubs and they are really fun. My only critique would probably have to be some professors not actually teaching, making it a less fun experience. But overall, I am happy I chose to be a student here, and I can't wait to see what the future holds! ... Read 3,658 reviews
- grade B+ Overall Niche Grade
Acceptance rate 65%
Net price $13,502
SAT range 1080-1280
#27 Best Colleges in California .
RIVERSIDE, CA ,
3658 Niche users give it an average review of 3.6 stars.
Featured Review: Freshman says My experience at UCR has been great so far. First, I love the diversity we have here on campus! I was able to meet people from everywhere, and everyone is very friendly, so it was really easy to make... .
Read 3658 reviews.
Overall Niche Grade : B+ ,
Acceptance Rate : 65% ,
Net Price : $13,502 ,
SAT Range : 1080-1280 ,
City College of San Francisco
San Francisco, CA •
- • Rating 3.79 out of 5 1,014 reviews
Junior: City College of San Francisco was such a grounding and fulfilling experience as a community college student. I enjoyed every course taken because of the in-depth teaching and open-mindedness of professors. Growing up in the Bay Area, it was very comforting to know that there are educators out there who are willing to go above and beyond for their students as well as the institution itself that is close to home. Much heart, passion, and hard work has gone into CCSF, and I hope the administration is able to continue working with such great faculty in the future. I will always remember and cherish my time at City! ... Read 1,014 reviews
Net price $9,261
#8 Best Community Colleges in California .
SAN FRANCISCO, CA ,
1014 Niche users give it an average review of 3.8 stars.
Featured Review: Junior says City College of San Francisco was such a grounding and fulfilling experience as a community college student. I enjoyed every course taken because of the in-depth teaching and open-mindedness of... .
Read 1014 reviews.
Net Price : $9,261 ,
California Baptist University
- • Rating 4.13 out of 5 2,875 reviews
Junior: All throughout high school my teachers would try to hammer this perception that in college, I would be truly independent and nothing more than a number in a classroom. This couldn't be further from the truth regarding CBU. The professors here generally care for their students and show teaching is their passion. Professors remind us on the regular that they're available during their office hours and are even willing to make themselves available for us whenever we had questions. Every Professor I've had thus far has prayed for us before we take an exam, this helped me feel less stressed. Campus life is fun. Dorm life is a great way to make connections. If you're an incoming freshman, I recommend you try and live in Smith/Simmons hall. Campus always has a lot of events going on all the time. Make sure you get involved! The on-campus food is fantastic. I highly recommend El Monte. If you want something different than on-campus food, there's a great selection of food nearby campus. ... Read 2,875 reviews
Acceptance rate 64%
Net price $23,494
SAT range 990-1210
#31 Best Colleges in California .
2875 Niche users give it an average review of 4.1 stars.
Featured Review: Junior says All throughout high school my teachers would try to hammer this perception that in college, I would be truly independent and nothing more than a number in a classroom. This couldn't be further from... .
Read 2875 reviews.
Acceptance Rate : 64% ,
Net Price : $23,494 ,
SAT Range : 990-1210 ,
Norwalk, CA •
- • Rating 3.88 out of 5 1,331 reviews
Niche User: The best decision I have ever made was to attend Cerritos College for my summer courses. My teachers' and counselors' support throughout all of my classes helped me finish with excellent grades. The college environment in Cerritos is diverse and conveniently located. It is convenient for us students to grab a bite to eat before class because the campus is close to many restaurants. The level of safety is incredible, with constant security ensuring that all students are secure during class hours and during various important events. At Cerritos College, the students are approachable and make it simple to form relationships. Sports in Cerritos are exciting and enjoyable, especially football games. #GoFalcons! ... Read 1,331 reviews
Net price $9,557
#15 Best Community Colleges in California .
NORWALK, CA ,
1331 Niche users give it an average review of 3.9 stars.
Featured Review: Niche User says The best decision I have ever made was to attend Cerritos College for my summer courses. My teachers' and counselors' support throughout all of my classes helped me finish with excellent grades. The... .
Read 1331 reviews.
Net Price : $9,557 ,
Cypress, CA •
- • Rating 4.07 out of 5 1,047 reviews
Sophomore: I love Cypress College! I came here after being at a 4-year university for a bit, because I wanted to save money. Cypress hasn't disappointed. They have plenty of programs that help students of different backgrounds. I've been fortunate to have all my textbooks paid for by the VRC. The STEM Program also provides amazing resources to students, including books loans and other perks. Campus provides free breakfasts and lunches for all students. If you're involved in clubs, there's so much potential to build a community for yourself. I generally feel safe on campus. Surrounding area has a lot of good restaurants and stores. Academics are good, but I've only had experience with STEM. I'm sure quality varies by professor since many are adjunct/not tenured; make use of RateMyProfessors. Overall I've had a wonderful experience here. Community colleges are a great financial decision, and Cypress College makes it a great educational and social experience as well. ... Read 1,047 reviews
Net price $7,951
#19 Best Community Colleges in California .
CYPRESS, CA ,
1047 Niche users give it an average review of 4.1 stars.
Featured Review: Sophomore says I love Cypress College! I came here after being at a 4-year university for a bit, because I wanted to save money. Cypress hasn't disappointed. They have plenty of programs that help students of... I generally feel safe on campus. Surrounding area has a lot of good restaurants and stores. Academics are good, but I've only had experience with STEM. I'm sure quality varies by professor since many... .
Read 1047 reviews.
Net Price : $7,951 ,
Long Beach City College
Long Beach, CA •
- • Rating 3.73 out of 5 1,747 reviews
Sophomore: Long Beach City College (LBCC) is widely recognized for its commitment to academic excellence and inclusive environment. The college offers diverse programs and courses, supported by knowledgeable and supportive faculty members. LBCC's emphasis on practical experience through internships and hands-on learning opportunities is commendable. The college fosters a sense of belonging and encourages students from different backgrounds to engage in meaningful dialogue. However, some students have expressed a desire for improved technology and modern facilities on campus. Additionally, streamlining administrative processes and enhancing communication channels could further improve the student experience at LBCC. Overall, LBCC provides a quality education with dedicated faculty and a diverse community, and with continued efforts to upgrade infrastructure and improve administrative procedures, the college can further enhance the student experience. ... Read 1,747 reviews
- grade B Overall Niche Grade
Net price $6,550
#30 Best Community Colleges in California .
LONG BEACH, CA ,
1747 Niche users give it an average review of 3.7 stars.
Featured Review: Sophomore says Long Beach City College (LBCC) is widely recognized for its commitment to academic excellence and inclusive environment. The college offers diverse programs and courses, supported by knowledgeable... .
Read 1747 reviews.
