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Best Online Mfa Creative Writing Programs

Best Online Mfa Creative Writing Programs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Online Creative Writing Graduate Programs & Graduate Schools

Are you ready to perfect your skills and pursue a career as a creative writer? If so, earning an Online Creative Writing Degree and enrolling in a creative writing graduate program could be a good first step. Whether you’re interested in writing fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children’s books—or even screenplays—there are a wide variety of graduate degree programs in creative writing to help you hone your skills. You can expect to work on your writing portfolio; participate in group critique sessions; do intensive writing workshops; and delve deep into the techniques for the particular type of writing that you’re specializing in. You may also learn how to market your writing—which should come in handy once you graduate. Learn more about online graduate degrees in creative writing today!

Types of Online Creative Writing Degree Programs

There are several different types of online graduate degrees you can earn from creative writing programs such as an Online Master of Arts in Humanities—Creative Writing, an MFA Creative Writing Online or an Online Doctorate in Creative Writing.

Why Choose a Creative Writing Degree Online

The big benefit is that you get the flexibility of fitting your studies into your personal and work schedules. That means you control where and when you learn! And you’ll still have plenty of opportunities to interact with your classmates in advanced online forums and with group project tools. To get started, filter your search by degrees for Online Creative Writing Masters Graduate Programs or Online Creative Writing Doctorate Graduate Programs. If you’re new to the field you may want to consider an Online Creative Writing Graduate Certificate Program. You can also filter by location to find a college in your area that offers online degrees in creative writing!

Best Online Master’s Degrees in: Creative Writing

Editor’s Picks: Online Schools for Creative Writing

Value
The best online master’s degree in counseling for value is the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) . which offers an online Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. UTEP ranked among PayScale.com’s top 2012 ROI Rankings. with an annual return on investment (ROI) of 5.4%, and an annual ROI of 7.1% for students receiving financial aid. U.S. News and World Report ranked the University of Texas El Paso among the top national universities in the U.S. and also notes that the most popular majors at this university include business, Management, marketing, education, health professions, engineering, and interdisciplinary studies. The average freshman retention rate, which is widely recognized as an indicator of student satisfaction, is 70.5%.

Flexibility
The award for flexibility goes to the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) for its online master’s degree in creative writing. Students on CollegeProwler.com gave UTEP a high rating for academic flexibility, and, as noted on Walden.edu’s Online Education page. this is one of the only online creative writing master’s degree program of its kind — writers can complete this degree with the flexibility and convenience of working from anywhere in the world, as there are no on-campus or residency course work requirements. UTEP’s dedicated Creative Writing faculty are operating with a singular goal in mind: to prepare serious writers for publishing and teaching careers.

Career Support
At the University of Denver . whose University College of Professional and Continuing Studies offers an online master’s degree in creative writing, online students are provided access to a multitude of career services. University of Denver’s Graduate Career Services department empowers current graduate students with the tools needed to develop careers in their respective fields of study. Career Services provides support for finding internships and job opportunities, making career choices, and developing professional goals. Students can sign up for one-on-one career counseling sessions, participate in a vast range of networking events and workshops, and get online access to both the UD career directory, as well as the school’s professional network of prospective and current employers. For all this, the University of Denver wins the award for best career support for its online master’s degree in creative writing.

The University of Denver also wins the award for best financial support for its online master’s degree in creative writing. On DU.edu. students can research tuition costs, types of financial aid available, how to apply, eligibility and university policies, and how to understand student loans and financial aid, once they’ve received their awards. Also in this section of the website, UD addresses frequently asked questions and offers advice about how to repay loans and exit counseling, once a student’s degree is complete.

Technology Support
The award for best online master’s degree in creative writing for technology support goes to the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) . The Technology Support department offers help with all of the programs and applications used for learning at UTEP, via its Help Desk services. Here, students can contact the tech support team via phone, email, or in-person, for help with laptop computers, desktop computers, connecting to the UTEP network, logging on to the university’s intranet systems, and even printing from the school’s computer labs. The UTEP Technology Support team promises to be the “premier provider of technological customer service for the entire UTEP Community”, including students, faculty, and staff.

