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How to Write a Performance Review

Employers and employees find value in performance reviews. The feedback can range from guidance to praise, thus allowing for both parties to engage in discussion regarding what’s working and what isn’t. It’s for that reason leaders need to learn how to write a performance review using these guidelines.

Regular Feedback is Critical

While a performance review typically has a bi-annual schedule, that doesn’t mean regular feedback in-between those dates shouldn’t be happening. Therefore, look up how to write a performance review sample, and use that as your springboard for regular feedback. In doing so, your employees are sure they won’t be hearing about their performance during their first review. When looking up how to write a sample performance review, you’ll find that they’re comprised of many fundamental components including communication, teamwork and collaboration skills, problem-solving, accuracy and quality of work, dependability, and attendance, and meeting deadlines.

Utilize the Employee’s Job Description

When you’re unsure where to begin, utilize the employee’s job description as a springboard for their performance evaluation sample. In doing so, you’ll can determine if they satisfied all the requirements and responsibilities of the job description’s listings. You’ll also be able to determine if there were aspects of the job description where they were lacking. Be sure the job description is up-to-date before working on the performance review. That way, you’re sure the position hasn’t undergone any changes since the job description was written.

Use Key Points

When writing the performance review, focus only on key points. For example, if the review is about whether or not the employee is achieving their goals, focus on those key points. Examples of performance goals samples include that the employee must complete a certain level of tasks before being considered for a promotion. Some sample resolutions if the employee is not achieving their goals would include that they would implement a strategy for meeting their goals and then set up another check-in with you to assess their progress.

Request Feedback from Colleagues

When writing the performance review, it’s essential to solicit feedback from colleagues who have worked closely with them. This action is often referred to as obtaining 360-feedback because you’re receiving feedback for the employee from his coworkers, boss, and any other relevant staff. Use of coworker feedback samples includes asking employees what they like or appreciate about their coworker, when they thought their coworker did a great job, or what they would like to see change about a situation.

Keep Track of Performance

When learning how to write performance reviews, keeping track of an employee’s performance is part of achieving that goal. You’ll be working with sample performance comments from other employees, as well as logging their attendance, following policies, how well their meeting deadlines, and if they’re achieving their goals. When working on these tasks, you may need a logbook sample that includes information about their daily job performance. For example, the ledger sheet sample could consist of information about if accidents occurred if it’s a factory or cash overages if you’re in the retail industry. It’s essential to keep policies on-hand, like a cash management policy sample or sample IT policies, for example, to ensure they’re up-to-date and ready to present during the performance review.


best creative writing in world

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17 Best Creative Writing Schools in the World

To gain a professional advantage, aspiring writers look for universities that provide the best programs for Creative Writing. In the article below, we talk about some of the best creative writing schools in the world.

Top Creative Writing Schools in the World

1. university of cambridge.

The University of Cambridge is a culturally diverse institution with almost 40 colleges and schools that host over 20,000 students from more than 150 countries. It is over eight centuries old and has built a solid reputation above numerous universities worldwide.

Recognized as one of the best creative writing schools in the world, the University of Cambridge’s Masters in Creative Writing program lasts two years. It is specially designed to be accessible to working professionals and international students. The degree granted by the university can become a ticket for graduates to pursue a Ph.D. in the same field at other universities in the UK or abroad.

Through the program, students can develop skills in fiction or nonfiction writing. The first year provides them with a background in writing in various genres, while the second year allows them to explore their own writing style with the help of a supervisor.

2. Columbia University

The School of the Arts at Columbia University offers an undergraduate degree in Creative Writing. The program lasts five semesters, and students have to complete five workshops, four seminars, and three elective courses within such period. Students of this prestigious institution for creative writing may select between the Single-Genre Major and the Cross-Genre Major. The latter one allows them to combine two genres.

Graduates may pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree in the same field. Columbia University’s MFA degree is a top-ranking program that requires students to earn 60 points to graduate.

3. Princeton University

Princeton University is another one of the world’s best creative writing schools and was founded in the mid-18 th century, making it one of the oldest universities in the US. It also ranks among the top academic institutions in the country, attracting some of the most outstanding individuals who comprise its over 8,000 student population. Among its notable alumni are 18 Nobel Prize awardees, two US presidents, and three US Supreme Court Justices.

4. Johns Hopkins University

The university offers an undergraduate program major in Writing Seminars where students can take poetry & fiction writing courses and literature courses and participate in seminars on the history and technique of prose and poetry.

The Master of Fine Arts program at Johns Hopkins University is highly selective and grants qualified students full tuition, health insurance, and teaching fellowship worth a rough $30,000. It lasts two years and requires students to take residency in Baltimore.

5. University of Chicago

The University of Chicago is a research university that opened in the late 19 th century. Over the years, it has been affiliated with over 90 Nobel laureates and has become one of the top ten universities in the US. It is currently home to over 17,000 students across 12 schools and divisions.

6. New York University

New York University (NYU) was founded in 1831 and has always been an innovative academic institution from the get-go. New York is home to many multi-awarded novelists, poets, and creative nonfiction writers, making NYU one of the top creative writing schools across the globe.

NYU offers undergraduate and Master of Fine Arts programs in Creative Writing administered by award-winning writers and outstanding faculty members. Undergraduate students may participate in intensive summer writing programs in Florence , New York , or Paris . They may also join writing competitions in the department and take advantage of internship opportunities.

Meanwhile, the MFA program provides a vibrant environment for students to learn from a gifted group of instructors and participate in exciting and interactive outreach programs, reading series, seminars, and more.

7. University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is yet another excellent creative writing school that thrives on cutting-edge education techniques and technology. It opened in 1740, and its long history has significantly helped improve and expand the university’s culture of innovation.

The university’s School of Arts and Sciences offers a Certificate in Creative Writing, requiring students to take four out of eight courses: Poetry Workshop, Fiction Workshop, Screenwriting, Advanced Nonfiction, Journalism, Craft of Creative Writing, Writing about Place, and Modern & Contemporary US Poetry.

8. Oxford University

Oxford University is a world-famous institution renowned for having the highest admission standards in the world. Oxford University is very selective, with an estimated acceptance rate of 17.5%. Due to this strict policy, It is home to the brightest minds in the United Kingdom and the world. This university was at the center of the COVID-19 crisis; it managed to produce a vaccine that has saved millions of lives.

Oxford University offers a Master of Study (MSt) degree to students who wish to pursue a degree in Creative Writing. It’s one of the top-performing creative writing schools in the world. This university offers a two-year program that initially places equal emphasis on prose, poetry, and drama and offers the possibility for specialization in one particular area in the second year. An experienced supervisor will be allocated to each student to provide guidance and advice throughout their second year.

9. Ohio State University

The department of English at OSU grants a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing as part of its graduate program. The course allows students to discover and showcase their talents, realize their potential, and be in touch with their creative side. The department has spared no expense in providing the best education for its graduates, as all of them are fully funded for the three years they spend at OSU.

10. University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia (UBC) is a public research university and one of the largest centers for teaching in Canada and the world. Established in 1908, UBC has climbed the ranks and is now consistently placing among the top 20 universities worldwide. This university strives to provide academic freedom to its students and scholars; it aspires to abolish censorship and allow academics to voice their thoughts and seek open discussions to arrive at solutions to real-world problems.

The Faculty of Arts at UBC offers a unique Creative Writing Program. It is a magnet to students from all over the globe; it offers the possibility for students to specialize in creative writing without being constrained by the study of literature. The faculty aspires to produce writers who are able to influence, inform, inspire, and entertain.

11. University of Michigan

The University of Michigan (U-M) is the second best public institution of higher education in the United States and a consistent 5% ranker worldwide. U-M aims to serve the state and the people of Michigan and contribute to making the world a better place. It also aspires to impart and preserve knowledge and use it to produce leaders who will challenge the present and enrich the future.

The English Department at U-M offers an exceptional Creative Writing Degree. This department was home to the biggest writers in The United States, the likes of Arthur Miller, Theodore Roethke, and the poetess Jane Kenyon. The department offers advanced workshops in fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction.

12. University of Manchester

The University of Manchester offers a one-year program in Creative Writing. The students who enroll in this program will receive their learning from world-famous writers and novelists. The course was designed around a simple but important belief: “Good writing and good reading go together.” Therefore, the graduates will learn more about writing by reading, discussing, and critiquing the work of contemporary writers.

13. University of Sydney

The University of Sydney is Australia’s oldest and most prestigious institution of higher education. Since its inception in 1850, this university has believed in progressing thinking as a way to challenge the status quo and break up the stagnation in thinking the modern world is inevitably heading toward. This institution has created an environment where different opinions are valued and unique perspectives are appreciated, which allows its students to realize their full potential.

14. University of Melbourne

The University of Melbourne grants avid readers the opportunity to explore their thoughts in written form. As one of the best creative writing schools in the world, the course is designed to impart core skills in writing to thousands of students each year. The learners are encouraged to think critically about contemporary thought schools in all forms of writing.

15. University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh is a research-intensive institution and one of the United Kingdom’s oldest universities. Since its establishment in 1583, it has sworn allegiance to safeguard the interests of the city where it is based. Today, it is one of Scotland’s most accessible and diverse institutions, attracting the world’s best minds. Newcomers will be met with a welcoming atmosphere and tight community where they can improve and thrive as individuals.

The University of Edinburgh offers a one-year full-time master’s degree in Creative Writing. Every part of the course was curated to help students hone their creative skills and integrate them into their literary works. The practical nature of the program allows the students to experiment with different genres and focus on specific areas for improvement. The graduates of the University of Edinburgh are team-taught and benefit from the input of many tutors, making this university an ideal destination for students who want to see and experience literature and writing from fresh and new perspectives.

16. Arizona State University

The Department of English at ASU offers a challenging and extremely rewarding Creative Writing program. The students will develop their writing skills through workshops and internship opportunities. Furthermore, The department offers a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree ranked within the top 20 in the country. Students can specialize in either fiction or poetry, but the program encourages cross-genre study allowing students to make good use of the three years they spend at ASU.

17. University of Leeds

The University of Leeds is one of the United Kingdom’s largest universities and a member of the Russell Group. Established in 1904, this university is world-famous for its education, teaching, and research quality. This institution operates with the mission of transforming lives and shaping a better future for communities within their region, the UK, and the world.

The Program of Creative Writing at the University of Leeds is designed to help students sharpen their critical abilities in order to produce literary works across all genres. Expert professors and academic researchers curated the course to help students learn how to shape language to convey their thoughts. By the end of their training, students will have built an impressive portfolio under the supervision of experienced writers.

Best Universities for Creative Writing in the World

Below is the list of best universities in the World ranked based on their research performance in Creative Writing. A graph of 2.04M citations received by 174K academic papers made by 986 universities in the World was used to calculate publications' ratings, which then were adjusted for release dates and added to final scores.

We don't distinguish between undergraduate and graduate programs nor do we adjust for current majors offered. You can find information about granted degrees on a university page but always double-check with the university website.

Please note that our approach to topical rankings is based on scientific outputs and heavily biased on art-related topics towards institutions with computer science profiles.

1. University of Oxford

For Creative Writing

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2. University of Cambridge

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3. University of Toronto

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4. Harvard University

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5. University College London

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6. Columbia University

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7. Ohio State University

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8. University of British Columbia

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9. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

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10. University of Manchester

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11. University of Texas at Austin

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12. University of Alberta

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13. University of Wisconsin - Madison

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14. Northwestern University

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15. University of Washington - Seattle

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16. University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign

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17. University of Sao Paulo

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18. University of New South Wales

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19. University of Melbourne

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20. University of Sydney

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21. Lancaster University

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22. Pennsylvania State University

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23. University of Edinburgh

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24. King's College London

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25. University of Nottingham

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26. Arizona State University - Tempe

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27. University of Southern California

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28. Yale University

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29. University of Pennsylvania

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30. New York University

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31. University of California - Los Angeles

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32. University of California - Berkeley

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33. University of Exeter

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34. University of Chicago

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35. Indiana University - Bloomington

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36. University of Queensland

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37. University of York

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38. Stanford University

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39. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

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40. Cardiff University

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41. University of Maryland - College Park

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42. University of Leeds

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43. Rutgers University - New Brunswick

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44. University of Birmingham

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45. University of Sheffield

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46. University of London

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47. York University

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48. University of Warwick

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49. Durham University

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50. Emory University

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51. Monash University

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52. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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53. University of Amsterdam

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54. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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55. Michigan State University

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56. Cornell University

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57. University of Georgia

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58. University of South Florida

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59. University of Bristol

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60. McGill University

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61. University of Wollongong

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62. University of Auckland

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63. Loughborough University

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64. Washington University in St Louis

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65. University of Southampton

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66. University of Sussex

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67. University of Cincinnati

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68. Florida State University

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69. Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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70. Purdue University

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71. Temple University

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72. University of California - Santa Barbara

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73. University of Glasgow

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74. University of Calgary

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75. RMIT University

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76. Griffith University

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77. University of Copenhagen

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78. Boston College

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79. Queensland University of Technology

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80. University of Helsinki

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81. Western University

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82. University of Virginia

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83. Complutense University of Madrid

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84. Deakin University

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85. La Trobe University

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86. North Carolina State University at Raleigh

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87. University of Pretoria

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88. Carnegie Mellon University

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89. University of Iowa

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90. University of Massachusetts - Amherst

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91. National University of Singapore

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92. University of Oslo

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93. University of Connecticut

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94. Boston University

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95. Simon Fraser University

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96. University of Colorado Boulder

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97. Princeton University

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98. Georgia Institute of Technology

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99. University of Arizona

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100. University of Utah

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Art & Design subfields in the World

Writing in the Disciplines

These colleges typically make the writing process a priority at all levels of instruction and across

These colleges typically make the writing process a priority at all levels of instruction and across the curriculum. Students are encouraged to produce and refine various forms of writing for different audiences in different disciplines. In spring and summer 2022, we invited college presidents, chief academic officers, deans of students and deans of admissions from more than 1,500 schools to nominate up to 15 institutions with stellar examples of writing in the disciplines. Colleges and universities that received 10 or more nominations are ranked here. Read the methodology »

To unlock full rankings, SAT/ACT scores and more, sign up for the U.S. News College Compass !

best creative writing in world

Brown University

Providence, RI

At Brown University, undergraduate students are responsible for designing their own academic study with more than 80 concentration programs to choose from. Another unique offering at this private, Ivy League institution in Providence, Rhode Island, is the Program in Liberal Medical Education, which grants both a bachelor’s degree and medical degree in eight years.