Overall Niche Grade : B ,
Net Price : $6,550 ,
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Monterey Peninsula College
Monterey, CA •
- • Rating 3.93 out of 5 589 reviews
Freshman: Monterey Peninsula College has been an exceptional choice for my transition from homeschool to college. The staff and faculty have shown remarkable kindness and unparalleled support throughout my journey. Their genuine willingness to help has made this transition smooth and comforting. From academic guidance to emotional assistance, their dedication shines. The sense of community here is heartwarming, fostering an environment where everyone truly cares about each other's success. Whether it's adjusting to new routines or navigating the college landscape, the kindness and helpfulness at Monterey Peninsula College have been invaluable, making my educational journey a positive and fulfilling experience. I look forward to earning my Associate’s Degree here and making many great memories! ... Read 589 reviews
Net price $12,007
#41 Best Community Colleges in California .
MONTEREY, CA ,
589 Niche users give it an average review of 3.9 stars.
Featured Review: Freshman says Monterey Peninsula College has been an exceptional choice for my transition from homeschool to college. The staff and faculty have shown remarkable kindness and unparalleled support throughout my... .
Read 589 reviews.
Net Price : $12,007 ,
University of La Verne
La Verne, CA •
- • Rating 3.88 out of 5 1,237 reviews
Freshman: So far, my experience has been great! The campus is beautiful and filled with greenery everywhere. Everyone is really kind and professors, for the most part, really want to students to succeed and try to build a student/faculty bond. Furthermore, there is a lot of diversity which leaves little room for isolation and uncomfortableness. I am really happy that I attend this school and the only suggestion I would make is to have more precalculus professors available or more highly rated math professors here. ... Read 1,237 reviews
Acceptance rate 72%
Net price $22,538
SAT range 930-1150
#50 Best Colleges in California .
LA VERNE, CA ,
1237 Niche users give it an average review of 3.9 stars.
Featured Review: Freshman says So far, my experience has been great! The campus is beautiful and filled with greenery everywhere. Everyone is really kind and professors, for the most part, really want to students to succeed and... .
Read 1237 reviews.
Acceptance Rate : 72% ,
Net Price : $22,538 ,
SAT Range : 930-1150 ,
El Cajon, CA •
- • Rating 3.8 out of 5 1,281 reviews
Freshman: I love Grossmont College because of it's welcoming environment and eagerness to work with students. The school is very supportive of students like me seeking to transfer to a four year institution. Counselors go above and beyond into offering guidance and opportunities to anyone interested. Both staff and professors understand their student's backgrounds, develop in depth, comprehensible lectures, and offer support to their students. I feel like the staff values my presence there. I also like how I can still get the college feel with Grossmont's small campus size and tranquil environment. It allows me to get the student experience and adapt to the college life as a freshman without the overwhelming atmosphere of a larger university. Overall, I would highly recommend Grossmont College to anyone in San Diego pursuing higher education. It's a great place to continue your educational journey and explore your potential! ... Read 1,281 reviews
Net price $5,999
#48 Best Community Colleges in California .
EL CAJON, CA ,
1281 Niche users give it an average review of 3.8 stars.
Featured Review: Freshman says I love Grossmont College because of it's welcoming environment and eagerness to work with students. The school is very supportive of students like me seeking to transfer to a four year institution.... .
Read 1281 reviews.
Net Price : $5,999 ,
Dominican University of California
San Rafael, CA •
- • Rating 3.52 out of 5 844 reviews
Sophomore: Dominican is the most supportive college I have ever had the pleasure of attending. There are endless clubs for all sorts of interests and social justice rights. The students, faculty, and staff are something out of a dream. The student to teacher ratio is incredibly helpful when it comes to having a 1 on 1 connection and getting extra assistance in classes. The campus is nothing short of gorgeous, and the on campus living is phenomenal. The dorms and Edgehill Villeage are both conveniently located on the small campus, surrounded by beautiful trees. It almost feels like I get to live at summer camp every day. The classes have wonderfully passionate teachers, and not only that, but the counselors here are amazing as well. The school spirit is not as big as you would see it at other Universities, but it's intimate and more special in that way. There are endless opportunities here! It is a great place to be. ... Read 844 reviews
Acceptance rate 93%
Net price $45,001
SAT range 1070-1260
#57 Best Colleges in California .
SAN RAFAEL, CA ,
844 Niche users give it an average review of 3.5 stars.
Featured Review: Sophomore says Dominican is the most supportive college I have ever had the pleasure of attending. There are endless clubs for all sorts of interests and social justice rights. The students, faculty, and staff are... .
Read 844 reviews.
Acceptance Rate : 93% ,
Net Price : $45,001 ,
SAT Range : 1070-1260 ,
Berkeley City College
Berkeley, CA •
- • Rating 3.67 out of 5 400 reviews
Alum: Berkeley City College is a great community college because of the amazing professors and the resources available to help students. The professors are top-notch and really prepare you for higher learning. Because of the demand they place on students and the standard of work they expect from you, I was accepted as a transfer to UC Berkeley with a 4.0 GPA and I feel equipped and prepared for what’s up ahead. I also owe a lot to the academic counselors at BCC because they ensured I was on track to complete my IGETC for transfer and they designed my courses in a way wherein I graduated in two years with an associate degree in liberal arts, a certificate in human health services and completed the transfer requirements for Sociology. If you want to transfer to a UC or Cal State, BCC has all the resources and support to help you achieve that. ... Read 400 reviews
- grade B minus Overall Niche Grade
Net price $13,556
#68 Best Community Colleges in California .
BERKELEY, CA ,
400 Niche users give it an average review of 3.7 stars.
Featured Review: Alum says Berkeley City College is a great community college because of the amazing professors and the resources available to help students. The professors are top-notch and really prepare you for higher... .
Read 400 reviews.
Overall Niche Grade : B minus ,
Net Price : $13,556 ,
American River College
Sacramento, CA •
- • Rating 3.77 out of 5 1,474 reviews
Sophomore: The resources at American River College are pretty good. The transfer pathway from here to UC is well planned, and you can transfer to most UCs with little to no issues. They have the Beaver Cares program which gives food to its students! In addition they have plenty of employment opportunities for students which help them to gain some upward mobility. Safety wise the campus could be better, because bikes often get stolen here and there are some crimes that happen here sparingly. I would also improve the selection of in person classes since there haven't been as many since COVID hit. ... Read 1,474 reviews
Net price $8,101
#74 Best Community Colleges in California .
SACRAMENTO, CA ,
1474 Niche users give it an average review of 3.8 stars.
Featured Review: Sophomore says The resources at American River College are pretty good. The transfer pathway from here to UC is well planned, and you can transfer to most UCs with little to no issues. They have the Beaver Cares... .
Read 1474 reviews.