Student Engagement
The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) wins the award for best online master’s degree in creative writing for student engagement. Through the Student Development Center at UTEP, students can find activities and leadership opportunities through the Campus Activities Board (CAB); the Leadership Development office; the Inclusion program, to promote multi-cultural awareness; the Rainbow Miner Initiative, which promotes a bias-free institution; or by joining one of the many registered student organizations, sororities, or fraternities. UTEP also offers many additional awareness programs and organizations, as well, in order to encourage student engagement.

The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) wins the award for best online master’s degree in creative writing for disability support. UTEP’s Center for Accommodations and Support Services (CASS). at the Division of Student Affairs, offers disability services like academic counseling, tutoring, and learning and enrichment classes for students, faculty, and staff. The CASS web page features the latest news and updates, front and center, along with a schedule of upcoming events relating to disability and public service awareness. Students can also visit the department’s Facebook page.

Library and Research Support
The University of Denver wins the award for best online master’s degree in creative writing for library and research support. At UD’s Penrose Library students can search multiple online catalogues, reference online citation guides, get access to library software and applications, and even ask a librarian their questions, by phone, email, live chat, or at the library’s reference desk. Students can also take part in library workshops, as well as course-related library instruction sessions, offered each quarter, which cover basic and advanced research sources and strategies.

Learning Support
The award for best online master’s degree in creative writing for learning support goes to the University of Denver . As outlined on the Graduate Student Resources section of DU.edu, graduate students can take advantage of the many academic and research support services that this university has to offer, including the Writing Center, the Research Center, Penrose Library, and Westminster Law Library. In addition, UD offers the Learning Assistance Program, and the Graduate Student Association Council, for peer support. Students on CollegeProwler.com gave UD high scores for “best academic advisors” and “best student centers.”

Faculty Credentials
The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) wins the award for best online master’s degree in creative writing for faculty credentials. As noted on the Faculty and Staff section of UTEP.edu, the school celebrates diversity among its expert faculty: “Our 1,183 faculty come from diverse backgrounds, but they have one thing in common: they are dedicated to seeing that students are given every opportunity for success in their academic careers.” And, the commitment to small class sizes and personal attention is working to win over the students at UTEP: on CollegeProwler.com, they gave the University of Texas as El Paso very high scores for “smartest professors” and “best student-faculty ratio.”

Faculty Accessibility
The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) wins the award for best online master’s degree in creative writing for faculty accessibility. According to the College of Liberal Arts at UTEP, which offers the creative writing program, the university is “proud of the dedication to research that faculty and students show in all our disciplines.” Among the UTEP roster of nationally recognized faculty and their many collective achievements, various faculty members have been recipients of the Outstanding Achievements Awards over the past 4 years. Students on CollegeProwler.com gave the University of Texas as El Paso very high scores for “smartest professors” and “best student-faculty ratio.”

Alumni Engagement
The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) wins the award for best online master’s degree in creative writing for alumni engagement. On the Alumni Relations web page of UTEP.edu, alumni can discover available alumni resources, connect and interact with fellow alums, via the alumni newsletter, the online news center, or “Miners on the Move.” Joining the UTEP alumni association means unique benefits for alums, including access to select campus facilities, as well as discounts on many local services.

Prior Learning Options
The University of Denver wins the award for best online master’s degree in creative writing for prior learning options. On the Apply section, students can find all of the information they need to know to consider transferring academic credits, including which credits are transferrable; examples are college credit, prior learning assessments, and professional experience course work credits. This web page also features accessible information for international students, high school “early experience” students, and a handy application checklist. There is even a separate application form, exclusively for transfer students, on DU.edu.

New Online Student Orientation
The University of Denver wins the award for best online master’s degree in creative writing for its new online student orientation resources. Through the Discoveries Orientation page. UD offers orientation services for all new students — first-year undergrads, transfer students, and online learners. Here, students can find everything they need to get acquainted with life at the University of Denver, including a comprehensive checklist, for resources such as arranging for transcripts, placement exams, and preparing laptop technical settings, among many others.

