Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing FAQs


1. What are your application deadlines for the low residency MFA in Creative Writing program?

Applications are due Nov 15 for spring start (attending January residency); May 1 for summer start (attending June residency). For more information about applying to the MFA in Creative Writing program, visit our Admissions Requirements page.

2. Do I need a BA or MA in English or Creative Writing to apply?

You need only a bachelor's degree or its equivalent, in any subject area, granted by a regionally accredited institution of higher education.

3. When are your residencies?

The 2018-2019 MFA winter residency will run January 6 - 13.  Typically the summer residency starts in the second week of June.

4. Do I stay on campus during the residencies?

For the summer residencies we offer optional housing on campus at a reasonable rate. During the winter residency, we can recommend several local accommodations near campus.

5. What happens during the residencies?

The residencies offer a full schedule of morning workshops, afternoon writing activities, craft talks, panels, and evening readings. Faculty and guest speakers take meals with students and are available for informal conversations throughout the residency. You will meet with your mentor to create an individualized writing plan and syllabus for the upcoming semester.

6. What happens during the mentorship semesters?

Most of the time you will be writing towards the goals outlined in your individualized syllabus. Once a month you will meet with your cohort group for a workshop and one-on-one sessions with your mentor. Workshops and faculty mentor sessions take place on campus, with video conferencing for distance learning students. Your mentor is always available for support and instruction throughout the semester.

7. What is the length of your program?

Our MFA starts with a residency and runs for two years, for a total of five residencies and four mentorship semesters. Review a sample schedule of our 2 year MFA in Creative Writing degree program here.

8. May I take longer than 2 years to complete the program?

Yes, you have up to five years to complete the MFA in Creative Writing program. Consult with the graduate director to create a degree plan.

9. May I focus on more than one genre?

Yes, with the approval of a mentor and the graduate director.

10. What is the Narrative / Poetic Medicine track?

Our optional Narrative / Poetic medicine track is designed for those wishing to tell the illness/recovery story in any chosen genre(s).

11. How many students are in your low residency MFA in Creative Writing program?

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.

12. Are there scholarships available for graduate students in the MFA?

We offer a tuition discount of $300 for each residency and each semester to all students. In addition, we are home to the Alpha Omicron Rho chapter of the English Honor Society Sigma Tau Delta, which offers graduate level scholarships.  For more graduate student scholarships, visit the admissions graduate scholarships page.

13. How will an MFA in Creative Writing degree help my career?

The MFA is designed to support poets and writers who wish to complete and publish a book manuscript. Thus, the focus is on honing your writing skills and learning about the publishing industry. However, since the MFA is recognized as a terminal degree in academe, you would be eligible to apply for college-level positions. You will also be prepared for jobs that require strong writing skills: publishing, editing, marketing, public relations, social media, web content management, and so on. If you already have a career, some companies and institutions give a pay raise to employees who earn a master’s degree.

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