(fall 2021)

SAT, GPA and More

best creative writing in world

University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA

The University of Iowa offers top-notch academic programming in more than 100 areas. Students looking to hone their leadership skills have many options, too: They can enroll in the LeaderShape Institute, a six-day getaway workshop; or participate in one of the many programs offered through the Center for Student Involvement & Leadership, including arts and entertainment, and multicultural programs. Freshmen do not have to live on campus, but about 95 percent choose to do so. Campus life may pose a challenge to tobacco users, as Iowa is a smoke-free campus. Students have more than 500 clubs and organizations from which to choose, and close to 10 percent of students go Greek as members of the school's more than 50 fraternities and sororities. Sports are another big focus of campus life; even in the competitive NCAA Division I Big Ten Conference, the Iowa Hawkeyes are notorious players. Four blocks from campus is Iowa City, a Midwestern metropolis that has been recognized among the nation’s best for its scenery, greenery and sustainable energy efforts.


best creative writing in world

Yale University

New Haven, CT

Yale University, located in New Haven, Connecticut, offers a small college life with the resources of a major research institution. Yale students are divided into 14 residential colleges that foster a supportive environment for living, learning and socializing.

best creative writing in world

Cornell University

Cornell University, a private school in Ithaca, New York, has 14 colleges and schools. Each admits its own students, though every graduate receives a degree from Cornell University. The university has more than 1,000 student organizations on campus.

best creative writing in world

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

Harvard University is a private institution in Cambridge, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston. This Ivy League school is the oldest higher education institution in the country and has the largest endowment of any school in the world.

best creative writing in world

Carleton College

Northfield, MN

Carleton College is a private school in the historic river town of Northfield, Minnesota. Carls, as its students are known, have about 35 majors to choose from and more than 170 organizations to check out.

best creative writing in world

Swarthmore College

Swarthmore, PA

About 10 miles outside of Philadelphia is Swarthmore College, a private liberal arts institution that also offers a unique engineering degree program. Because Swarthmore is part of the Tri-College Consortium, students can also take courses at nearby Bryn Mawr College and Haverford College.

best creative writing in world

Amherst College

Amherst, MA

Amherst College, a private school in Amherst, Massachusetts, is known for its rigorous academic climate. Because Amherst is a member of the Five Colleges consortium, students can also take courses at Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, Hampshire College and the University of Massachusetts—Amherst.

best creative writing in world

Duke University

Located in Durham, North Carolina, Duke University is a private institution that has liberal arts and engineering programs for undergraduates. The Duke Blue Devils sports teams have a fierce rivalry with the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill Tar Heels and are best known for their outstanding men's basketball program.

best creative writing in world

Princeton University

Princeton, NJ

The ivy-covered campus of Princeton University, a private institution, is located in the quiet town of Princeton, New Jersey. Princeton was the first university to offer a "no loan" policy to financially needy students, giving grants instead of loans to accepted students who need help paying tuition.

best creative writing in world

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The Best Creative Writing Schools In The World?

What are the best creative writing schools in the world, what is a creative writing degree.

What exactly is a degree in creative writing? Students who wish to become writers can develop their skills in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and drama by participating in a degree program in creative writing that lasts four years. Those who learn in creative writing schools learn how to write in specialized forms of creative writing.

Some of these include writing for children and young adults, scriptwriting for film and television, writing speculative fiction, writing literary journalism, writing travel pieces, writing food pieces, writing nature pieces, and even translating literary works.

Students who intend to earn a degree in creative writing study works that have been put to paper, like novels and plays, and take classes that teach them how to become better writers. Some of these classes will include workshops in which students can get comments on their writing from their instructors and their classmates.

Students who major in creative writing have the opportunity to concentrate their studies on a specific genre of creative writing—such as poetry, screenplays, short stories, or novels—that particularly interests them.

It is possible to earn more advanced degrees with a concentration in creative writing, such as a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in creative writing or a doctorate in the same field. Suppose you wish to instruct creative writing or any other subject that is closely related at the collegiate level. In that case, you will typically be required to hold a graduate degree. Suppose you have a bachelor’s degree in creative writing.

Young woman writing on her table.

In that case, you could go on to earn a related master’s degree, such as a Master of Library and Information Science, which would prepare you for a career as a librarian. Alternatively, you could earn one of the many master’s degrees related to publishing, writing, or journalism.

Why study for a creative writing degree?

Studying creative writing can provide various benefits for individuals interested in pursuing a career as a writer or who simply want to improve their writing skills. Some reasons to consider studying a creative writing degree include the following:

Developing writing skills: A creative writing degree program can help you develop your writing skills in various genres, including fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. You will learn how to craft compelling stories, create vivid characters, and use language effectively to convey meaning.

Gaining insights into the writing process: As a person studying at writing schools with a creative writing degree program, you will learn about the writing process and how to revise and edit your work. You will also learn how to provide and receive constructive feedback from peers and instructors, which can help you improve your writing.

Understanding the publishing industry: Creative writing degree programs often provide students with an understanding of the publishing industry, including the process of submitting work for publication and the role of literary agents.

Building a writing community: Studying creative writing can allow you to connect with other writers and build a supportive community. This can be especially beneficial for individuals who want to pursue a career in writing or are looking for inspiration and motivation.

Improving critical thinking and communication skills: Through writing, you will develop critical thinking and communication skills that can be applied in various settings, both personal and professional.

Preparing for a writing career: For those who want to pursue a career as a writer, a creative writing degree can provide a solid foundation and prepare you for the challenges and opportunities you will face in the industry.

Ultimately, studying creative writing can be a rewarding experience that can help you develop your writing skills, gain a deeper understanding of the writing process, and prepare you for a career in writing or related fields.

What are the best creative writing schools in the world?

Columbia university.

Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s, Master’s

When it opened its doors in 1754, Columbia University was known as King’s College. It is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, and it is also one of the oldest in the United States. It is currently considered among the best in the country and the world.

Columbia University campus

A Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing is one of the undergraduate degrees that can be earned through Columbia University’s School of the Arts, and one of the students has five semesters to complete the program. During this time, they are required to participate in five workshops, four seminars, and three elective classes.

Students attending this prestigious school for creative writing can major in either Single-Genre Writing or Cross-Genre Writing during their time there. The latter allows them to combine two different genres.

As one of the best creative writing schools in the world, graduates can continue their education by pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in the same field. Students who wish to earn their Master of Fine Arts degree from Columbia University must earn sixty points throughout their studies.

Princeton University

Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s

Another one of the best creative writing schools in the world can be found at Princeton University , which was established in the middle of the 18th century and is, therefore, one of the oldest universities in the United States.

Princeton commencement exercise

In addition, it is regarded as one of the finest educational establishments in the nation, and it has over 8,000 students, including some of the country’s brightest and most accomplished people. Its alumni include 18 people who have been awarded the Nobel Prize, two presidents of the United States, and three justices on the Supreme Court of the United States.

Undergraduate students at the university can hone their writing abilities through participation in the Creative Writing program housed in the Lewis Center for the Arts. These students are mentored by well-known and currently working members of the writing community. Students can take part in workshop classes, in which they can study poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and other forms of writing with a select group of fellow students and teachers.

Johns Hopkins University

In 1876, Johns Hopkins University became the first university in the United States to be established as a research institution. It takes great pride in its excellent academic programs, which have a history of producing graduates and alumni who have gone on to win various prestigious awards, such as Grammys, Emmys, Pulitzers, and Oscars.

Johns Hopkins University signage on top of a building

As one of the best creative writing schools, students interested in writing can participate in seminars on the history and technique of prose and poetry as part of the university’s undergraduate program major in Writing Seminars. In addition, the university offers courses in literature, poetry, and fiction writing.

The Master of Fine Arts program at Johns Hopkins University is highly competitive. He offers qualified students free health insurance and full tuition, in addition to a teaching fellowship worth approximately $30,000 in total. It is a two-year program, and students are required to maintain residency in Baltimore during that time.

University of Chicago

A research institution, the University of Chicago first opened its doors in the latter half of the 19th century. It has become one of the top ten universities in the United States throughout its history, and it has been associated with more than 90 Nobel laureates. There are over 17,000 students spread out among 12 schools and divisions.

UChicago banner

At the University of Chicago, students who wish to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing can concentrate their studies on either the fiction, nonfiction, or poetry subgenres of the literary arts.

Students have a maximum of four years to complete all of the requirements for their major. This includes taking a foundational course in Creative Writing Seminar, attending two technical seminars pertinent to their primary genre, participating in three advanced workshops, completing four literature courses, and two research electives, participating in a thesis or project workshop, and writing a BA thesis.

New York University

New York University (NYU), which was established in 1831, has a long history of being a forward-thinking academic institution ever since its inception. Since New York is home to a large number of novelists, poets, and creative nonfiction writers who have won multiple awards for their work, NYU is considered to be among the best creative writing schools in all of the world.

The university flag New York University propped outside of its building.

In the Department of Creative Writing at New York University, students have the opportunity to participate in programs leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree as well as the Master of Fine Arts degree. Undergraduate students have the opportunity to take part in intensive writing programs during the summer in Florence, New York City, or Paris. In addition, they have the opportunity to participate in writing contests hosted by the division and gain valuable work experience by interning.

In the meantime, the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program offers students a stimulating environment where they can gain knowledge from distinguished faculty and participate in stimulating and engaging outreach programs, reading series, seminars, and other activities.

University of Pennsylvania

Degrees Offered: Certificate, Bachelor’s

Another excellent school for creative writing that thrives on innovative teaching strategies and cutting-edge technology is the University of Pennsylvania, which is located in Philadelphia. It first opened its doors in 1740, and its long history has significantly contributed to the university’s efforts to improve and expand its culture of innovation.

University of Pennsylvania buildings

Students who wish to earn a Certificate in Creative Writing from the university’s School of Arts and Sciences are required to take four classes from the following list: Poetry Workshop, Fiction Workshop, Screenwriting, Advanced Nonfiction, Journalism, Craft of Creative Writing, Writing about Place, and Modern and Contemporary US Poetry.

Students at Penn can also earn a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences (BAAS) degree in Creative Studies, which takes four years to complete. Within this program, students have the opportunity to concentrate on creative writing.

University of Oxford

Degrees Offered: Master’s

University of Oxford is a renowned educational establishment that is known for having some of the strictest admission requirements found anywhere in the world. The admissions process at the University of Oxford is extremely competitive, with only 17.5% of applicants being chosen.

As a result of these stringent policies, it is home to some of the most intelligent people in the world. This university was at the epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis, and it was able to come up with a vaccine that has helped save the lives of millions of people.

University of Oxford main building

Students who are interested in obtaining a degree in Creative writing can do so at the University of Oxford by pursuing a Master of Study, also known as an MSt. It is considered to be one of the most successful creative writing schools in the entire world.

This particular university provides a program that spans two years and initially places equal emphasis on prose, poetry, and drama. During the second year of the program, students have the opportunity to specialize in one particular area of study. During their second year, each student will be assigned an experienced supervisor who will serve as a resource for them and provide guidance and advice.

University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia, also known as UBC, is a public research university that is also regarded as one of the most important educational institutions in both Canada and the rest of the world. Since its founding in 1908, the university has risen to become one of the top 20 universities in the world.

This academic institution is committed to ensuring that its students and scholars have access to academic freedom. It seeks to do away with censorship and allow academics to express their opinions and engage in open debates to find answers to issues that are relevant to the real world.

View of University of British Columbia from a far

UBC’s distinctive Creative Writing Program can be found in the Faculty of Arts building. Students are drawn to it because it allows them to concentrate on creative writing without being constrained by the study of literature. This makes it an extremely desirable educational environment. The teaching staff hopes to graduate authors who can persuade, educate, and inspire in addition to entertaining their readers.

University of Melbourne

Degrees Offered: Bachelor, Master’s

The University of Melbourne is recognized on a global scale as an institution with a strong commitment to public service. This particular educational institution provides its students with a curriculum that, in addition to the degree they are studying for, gives them a more in-depth understanding of the world as a whole. The graduates of this renowned educational establishment are in high demand, which places the University of Melbourne among the top ten educational institutions in the world in terms of their graduates’ employability rate.

University of Melbourne signage

The University of Melbourne provides avid readers with the chance to investigate their ideas through the medium of written expression. The course, which is offered at one of the top creative writing schools in the world, is intended to teach fundamental writing skills to the tens of thousands of students who enroll in it each year. Learners are encouraged to engage in critical thinking about contemporary thought schools in any form of writing that they produce.

University of Leeds

The University of Leeds is one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the United Kingdom and also belongs to the prestigious Russell Group. This university, founded in 1904, is renowned all over the world for the quality of its education, teaching, and research. This organization strives to improve the quality of life for people in the communities it serves throughout its region, the United Kingdom, and the entire world through its work.

Parkinson Building of the University of Leeds.

The purpose of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Leeds is to assist students in developing their analytical skills to facilitate the production of literary works that span various genres. Students will learn how to shape the language they use to convey their thoughts with the help of knowledgeable professors and academic researchers who curated the course. Under the guidance of seasoned authors, students will have the opportunity to construct a compelling portfolio by the time they have completed their training.

As you choose from the many writing schools, it is equally important to learn how to enter school. At AdmissionSight, you will be guided as needed in that step. You can get all the right information and guidance from experts at AdmissionSight. Start your journey today with  an initial consultation .


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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, the 12 best creative writing colleges and programs.

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best creative writing in world

Finding a dedicated creative writing program at a school you're excited about can be a real challenge, and that's even before you start worrying about getting in. Nonetheless, there are some great options. In order to help you find the best school for you, this list rounds up some of the best colleges for creative writing in the United States .

The Best Creative Writing Programs: Ranking Criteria

You should never take college rankings as absolute truth —not even the very official-seeming US News ones. Instead, use these kinds of lists as a jumping-off place for your own exploration of colleges. Pay attention not just to what the rankings are but to how the rankings are determined.

To help with that, I'll explain how I came up with this highly unscientific list of great creative writing colleges. I started by narrowing my search down to schools that offered a specific creative writing major. (If you don't see a school you were expecting, it's likely because they only have a minor.)

In ranking the schools, I considered five major criteria:

The Best Creative Writing Schools

Now, let's get to the good stuff: the list of schools! The exact numbering is always arguable, so look at it as a general trend from absolutely amazing to still super great, rather than fixating on why one school is ranked #3 and another is ranked #4.

#1: Northwestern University

Northwestern's undergrad creative writing program boasts acclaimed professors and an unparalleled track record of turning out successful writers (including Divergent author Veronica Roth and short-story writer Karen Russell).

Outside the classroom, you can work on the student-run literary journal, intern at a publication in nearby Chicago, or submit to the Department of English's yearly writing competition . The university is also home to a top journalism program , so if you want to try your hand at nonfiction as well, you'll have plenty of opportunities to do so.