Explore a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing

A master’s degree in creative writing is the perfect education path for those aspiring to make their fiction or nonfiction writing careers more marketable and enhance their writing and story-telling abilities. Typical master’s degree programs in creative writing require students to complete 45 to 48 class hours. This translates to about two years for full-time students; but some colleges may require more or less course work. Part-time students can expect to take more than two years to complete a program.

Master’s-level creative writing students take writing-intensive courses that will teach them new techniques to access their creative sides and write enthralling pieces. Students are also taught the fundamental elements creative writing pieces require. Though students can tailor their education towards the writing genre in which they wish to make a career, many programs expose students to a variety of genres to ensure a well-rounded education. A few courses students may take while earning their master’s degree are:

    • Introduction to Creative Writing. An introductory course in creative writing exposes students to techniques for essential elements of the craft, such as organization, story focus, and story coherence. This course also touches on the basics of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.
    • Fiction Writing Fundamentals. .

Fiction writing fundamentals teaches students important methods and the necessary components for fiction writing. Students learn and apply, for instance, how to turn their experiences into creative stories, how to maintain their creative pace, and how to continue developing their characters and stories.

  • Thesis. Perhaps the most important class a student will take in this master’s program is their thesis class. In it, students are required to develop and write a novel of their own, and are commonly encouraged to choose the genre that most interests them and that they plan to center their career on. The goal of this course is for students to develop a manuscript for publishing in the future.

Throughout a student’s education in this program, students will be asked to complete exercises and writing projects to apply what they’ve learned in their various classes. Additionally, students are given creative writing assignments in which they must practice their editing and revision skills, while accommodating instructors’ suggestions and corrections. Some programs engage students in peer review sessions, where they can learn to better their craft through the giving and taking of constructive criticism.

A master’s degree in creative writing offers students the opportunity to develop their writing, story-telling, and creative skills to enter or better their careers as authors, teachers, and screenplay writers. In 2010, the median annual salary for an author or a writer was $55,420, and the industry is expected to see employment growth of 6% through 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Writers might engage in academic, online, or print writing for newspapers, magazines, companies, and the like. Authors generally write novels and poetry of various genres for publication.

Data suggests that teachers at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, on the other hand, make a mean salary of $56,790, states the BLS. Education is among the fastest growing industries in terms of employment, with an average annual growth rate projected at 2.4% through 2018, the same source reports.

Screenplay writers, i.e. writers of movies, plays, and television shows in the motion picture and sound recording industry, are estimated to earn the highest of the three careers, with a mean salary of $100,060 according to the BLS ; the BLS also states that employment has stayed relatively the same over time, seeing a slight decrease in 2010 but growth since that time.

Other Online Liberal Arts Programs

The Top 10 Creative Writing MFA Program Websites

Applicants to full-residency graduate creative writing programs have more options now than ever before — there were 152 such programs in the United States and abroad at last count. Ever since novelist Tom Kealey advised MFA applicants, in the first edition of his Creative Writing MFA Handbook (2005), to consider a program’s online promotional materials as one indicator of program quality, young poets and writers have been comparing notes online about which program websites measure up and which don’t. Today, the three largest online communities for MFA applicants (The Creative Writing MFA Blog, The Poets & Writers Speakeasy, and The Suburban Ecstasies) boast well over half a million unique visitors a year combined.

Generally, applicants favor attractive websites which are informative and transparent as to those program features a) relevant to MFA applicants, and b) capable of being substantially transmitted via a website format: for instance, information on funding, healthcare, teaching, selectivity, student-to-faculty ratio, and cost of living. Unfortunately, many programs spend their IT dollars emphasizing, instead, those program traits program administrators have historically considered most important, most of which are only minimally probative of program quality: notably, long rosters of current and former faculty and alumni. In a recent unscientific poll of hundreds of MFA applicants, fewer than half of respondents rated faculty among their top five reasons for applying to or matriculating at a graduate creative writing program, with fewer than a quarter mentioning alumni. Faculty rosters in particular give no information on what applicants care about most — the quality of teaching at a given institution. Alumni rosters often feature graduates from decades past, many of whom worked under faculty no longer with the program.

