MFA Creative Writing Programs

MFA stands for Master of Fine Arts. It is a graduate degree that ranges from two to three years of postgraduate study. MFAs are available in several artistic fields including creative writing. Schools are offering types of MFA creative writing programs that may vary greatly, including residential, low residency or online.

There are many more MFA programs in creative writing today than there were just twenty years ago. A New York Times story, Why Writers Love to Hate the M.F.A., calls growth of MFAs explosive and says there were just one program in 1936, 64 programs and 1994 and 229 by 2014. An argument against MFAs is that you can obviously write without one and many successful published authors don't have an M.F.A. Arguments in favor of MFAs is that the programs can make you a better writer and having one can open up more opportunities for a writer.

Here are some resources to help you find MFA programs and learn more about them:

Why Writers Love to Hate the M.F.A. - the New York Times story referenced above contains lots of information about MFA creative writing programs. It explains both good and bad aspects of MFAs.

Six Myths About the Creative Writing Master of Fine Arts - An article by Seth Abramson at HuffPost dispels six myths about MFA creative writing programs, such as that they produce "cookie-cutter" type writing. Abramson also ranks the top 25 underrated creative writing MFA programs in another article.

U.S. News: Best Graduate Fine Arts Programs - U.S. News ranks the top M.F.A. programs and assigns them a score from 1 to 5. Yale University topped the list with a 4.6.

Poets & Writers MFA Programs Database - Poets & Writers maintains a searchable database of MFA programs on its website. You can search by keyword or browse by state, program size, residency and other factors.

AWP Guide to Writing Programs - The Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) maintains a directory of writing programs on its site that includes MFA programs. The directory can be sorted by criteria that includes residency type, genre, level of study, location and more. Graduate Creative Writing Programs List - This grad school resource has a long list of MFA writing programs.