#2: Columbia University

Like Northwestern, Columbia is home to both a world-class creative writing program and a top journalism school (plus one of the best English departments in the country), so you have a wide range of writing-related course options. Columbia also benefits from its location in New York City, which is bursting at the seams with publishing houses, literary journals, and talented authors.

best creative writing in world

#3: University of Iowa

The University of Iowa's big draw is the infrastructure of its graduate Writers' Workshop, which is often considered the best MFA program in the country.

As an English and Creative Writing major here, you'll take classes from great young writers and established professors alike, and get to choose from a wide range of topics. This major provides transferable skills important for a liberal arts major with a creative focus. You'll also have access to the university's impressive literary community, including frequent readings, writing prizes and scholarships, and the acclaimed literary journal The Iowa Review .

#4: Emory University

Emory is renowned for its dedicated undergrad creative writing program , which draws the very best visiting scholars and writers. Students here have the chance to attend intimate question-and-answer sessions with award-winning authors, study a range of genres, compete for writing awards and scholarships, and work closely with an adviser to complete an honors project.

#5: Oberlin College

A small liberal arts school in Ohio, Oberlin offers very different advantages than the schools above do. You'll have fewer opportunities to pursue writing in the surrounding city, but the quality of the teachers and the range of courses might make up for that. Moreover, it boasts just as impressive alumni, including actress and writer Lena Dunham.

#6: Hamilton College

Hamilton is another small college, located in upstate New York. It's known for giving students the freedom to pursue their interests and the support to help them explore topics in real depth, both inside and outside the classroom. Hamilton's creative writing program takes full advantage with small classes and lots of opportunities to intern and publish; it also has one of the best writing centers in the country.

#7: Brown University

Brown's Literary Arts program offers one of the top MFAs in the US as well as an undergraduate major . For the major, you must take four creative writing workshops and six reading-intensive courses, which span an array of departments and topics, from music and literature to Middle East studies and Egyptology.

best creative writing in world

#8: Washington University in St. Louis

Washington University has an excellent creative writing MFA program, lots of super specific class options, and a number of scholarships specifically earmarked for creative writing students. This school’s undergraduate English program also offers a concentration in creative writing that allows students to specialize in a specific genre: poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction. If you’re interested in exploring your potential in a specific writing genre, Washington University could be a great pick for you.

#9: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT might not be a school you generally associate with writing, but it actually has an excellent program that offers courses in digital media and science writing, as well as creative writing, and provides plenty of guidance on how graduates can navigate the tricky job market.

Not to mention the school is located in Cambridge, a haven for book lovers and writers of all kinds. Though it probably isn’t a good fit for students who hate science, MIT is a great place for aspiring writers who want to build writing skills that are marketable in a wide range of industries.

#10: University of Michigan

University of Michigan is one of the best state universities in the country and has a top-notch MFA program. This school’s undergrad creative writing sub-concentration requires students to submit applications for admittance to advanced creative writing courses. These applications give students crucial practice in both building a writing portfolio and articulating their interest in creative writing to an audience who will evaluate their work. If you're looking to attend a big school with a great creative writing major, this is a fantastic choice.

#11: Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins is another school that's known more for engineering than it is for writing, but, like MIT, it has a dedicated writing program. As a major here, you must take not only courses in prose, poetry, and literature, but also classes on topics such as philosophy and history.

#12: Colorado College

Colorado College is a small liberal arts school known for its block plan , which allows students to focus on one class per three-and-a-half-week block. The creative writing track of the English major includes a sequence of four writing workshops and also requires students to attend every reading of the Visiting Writers Series.

Bonus School: New York University

I didn't include NYU in the main list because it doesn't have a dedicated creative writing major, but it's a great school for aspiring writers nonetheless, offering one of the most impressive creative writing faculties in the country and all the benefits of a Manhattan location.


How To Pick the Best Creative Writing School for You

Just because Northwestern is a great school for creative writing doesn't mean you should set your heart on going there. (The football fans are completely terrifying, for one thing.) So where should you go then?

Here are some questions to ask yourself when looking at creative writing programs to help you determine the best school for you:

Does It Have Courses You're Interested In?

Look at the course offerings and see whether they interest you. While you can't predict exactly what classes you'll love, you want to avoid a mismatch where what you want to study and what the program offers are completely different. For example, if you want to write sonnets but the school focuses more on teaching fiction, it probably won't be a great fit for you.

Also, don't forget to look at the English courses and creative writing workshops! In most programs, you'll be taking a lot of these, too.

What Opportunities Are There To Pursue Writing Outside of Class?

I touched on this idea in the criteria section, but it's important enough that I want to reiterate it here. Some of the best writing experience you can get is found outside the classroom, so see what kind of writing-related extracurriculars a school has before committing to it.

Great options include getting involved with the campus newspaper, working on the school's literary journal, or interning at the university press.

Who Will Be Teaching You?

Who are the professors? What kind of work have they published? Check teacher ratings on Rate My Professors (but make sure to read the actual reviews—and always take them with a grain of salt).

If you're looking at a big school, there's a good chance that a lot of your teachers will be graduate students. But that's not necessarily a bad thing: a lot of the best teachers I had in college were graduate students. Just take into consideration what kind of graduate program the school has. If there's a great creative writing MFA program, then the graduate students are likely to be better writers and more engaged teachers.

What Are the Alumni Doing Now?

If you have a sense of what you want to do after you graduate, see if any alumni of the program are pursuing that type of career. The stronger the alumni network is, the more connections you'll have when it comes time to get a job.

What About the Rest of the School?

Don't pick a school for which you like the creative writing program but dread everything else about it. Most of your time will be spent doing other things, whether hanging out in the dorms, exploring off campus, or fulfilling general education requirements.

Many schools require you to apply to the creative writing major, so make doubly sure you'll be happy with your choice even if you aren't accepted to the program.

What's Next?

Are you sure a creative writing major is the right fit for you? Read our post on the pros and cons of the major to help you decide what path to take in college.

For more general advice about choosing a college, check out our complete guide to finding the right school for you. Some major factors to consider include deciding whether you're interested in a small college or a big university , an in-state or out-of-state institution , and a public or private school .

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Alex is an experienced tutor and writer. Over the past five years, she has worked with almost a hundred students and written about pop culture for a wide range of publications. She graduated with honors from University of Chicago, receiving a BA in English and Anthropology, and then went on to earn an MA at NYU in Cultural Reporting and Criticism. In high school, she was a National Merit Scholar, took 12 AP tests and scored 99 percentile scores on the SAT and ACT.

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Best Creative Writing Schools in the World 2023

Memunat Adio

Creative Writing Schools in the World. One of the most adaptable professions that endures through time is writing. A career in creative writing is satisfying for committed artists, despite not always being financially successful.

A university’s creative writing program is typically judged on the number of awards its graduates have received or the proportion of award-winning authors who teach there. Some colleges also provide immersive summer programs, interactive workshops, and seminars that let students visit well-known literary destinations.

Aspiring writers search for institutions that offer the top Creative Writing degrees in order to advance their careers.

Read Also: Top 29 Criminology Government Jobs

Table of Contents

1. University of Leeds

One of the biggest institutions in the UK and a Russell Group member is the University of Leeds. This university was founded in 1904 and has earned a reputation for excellence in research, education, and teaching. This institution works to improve communities in its area, the UK, and around the world by improving lives and paving the way for a brighter future.

The University of Leeds’ Creative Writing Program is made to assist students in honing their critical thinking skills so they may create literary works in a variety of genres. The course was designed by knowledgeable professors and academic researchers to teach students how to use language to explain their ideas. Under the guidance of seasoned authors, students will have developed an exceptional portfolio by the completion of their program.

best creative writing in world

2. Arizona State University

Public university Arizona State University (ASU) is a premier research hub in the country. ASU has been at the forefront of technological innovation and space exploration since its founding in 1885. This organization, which is partnered with NASA, exemplifies ambition and gives all space fans the chance to realize their aspirations and collaborate closely with professionals in the field. ASU’s English Department offers a demanding and incredibly rewarding Creative Writing degree.

Workshops and internship possibilities will help the students hone their writing abilities. The department also grants a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree, which is in the top 20 in the nation. Although the curriculum emphasizes cross-genre study, students can choose to specialize in either fiction or poetry, maximizing their three years at ASU.

3. University of Edinburgh

One of the oldest universities in the United Kingdom and one with a strong focus on research is the University of Edinburgh. It has vowed allegiance to defend the interests of the city it is based in since its founding in 1583. Today, it is one of Scotland’s most open and varied institutions, drawing the brightest minds from around the globe. Newcomers will find a warm environment and close-knit community where they can develop and flourish as individuals.

A master’s in creative writing is available full-time at the University of Edinburgh for one year. Every aspect of the curriculum was chosen to aid students in honing their literary talents and incorporating them into their compositions. The program’s emphasis on practical application enables students to explore with various genres and concentrate on certain areas that need work. The University of Edinburgh is the perfect choice for students who want to view and experience literature and writing from new and different perspectives because its graduates are team-taught and benefit from the contributions of various tutors.

Creative Writing Schools in the World

4. University of Melbourne

Internationally recognized as a public-spirited institution is the University of Melbourne. This university offers a curriculum that provides the students with a novel viewpoint and a more thorough comprehension of the world beyond the degree they have chosen to pursue. The University of Melbourne is among the top ten universities in the world for employability rate thanks to the great demand for its highly regarded institution’s graduates.

The University of Melbourne offers voracious readers the chance to express their ideas in writing. The course is intended to teach fundamental writing skills to thousands of students each year as one of the top creative writing programs in the world. In all types of writing, the students are urged to engage in critical thought regarding modern thought institutions.

5. University of Sydney

Australia’s oldest and most esteemed higher education institution is The University of Sydney. This university has been committed to forward-thinking since its founding in 1850 as a means of challenging the status quo and disrupting the mental stalemate that the modern world is inexorably moving toward. This university has developed a setting where various viewpoints are respected and distinctive perspectives are valued, enabling its students to reach their full potential.

A one and a half year full-time master’s program in creative writing is available from the University of Sydney. The students will have a thorough comprehension of writing theories and approaches by the end of their program. The program is created to assist students in acquiring fundamental writing and editing abilities. Graduates of this degree can work in publishing, editing, teaching, and copywriting.

best creative writing in world

6. University of Manchester

The University of Manchester is a prestigious university with a long history that attracts both domestic and international students. This university, which has a remarkable history spanning almost three centuries, continues to establish new benchmarks in innovation and learning leadership. As it strives to develop in its graduates a sense of responsibility towards the environment and society, this institution is a pioneer in environmental conservation.

The University of Manchester has a 12-month creative writing program. World-renowned authors and novelists will teach the students in this program how to write. A straightforward but crucial tenet of the course is that “excellent writing and good reading go together.” Therefore, by reading, discussing, and evaluating the writing of modern authors, the graduates will gain more writing knowledge.

7. University of Michigan

The University of Michigan (U-M) consistently ranks in the top 5% of universities worldwide and is the second-best public university in the United States. The mission of U-M is to serve the state of Michigan, its citizens, and the global community. It seeks to teach, conserve, and use knowledge in order to create leaders who will enrich the present and challenge the future.

Exceptional Creative Writing Degrees are available from the U-M English Department. Theodore Roethke, Jane Kenyon, and Arthur Miller were just a few of the famous writers who called this department their home. Advanced workshops in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction are offered by the department.

best creative writing in world

Related:  10 Tips On How to Improve Creative Writing Like A Pro

8. University of British Columbia

One of the largest teaching institutions in both Canada and the entire world is the public research university known as the University of British Columbia (UBC). UBC was founded in 1908 and has since risen the ranks to consistently rank in the top 20 universities worldwide. This institution aims to give academic freedom to its students and faculty; it opposes censorship and encourages open debate among researchers in order to find solutions to pressing problems in society.

At UBC, the Faculty of Arts has a distinctive Creative Writing Program. It draws students from all over the world because it gives them the opportunity to focus on creative writing without being restricted by the study of literature. The faculty wants to produce authors who can persuade, educate, motivate, and amuse.

9. Ohio State University

The third largest campus in the United States is located at Ohio State University (OSU), a prestigious public university. This university aspires to foster the development of each student on its campus and instill in them the moral values and ethics that will enable them to be leaders in their communities. This university is driven by its ambition to transform the lives of its students.

As part of its graduate program, the English department at OSU awards a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing. The training enables students to achieve their potential, tap into their creative side, and uncover and display their talents. Since all of its graduates receive full funding for the three years they spend studying at OSU, the department has spared no cost in giving them the greatest education possible.

best creative writing in world

10. Oxford University

The highest admission standards in the world are held by the prestigious Oxford University. Oxford University has a 17.5% admission rate, which is considered to be relatively low. The world’s top thinkers as well as those from the United Kingdom call it home because of its stringent policy. Despite being at the epicenter of the COVID-19 catastrophe, this university was able to create a vaccine that has prevented millions of deaths.

Students interested in pursuing a degree in creative writing can do so at Oxford University by earning a Master of Study (MSt) degree. One of the best creative writing programs in the world is offered there. This university offers a two-year degree that emphasizes prose, poetry, and theater equally in the first year and gives students the option to specialize in one of these three genres in the second year. Each student will be assigned an experienced supervisor who will offer direction and counsel throughout their second year.

11. University of Pennsylvania

Another top-notch creative writing program that benefits from cutting-edge pedagogy and technology is the University of Pennsylvania. The university’s innovation culture has been greatly enhanced and expanded over the course of its long history, which began when it was founded in 1740.

Students can earn a Certificate in Creative Writing from the university’s School of Arts and Sciences by passing four out of the following eight courses: Poetry Workshop, Fiction Workshop, Screenwriting, Advanced Nonfiction, Journalism, Craft of Creative Writing, Writing about Place, and Modern & Contemporary US Poetry.

Additionally, Penn offers a four-year Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences (BAAS) in Creative Studies, where students can concentrate in Creative Writing.

best creative writing in world

12. New York University

Since its inception in 1831, New York University (NYU) has been known for its innovative academic programs. Numerous multi-awarded novelists, poets, and writers of creative nonfiction call New York City home, making NYU one of the top creative writing programs in the world.

Award-winning authors and distinguished instructors oversee the undergraduate and master’s programs in creative writing at NYU. In Florence, New York, or Paris, undergraduate students can take part in rigorous summer writing programs. They could participate in departmental writing contests and seize the chance to intern.

While this is going on, the MFA program offers a dynamic setting where students can learn from a talented collection of professors and take part in engaging and active outreach initiatives, reading series, seminars, and other activities.