Net Price : $8,101 ,
Laguna College of Art & Design
Laguna Beach, CA •
- • Rating 4.04 out of 5 212 reviews
Freshman: I have really enjoyed my time so far with LCAD! The professors are awesome and very knowledgeable about the topics they teach, as well as being very understanding during this turbulent time in regards to due dates and being mindful of class workloads while still providing students with a challenge. I feel as though I have learned quite a bit even over just one semester, and the opportunities for clubs and connections to job markets are vast. While I do receive a decent scholarship to attend, I find that the administration is not super helpful in working out payment options for students who receive no parental financial assistance with tuition and are not very understanding of such circumstances, though I am used to falling through the cracks in this way, unfortunately. Still, I hope to continue to be able to attend this school, as I have so far very much enjoyed my classmates, work, and professors. ... Read 212 reviews
Acceptance rate 83%
Net price $40,669
LAGUNA BEACH, CA ,
212 Niche users give it an average review of 4 stars.
Featured Review: Freshman says I have really enjoyed my time so far with LCAD! The professors are awesome and very knowledgeable about the topics they teach, as well as being very understanding during this turbulent time in... .
Read 212 reviews.
Acceptance Rate : 83% ,
Net Price : $40,669 ,
La Sierra University
- • Rating 3.54 out of 5 759 reviews
Freshman: La Sierra University has a very peaceful campus, it’s very beautiful! The counselors at La Sierra University make you feel like they are friends more then they are counselors. It’s nice to always have someone to go to. ... Read 759 reviews
Acceptance rate 66%
Net price $25,230
SAT range 880-1140
759 Niche users give it an average review of 3.5 stars.
Featured Review: Freshman says La Sierra University has a very peaceful campus, it’s very beautiful! The counselors at La Sierra University make you feel like they are friends more then they are counselors. It’s nice to always... .
Read 759 reviews.
Acceptance Rate : 66% ,
Net Price : $25,230 ,
SAT Range : 880-1140 ,
University of Redlands
Redlands, CA •
- • Rating 3.62 out of 5 917 reviews
Junior: I enjoy being a student at the University of Redlands in general. The tiny class sizes at the institution were one of my favorite aspects of it. It made it simpler to ask for help or participate in class discussions because it allowed for more one-on-one encounters with teachers. The campus environment was wonderful; it had the atmosphere of a close-knit family with everyone being helpful and friendly. Another noteworthy aspect of the academic offerings was their variety.The campus itself was very lovely, with its well-kept grounds and peaceful ambiance. It produced a setting that was good for both studying and unwinding. The availability of greater resources and money for particular academic areas or extracurricular activities, however, is something I would like to see changed. Additional money could improve the entire university experience because it occasionally seemed that some departments some tools. ... Read 917 reviews
Net price $21,578
SAT range 1110-1280
REDLANDS, CA ,
917 Niche users give it an average review of 3.6 stars.
Featured Review: Junior says I enjoy being a student at the University of Redlands in general. The tiny class sizes at the institution were one of my favorite aspects of it. It made it simpler to ask for help or participate in... .
Read 917 reviews.
Net Price : $21,578 ,
SAT Range : 1110-1280 ,
College of the Desert
Palm Desert, CA •
- • Rating 3.85 out of 5 1,003 reviews
Freshman: College of the Desert has been very good to me. I am not someone who needs tons of attention and the ability to do the majority of my classes online has been very freeing for me. Talking to financial aid over the phone has been known to be quite tricky for me. It often feels that when I go there in person they are free expeditiously but again, over the phone they are hard to get a hold of. The professors have been generally good to me. Most of them are really understanding when you need an extension on work and will allow it if you ask them. Overall it's a very good academic institution! ... Read 1,003 reviews
Net price $14,179
#83 Best Community Colleges in California .
PALM DESERT, CA ,
1003 Niche users give it an average review of 3.9 stars.
Featured Review: Freshman says College of the Desert has been very good to me. I am not someone who needs tons of attention and the ability to do the majority of my classes online has been very freeing for me. Talking to financial... .
Read 1003 reviews.
Net Price : $14,179 ,
California College of the Arts
- • Rating 3.58 out of 5 388 reviews
Alum: I graduated from California College of the Arts (CCA) May 2021. I transferred there the Fall of 2018 after taking a two year break from school. Reentering school was a little challenging, I wasn't really sure where to go but then I found CCA, it was the only place I applied to. Only through research and their website I felt that this would be a good choice to finish my education. I found it to be a very creative place filled with creative people, students & instructors. I was able to express my voice, feelings and thoughts openly. Also helped me widen my perspective in design, social issues, action, designing with purpose, research, reasoning and communicating. I learned as a designer I have the power and capability to speak to the masses, to craft something beautiful, make people use more than just their eyes, to create feeling, from passion to discuss. I'm proud to say I graduated from CCA with a BFA and a Minor. With the help of my instructors and the amazing friends I made there. ... Read 388 reviews
- grade C+ Overall Niche Grade
Acceptance rate 78%
Net price $40,231
388 Niche users give it an average review of 3.6 stars.
Featured Review: Alum says I graduated from California College of the Arts (CCA) May 2021. I transferred there the Fall of 2018 after taking a two year break from school. Reentering school was a little challenging, I wasn't... .
Read 388 reviews.
Overall Niche Grade : C+ ,
Acceptance Rate : 78% ,
Net Price : $40,231 ,
National University Online Education
4 Year (Online)
- • Rating 3 out of 5 1 review
- grade unavailable Overall Niche Grade
Acceptance rate —
Net price —
4 Year (Online) ,
1 Niche users give it an average review of 3 stars.
Read 1 reviews.
University of Idaho
- • Rating 3.69 out of 5 1,832
St. Andrews University - North Carolina
- • Rating 3.42 out of 5 172
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2024 Best Creative Writing Schools in California
College Factual reviewed 16 schools in California to determine which ones were the best for degree seekers in the field of creative writing. When you put them all together, these colleges and universities awarded 522 degrees in creative writing during the 2020-2021 academic year.
Jump to one of the following sections: * Degree-Level Rankings
- Best Overall Creative Writing Schools List
Choosing a Great Creative Writing School
You may want to choose one of the degree levels below to find the schools of most interest to you.
Pick Your Creative Writing Degree Level
The creative writing school you choose to invest your time and money in matters. To help you make the decision that is right for you, we've developed a number of major-specific rankings , including this list of the Best Creative Writing Schools in California. If you'd like to restrict your choices to just one part of the country, you can filter this list by location .
In addition to our rankings, you can take two colleges and compare them based on the criteria that matters most to you in our unique tool, College Combat . Test it out when you get a chance! You may also want to bookmark the link and share it with others who are trying to make the college decision.
If you want to learn more about how we derive our rankings, see College Factual's Methodology .
Featured Creative Writing Programs
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
BA in Creative Writing & English
Develop your creativity and gain practical skills with a creative writing degree program –featuring 100% online classes – through a bachelor's from Southern New Hampshire University.