Lately, some MFA programs have developed a reputation within the applicant community for misrepresenting program offerings, making dubious claims about program reputation, and/or presenting long-outdated information as though it were current — so now seems a good time to laud those websites which do precisely the opposite. Here are the ten (actually, twelve) best full-residency MFA program websites in terms of design, structure, and transparency:

Arizona State University (Link ). It’s no surprise that one of the best-funded programs in the United States would have one of the most attractive websites. Site content is beautifully and seamlessly integrated with content from the ASU Department of English, Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, Hayden’s Ferry Review. and the countless international and domestic outreach programs with which the MFA at ASU is involved. Surfing this site, the prospective ASU applicant has a strong sense of the literary arts community in Tempe.

Hollins University
(Link ). Large, elegant, inviting, and as informative as any MFA program website in America, the webspace for Hollins University’s MFA reflects the program’s recent substantial strides in the area of applicant outreach.

Indiana University
(Link ). It may not win any design awards, but the IU program website may be the largest of its kind in terms of sheer volume of information (and webpages). Fortunately, all those webpages say everything that needs to be said and then some.

Southern Illinois University (Link ). There are many reasons to laud this website—more than any other, it feels unhurried and properly respectful of the importance of applicants’ application and matriculation decisions. The program gets special credit for offering, along with everything else, a simple but obsessively-updated program blog.

University of Alabama (Link ). A compact — almost squat — website, UA’s webspace gets high marks for the clarity of its descriptions, the thoroughness of its faculty profiles, a more-than-adequate on-site acknowledgment of program peripherals (like an associated journal and the achievements of current students), and its lack of ambiguity regarding critical program features. UA is one of the few programs to explicitly «guarantee» incoming students full funding for a set term of years (four). That’s the longest such guarantee in the world.

University of Houston (Link ). All the information applicants want, plus a strong focus on the culture and character of the program’s sizeable and culturally diverse host city.

University of Michigan (Link ). An easy to navigate site, and one that prominently features information on current news and events. Plus, a detailed multimedia section.

University of Montana (Link ). A gorgeous and comprehensive site. UM is to be commended, too, for making no bones about its still-imperfect funding situation. A sincere yet stylish outreach to applicants.

University of Notre Dame (Link ). The program’s recently-redesigned site is probably the most attractive of its kind in the field. What’s more, it has one of the most extensive FAQ sections of any MFA webspace, including detailed information on funding, healthcare, and selectivity.

University of Virginia (Link ). As clean, elegant, and simple an MFA website as you’re going to find. A cinch to read, and presents more or less exactly the information applicants are interested in and no more.

University of Wyoming (Link ). No great shakes design-wise, but there’s an obsessive level of detail here — just what the obsessive, detail-oriented applicant is looking for. And it’s all intuitively presented, too.

Washington University at Saint Louis (Link ). Not only is the navigation on this recently-redesigned website as easy as one could hope for, the program also seems aware of how applicants weight different program features — as the most applicant-relevant program traits are the most visible here and receive the most attention from the site’s designers and writers.

Honorable Mention (15): Bowling Green State University ; Brooklyn College (CUNY) ; McNeese State University ; Ohio State University ; Purdue University ; Rutgers University at Camden ; University of Arizona ; University of Arkansas ; University of Florida ; University of North Carolina at Wilmington ; University of Oregon ; University of Pittsburgh ; University of Texas at El Paso ; Virginia Commonwealth University ; and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) .

Most Improved (4): Louisiana State University ; University of California at San Diego ; University of Maryland ; and University of Texas at Austin .

A graduate of Dartmouth College, Harvard Law School, and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Seth Abramson is the author of two collections of poetry, Northerners (Western Michigan University Press, 2011), winner of the 2010 Green Rose Prize, and The Suburban Ecstasies (Ghost Road Press, 2009). Presently a doctoral candidate in English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he is also a contributing author to the second edition of The Creative Writing MFA Handbook (Continuum, 2008).

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