13. University of Chicago

A research institution, The University of Chicago was founded in the latter part of the 19th century. It has become one of the top 10 colleges in the US and has ties to more than 90 Nobel laureates over the years. Over 17,000 pupils from 12 schools and divisions currently call it home.

The University of Chicago’s Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing program provides in-depth instruction in the literary genre of the student’s choice, be it fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. The major requirements, which include a foundational course in creative writing seminar, two technical seminars pertinent to their primary genre, three advanced workshops, four literature courses, two research electives, a thesis or project workshop, and a BA thesis, must be completed by students in four years.

best creative writing in world

14. Johns Hopkins University

The first research university in the US, Johns Hopkins University, was founded in 1876. It is proud of the excellent academic programs it offers, which have turned forth graduates and alumni who have taken home countless important honors, such as Grammys, Emmys, Pulitzers, and Oscars.

The institution provides a major in Writing Seminars for undergraduates, where they can enroll in literature, poetry, and fiction writing classes and take part in seminars on the development of prose and poetry.

Johns Hopkins University’s highly selective Master of Fine Arts degree offers qualified candidates free tuition, health insurance, and a teaching fellowship worth about $30,000. Students must complete a two-year Baltimore residence as part of the program.

15. Princeton University

One of the oldest universities in the US, Princeton University is another of the best creative writing programs in the world. It was established in the middle of the eighteenth century. Additionally, it is regarded as one of the best intellectual institutions in the nation, drawing some of the brightest minds to enroll among its more than 8,000 students. 18 Nobel Prize winners, two US presidents, and three US Supreme Court Justices are just a few of its noteworthy former students.

Undergraduate students at the institution get the chance to hone their writing talents through the Lewis Center for the Arts’ Creative Writing program, which is run by several well-known and working authors. To learn poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and other genres in a small group setting with other students and faculty members, students can enroll in workshop classes.

FAQS on Creative Writing Schools in the World

Hy is scholarshipwho is a creative writer.

A creative writer is typically an experienced professional who contributes to a variety of print and online outlets. Actually, the author creates intriguing and enjoyable essays, stories, poetry, and articles for publications like books, magazines, websites, and screenplays.

What Can I Do With a Creative Writing Degree?

Advertising copywriter Creative director Digital copywriter Editorial assistant Lexicographer Newspaper journalist Web content manager Writer Academic librarian Film director Marketing executive Schoolteacher Public relations officer Social media manager

Can I get a Creative Writing Degree Online?

Yes. Online universities offer creative writing degrees that you can obtain. Additionally, it is available on Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) websites like Coursera and Udemy. It would, however, depend on the type of creative writing degree you're interested in.

However, you cannot earn a BA, MA, or PhD using MOOCs. This is due to the fact that they are typically used for short courses that either grant certificates upon completion or do not. Nevertheless, after finishing a course on a MOOC site, you would have received some kind of official education.

You must enroll in an online college if you want to earn a Creative Writing degree that is recognized throughout the world. Just make an effort to confirm the accreditation of the school you intend to attend.

Last but not least, the online venues where you can earn a degree in creative writing are as follows: Accredited Online Colleges Coursera Udemy edX

Where is best to study creative writing?

Deakin University. University of Wollongong. Macquarie University. Flinders University.

What should I major in if I like creative writing?

Sociology Communication Psychology Philosophy History English Politics

To be completely honest, producing captivating poems, intriguing made-up stories, and other fantastic stuff for money is instructive and fascinating.

Despite the fact that you are a gifted writer, creative writing actually requires some professional training.

Now, if you’re wondering where to improve your writing abilities, this article lists the top graduate programs in creative writing worldwide.

Actually, these top graduate programs in creative writing teach students how to differentiate themselves from other writers. Indeed, the most prestigious news organizations in the world frequently rush to hire recent graduates from one of these colleges.

That certainly sounds like a lot of money. Consequently, going to one of these schools provides you an advantage in the employment market.

At first, stories are passed down through oral storytelling customs from generation to generation. Nevertheless, the storyteller’s voice and memories served as the principal “writing” medium.

But among the earliest written works were the Bible and Homer’s Odyssey in the Western tradition; the Indian Vedas and Sanskrit literature in the Eastern tradition; and the Mayan Codices in central America.

For a very long period before to today, writing was a challenging endeavor. At first, only monks, the wealthy, and members of the educated classes learnt how to write. Quills and inks were additionally expensive to purchase. In all honesty, making paper was quite difficult.

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Where Great Writers are Made

Assessing America’s top graduate writing programs

The Iowa Writers’ Workshop can be found in a quaint wooden house at the north end of the University of Iowa campus. The Workshop’s brand-new and clean-lined Glenn Schaeffer Library adjoins the house in the rear, as a fashionable offspring might flank a more elegantly dressed parent. In the library’s Frank Conroy Reading Room, which overlooks the gray waters of the Iowa River, are tall, glassed bookcases containing some 3,000 volumes published by graduates of the Workshop since it began, in 1936. Upstairs, in an unused office, are 16 large boxes of alumni books for which no shelf space is yet available. In a wire basket, on the desk of program associate Connie Brothers, are dozens of clipped reviews of recent books. “And those are only the ones I happen to have seen,” Brothers says.

The Writers’ Workshop is the best-known, most-established writing program in the country, and the books in that pantheon are both humbling and inspiring to the students there. “Most of us are still walking around amazed we got in,” says Drew Keenan, a 34-year-old former software engineer from San Francisco who gave that life up to spend the two years in Iowa’s M.F.A. program.

The students at Iowa, like the thousands of others enrolled in the growing number of graduate writing programs nationally, are infected with the fever of the emerging artist, and the desire to succeed against the sobering odds of the publishing landscape. Trying to assess graduate writing programs is like rating the top-10 party schools: You can count how many bottles go in, and how many empties go out, but you can’t prove the party was fun . Determining which writing programs are best is an alchemy of hearsay, tenuous connectors, certain measurable facts, and one’s own predilections about the art of writing. The number of graduate creative-writing programs has risen from about 50 three decades ago to perhaps 300 now. All have the presumed goal of training soon-to-be-published writers. But which ones promote the best new work, and how?

Each year, some 20,000 people apply for admission to these programs. Those accepted will, at least in theory, have access to skilled teachers, be surrounded by other talented rising writers, be funded in a way that lessens their financial constraint, and earn an entree into the world of books and writers. For all those reasons, the question of which programs are “best” has value beyond just “writer talk,” and the answers—there are many—aren’t always easy to determine.

One prominent consideration in rating these programs is, of course, reputation itself. The Iowa Writers’ Workshop may be the best example of a program possessing an aura that puts it high on everyone’s list: A common refrain is “Everyone applies to Iowa because it’s Iowa.” The Iowa franchise, which had a three-decade head start on just about everyone else, has become bigger than any of its measurable components. A mythology is a difficult thing to parse. But one source of reputation is the work and the renown of a program’s graduates. Among those thousands of would-be writers who apply, many are driven by the implied example of other notable writers who have emerged from one or another program.

Success, for a writer, is rarely immediate. And by the time success truly comes to pass, judging a writing program by that success can be like observing a star burning brightly in the sky after it imploded an eon ago. Richard Ford, an early product of the University of California at Irvine writing program, eventually won a Pulitzer for his novel Independence Day. But Ford didn’t really break through as a writer until he published The Sportswriter in 1986, some 16 years after getting his M.F.A. This measure often seems more meaningful when a newly minted writer has a quick success that seems directly related to having been in a particular program. Irvine saw its reputation spike after one student, Michael Chabon, got a $155,000 advance for his master’s-thesis novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh , which went on to become a best seller. (Chabon won the 2001 Pulitzer for The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. ) Alice Sebold’s memoir about being raped, Lucky , began as a 10-page writing assignment in an Irvine class. It was published in 1999, a year after she graduated; she followed it with her best-selling novel, The Lovely Bones .

Irvine, already a top program, could not have been hotter. “Chabon was the first of a series of people from our program who got a lot of attention, and because of that, we were getting huge numbers of applications,” says James McMichael, a poet and longtime UC-Irvine faculty member.

Across the continent, Boston University’s program director, Leslie Epstein, speaks of a particular group that has cemented BU’s reputation. It includes Ha Jin, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Peter Ho Davies, all of whom were quickly and resoundingly acclaimed after graduation. And at Michigan, 2004 M.F.A. grad Elizabeth Kostova earned a $2 million advance for her novel, The Historian , a year after she finished the program.

One shorter-term measure might be the annual Best New American Voices anthology, which publishes student work from graduate writing programs as well as from a host of non-degree-granting conferences and fellowships. Each program nominates two stories a year, and each entry is read blind by the final editor. In the series, published by Harcourt, the submissions of Iowa students have been selected more times than those from any other degree program, though both Virginia and Florida State have consistently had strong showings. (Oddly, Columbia, always considered a top program, has placed none.)

A seemingly accelerating trend is that of students graduating from two or more programs. The winner of the 2006 Booker Prize, Kiran Desai, had attended both the program at Hollins University (then a master of arts, now converted to a two-year M.F.A.) and the M.F.A. program at Columbia; her win was duly celebrated by proud announcements from both programs. “Program hoppers,” who might study briefly at two or more programs, or even get multiple M.F.A.s, also seem increasingly common.

In the simplest matrix for judging creative-writing programs, the first question is: Which well-known authors attended? The other question must be: Which well-known authors teach there? This particular scorecard celebrates the kind of fame that attends a writer who has achieved that rarest of feats: name recognition derived from writing literary fiction. (Genre writers seem rarely to have faculty positions in prestigious programs.)

A single faculty-member writer who’s having a notable success often seems to trump a legion of others quietly publishing work that is respected but not widely celebrated. Columbia University’s Web site features its Nobel Prize–winning faculty member Orhan Pamuk, who began teaching last fall; Gary Shteyngart also recently joined the faculty. Boston University has the estimable Ha Jin, along with Robert Pinsky and Derek Walcott in poetry. Syracuse University’s fine M.F.A. program, once synonymous with Raymond Carver and Tobias Wolff (who is now at Stanford), seems known these days for the short-story writer George Saunders and the poet and nonfiction writer Mary Karr. New York University has the novelist E. L. Doctorow and the poets Philip Levine and Sharon Olds.

In addition to helping students learn the craft of writing, good teachers can also be good advocates, connecting top students to agents and publishers. “Programs like Michigan, Iowa, Columbia, and Stanford put out great writers who publish strong stories and novels,” says New York agent Gail Hochman of Brandt & Hochman, “but perhaps more important than which program the student attended is which writers that student studied with. And we look favorably on anyone who has an M.F.A., simply because it shows they’re serious about their writing.”

At some programs, however, famous writers seem guilty of propagating the notion that writing can’t be taught at all. “Good faculty members don’t treat the job as if it’s a prize for writing a great book,” says Ben Marcus, the chair of the Columbia University M.F.A. program. “You’ll find a lot of people who run programs desperately trying to eliminate the attitude that nothing is really possible in these classes.”

At Iowa, some of the faculty members work in large offices where their classes and workshops also meet, like one-room schoolhouses. Marilynne Robinson, the 2005 Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction, says that the Iowa teachers, in their duty to the students, “are putting aside things we could otherwise be doing, such as our own work.” But elsewhere, employing writers with large reputations but little enthusiasm for teaching leads to exactly the type of disconnected instructor many former students rue.

“Spending your program’s money to buy a really famous person who’s just not much of a teacher isn’t a good idea,” says Eileen Pollack, an Iowa grad who directs the graduate program at Michigan. Many of the top writers at the top programs teach infrequently (one class in a year or year and a half seems typical), because their published works are believed to do more than their teaching for the program’s image. This is because writing programs must contend with the authorial “star system.” While the stars in most other disciplines are known chiefly to specialists, many of the big names in writing are cultural celebrities; having written The Book They Made Into That Movie , a famous author might even have currency with high-school seniors or alumni donors.

In the sense that a workshop is a meeting of working artists, however, “the work of a faculty member is extraordinarily important,” Marcus says. “It shows students their professor is laboring away, just as they are.”

Programs such as those at Virginia, Syracuse, and UC-Irvine take as few as five or six students a year in fiction, and five or six in poetry, while Iowa takes 25 in each and Columbia takes about 35 in each. Last year, Johns Hopkins University’s two-year M.F.A. program admitted only two fiction writers out of 260 applicants. Iowa director Lan Samantha Chang says Iowa had about 1,300 applicants for its 50 total slots.

“Sometimes we’re accused of not being willing to expand,” Irvine’s McMichael says. “We say we would, if we felt the quality of the pool argued for it. Sometimes we have some trouble identifying more than four people we really want.” With those exacting standards come certain pressures, “but we’ve had some years where every member of the class ends up with a book contract,” McMichael says.

In writing, more than in almost any other academic discipline, “the content walks through your door,” says the novelist Christopher Tilghman, who teaches at Virginia. There and at Irvine and Michigan and Texas, to name a few, the numbers of applicants are staggering—often 500 or more. The eventual notoriety or prominence of one’s program can be made or broken in that first step.

At Virginia, the fiction faculty meets in Tilghman’s living room to hash out the choices. Almost every program director says virtually the same thing about the process: GREs, college grades, and what institution one attended as an undergrad are nearly meaningless, used at best as tie-breakers. Of main importance is the short writing sample each student submits for consideration. Almost exclusively from that sample of 10 to 50 pages or so, the selectors must try to divine talent, ambition, teachability, and collegiality—the four critical elements of the ideal apprentice writer’s makeup.

Ha Jin says, “Looking at the writing samples allows you to get to a list of 30 to 40 out of the 300. From there, each person in some ways deserves to be accepted. That’s where other factors enter the discussion.” Here may be where the personality of a program is truly shaped, even if not consciously. For example, he says, “what if you have someone applying who has already published four books? Is that person really willing to consider re‑ examining his writing?” Others worry that applicants who have already published extensively are looking for the degree only as a teaching credential.

At Michigan, where each applicant’s work gets read by at least two faculty members, Pollack says, “you’re still trying to think of how this writer will fit into the community.”

When the historical novelist James Michener endowed the University of Texas with $20 million to support a writing program, the university “started to get good writers,” says James Magnuson, director of the James A. Michener Center, probably the top program in the country in funding creative-writing graduate students. The Michener Center gives its writers free tuition, a $20,000 annual stipend for three years with no teaching responsibility, and a $6,000 “professional development fund” for travel and research.

Texas has the distinction of being a university with two graduate programs in creative writing, which seems something like being a college with two basketball teams. The Texas English department offers a two-year M.A. in creative writing in poetry or fiction, and the Michener Center is a three-year M.F.A. program that requires its students to work in two of the four disciplines offered—playwriting, screenwriting, poetry, and fiction. While paying customers might be more attracted to a program that confers a degree in fewer years, the Michener Center “offers the gift of time,” Magnuson says. “We sometimes overvalue what we do as teachers, when it’s about just letting people write.”