MFA in Creative Writing - Online
Embrace your passion for storytelling and learn the professional writing skills you'll need to succeed with our online MFA in Creative Writing. Write your novel or short story collection while earning a certificate in the Online Teaching of Writing or Professional Writing, with no residency requirement.
MA in English & Creative Writing
Refine your writing skills and take a step toward furthering your career with this online master's from Southern New Hampshire University.
Best Schools for Creative Writing in California
Although we recommend filtering by degree level first, you can view the list below to see which schools give the educational experience for the creative writing degree levels they offer.
10 Top California Schools in Creative Writing
Every student who is interested in creative writing needs to look into University of Southern California. USC is a very large private not-for-profit university located in the city of Los Angeles. A Best Colleges rank of #11 out of 2,217 colleges nationwide means USC is a great university overall.
There were approximately 45 creative writing students who graduated with this degree at USC in the most recent year we have data available.
San Diego State University is one of the best schools in the United States for getting a degree in creative writing. SDSU is a very large public university located in the large city of San Diego. A Best Colleges rank of #141 out of 2,217 colleges nationwide means SDSU is a great university overall.
There were approximately 15 creative writing students who graduated with this degree at SDSU in the most recent data year.
It's hard to beat San Jose State University if you wish to pursue a degree in creative writing. San Jose State is a very large public university located in the large city of San Jose. A Best Colleges rank of #161 out of 2,217 colleges nationwide means San Jose State is a great university overall.
There were roughly 6 creative writing students who graduated with this degree at San Jose State in the most recent data year.
National University is one of the best schools in the United States for getting a degree in creative writing. Located in the large city of San Diego, National University is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 33rd out of 168 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.
There were approximately 25 creative writing students who graduated with this degree at National University in the most recent year we have data available.
USFCA is a medium-sized private not-for-profit university located in the city of San Francisco. A Best Colleges rank of #164 out of 2,217 colleges nationwide means USFCA is a great university overall.
There were roughly 29 creative writing students who graduated with this degree at USFCA in the most recent year we have data available.
Located in the large city of Riverside, UCR is a public university with a very large student population. This university ranks 36th out of 168 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.
There were approximately 102 creative writing students who graduated with this degree at UCR in the most recent year we have data available.
Located in the small suburb of Davis, UC Davis is a public university with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of #52 out of 2,217 colleges nationwide means UC Davis is a great university overall.
There were roughly 4 creative writing students who graduated with this degree at UC Davis in the most recent data year.
SFSU is a very large public university located in the large city of San Francisco. This university ranks 35th out of 168 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.
There were roughly 22 creative writing students who graduated with this degree at SFSU in the most recent year we have data available.
Chapman is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the city of Orange. This university ranks 32nd out of 168 schools for overall quality in the state of California.
There were roughly 58 creative writing students who graduated with this degree at Chapman in the most recent year we have data available.
CSULB is a fairly large public university located in the large city of Long Beach. A Best Colleges rank of #186 out of 2,217 schools nationwide means CSULB is a great university overall.
There were about 10 creative writing students who graduated with this degree at CSULB in the most recent year we have data available.
Learn about other programs related to Creative Writing that might interest you.
Low-Residency MFA in Fiction and Nonfiction
Harness your passion for storytelling with SNHU's Mountainview Low-Residency MFA in Fiction and Nonfiction. In this small, two-year creative writing program, students work one-on-one with our distinguished faculty remotely for most of the semester but convene for weeklong intensive residencies in June and January. At residencies, students critique each other's work face-to-face, meet with major authors, agents and editors and learn how to teach at the college level.
Best Creative Writing Colleges in the Far Western US Region
Explore all the Best Creative Writing Colleges in the Far Western US Area or other specific states within that region.
Associate degrees in creative writing, master's degrees in creative writing, bachelor's degrees in creative writing.
View All Rankings >
Creative Writing Related Rankings by Major
Creative Writing is one of 4 different types of Writing Studies programs to choose from.
Most Popular Majors Related to Creative Writing
View All Creative Writing Related Majors >
Notes and References
- The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
- The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System ( IPEDS ) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
- Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s ( College Scorecard ).
- Credit for the banner image above goes to KOKUYO .
More about our data sources and methodologies .
Compare your school options.
The Best 15 Creative Writing MFA Programs in 2023
April 7, 2023
Whether you studied at a top creative writing university , or are a high school dropout who will one day become a bestselling author , you may be considering an MFA in Creative Writing. But is a writing MFA genuinely worth the time and potential costs? How do you know which program will best nurture your writing? This article walks you through the considerations for an MFA program, as well as the best Creative Writing MFA programs in the United States.
First of all, what is an MFA?
A Master of Fine Arts (MFA) is a graduate degree that usually takes from two to three years to complete. Applications require a sample portfolio for entry, usually of 10-20 pages of your best writing.
What actually goes on in a creative writing MFA beyond inspiring award-winning books and internet memes ? You enroll in workshops where you get feedback on your creative writing from your peers and a faculty member. You enroll in seminars where you get a foundation of theory and techniques. Then you finish the degree with a thesis project.
Reasons to Get an MFA in Creative Writing
You don’t need an MFA to be a writer. Just look at Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison or bestselling novelist Emily St. John Mandel.
Nonetheless, there are plenty of reasons you might still want to get a creative writing MFA. The first is, unfortunately, prestige. An MFA from a top program can help you stand out in a notoriously competitive industry to be published.
The second reason: time. Many MFA programs give you protected writing time, deadlines, and maybe even a (dainty) salary.
Third, an MFA in Creative Writing is a terminal degree. This means that this degree allows you to teach writing at the university level, especially after you publish a book.
But above all, the biggest reason to pursue an MFA is the community it brings you. You get to meet other writers, and share feedback, advice, and moral support, in relationships that can last for decades.
Types of Creative Writing MFA Programs
Here are the different types of programs to consider, depending on your needs:
Fully-Funded Full-Time Programs
These programs offer full-tuition scholarships and sweeten the deal by actually paying you to attend them.
- Pros: You’re paid to write (and teach).
- Cons: Uprooting your entire life to move somewhere possibly very cold.
Full-Time MFA Programs
These programs include attending in-person classes and paying tuition (though many offer need-based and merit scholarships).
- Pros: Lots of top-notch programs non-funded programs have more assets to attract world-class faculty and guests.
- Cons: It’s an investment that might not pay itself back.
Low-Residency MFA Programs
Low-residency programs usually meet biannually for short sessions. They also offer one-on-one support throughout the year. These MFAs are more independent, preparing you for what the writing life is actually like.
- Pros: No major life changes required. Cons: Less time dedicated to writing and less time to build relationships.
Online MFA Programs
Held 100% online. These programs have high acceptance rates and no residency requirement. That means zero travel or moving expenses.