In 2005, University of Michigan alumna Helen Zell donated $5 million to the university’s graduate program in creative writing, to be spent quickly to build the program’s reputation. While Michigan had already been considered one of the country’s top 10, the donation allowed the program to claim to be, as director Eileen Pollack puts it, “one of the top two programs in the country.” Michigan M.F.A. students have their tuition waived for both years. In the first year, each receives a $20,000 stipend; in the second year, each student teaches and receives a slightly smaller amount. Michigan increased its stipend in February from $18,000, in part to match that given by Texas, raising the stakes for the University of Virginia, which had already increased its award to keep up with Michigan’s former rate.

“This has changed everything,” says Virginia’s Tilghman. Virginia was concerned enough to reduce the six or seven available slots in its program to five or six in order to boost its financial award (now about $15,000 for first-year students, Tilghman says). His colleague Ann Beattie is more direct: “It doesn’t compute to do all this work, only to lose people to other programs. We’re not talking about huge amounts.” Cornell takes only four poets and four fiction writers a year, funding them nearly as well as Texas; its faculty-to-student ratio is a touch more than 1:1. Across the country, Irvine’s McMichael says that after these award increases, “we lost two top candidates to Texas, and we had really not been losing anybody we’d accepted before that.”

Another program that may be on the rise is the one at the University of Washington; last October, it was promised a $15 million donation in the will of philanthropist Grace Pollock. At 87, Pollock is alive and well, “but we have time to plan how we’ll use the money,” says director Maya Sonenberg. The program’s faculty boasts three MacArthur “genius grant” recipients, including novelist Charles Johnson.

When programs are assessed on the basis of the financial support they offer, Columbia fares relatively poorly. Its Web site lays out the applicant’s cost bluntly: The estimated total per year, including materials and living expenses, is $50,000.

Criticism of Columbia has been harsh from those who can’t comprehend how a university with a $6 billion endowment could not find a way to fund a few poets and fiction writers. But the history of the School of the Arts, which houses the writing program along with film, theater, and visual arts, has often been one of marginalization.

Dan Kleinman, acting dean of the School of the Arts, says that in its first 25 years or so, the school “was a bit of a backwater, created and left to its own devices.” Little more than a decade ago, Columbia’s creative-writing program rarely tenured faculty, had high turnover among its professors, and got little help with fund-raising. All through, students got little aid. Marcus says that up to now, “it’s our dismal fellowship situation that really hamstrings us.”

Columbia, as a consequence, has lost out on a number of applicants. Roman Skaskiw, a 30-year-old Stanford grad and former Army captain who served as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne in both Iraq and Afghanistan, was accepted at Columbia, “but when they told me what it cost,” he said, “it made my decision very easy.” He’s at Iowa, which now funds all its students (although not equally) for both years.

Marcus believes that with greater financial aid, Columbia’s would be “right up there among the most serious, attractive programs in the country.” And good news came to the program in June. Columbia President Lee Bollinger pledged to provide the School of the Arts an additional $1 million annually in financial aid for graduate students, a chunk of which will go toward the M.F.A. program. While there are no firm plans yet for disbursing the money, “I suspect it will be used to match other institutions to get the students we most want,” said Kleinman. “I also hope it will stimulate fund-raising, as it’s another sign of the support the [M.F.A.] program has from administration.” Students entering during the 2008–2009 academic year will be eligible for the increased assistance.

The financial-aid escalation at the top programs has been like an arms race among superpowers. Brian Evenson, director of Brown University’s Literary Arts M.F.A. program, echoes a growing attitude among the top programs: “With the struggle it already is to start one’s career as a writer, we feel it’s unethical of us to give the students a large debt to carry around with them. We admit only people to whom we can give financial support, which is why our program is so small.”

“One worries—especially if people are paying tens of thousands of dollars for a worthless degree,” says the novelist Chang-rae Lee, currently the director of the creative-writing program at Princeton. His program doesn’t offer a degree but gives its Hodder Fellows the opportunity to write with financial support (like Stanford’s Stegner Fellows and the fellows of the University of Wisconsin’s Institute for Creative Writing, which now is associated with Wisconsin’s newer M.F.A. program). Lee, a former director of Hunter College’s M.F.A. program, says, “I did tell my students at Hunter that only if you publish a book or two does the degree become worth anything at all.” He notes that public universities such as Hunter and Brooklyn College can’t give much money, but don’t charge very much, either.

It’s Writers’ Week at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and the topic is idiom. In a packed ballroom, a nonfiction writer, John Jeremiah Sullivan, takes students as well as locals through some thoughts about the craft; he’s one guest in a week in which the program turns its classes over to an array of distinguished writers. UNCW has gained notice by looking to reinvent the process, at least a little bit.

“We were pretty deliberate about being different,” says Philip Gerard of the school’s three-year M.F.A. program. “We were keen on not making the mistakes others have.” Gerard is decidedly tepid on regarding the traditional workshop as the ultimate pedagogical tool. “It can be a lot of people sitting around saying, ‘I liked this but I didn’t like that,’ and it can do more harm than good by creating a lot of defensiveness—that you learn from the workshop how to plug up all the holes. What we’re trying to do here is to say that crafting and polishing is wonderful, but something ragged and wild can be very exciting to the reader.”

Students in the UNCW program do other things. They write dialogue, and then see it performed by actors in a black-box theater on campus. They watch films to learn how to build scenes better. They attend “long-narrative workshops” to try to learn how to move stories beyond short-story length. “They need to figure out how to tell a longer story that doesn’t peter out,” Gerard says. “There’s a whole generation of writers that didn’t learn to do that.”

By and large, though, creative-writing programs seem to rest on traditional pedagogy: The workshop remains, for most, the hub of the wheel. The workshop format sets creative writing apart from most other disciplines in giving peers a strong voice in the development of each other’s work. Iowa’s éminence gris, James Alan McPherson, likens it to the midwestern concept of “neighboring,” of one crossing the road to help another with a crop.

Workshops are always useful, sometimes useful, or never useful, depending on whom one is asking. Many teachers of writing agree with Brooklyn College’s director, the Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Cunningham, that in less-effective workshops, “you typically show up with work in hand, and people tell you what’s wrong with it.” Another hazard, he says, is the consensus nature of the workshop process, which can lead young writers to validate work that seems similar to other, generally acclaimed work; recall “all those years of fake Raymond Carver, followed by all those years of fake Denis Johnson.” Cunningham taught at Columbia before taking over the program at Brooklyn (where students rave about how generously he gives his time and attention to their work). “To heck with the idea of the ‘workshop kind of story,’” adds Virginia’s Tilghman. “There’s also a ‘workshop kind of workshop,’ with all these particular rules and guidelines. Really, we don’t have to sit around and have all these rules.”

While “workshop rules” traditionally require that each class member have a say in the discussion of a work, what does now seem out of fashion is the no-holds-barred approach of past decades when it came to voicing comments and criticism, which could be unnecessarily bruising. Ethan Canin, an Iowa faculty member and alum of its Writers’ Workshop, says he graduated from the program thinking, “I gave writing a try, but it didn’t work.” He noted that the students’ competitiveness could be “humiliating and degrading” but also sobering in useful ways. Canin, who graduated from Harvard Medical School after getting his M.F.A., later returned to Iowa to join the faculty after having published several acclaimed books. He teaches in a way that he says is derived from the process of scientific inquiry, beginning each workshop with a discussion of structure, rather than the “this didn’t work for me” tone that many workshops can take. He says he aims to be blunt when he must, without getting nasty: “About two-thirds of my students love me, and one-third hate me.”

“The ethos of the workshop has become much more polite,” according to the poet T. R. Hummer, who directs the three-year M.F.A. program at Arizona State University’s Piper Center—but still, “a good workshop leader can … probe a basic assumption until it begins to collapse.”

At Boston University, legions of students have carried on a love-hate relationship with the program’s plainspoken director, Leslie Epstein. “BU was a pretty competitive environment—a real and helpful spur to me,” says Peter Ho Davies, now teaching at Michigan, “though I’m not sure it was an ideal environment for all.”

Christopher Castellani has published two novels with Algonquin since finishing BU’s program. He says Epstein “used to read my work aloud in funny voices.” While Castellani says such treatment “can have short-term benefits for people who respond to it,” he confesses to feeling a perverse satisfaction when Epstein’s most recent book got banged around by one reviewer. Ha Jin, whom Epstein calls “the only true genius I’ve ever known,” has helped leaven the BU program.

Epstein is famously demanding, in a landscape that’s often blandly accepting. “Almost no one here gets an A,” says Epstein, who has high and clearly defined expectations for the program: “I don’t like super-literary fiction. I still want to be moved .”

Over the years, Epstein has condensed much of his teaching philosophy into what he calls his “tip sheet”—eight pages, double-­spaced, beginning with a disquisition on punctuation, with special distaste for the ellipsis: “those three dreamy dots.” The tip sheet is a compilation of the specific—“Clowns, midgets, mimes and people wearing masks should be abjured,” he writes. “Nor am I a fan of wind chimes.” He moves on to larger perceptions about the process: “One must have in mind between sixty-eight and seventy-three percent of the ending. Any more than that percentage and the writer will be in a strait-jacket … Any less and the project will meander and find itself in danger of sinking into the swamp of indecision.”

Though one student has complained of being “paralyzed” by the demands of the tip sheet, Epstein says he wants to “give students something to react to.” He might have a point. In speaking to many creative-writing graduates, I frequently found a kind of buyer’s remorse: They’d come to bemoan the lack of specific criticism or guidance. But this lack appears to have come about by design. In most cases, the professors and program directors characterize their programs as places where writers can find some sanctuary from judgment. Cunningham says that at Brooklyn, “unless you simply don’t give a shit, you’ll get your A.”

“As a writer, you will be harshly evaluated for the rest of your life, by agents, publishers, critics, and readers,” says Columbia’s Marcus. “In a writing program, you want to have your work grow without a lot of hostility to work around.”

Many faculties characterize themselves as mentors and supporters of a writer’s progress. New York University’s program director, Chuck Wachtel, says, “I see it as not so much ‘teaching students’ as ‘helping them learn.’”

But the Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Olen Butler, who teaches at Florida State, differs. He and his colleague Mark Wine­gardner, the director of the program, have big, energetic personalities and have no problem saying that good teaching leads to good writing. “You can’t teach every piano player to be Thelonious Monk,” Winegardner says, “but no piano teacher seems tortured by the question of whether piano can be taught .”

Butler is devoted to something he loosely calls “method writing.” He believes that too many writers intellectualize their writing but never tap the deep emotions that create great art, and that the practice has led to an abundance of polished, bloodless prose. “Creative-writing students, who are typically trained almost exclusively in craft and technique, come to me knowing the second through the tenth things about being an artist,” Butler says. “But they don’t know the first thing about it.” In his workshop, students first struggle to find what Butler says is a primary element of a story: the yearning of the character. “Many don’t get it by the end of the workshop. Some will get it later. But some will never get it,” he says. “Not everyone is destined to be an artist.”

“Every program devotes 50 percent of its time to the workshop,” Tilghman says, “but the question may be what you’re doing with the other 50 percent.” Brooklyn, rather than requiring its students to take English classes, conducts its own “craft classes,” including one called “Time Management,” a semester- long look at how writers attend to the passage of time in their works.

Master classes are another way of connecting young writers with more-accomplished ones. For a day or a week, students can attend mini-classes or lectures given by a prominent writer. “Not every writer is a great workshop leader, or likes the informality typical of a workshop,” Tilghman says. “I suspect if Nabokov were alive, you wouldn’t find him and the students sitting around a table with someone saying, ‘Hey, Vlad, what do you think?’ He’d be doing a master class, and lecturing about writing.”

Surrounding events also have much to do with a program’s value. When I was at Iowa, guest speakers at the Workshop in a week’s time included the novelist Charles Baxter, who teaches in the M.F.A. program at the University of Minnesota, Kiran Desai, and the poet Richard Kenney. Many lesser programs would build an entire semester around such events.

Some programs have taken more-definable approaches in their efforts to distinguish themselves. The University of Oregon’s program, which the poet Garrett Hongo revived by using what a former director called a “dojo” model, requires stringent graduate exams. In Pittsburgh, Chatham University offers an M.F.A. that focuses on nature, the environment, and travel. Indiana University’s prestigious three-year M.F.A. program is one of the few to offer a course in teaching creative writing. Wine­gardner says Florida State’s program will now partner with the university’s film school. The University of Arkansas has a highly regarded program in literary translation to go along with its four-year M.F.A. The University of Nevada at Las Vegas emphasizes global literature, and it funds fellowships from a donation by Glenn Schaeffer, the 1977 Iowa M.F.A. grad turned casino mogul and literary benefactor (for whom the Iowa Writers’ Workshop library is named). And one of the most exciting programs has yet to commence: The Rutgers-Newark Real Lives, Real Stories M.F.A. program begins this fall and will be led by the novelist Jayne Anne Phillips. The 36 writers entering the program range in age from 24 to 60; one-third are students of color, many are raising families, and some have ongoing careers in other fields.

Some programs, such as Mississippi’s and Brooklyn’s, seem to form around a dynamic teacher—Barry Hannah and Cunningham, respectively. The Hopkins program, once known for being led by the encyclopedic John Barth, is still identifiable as a place hospitable to metafiction and linguistic innovation (although the faculty also includes National Book Award winner Alice McDermott, who writes in a realist vein). Surrounded as it is by doctors and scientists who often don’t see the point of made-up stories, the Hopkins program has something of a bunker mentality and a feeling that it must constantly prove its seriousness. It prizes both rigor and inventiveness of language, says program director Jean McGarry. “If workshops are only about self-expression, then you have literary bums floating in and out,” she says.

Brown University’s Literary Arts Program may be the most unusual of all, a program that is habitually innovative. At 75, Robert Coover teaches “Cavewriting” in the Literary Hyper­media sequence. “Brown has the reputation of trying to reinvent the alphabet,” says Columbia’s Marcus, a graduate of Brown’s program. “I’d like to think a good program works against consensus.”

The emergence of Ph.D. programs in creative writing seems at times confounding. Is a Ph.D. something different, or more of the same? With more universities demanding doctorates for all tenure-track teaching positions, says Florida State’s Butler, “the Ph.D. is the new M.F.A., and the M.F.A. is the new M.A.” With only about 100 tenure-track faculty jobs in creative writing becoming available each year, and more than 2,000 graduate students emerging with new degrees in creative writing, the Ph.D. in creative writing may become more common.