- Pros: No major life changes required.
- Cons: These MFAs have less name-recognition
The Top 15 Creative Writing MFA Programs Ranked by Category
The following programs are selected for their balance of high funding, impressive return on investment, stellar faculty, major journal publications , and impressive alums.
Fully Funded MFA Programs
1) johns hopkins university, mfa in fiction/poetry (baltimore, md).
This is a two-year program, with $33,000 teaching fellowships per year. This MFA offers the most generous funding package. Not to mention, it offers that sweet, sweet health insurance, mind-boggling faculty, and a guaranteed lecture position after graduation (nice). No nonfiction MFA (boo).
- Incoming class size: 8 students
- Admissions rate: 11.1%
- Alumni: Chimamanda Adiche, Jeffrey Blitz, Wes Craven, Louise Erdrich, Porochista Khakpour, Phillis Levin, ZZ Packer, Tom Sleigh, Elizabeth Spires, Rosanna Warren
2) University of Texas, James Michener Center (Austin, TX)
A fully-funded 3-year program with a generous stipend of $29,500. The program offers fiction, poetry, playwriting and screenwriting. The Michener Center is also unique because you study a primary genre and a secondary genre, and also get $3,000 for the summer.
- Incoming class size : 12 students
- Acceptance rate: a bone-chilling less-than-1% in fiction; 2-3% in other genres
- Alumni: Fiona McFarlane, Brian McGreevy, Karan Mahajan, Alix Ohlin, Kevin Powers, Lara Prescott, Roger Reeves, Maria Reva, Domenica Ruta, Sam Sax, Joseph Skibell, Dominic Smith
3) University of Iowa (Iowa City, IA)
The Iowa Writers’ Workshop is a 2-year program on a residency model for fiction and poetry. This means there are low requirements, and lots of time to write groundbreaking novels or play pool at the local bar. Most students are funded, with fellowships worth up to $21,000. The Translation MFA, co-founded by Gayatri Chakravorti Spivak, is also two years, but with more intensive coursework. The Nonfiction Writing Program is a prestigious three-year MFA program and is also intensive.
- Incoming class size: 25 each for poetry and fiction; 10-12 for nonfiction and translation.
- Acceptance rate: 3.7%
- Fantastic Alumni: Raymond Carver, Flannery O’Connor, Sandra Cisneros, Joy Harjo, Garth Greenwell, Kiley Reid, Brandon Taylor, Eula Biss, Yiyun Li, Jennifer Croft
4) University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI)
Anne Carson famously lives in Ann Arbor, as do the MFA students U-Michigan’s Helen Zell Writers’ Program. This is a big university town, which is less damaging to your social life. Plus, there’s lots to do when you have a $23,000 stipend, summer funding, and health care.
This is a 2-3-year program, with an impressive reputation. They also have a demonstrated commitment to “ push back against the darkness of intolerance and injustice ” and have outreach programs in the community.
- Incoming class size: 18
- Acceptance rate: 4% (which maybe seems high after less-than-1%)
- Alumni: Brit Bennett, Vievee Francis, Airea D. Matthews, Celeste Ng, Chigozie Obioma, Jia Tolentino, Jesmyn Ward
5) Brown University (Providence, RI)
Brown offers an edgy, well-funded program in a place that doesn’t dip into arctic temperatures. Students are all fully-funded for 2-3 years with $29,926 in 2021-22. Students also get summer funding and—you guessed it—that sweet, sweet health insurance.
In the Brown Literary Arts MFA, students take only one workshop and one elective per semester. It’s also the only program in the country to feature a Digital/Cross Disciplinary Track.
- Incoming class size: 12-13
- Acceptance rate: “highly selective”
- Alumni: Edwidge Danticat, Jaimy Gordon, Gayl Jones, Ben Lerner, Joanna Scott, Kevin Young, Ottessa Moshfegh
Best MFA Creative Writing Programs (Continued)
6) university of arizona (tucson, az).
This 3-year program has many attractive qualities. It’s in “ the lushest desert in the world ”, and was recently ranked #4 in creative writing programs, and #2 in Nonfiction. You can take classes in multiple genres, and in fact, are encouraged to do so. Plus, Arizona dry heat is good for arthritis.
This notoriously supportive program pays $20,000 a year, and offers the potential to volunteer at multiple literary organizations. You can also do supported research at the US-Mexico Border.
- Incoming class size: 9
- Acceptance rate: 4.85% (a refreshingly specific number after Brown’s evasiveness)
- Alumni: Francisco Cantú, Jos Charles, Tony Hoagland, Nancy Mairs, Richard Russo, Richard Siken, Aisha Sabatini Sloan, David Foster Wallace
7) Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ):
Arizona State is also a three-year funded program in arthritis-friendly dry heat. It offers small class sizes, individual mentorships, and one of the most impressive faculty rosters in the game. Everyone gets a $19,000 stipend, with other opportunities for financial support.
- Incoming class size: 8-10
- Acceptance rate: 3% (sigh)
- Alumni: Tayari Jones, Venita Blackburn, Dorothy Chan, Adrienne Celt, Dana Diehl, Matthew Gavin Frank, Caitlin Horrocks, Allegra Hyde, Hugh Martin, Bonnie Nadzam
FULL-RESIDENCY MFAS (UNFUNDED)
8) new york university (new york, ny).
This two-year program is in New York City, meaning it comes with close access to literary opportunities and hot dogs. NYU is private, and has one of the most accomplished faculty lists anywhere. Students have large cohorts (more potential friends!) and have a penchant for winning top literary prizes.
- Incoming class size: 40-60
- Acceptance rate: 6%
- Alumni: Nick Flynn, Nell Freudenberger, Aracelis Girmay, Mitchell S. Jackson, Tyehimba Jess, John Keene, Raven Leilani, Robin Coste Lewis, Ada Limón, Ocean Vuong
9) Columbia University (New York, NY)
Another 2-3 year private MFA program with drool-worthy permanent and visiting faculty. Columbia offers courses in fiction, poetry, translation, and nonfiction. Beyond the Ivy League education, Columbia offers close access to agents, and its students have a high record of bestsellers.
- Incoming class size: 110
- Acceptance rate: 21%
- Alumni: Alexandra Kleeman, Rachel Kushner, Claudia Rankine, Rick Moody, Sigrid Nunez, Tracy K. Smith, Emma Cline, Adam Wilson, Marie Howe, Mary Jo Bang
10) Sarah Lawrence (Bronxville, NY)
Sarah Lawrence offers speculative fiction beyond the average fiction, poetry, and nonfiction course offerings. With intimate class sizes, this program is unique because it offers biweekly one-on-one conferences with its stunning faculty. It also has a notoriously supportive atmosphere.
- Incoming class size: 30-40
- Acceptance rate: N/A
- Alumni: Cynthia Cruz, Melissa Febos, T Kira Madden, Alex Dimitrov, Moncho Alvarado
11 bennington college (bennington, vt).
This two-year program boasts truly stellar faculty, and meets twice a year for ten days in January and June. It’s like a biannual vacation in beautiful Vermont, plus mentorship by a famous writer, and then you get a degree. The tuition is $23,468 per year, with scholarships available.
- Acceptance rate: 53%
- Incoming class: 40
- Alumni: Larissa Pham, Andrew Reiner, Lisa Johnson Mitchell, and others
12) Institute for American Indian Arts (Santa Fe, NM)
This two-year program emphasizes Native American and First Nations writing. With truly amazing faculty and visiting writers, they offer a wide range of genres offered, in screenwriting, poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.
Students attend two eight-day residencies each year, in January and July, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. At $12,000 a year, it boasts being “ one of the most affordable MFA programs in the country .”
- Incoming class size : 22
- Acceptance rate: 100%
- Alumni: Tommy Orange, Dara Yen Elerath, Kathryn Wilder
13) Vermont College of Fine Arts
One of few MFAs where you can study the art of the picture book, middle grade and young adult literature, graphic literature, nonfiction, fiction, and poetry for young people. Students meet twice a year for nine days, in January and July, in Vermont. You can also do many travel residencies in exciting (and warm) places like Cozumel.
VCFA boasts amazing faculty and visiting writers, with individualized study options and plenty of one-on-one time. Tuition is $48,604.
- Incoming class size: 18-25
- Acceptance rate: 63%
- Alumnx: Lauren Markham, Mary-Kim Arnold, Cassie Beasley, Kate Beasley, Julie Berry, Bridget Birdsall, Gwenda Bond, Pablo Cartaya
14) university of texas at el paso (el paso, tx).
The world’s first bilingual and online MFA program in the world. UTEP is considered the best online MFA program, and features award-winning faculty from across the globe. Intensive workshops allow submitting in Spanish and English, and genres include poetry and fiction. This three-year program costs $14,766 a year, with rolling admissions.
- Alumni: Watch alumni testimonies here
15) Bay Path University (Long Meadow, MA)
This 2-year online program is dedicated entirely to nonfiction. A supportive, diverse community, Bay Path offers small class sizes, close mentorship, and a potential field trip in Ireland.
There are many tracks, including publishing, Narrative Medicine, and teaching. Core courses include memoir, narrative journalism, and the personal essay. The price is $785/credit, for 39 credits, with scholarships available.
- Incoming class size: 20
- Acceptance rate: an encouraging 78%
- Alumni: Read alumni testimonies here
Prepare for your MFA in advance:
- Best English Programs
- Best Creative Writing Schools
- Writing Summer Programs
Best MFA Creative Writing Programs – References:
- The Creative Writing MFA Handbook: A Guide for Prospective Graduate Students , by Tom Kealey (A&C Black 2005)
- Graduate School Admissions
With a Bachelor of Arts in English and Italian from Wesleyan University as well as MFAs in both Nonfiction Writing and Literary Translation from the University of Iowa, Julia is an experienced writer, editor, educator, and a former Fulbright Fellow. Julia’s work has been featured in The Millions , Asymptote , and The Massachusetts Review , among other publications. To read more of her work, visit www.juliaconrad.net
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Social Action and Writing Track (SAWT)
- Literary Activism Fusion Marry the power of storytelling with social change, crafting narratives that resonate and inspire action.
- Purpose-Driven Curriculum Dig deep into core ideals such as bearing witness, deep listening, and public-facing action, elevating your writing journey beyond mere storytelling.
- Empathy & Understanding Master the art of embracing diverse stories, challenging your perspectives, and nurturing a genuine empathy for the world around you.
- Tangible Impact Go beyond the page, engaging in the Social Action and Writing Track that transforms theoretical learning into real-world impact.
In the ebb and flow of challenging times, we find solace, strength, and direction in the power of words. Stories, poems, essays, and myriad written forms become the compass guiding societies, articulating emotions, and illuminating the human experience. Inspired by the transformative nature of art and creation, Lasell University proudly introduces the Social Action and Writing Track (SAWT) for the Solstice MFA in Creative Writing Program , an offering that comes with no additional cost for MFA students.
The SAWT is born out of a deep desire from our community to explore the profound connection between social activism and writing. It serves as a beacon for MFA students eager to delve into the rich tapestry of their literary ancestry, crafting their distinctive voices in the continuous endeavor for a more just world. Our track doesn't merely shape you as a writer; it molds you as a literary citizen, passionate and equipped to incite change through your writing, reading, teachings, and volunteering.
Driving Values: Shaping Writers as Catalysts for Change
- Speaking Truth To oneself and the world. As you journey through this track, unravel the depths of this truth, as it constantly evolves.
- Listening and Learning Forge bonds with peers and mentors and grasp the wisdom they bring.
- Deep Listening and Empathy Embrace stories and perspectives, even if they unsettle you. Sit with them, devoid of judgment, and strive to fathom their essence.
- Bearing Witness Expand your horizons, bear the weight of newfound knowledge, and acknowledge it with heartfelt compassion.
- Immersion, Connections, and Action Go beyond the theoretical. Engage, connect, and transform your learnings into tangible public action through the SAWT project.
SAWT Core Classes, Workshops, Projects
SAWT’s four core units—scheduled as two- to three-hour Craft, Criticism, and Theory (CC&T) classes—are offered on a rotating basis, one per residency; they may be taken in any order. Pre- and post-residency reading and journal reflections may be required to organize and clarify one’s thinking. Students who wish to register for the SAWT classes but do not want to commit to semester readings and journal reflections, workshops, and the related project may do so; such students will not be considered to be in the Track.
Writer as Activist in History (20th century and earlier)
A short historical explanation of what has defined the literary “canon;” and how such definitions have included and excluded—and by extension shaped—social action writing. How do we define social action writing? Who are the main writer-activists of the past? Outside of their writing, who were they as people, and what actions did they take to further their causes? Students will deliver a 5-minute presentation on one writer-activist in history (pre-2000). (Expected prep time for students: 2 – 3 hours)
Writer as Activist in Contemporary Society (21st century)
Examine contemporary works relating to social action and platforms available to writers today. Who are the main writer-activists now? Outside of their writing, what actions have they taken to further their causes? Which writer-activists of the past may have influenced them? Students will deliver a 5-minute presentation on one contemporary writer-activist (post-1999). (Expected prep time: 2-3 hours.) Pre- and post-residency reading and journal reflections may be required.
Social Action and Writing: Who’s Doing It
What organizations are promoting writing-based social justice engagement? This SAWT class will feature guests from organizations and publications that serve as models of what is possible. Informational and inspirational, the presentations will help students generate ideas for their own projects or critical theses. SAWT students will escort and introduce SAWT guests on campus and assist the faculty moderator. Pre- and post-residency reading and journal reflections may be required.