Programs vary, but they all attempt to subject students to the same level of rigor as other Ph.D. candidates. The one at the University of Southern California, like many others, has its students take the same comprehensive exams as other doctoral students in English.

Another fast-growing segment of the market is the “low-residency” M.F.A. program. First developed at Goddard College in Vermont, the low-residency model appeals to people with careers. Students typically attend intensive 7-to-10-day residency periods in winter and summer, which emphasize workshops and offer direct contact with faculty members. With such a schedule, programs such as Bennington’s and Warren Wilson’s can attract star faculty members who are based elsewhere. Bennington’s faculty includes Amy Hempel, who also teaches in the M.F.A. program at Sarah Lawrence; Jill McCorkle, now at North Carolina State; and Sven Birkerts, who teaches at Harvard. Warren Wilson’s complement includes the novelist Robert Boswell, who teaches at New Mexico State; and the poet Tony Hoagland, at the University of Houston.

The low-residency programs distinguish themselves by working with generally older students. Many emphasize close, directed readings of as many as 30 books per semester. At a recent Goddard commencement, one graduating fiction writer referred to the event as “the moment we’ve all been annotating for.”

As the low-residencies have multiplied from a core of four programs two decades ago to nearly 30 now, some have found innovative ways to build identity. A couple of the newest are at the University of Alaska at Anchorage, which is converting its three-decade-old residential M.F.A. program to a low- residency model, and at Hamline University, which is adding a low-residency M.F.A. focused on writing for children and young adults to its residential M.F.A. program. Seton Hill University, in Pennsylvania, offers an M.A. in popular fiction, focusing on mystery, romance, sci-fi, and horror; the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast M.F.A. includes in its program young-adult and popular fiction and offers a residency in Ireland. Lesley University’s program includes a concentration in “writing for young people.” Antioch University at Los Angeles focuses on “literature and the pursuit of social justice.”

Not so long ago, graduate programs in creative writing were considered oddities; now it seems odd for an institution not to have such a program. And at least one consequence is that more good work is now in circulation than in the past. Canin says that when he began teaching at Iowa, “about half the stories I got were quite bad. Now hardly any are.” Highly regarded programs such as those at the universities of Montana, Alabama, and Indiana are seeing droves of graduates publish soon after finishing their M.F.A. or even while working on it. David Fenza, director of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs, says he sees a landscape changing in the way that television did when it shifted from three networks to more and smaller channels. “I think a lot of good work will be out there, much of it published by smaller presses.” The poet Chase Twichell, an Iowa grad who runs the nonprofit Ausable Press, says she gets about 600 submissions a year, “and the majority read like M.F.A. theses.”

But even in that formalization of the art through degrees and curriculum, the factors that make for a good program are an alchemy of the measurable and unmeasurable. And many still believe that the real writers, rather like the truth, will out, regardless of the pedigree of their program.

“Does any program really improve anybody, as much as simply identifying them?” asks Chang-rae Lee. “And, after identifying them, not ruining them?”

The Gradcafe

Top 5 Best MFA in Creative Writing Programs (in 2023)

Lisa Marlin

Table of Contents

Johns hopkins university (maryland), krieger school of arts & sciences, university of nebraska, kearney (nebraska), 6. brown university (rhode island), 7. university of iowa (iowa), 8. cornell university (new york state), 10. new york university (nyc), what can creative writers do after graduation, writing sample, transcripts, statement of purpose, recommendation letters, common master’s in creative writing courses, admission requirements for online master’s in creative writing programs, pros and cons of mfa in creative writing, how long does it take to get a degree in creative writing, alternatives to creative writing majors, frequently asked questions, key takeaways.

Many people have a talent for writing, but not everyone can become a successful writer or author. In many cases, this is because even strong writers don’t have the necessary skills and knowledge for creative writing. This is exactly where an MFA in creative writing program comes in handy.

Read on for the best MFA programs in creative writing currently available in the USA, both on-campus and online.

Best MFA in Creative Writing Programs

Johns Hopkins University

Master of Fine Arts in Fiction/ Poetry

Johns Hopkins is a world-renowned private research university located in Baltimore, Maryland. The university’s Master of Fine Arts in Fiction/Poetry is one of the best MFA creative writing programs around, allowing students study and practice the art of writing fiction or poetry at the highest level. It also gives you the opportunity to learn with a faculty that is nationally and internationally renowned.

University of Michigan

Master of Fine Arts

The University of Michigan is a public research university and the oldest in the state. Its Master of Fine Arts program is one of the top creative writing MFA programs in the country and exposes students to various approaches in the craft of writing. With options to specialize in either poetry or fiction, students study under award-winning poets and writers.

University of Texas at Austin

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

The University of Texas at Austin is a well-known public research university that has around 50,000 students at the graduate and undergraduate levels. It offers one of the best MFA programs for creative writing around today and aims to enhance and develop its students’ artistic and intellectual abilities.

UNK logo

Master of Arts

The University of Nebraska offers programs in a wide range of majors and strives to provide quality education at an affordable cost, including this online MA program in English. The program offers a choice between four areas of focus, including Creative Writing which provides students with experiential learning in poetry or prose.

5. Bay Path University (Massachusetts)

Bay Path University

MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing

Bay Path University is a private university with various programs at undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate levels, including women-only undergraduate programs. This program in creative non-fiction writing is one of the first fully online programs in the nation which helps students develop in-depth creative writing knowledge in a range of literary genres.

Brown logo

MFA in Literary Arts

Brown is a world-famous, Ivy League research university based in Providence, Rhode Island. Its two-year residency MFA in Literary Arts is designed to allow students maximum intellectual and creative exploration. The highly-competitive program offers extensive financial support: over the past 20 years, all incoming MFA students were awarded full funding for at least their first year of study.


MFA in Creative Writing

The University of Iowa is a public research university located in Iowa City, and one of the most renowned public schools in the Midwest. In this two-year residency program, students learn from established professors and exciting young writers.

Cornell University

Cornell is a famous Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York. This highly-competitive program accepts only eight students every year, two from each concentration. This means that students enjoy not only a generous financial aid package but also the opportunity to work closely with members of the school’s celebrated faculty.

9. Columbia University ( NYC )

Columbia University logo

MFA in Fiction Writing

Founded in 1754, Columbia University is the oldest tertiary education institution in New York, and one of the oldest in the country. The school offers a Writing MFA with a choice of concentrations: nonfiction, fiction, poetry, or literary translation. The fiction concentration promotes artist and aesthetic diversity, with a diverse teaching staff and adjunct faculty including renowned writers and editors from a wide range of schools of writing.

NYU logo

New York University, or NYU, is known for delivering high-quality, innovative education in a range of fields. Thanks to its location in the heart of NYC, the institution’s MFA in Creative Writing boasts renowned faculty across poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. The dynamic course aims to foster creativity and excellence through literary outreach programs, a public reading series, a literary journal, and special seminars from visiting writers.

As a creative writer with an MFA, you’ll have a variety of career options where your ability to write creative pieces will be highly valued. Below are a few of the common jobs a creative writing graduate can do, with the average annual salary for each.

A creative director leads a team of creative writers, designers, or artists in various fields, such as media, advertising, or entertainment.

An editor helps correct writing errors and improve the style and flow in media, broadcasting, films, advertising, marketing , and entertainment.

An academic librarian is responsible for managing educational information resources in an academic environment such as a university.

Copywriters typically work to present an idea to a particular audience and capture their attention using as few words as possible.

A writer usually provides written content for businesses in the form of articles, marketing content, blogs, or product descriptions, or they may write fiction or non-fiction books.

A social media manager is responsible for creating and scheduling content on social media, and may also track analytics and develop social media strategies.

Journalists may work for newspapers, magazines, or online publications, researching and writing stories, as well as conducting interviews and investigations.

A public relations officer works to promote and improve the public image of a company, government agency, or organization, through work such as preparing media releases, online content, and dealing with the media.

Lexicographers are the professionals who create dictionaries: they study words and their meanings and compile them into a dictionary.

What You Need to Get into a Master’s in Creative Writing Program

Besides the application form and fee, most MFA in creative writing programs have the following requirements:

Make sure your resume  includes all relevant information to showcase your interests, skills, and talent in writing.

Selection committees for MFA programs in creative writing look for applicants who are serious about writing and so typically ask for a 10-20 page writing sample. The best sample will show your talent in your preferred area of writing, such as fiction, non-fiction, or poetry.

You’ll need to show transcripts of your undergraduate studies.

A statement of purpose  is usually one to two pages and should show your passion for writing as well as your potential to succeed in the program.

Most programs want to see letters of recommendation from academic or professional contacts who know you well.

Some universities may also have some additional requirements, so it’s best to check with the specific program.

Related reading: How to Ask a Professor for a Letter of Recommendation for Grad School

As part of your master’s in creative writing program, you’ll usually need to complete a number of compulsory courses, along with some elective subjects.

Common courses you’ll need to take include:

Can you get a Creative Writing Degree Online?

Yes, there are a number of institutions that now offer online creative writing degrees, such as Bay Path University  and the University of Nebraska . The advantage of online courses is that they offer a high degree of flexibility, allowing you to study from anywhere and often on your own schedule. This makes it possible to earn your degree while continuing with your current job or looking after your family.

However, you won’t get the benefits of a residency program, such as the opportunity to build close connections with your peers and work with the faculty in person. Some on-campus programs also offer full funding to cover your tuition and education expenses.

The admission requirements for online MFA programs are very similar to on-campus programs. You will usually need to submit an application including academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, personal statement, and a writing sample. Sometimes, GRE scores are also required, though this is not the case for all programs.

As with any creative writing program, your writing sample is critical. The selection committee wants to see a talent and passion for writing, and you will probably struggle to be successful in your application without a strong writing sample.

Like anything, studying an MFA in Creative Writing and pursuing a related career can have its benefits as well as drawbacks.

Many people are truly talented, but find it hard to sit down and write. However, an MFA will give you the motivation you need as you will have to keep writing to meet your deadlines.

Writing can be a solitary pursuit and it can be hard to connect with others who are passionate about writing. An MFA program will instantly provide you with a community of like-minded people.

An MFA is one of the options that help you find a teaching job at the university level. Unlike some majors that require a PhD to enter academia, an MFA is often all you need to teach at a post-secondary level.

Although an MFA in Creative Writing will give you a number of skills that are useful in the job market, these are not as marketable as some other forms of writing. For example, copywriting arguably has a wider range of job prospects.

There is a risk that your writing could become too technical or formulaic as a result of the theories you learn during your MFA. It’s important to know the theory, but you don’t want to let it limit your creativity.

A master’s in creative writing typically takes around two, sometimes three years to complete. Unlike other master’s degrees where you can find accelerated options that you can complete in as little as 18 months or even one year, there are very few opportunities like this in the creative writing field, due to program requirements such as workshops and dissertations.

Not everyone who completes an MFA in creative writing goes on to work as a writer – instead, they use the writing skills and the knowledge gained in the master’s program to pursue other career paths. Many work as teachers, editors, librarians, journalists, or copywriters.

Similarly, there are alternative majors that can set you on the path to a career in the field of creative writing. Such alternatives include an MA in English , literature, humanities, media studies, and library sciences.

Related Reading: Master’s in Fine Arts: The Ultimate Guide

What can I do with an MFA in creative writing?

You will have a wide range of career options as an MFA graduate. You could teach creative writing at a secondary or tertiary level, or you could pursue a career in advertising, publishing, media, or the entertainment industry. You can also become an author by publishing fiction, non-fiction, or poetry.

Are MFA creative writing programs worth it?

Having an MFA opens doors to a range of well-paid careers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the median annual salary for writers and authors is a decent $67,120 . Therefore, studying in an MFA program is an excellent option if you are skilled in writing and want to make a living from your writing.

How do I choose an MFA in creative writing?

It’s important to consider whether an on-campus or online MFA program is best for you, depending on your lifestyle and commitments. Another key consideration is faculty – many universities have renowned authors on their teaching staff who will give you the highest levels of training in creative writing. You should also consider your preferred focus area, whether it is fiction, poetry, or nonfiction.

What are MFA writing programs?

An MFA in writing or creative writing is an advanced program that teaches you the art and practice of writing with creativity. During the program, you will hone your writing skills and equip yourself to publish your own work or pursue a career in media, teaching, or advertising.

Can you teach with an MFA?

Yes — teaching is one of the many career options you’ll have with an MFA on your resume. An MFA in creative writing can qualify you to be a teacher in creative writing, in schools or the higher education sector.

Is it really hard to get admission to MFA creative writing programs?

MFA creative writing programs are relatively competitive, and not all applicants get into every program. However, if you are talented and truly ambitious to become a professional, you shouldn’t find it too difficult to get into an MFA. Having said that, the most prestigious universities with the best creative writing master’s programs will accept only a small percentage of the applicants, so it’s important to prepare well.

What is the best creative writing program in the world?

There are a number of creative writing programs that are known for their famous faculty and excellent courses. Some of the best known include the Master of Fine Arts in Fiction/ Poetry  from John Hopkins and the MFA in Literary Arts  from Brown University. Outside the US, the most renowned program in creative writing is probably the University of Cambridge’s MSt in Creative Writing .

How hard is it to get an MFA in creative writing?

A MFA is an intensive, highly-involved degree that requires a reasonable amount of dedication. However, anyone with a passion for creative writing will find it very rewarding and satisfying. The best master’s in creative writing programs, especially those offering full funding to all students, are highly competitive.

Should I get an MA or MFA in creative writing?

Whether a MA or MFA in creative writing is right for you depends on your own interests and career ambitions. An MFA in creative writing is ideal for anyone who is passionate about fiction, poetry, or creative non-fiction, and wants to pursue a career in the field. A MA is a broader degree that will equip you for a wider range of career choices, though it will qualify you for many of the same roles as a MFA.

Can I get published without an MFA?

Absolutely – you can get published without an MFA. However, studying an MFA will equip you with a range of skills and knowledge that will be extremely helpful in getting your work published, from honing your craft to submitting your manuscript to publishers.

What are the highest paying jobs with a master’s in creative writing?

An MFA in creative writing can help you land a range of jobs in the creative and literary fields. The highest-paying jobs for graduates with a master’s in creative writing include creative directors, with an annual salary of $90,389 , and lexicographers, who can expect to be paid around $70,250  annually.

An MFA in creative writing program will hone your talents and develop the skills you need to become a successful writer. The best MFA programs in creative writing will give you in-depth knowledge of the field as well as help you to develop practical skills in fiction, non-fiction, or poetry.

The acceptance rate for the best MFA writing programs is pretty low and competition is tough. Therefore, it’s important to understand the requirements well and prepare thoroughly – check out our guide to applying to grad school  to help you put together your strongest possible application.

Lisa Marlin

Lisa Marlin

Lisa is a full-time writer specializing in career advice, further education, and personal development. She works from all over the world, and when not writing you'll find her hiking, practicing yoga, or enjoying a glass of Malbec.

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The 25 Best Graduate Creative Writing Programs

best creative writing in world

If you’re interested in a creative writing career, this might arguably be one of the best times in history. A glance on the Internet, especially on social media sites, shows a growing demand for content. This means a demand for advanced writing skills, and other creative skills.

​ Are you planning to enhance your creative writing skills? Consider taking one of the best creative writing graduate programs . To get you started on your degree search, we’ve put together this list of best graduate writing programs . In fact, most of these are no- or low-residency creative writing programs. This includes colleges offering an online master’s degree (or hybrid) in Creative Writing.

A creative writer ay find themselves with a number of different career opportunities. Creative writers may write content, go into advertising, be a screen writer or go into publishing just to name a few options in this field.

Best MFA Creative Writing Programs

Western new england university, graduation rate, acceptance rate.

Western New England University

One of the best creative writing MFA programs is offered by Western New England University (WNE, est. 1919) is a low-residency program (College of Arts and Sciences). This is a 48-credit, hybrid MFA in Fiction, but enables a comprehensive study of all aspects of fiction. Students at this top creative writing school will undertake a mix of:

For the residencies, these immersive, week-long gatherings are comprised of:

Four of these must be taken. The summer ones are held on-campus in Springfield, Massachusetts, with the winter ones either in the Berkshires or Dublin, Ireland. Those applying for the MFA program will need an undergraduate degree (please check with WNE for GPA requirements).

As one of the best creative writing MFAs , WNE’s Creative Writing MFA provides a mentored approach to education. To ensure students get the one-on-one attention they deserve, the program maintains the student-faculty ratio at 5:1. Faculty mentors and visiting writers are all published authors — many award-winning — covering several forms and genres, including:

The MFA is particularly well-suited to creative writers with a strong interest in craft and who want to master critical elements, such as:

Key courses in the creative writing program include:

Lesley University

Graduate rate:, acceptance rate:.


Lesley University (LU, est. 1909) offers a unique, low-residency, hybrid MFA in Creative Writing that will be attractive to writers seeking to explore new boundaries in their craft. LU’s best masters in creative writing requires 49 credits for completion, including a thesis and graduating seminar presentation. Students must also complete five residencies — two per year plus an exit one — in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Each nine-day residency involves:

There is also an exciting opportunity for a 12-day residency in Wales at the Dylan Thomas International Summer School. To qualify for admission into the MFA, applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree (please check with LU for GPA requirements).

If you’re looking for one of the best poetry MFA or screenwriting MFA programs , this just might be it. Available genres for Lesley’s MFA in Creative Writing are:

While creative writers will select one genre, they will work with award-winning writers across several of these categories. This underlies the unique interdisciplinary aspect of the program. In addition to encouraging students to explore other genres, LU’s MFA allows them to incorporate other disciplines, as well. For example, students can work with faculty in Art and Design or Arts and Social Sciences to examine how their writing combines with such complementary fields as:

Graduates of LU’s low-residency Creative Writing program have pursued careers as:

Several creative writers have become teachers in writing programs at prestigious universities. Key courses for this MFA include:

Spalding University

Graduation rate:.

best creative writing in world

Spalding University (SU, est. 1814) offers one of the best graduate creative writing programs in the country. Their low-residency Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Writing. This 65-credit hybrid degree provides the choice of six concentrations:

Students must complete five 10-day residencies, which are comprised of:

The residencies in Louisville, Kentucky, take place in spring and fall. The international ones are held in the summer. After each residency, students undertake a semester of independent study that is primarily focused on honing one’s writing abilities and writing process but is supported by reading and critical analysis. A thesis and the Graduation Residency complete the program. To qualify for admission into this creative writing program, applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree (please check with SU for GPA requirements).

Spalding’s Writing MFA is a high-value program that offers an intriguing combination of:

As the world’s first certified compassionate university, SU’s promise of a supportive, non-competitive community seems very real. Additionally, SU takes pride in teaching students how to be successful creative writers amidst the other responsibilities of their daily lives and continues to provide support for alumni after graduation. Key courses for the creative writing students include:

Additional: SU also offers a low-residency Master of Arts (MA) in Writing with tracks in: Creative Writing; and Professional Writing. This 35-credit hybrid degree can be completed in a year. Graduates can then pursue career goals or proceed directly into SU’s MFA.

Queens University of Charlotte

Queens University Charlotte

Queens University of Charlotte (Queens, est. 1857) offers one of the best creative writing masters programs through the College of Arts and Sciences. This hybrid program requires 52 credits for completion and includes a thesis and a capstone project. While this is essentially a Master’s of creative writing focusing on publishing and editing, students can specialize in one of four genres:

They must take four weeks of residencies selected from two track options. On-Campus Residencies are seven-day sessions held in Charlotte, North Carolina, at the start of each semester. International Residences are annual, culturally rich, 14- or 15-day affairs in one of Buenos Aires, Argentina; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; or Santiago, Chile. A final, on-campus Graduating Residency is also required. To qualify for admission into the MFA, applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent creative writing experience. (Please check with Queens for GPA requirements.)

The Queens’ Creative Writing MFA is for:

The creative writing program provides the:

Queens also has opportunities to help graduates achieve their career dreams. This includes an Annual Alumni Weekend with craft seminars, publishing panels, and, every other year, top agents and senior editors from major magazines and publishing houses. There’s also Queens’ Book Development Program. It pairs applicants with a senior editor from a major publisher. Key course options for this MFA include:

Harvard University

Harvard University

Through its Harvard Extension School, Harvard University (Harvard, est. 1636) has one of the best Creative Writing masters programs. While Harvard’s is not an online MFA in creative writing, it is partly online and is called the Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Extension Studies in the field of Creative Writing and Literature. This 48-credit, low-residency, hybrid degree has the choice of a capstone or thesis track. Primarily taken online, the ALM has a single residency requirement comprising three weeks of study. It starts with a week-long masterclass on-campus and a weekend connecting with agents and editors. The additional two weeks of writing classes and final writing assignment can be done either online or on-campus. To qualify for admission into the ALM, students need a Bachelor’s degree and then must take two required graduate courses at Harvard, earning a minimum grade of B in each one.

Harvard’s Creative Writing and Literature ALM focuses on helping students gain a mastery in creative writing and literary analysis. Graduates will be able to write in multiple genres, including:

Students gain advanced creative writing skills in:

They will also be able to assess literature as both creative writers and scholars. In addition to the acknowledged quality of a Harvard education, the ALM provides students with connection, camaraderie, and support. Many graduates in creative writing go on to careers in:

Key ALM courses and options include:

Ashland University

Ashland University

Ashland University (AU, est. 1878) offers a low-residency Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing. This is a 45-credit, hybrid degree featuring nine credits of in-residence course work and 36 credits of online study (including a full-semester thesis). The in-residence courses take place during a two-week summer workshop (with seminars and readings) held at AU’s Ashland, Ohio, campus. Three separate workshops/ residencies must be completed. Students have the incredible option to do one of their residencies in Paris. The final residency will feature their thesis defense. Students can choose a degree track in one of three genres:

To qualify for admission, applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree with a GPA over 2.75.

Ashland’s approach to its Creative Writing Master’s program is one of mentored learning. No more than five students are assigned to a single faculty mentor, each of whom is a published author. During residencies, students can also build their own dynamic writing communities with fellow students. Other program benefits for a creative writer include creating a full-length manuscript in one’s chosen genre and having the chance to qualify for graduate assistantships in teaching or publishing. Key courses in this creative writing program include a:

Those obtaining a graduate teaching assistantship will undergo a Pedagogy Track with two additional courses — Composition/ Rhetoric Pedagogy and Supervised Teaching — and teach as many as five online undergraduate composition courses.

Arcadia University


The top-value Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing at Arcadia University (Arcadia, est. 1853) is a 39-credit, hybrid program. This creative writing program offers two genre choices: Fiction; or Poetry. Students must complete three separate week-long residencies involving:

The first and third residencies are held on-campus in Glenside, Pennsylvania. The second is a study-abroad opportunity in Edinburgh, Scotland, which adds area tours to the activities list. For this MFA’s thesis requirement, students must produce a full-length manuscript in their chosen genre — and work with their advisor to create a plan to get that manuscript published.

Arcadia’s high-quality Creative Writing program is designed to prepare students for a career in:

Potential employment settings for creative writing graduates include:

Among the creative writing program highlights are:

Key course options for the MFA include:

University of Nebraska Omaha

University of Nebraska

The low-residency Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Writing from the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO, est. 1908) is a 60-credit, hybrid program. Students can choose from one of six genres:

Those wanting to specialize in a second genre can apply for an additional semester of study. In addition to a thesis requirement, students must complete:

As for the residencies, students must complete five of them, including the final one where they will present their thesis and deliver a craft lecture. Held twice a year at a retreat in Nebraska City, Nebraska, each residency features:

UNO’s low-residency Creative Writing MFA is designed for writers seeking a literary career. The program allows for a personalized course of study under the guidance of a dedicated mentor, who is an accomplished (often award-winning) writer. That personalized plan will determine the critical development, reading, and writing a student will undertake each semester. During each residency, students form a supportive community with their single-genre workshop group. Then, through Special Topic Workshops and future residencies, they’ll also get to interact with all the other MFA students and study multiple genres. Key course options for the creative writing program include:

Bay Path University

Bay Path

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Nonfiction Writing from Bay Path University (BPU, est. 1897) is a fully online program. To graduate, students must complete 39 credits, including six for their thesis. In addition to their core courses, creative writing students must choose from one of three tracks:

Each track provides for an internship or practicum opportunity. Also, while this MFA is a no-residency program, BPU does have the option for a week-long Summer Writing Seminar in Ireland, which currently features Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon. New students can enter the MFA in January, May, or September. To qualify for admission, applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA in their English and Writing classes.

​Students in Bay Path’s online MFA will gain a deeper understanding of creative non-fiction as a unique genre and learn what it takes to write publishable work based on their own experiences or the personal stories of others. Other benefits include:

Creative writing program graduates can pursue careers in various fields, including:

Popular job titles include:

Key courses in BPU’s MFA include:

Drexel University

Drexel University

The low-residency Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing at Drexel University (DU, est. 1891) is a 45-credit hybrid program. This MFA focuses on a Fiction concentration with opportunities to gain skills and understanding in other genres. (The program also previously offered a Screenwriting Track. Please check with DU about its availability.) Students must complete three separate five-day residencies. The first and third are at Drexel’s campus in Philadelphia, the second is in New York. Each residency has career development and writing mastery components. However, the second one helps set DU apart. In that Professional Residency, students form connections with:

Those applying for admission into the creative writing program must have a Bachelor’s degree (please check with DU for GPA requirements).

As one of the top MFA creative writing programs in the country, Drexel’s Creative Writing MFA was designed to develop writers who can create work worthy of being published and understand what it takes to be published. Students will be mentored by acclaimed authors, learn from award-winning writers, and get feedback from fellow students. Drexel also provides a rare opportunity to connect one’s creative writing to civic engagement activities. These experiences include:

Key courses in this creative writing program include:

Tuition is currently at a special rate and may increase in each new semester. We’ve estimated total cost based only this special 50% off per-credit rate, available at time of publication.

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU, est. 1932) has a fully online Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing. This 48-credit creative writing degree offers the choice of four genre fiction tracks:

SNHU’s program culminates with a three-course thesis where students create a full-length novel or story collection of publishable quality. Prior to that, creative writing students study the craft of writing and incorporate what they learn into their own writing. They also explore the publishing process to better understand the practical side of being a successful author and marketing one’s work. To qualify for admission into the MFA, applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA.

SNHU’s Creative Writing MFA is one of the few fully online top creative writing MFA programs and even fewer focused on genre fiction. What gives it even better value is its unique and beneficial career-building components. Specifically, students can choose from one of two built-in certificates: Graduate Certificate in Online Teaching of Writing; or Graduate Certificate in Professional Writing. That means creative writing graduates will be better prepared to teach at the college and university level or be ready to pursue professional writing opportunities in today’s marketing-oriented, project-driven economy. Key courses for the creative writing program include:

Additional: SNHU also offers two other creative writing programs for graduate students. The low-residency Mountainview Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Fiction or Nonfiction is a 60-credit, hybrid degree. Meanwhile, the 36-credit Master of Arts (MA) in English and Creative Writing is a fully online program.

Converse University

Converse University (CU, est. 1889) — formerly Converse College — offers a low-residency Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing. This 48-credit hybrid degree comprises five separate nine-day residencies and four mentoring semesters. Residencies incorporate seminars, workshops, and lectures and are held twice a year on CU’s Spartanburg, South Carolina, campus. The Graduating Residency completes the program and features a thesis defense. Students can focus on one of three genres:

Those choosing Fiction can specialize in Young Adult Fiction. Alternatively, students in any genre can specialize in Environmental Writing. Those wanting to further broaden their career horizons can choose the Second Genre Emphasis. This adds 12 credits to their creative writing degree requirements, plus an additional residency and mentoring semester. To apply for admission into the MFA, students must have a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA.

The non-traditional format of CU’s Creative Writing MFA utilizes the mentor-apprentice relationship to help students develop advanced writing skills and a relevant understanding of contemporary literature and craft. This educational style also means students can personalize their course, project, and reading list selections. Additional program benefits include:

Recent graduates have won numerous writing awards and secured book deals with major and top independent publishers. Key course options in this MFA include:

NOTE: According to the creative writing program site, room and board is provided included with tuition and fees to enrolled MFA students for both the summer and winter residencies. Summer accommodations are on-campus; winter accommodations are at local hotels.

Eastern Oregon University

Eastern Oregon

Eastern Oregon University (EOU, est. 1929) offers a low-residency Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing. This 60-credit, hybrid degree has both a thesis and a practicum requirement. While students must select a primary genre for their thesis, they will study several genres, including:

Students who want to specialize in a second genre can stay an additional year to do another thesis. For the ecologically inclined, EOU’s MFA has a Wilderness, Ecology and Community concentration. Either way, every student will have a unique nature experience through the summer residencies, which split time between a Wallowa Lake retreat and EOU’s campus in La Grande, Oregon. Students must complete three separate two-week residencies comprised of:

The final residency features their thesis presentation.