SAWT Flex Class
Social action and writing is an ever-evolving topic in an ever-changing world. This SAWT class changes with the times and the inclinations and needs of our students. Some sample themes and questions that might be explored include, “How can we open up the creative writing workshop beyond its traditional methodologies (e.g., silencing the writer whose work is being discussed)?” “What are the best ways to train writers who want to address social and justice issues?” “How can writers develop a social justice practice?” “What other artistic disciplines explore issues of social action, and how these might inform and expand our own writing practices?” Faculty mentors will guide students in discussions as students develop their answers. Pre- and post-residency reading and journal reflections may be required.
Students who commit to the SAWT will be required to participate in a minimum of three of the four spring and fall workshops. Workshops are three-hours long and held on Zoom just after midterm. . In this setting, students critique their peers’ work through a framework that expands traditional workshop modality to consider the tenets of social action-focused writing. Moreover, the workshop aims to foster a spirit of community, where students are learning to write both from lived experience and from the point of view of advocates for social action/justice.
The SAWT project gives students a chance to explore issues of social action, social justice, and writing in a hands-on way that stretches students’ imaginations. Whatever form the project takes, some aspect must have a public component, putting the “social” in “social action.”
In designing their project, students are invited to be creative and to "think outside the box." Possibilities include development of a podcast, putting together an anthology or digital chapbook, creating a website, designing and running a social media campaign, writing and drawing a short graphic narrative, painting or drawing a poster or series of posters that can be replicated for use at protest rallies, or writing and performing a play or a song. SAWT students may use their project as a basis for their third-semester critical thesis.
Why Choose the SAWT Track?
- A Larger Context Understand that your writing is not just words on a page; it's a dialogue with the world, revealing the bigger picture.
- Mobilize and Create Learn to ignite minds and inspire change by building strategic awareness and fostering genuine relationships.
- Craft Your World Imagine, create, and live in a world drenched in joy and meaning. Become the change agent who crafts that world with enthusiasm and passion.
Explore Solstice MFA in Creative Writing
- Pedagogy Track
- Social Action Writing Track
- Comics & Graphic Narratives Concentration
Faculty & Staff
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Classes for Audit
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60% have published in a literary magazine or journal, 30% have published at least 1 book, 15% have landed teaching or writing-related jobs, request more information.
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MFA In Creative Writing Hosting Free Online Events
Dominican University of California’s low residency MFA in Creative Writing program invites the public to attend its spring 2022 series of virtual retreats and workshops that will highlight the program’s supportive, creative environment across the genres of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and narrative medicine. The first one in a series of seven free events is February 2, featuring an online creative writing workshop entitled “On Future Worlds” with educator/writer/coach Raina León, professor of English Education at St. Mary’s College. Starting in January 2022, Raina will be a writing mentor in the MFA program and will join the adjunct faculty at Dominican. The MFA is designed to support poets and writers who wish to complete and publish a book manuscript. The focus is on honing students’ writing skills while they learn about the publishing industry. However, since the MFA is recognized as a terminal degree in academe, graduates are eligible to apply for college-level teaching positions. Graduates also are prepared for jobs that require strong writing skills, such as publishing, editing, marketing, public relations, social media and web content strategy. The MFA starts with a residency and runs for two years, for a total of five residencies and four mentorship semesters. All MFA students attend the winter (January) and summer (June) residencies together. During the Fall and Spring mentorship semesters, students are broken out into smaller groups of three to five students per mentor, in accordance with the AWP guidelines and best teaching practices. Here are the free spring 2022 events: February 2 , 6-8 p.m. PST. On Future Worlds . This free workshop presented by Raina León, professor of English Education at St. Mary’s College, has a new date and will include reading news articles that explore potential crises and imagine what inner and outer worlds might emerge, ones that are about flourishing and collective organizing and possibility. The workshop, originally scheduled on January 25, will study science fiction (in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and visual arts) alongside the news to inspire generative writing from a place of artivism for preservation and action. January 26 , 6-7 p.m. PST. MFA in Creative Writing Program Overview . Led by Dominican MFA Director Judy Halebsky, whether one is a poet looking to hone his/her craft, an aspiring novelist who wants to get that book written, or a memoirist with an urgent story to tell, Dominican’s MFA program will help one achieve his or her writing goals. An admissions counselor will also be available to answer application questions. February 12 , 10-11 a.m. PST. The Nuts and Bolts of Applying to the MFA in Creative Writing Program . A hands-on workshop about putting together an MFA application with guidance and writing prompts to help participants craft their Letter of Intent or Artist Statement. This info session is led by MFA Director Judy Halebsky. An admissions counselor will also be available to answer questions about the program and the application process. February 26 , 10 a.m. to noon PST. Writing To Restore The Self . This free workshop, presented by psychotherapist, teacher, and poet Eliot Schain, will feature writing and discussion about imagery that can help process both positive and negative experience and unite disparate parts of the self. March 12 , 10 a.m. to noon PST. Do the Math: How to Keep Pressing Forward When We Feel Stuck . Join author Kim Culbertson in a free workshop using five specific craft exercises. The workshop will focus on character, POV, conflict, and setting tricks to help when one feels stuck on his/her manuscript. Kim calls it “doing the math” because sometimes one just has to add, subtract, multiply, or divide to get to the root of that writer's block. March 14 , 6-7 p.m. PDT. Putting together a Writing Sample for Applying to MFAs, Grants, and Fellowships. The writing sample is often the most important part of an application to MFA programs, grants or fellowships. This session shares insights into how selection committees read the writing submitted and offers strategies on how to show your best work. Led by MFA Director Judy Halebsky. An admissions counselor will also be available to answer application questions. April 13 , 6-7 p.m. PDT Writing an Artist Statement / Letter of Intent for Applying to MFAs, Grants, and Fellowships. Programs, as well as artist residencies and grants, ask applicants to submit a Letter of Introduction or an Artist Statement. This session will provide approaches to writing this letter and will include writing prompts to help one make a letter that shines. Led by MFA Director Judy Halebsky. An admissions counselor will also be available to answer application questions. For more information about these free events, or to learn more about the MFA in Creative Writing program, please contact Natalie Babler, Administrative Manager in the School of Liberal Arts and Education , at [email protected] .
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Graduate Catalog 2023-2024 > College of Arts and Humanities > Writing > Writing, MFA
48 credit hours
This degree is offered online as well as on-ground.
The Master of Fine Arts in writing focuses on the study and practice of the craft of creative writing. We offer craft classes, literature classes, and writing workshops in small class settings. Coursework can be taken fully online or through a combination of online and on-campus courses.
Admission to the MFA in writing program is based on a creative writing sample and a statement of purpose. Both items should be included in the admissions application. The writing sample should be 7-10 pages of creative writing (Fiction, Poetry, Creative Nonfiction, or Young Adult and Middle Grade). The statement of purpose should describe why the applicant would like to pursue the MFA degree and the role writing has played in their personal life. The program seeks students who clearly demonstrate strong writing skills, an understanding of the craft of literary creative writing, and a willingness to continue growing as a writer. Students must also meet all university admissions requirements.
The MFA in writing is a 48-credit-hour degree program. In the first two terms, students must take an Orientation course and are expected to also take a Foundations course in one of four genres: fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, or young adult and middle grade writing. The six-credit graduate thesis, in which students produce a creative thesis in the student's genre(s) of choice, should be taken in the final semester of the student’s program. Students select the remainder of their coursework from the MFA in writing curriculum in whatever order they wish.
Students have the option to declare an emphasis in one of four areas: Fiction, Poetry, Creative Nonfiction, or Young Adult and Middle Grade writing. An emphasis requires a minimum of 27 credit hours of coursework in the emphasis area, including at least one Foundations course from the list below for the declared genre; the six credit-hour thesis must focus primarily on the emphasis genre. Note that Multigenre courses may count as part of your 27 credits in your Emphasis area, as determined by the MFA program director.
Emphasis students may choose any IMF course numbers for their 9 remaining credit hours. Students work with an advisor to ensure proper emphasis coursework is completed. MFA classes may be offered online, on-campus, or both.
9 credit hours of coursework from the following options:
All students, regardless of whether they declare an emphasis track, must complete 3 credit hours of coursework from Foundations course in one of four genres: Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, or Young Adult and Middle Grade Writing.
Note that students pursuing an emphasis must take the foundations course that matches their emphasis designation.
36 credit hours of IMF coursework from any of the courses for students who are not completing an emphasis track. Emphasis students must take 27 credits in their emphasis area, as well as, 9 additional elective credits. Note that students in the Young Adult-Middle Grade (YA-MG) emphasis track may count 9 credits of (non-YA-MG) Fiction as part of their required 27 credits of YA-MG Fiction.
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Prof. folk shares what sets usf's mfa program apart.
Professor Kate Folk talks about her teaching style, what makes USF's MFA program unique, and why she teaches writing.
What makes the MFA program at USF distinct? I've always been struck by how warm and welcoming the program is. I was a student in the program years ago, and am now an instructor; in all the workshops I've been part of at USF, students have treated each other's work with respect, offering constructive feedback while also celebrating their creative achievements. It's a program in which writers thrive artistically and feel emboldened to try new things on the page.
How would you sum up your classroom dynamic (or teaching style) in a few words? In teaching workshop, I think of myself as a facilitator of a group project that spans the semester. Though I will step in to guide the discussion when needed, for the most part, I try to allow students to take the lead, especially later on in the term, when the group has gelled and a level of trust has been established. In the room, we're all writers, and we each have unique perspectives, tastes, and literary preferences — all of which are useful for the writer being workshopped to hear.
Why do you teach writing? I've always thought of teaching as a healthy counterbalance to writing. While writing is done mostly in isolation, teaching is a social, collaborative activity, and these pursuits complement each other perfectly. Working with people who are similarly devoted to the art of fiction — both as readers and writers — reminds me of why I love writing in the first place.
Learn More about USF's MFA Program
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Creative Writing Minor
Graduate programs, university of california, berkeley graduate admissions office.
The University of California, Berkeley does not offer a graduate program in Creative Writing. Below is a list of selected Creative Writing graduate programs offered by other colleges and universities:
Creative Writing graduate programs
ANTIOCH UNIVERSITY – Los Angeles, California – Creative Writing M.F.A. at AULA ARIZONA STATE – Tempe, Arizona – Creative Writing M.F.A. at ASU BOSTON UNIVERSITY – Boston, Massachusetts – Creative Writing M.F.A. at BU BROOKLYN COLLEGE – Brooklyn, New York – Creative Writing M.F.A. at BC COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY – New York, New York – Creative Writing M.F.A. at Columbia CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY – Montreal, Quebec, Canada – M.A. in English (Creative Writing Option) at Concordia GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY – Fairfax, Virginia – Creative Writing M.F.A. at GMU GODDARD COLLEGE – Plainfield, Vermont – Creative Writing M.F.A. at Goddard INDIANA UNIVERSITY – Bloomington, Indiana – Creative Writing M.F.A. at IU NEW YORK UNIVERSITY – New York, New York – Creative Writing M.F.A. at NYU or M.A. in English with Concentration in Creative Writing at NYU SAINT MARY’S COLLEGE OF CALIFORNIA – Moraga, California – Creative Writing M.F.A. at SMC SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY – San Francisco, California – Creative Writing M.A. and M.F.A. at SFSU TEXAS STATE UNIVERSITY – San Marcos, Texas – Creative Writing M.F.A. at Texas State STANFORD UNIVERSITY Stegner Fellowship – Palo Alto, California UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA – Birmingham, Alabama – Creative Writing M.F.A. at U of Alabama UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA – Tucson, Arizona – Creative Writing M.F.A. at U of Arizona UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS – Fayetteville, Arkansas – Creative Writing M.F.A. at U of Arkansas UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA – Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada – Creative Writing M.F.A. Options at UBC UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS – Davis, California – English M.A. with an Emphasis in Creative Writing at UCD UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE – Irvine, California – English M.F.A. in Writing at UCI UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, RIVERSIDE – Riverside, California – M.F.A. in Creative Writing & Writing for the Performing Arts at UCR UNIVERSITY OF EAST ANGLIA – Norwich, United Kingdom – Creative Writing M.A. at UEA UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA – Gainesville, Florida – Creative Writing M.F.A. at UF UNIVERSITY OF HOUSTON – Houston, Texas – M.A. and Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing and M.F.A. in English: Creative Writing at UH UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO – Moscow, Idaho – Creative Writing M.F.A. at U of Idaho UNIVERSITY OF IOWA – Iowa City, Iowa – Creative Writing M.F.A. in English at U of Iowa and M.F.A. in Nonfiction Writing at U of Iowa UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND – College Park, Maryland – Creative Writing M.F.A. at U of Maryland UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN – Ann Arbor, Michigan – Creative Writing M.F.A. at U of Michigan UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA – Missoula, Montana – Creative Writing M.F.A. at U of Montana UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA – Las Vegas, Nevada – Creative Writing M.F.A. at UNLV UNIVERSITY OF OREGON – Eugene, Oregon – Creative Writing M.F.A. at UO WARREN WILSON COLLEGE – Asheville, North Carolina – MFA Program for Writers at WWC
- Spring 2024 Course List
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- Minor Declaration Form – Must declare no later than term before EGT.
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