EOU’s low-residency Creative Writing MFA follows a cohort model to help create a tight-knit, collaborative group of fellow writing students. At the same time, as the program is designed for working professionals, students will be able to study at their own pace to ensure they can balance their commitments. An additional benefit of EOU’s creative writing program is the hands-on experience provided through a variety of experiences during the practicum including:

Key course options for the creative writing program include:

West Virginia Wesleyan College

West Virginia Wesleyan

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing from West Virginia Wesleyan College (WVWC, est. 1890) is a low-residency program. This 49-credit, hybrid degree requires a thesis and a critical essay. Students must also complete five total residencies — comprising craft seminars, readings, and workshops — with the last one centered on their thesis interview and presentation. Summer residencies are on-campus in Buckhannon, West Virginia, with the winter ones in Blackwater Falls State Park. (An Ireland MFA Residency is also an option.) Students must choose from one of three genre tracks:

For those wanting to study a second track, a Cross-Genre Concentration is available. It adds 12 credits, a residency, and a semester to the creative writing program’s original completion requirements.

Wesleyan’s low-residency Creative Writing MFA follows a student-centered model that is designed to replicate the flow of a writer’s life. Program participants can maintain their regular lives while learning to become dedicated writers in balance with those commitments. Students work one-on-one with a variety of accomplished faculty mentors. At the same time, everyone is part of a welcoming, supportive writing community. Study and coursework are focused on mastering craft and technique, along with the development and furtherance of the writer’s mind.

Lindenwood University

Lindenwood University

Lindenwood University (LU, est. 1827) offers a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Writing that can be taken online, on-campus, or in a hybrid format. This 48-credit, creative writing MFA includes a thesis requirement and combines craft and literature classes with writing workshops to help students grow as writers and expand their literary knowledge and analytical abilities. With the fully online option, there are no residency requirements. Additionally, students can customize their degree outline, selecting courses across several genres and literary areas, or choosing an emphasis in:

To apply for admission, students must have a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA.

The University of Denver also offers a Ph.D. in English & Literary Arts with a concentration in Creative Writing.  Students will choose either a “poetry” or “prose” track.  Poets &Writers ranked the University of Denver as one of the best creative writing programs MFA in the country.

LU’s MFA in Writing is designed as a fully flexible option that fits the needs, interests, and schedules of all its students. Lindenwood aims to remove the barriers that may be stopping someone from pursuing their educational and career goals. Along with career resources, peer support, and networking connections, an additional benefit of this MFA is the chance to be an editorial assistant with the program’s annual literary journal. Graduates of LU’s MFA can pursue both employed and self-employed positions, achieving such job titles as:

As this MFA is a terminal degree, graduates can also teach at the college and university level. Key course options for this MFA include Focused Scriptwriting Workshop and The Personal Essay and Memoir.

Wilkes University

Wilkes University

Wilkes University (WU, est. 1933) offers two connected, low-residency creative writing graduate degrees — the Master of Arts (MA) in Creative Writing and the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing. The 30-credit MA offers seven tracks:

Four, eight-day, on-campus residencies are required, including a capstone one. (WU also has a “weekender” option where each residency is broken down into four consecutive weekends during the semester.) The MFA is the continuation of WU’s MA program. It requires an additional 18 credits and one more residency. MFA students will revise their MA thesis for publication or production, or start a new project based on the thesis. They will also complete a full-term internship in teaching or publishing. Those applying for the MA should have a Bachelor’s degree, but it’s not essential. Those applying for the MFA must have completed the MA program and earned a 3.5 GPA in every course.

Wilkes’s low-residency Creative Writing MA and MFA programs focus on writing craft and the business of writing. That real-world integration is what makes it unique. Every MA thesis is read by an agent, editor, publisher, or producer who provides detailed feedback and a personal meeting. Meanwhile, MFA internships give students real-world experience and connections. Also, WU’s MA and MFA teach students how to:

The proof? Hundreds of graduates have had their works published or produced. Countless others have become:

Key courses and options for the MA include:

Key courses and options for the MFA program include:

University of Texas at El Paso


The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP, est. 1914) offers a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing that can be taken entirely online. The MFA program requires 48 credits for graduation, including six for a thesis. While there are no residency requirements for this degree, adventurous students can select the low-residency option and travel to a different international city every summer. Past host cities have included London, Madrid, and Paris. The program itself is built around a mix of: writing workshops, literature courses, form and theory explorations covering various genres and forms. For their thesis, students will select either: Fiction or Poetry. To qualify for admission into the MFA program, applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree and ideally a minimum 3.0 GPA.

UTEP’s MFA program is one of the few fully online Creative Writing MFAs in the United States and the only bilingual one. While classes are taught in English, students have the option to submit assignments in Spanish. Career-wise, the main focus of this high-quality program is preparing graduates for careers as published writers and/ or teaching creative writing at colleges and universities. This MFA program has a strong literary focus and foundation. In addition to academic ability, it favors talented and driven writers with distinct, developing, or new voices, and those with cultural and social awareness. Key course options for the MFA program include:

Saint Leo University

Saint Leo

The low-residency Master of Arts (MA) in Creative Writing at Saint Leo University (SLU, est. 1889) is a 36-credit, hybrid program. Students can choose from one of three degree tracks:

SLU is also said to have the only MA program that offers a track specialization in War Literature and Writing for Veterans — a uniquely relevant and poignant option in today’s world. Overall, the program combines creative writing and literary studies personalized to each student’s goals. The MA’s eight-day residency is held on-campus in St. Leo, Florida, each summer. Students must attend three of these. To be eligible for admission to the MA, applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.25 GPA.

SLU’s low-residency MA in Creative Writing is a flexible option for working adults who dream of writing memorable works of fiction or becoming notable essayists, memoirists, or poets. Other students use this MA to advance their professional careers or use it as a foundational step to pursuing terminal degrees in fields such as:

Whatever one’s goals or dreams, SLU provides a dedicated faculty mentor (a published writer of national recognition) to help guide you. You will also have the regular feedback and community of your fellow writing students. Key courses and options for the MA include Foundations in Fiction and Theory and Practice of Creative Writing.

Concordia University-Saint Paul


Concordia University-Saint Paul (CSP, est. 1893) offers a fully online Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing through the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. This 36-credit program features 11 courses plus a thesis. CSP’s MFA program helps students hone their creative writing skills while also developing the ability to read and assess literature across three genres:

Students will develop their creative writing skills through craft and workshop courses while studying different literary forms, genres, and topics via literature and research courses. To qualify for admission, applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA.

CSP’s MFA in Creative Writing is well-suited to the needs of working adults. In addition to being fully online, year-round admission is possible. Classes are held once a week, and each course takes only seven weeks to complete. Students will have the chance to work with several published authors throughout their degree and gain the skills and perspectives needed to produce publishable work. This will allow them to pursue a career as a professional writer in a variety of different fields. As such, CSP’s Creative Writing MFA is suitable for those who want to become writers and those who are already writers but want to expand their career potential. Key courses in this MFA program include:

Central Washington University

Central Washington

Central Washington University (CWU, est. 1891) offers a Master of Arts (MA) in Professional and Creative Writing that can be taken entirely online or in a multi-modal (hybrid) format. This MA requires 45 credits for completion. There is no thesis requirement, but students must complete an end-of-program Portfolio course. There are also no defined degree tracks, allowing students to customize their course of study based on their career goals and interests. Plus, with CWU’s 10-week quarter system, this well-ranked creative writing program can be completed in as little as four quarters. To qualify for admission, applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA (check with CWU about its current GRE requirements).

​CWU’s Professional and Creative Writing MA is designed to help graduates successfully navigate a new world economy that emphasizes learning and adapting over knowing. By combining creative and professional writing with critical thinking skills, the program can benefit students seeking several different career outcomes. This includes students who need upgraded writing skills to advance in their careers, professional and creative writers who want to make themselves more marketable and pursue expanded opportunities, and students who need advanced writing abilities to pursue additional graduate programs. Others choose this MA to satisfy a personal dream of becoming a creative writer while continuing their established careers. Key courses and electives include:

Mississippi University for Women

Mississippi University for Women

The low-residency Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing from Mississippi University for Women (MUW, est. 1884) is a 48-credit hybrid program. Much of the degree can be completed online, including a thesis, form and literature courses, and writing workshops. Workshops are available in:

The MFA’s residency requirements comprise two Short Residencies and two Full Residencies. Short Residencies are five-day masterclasses that occur at different times of year but are often scheduled to coincide with major on- and off-campus events, such as the Eudora Welty Writers’ Symposium. Full Residencies occur in late May and are nine to 10 days of workshops, seminars, and readings. To be eligible for admission to the MFA program, students must have an undergraduate degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA.

MUW’s Creative Writing MFA program is designed for working adults. It is built to be both affordable and flexible. Students can customize their course of study, selecting classes in as many or few genres as they wish. (Residencies already ensure students gain a broader understanding and perspective by providing cross- and mixed-genre experiences.) Students can also tailor their selections to fit specific career goals, adding Residencies, Internships, and Literary Magazine Production experiences. The Full Residencies offer a strong career focus with professional topics that include:

Key course options for this MFA program include:

University of Houston Victoria


The University of Houston-Victoria (UHV, est. 1973) offers a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing that can be taken entirely online or in a low-residency, hybrid format. The degree requires 36 credits for completion, including six for a thesis. Students can choose the regular Creative Writing path or a specialized Concentration in Applied Literary Translation. Students can study any genre for the regular path but must select one for their thesis:

The main focus of the MFA is on developing one’s writing skills and understanding the literary form. However, several electives are available to help tailor the degree towards a student’s interest in literature or publishing. Those applying for the MFA program will need an undergraduate degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA on their last 60 undergraduate credits. (GRE scores may be required for those with a lower GPA; check with UHV to confirm.)

UHV’s online Creative Writing MFA program can be an affordable option that provides graduates with several potential career opportunities. While the program was created to help students pursue their dreams of becoming published authors, it also prepares them for nearly every writing career option. That means graduates can also pursue more practical jobs, including in

Additionally, since UHV is a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), students can integrate a Latino literature and cultural element into their studies and writing. Key courses and electives for the MFA include:

UHV’s online Creative Writing MFA can be an affordable option that provides graduates with several potential career opportunities. While the program was created to help students pursue their dreams of becoming published authors, it also prepares them for nearly every writing career option. That means graduates can also pursue more practical jobs, including in:

Tiffin University


Tiffin University (TU, est. 1888) offers a fully online Master of Humanities (MH) with a Creative Writing Concentration. It places third in our list of best online creative writing graduate programs.

This 30-credit degree allows students to understand and develop their abilities in several genres and compositional forms, including:

The program combines a humanities foundation with hands-on writing experience and an academic study of selected genres and forms. The culmination is a capstone project, which requires each student to research a chosen area of interest and produce either a creative project, a portfolio project, or a thesis. To be eligible for admission to the MH, applicants must have an undergraduate degree with a preferred GPA of 3.0.

Tiffin’s online Master’s in Creative Writing is designed as a flexible, affordable graduate program option. With multiple start dates and a mix of seven- and 15-week courses, students can enter the program when it suits them and finish their degree in just 18 months. The primary focus of the MH is preparing graduates to pursue a variety of creative writing careers. Creative writing majors can become:

Some graduates go on to teach at the high school or community college level. Others use the MH as the foundation to pursue advanced graduate degrees. Key courses and options for the MH include:

University of Arkansas at Monticello

best creative writing in world

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing at the University of Arkansas at Monticello (UAM, est. 1910) is a fully online program. This program, which comes in second in our list of the best writing graduate programs , is the most affordable of the creative nonfiction MFA programs in this review article.

To graduate, students must complete 48 credits, including six for their thesis. The MFA offers three genres to choose from:

The core of the program features workshop courses that foster high-level skills in critical thinking and literary analysis while ensuring a mastery in creative writing. This focus is supplemented with multiple electives to allow students to tailor the program to best suit their interests and goals, including pursuing independent areas of study. To be eligible for admission to the MFA program, applicants must have an undergraduate degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA.

UAM’s online Creative Writing MFA is meant to be both flexible and affordable. It is designed for talented, self-motivated individuals who appreciate the freedom to follow their own pace and areas of study. To ensure each creative writing student has a fuller understanding of their own genre, they will work with a different faculty mentor each semester. Creative writing majors will also take workshops in the other two genres to help give their writing a broader perspective and more unique outlook and voice. Key courses and options for the MFA include:

Western Connecticut State University

best creative writing in world

Western Connecticut State University (WCSU, est. 1903) has a MFA in Creative and Professional Writing. This best low-residency master’s in creative writing wins first place in our list of best writing masters programs online.

This hybrid creative writing degree requires approximately 60 credits for completion and includes:

Students must also complete four separate, week-long residencies comprising discussions, lectures, and workshops. Residencies are held twice a year on the WCSU campus in Danbury, Connecticut. (There is also an optional Dublin, Ireland, residency featuring workshops in Oscar Wilde’s home and events at the Bram Stoker Festival.) For their degree, students must select a primary and secondary genre specialization. One must be creative, such as:

The other must be practical, for example:

WCSU’s low-residency MFA utilizes a student-driven mentorship model. For most courses, graduate students work with a faculty member to develop a personalized course plan. Then, there is WCSU’s practical education approach, which ensures students learn from successful creative writers across several genres and styles and apply what they’ve learned in real-world settings. This combination might be why WCSU has such a high success rate — 87 percent of graduates are full-time professional writers and/ or have published books. Key courses for this MFA program include:

What can I do with a master’s in creative writing?

Creative writing programs open up a lot of potential professional opportunities including, but not limited to, the following, listed below. Note that some of these opportunities may be available without having taken a top creative writing graduate program.

Creative writing majors who combine their master’s degree with a minor specialization or other degree can also increase their career opportunities. There are also numerous other career opportunities, particularly in arts and education, in which it can be useful to have an MFA or MA in creative writing.

How long does it take to complete and online MFA in creative writing?

Of the online creative writing degrees that are mentioned in this college review article, they range from 30 to 65 credits. How long you take depends on whether you’re enrolled full- or part-time, how many semesters a college has in an AY (Academic Year), etc. Some creative writing programs could be completed in as little as one year, plus time for creating and defending a thesis, if necessary. Longer creative writing programs might take 2-3 years.

How do I apply for an online MFA in creative writing program?

So you’re ready to apply to graduate creative writing programs! You’ll want to consider the best creative writing MFA programs. The steps you’ll take are approximately in this order:

How much can I make with an online MFA in creative writing?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook has the role “Writers and Authors” listed as having $69,510 as the median yearly pay for 2021. However, that does not indicate potential earnings, only median actual earnings as reported by American creative writers/ authors.

When you revist the list of potential careers, above, you’ll see the possibility for earning more as a creative writer. Factor in the possibility of writing content for yourself, on your own Web site (or scripted for your YouTube channel), monetized in one or more of multiple ways including affiliate marketing. Maybe you can set up the latter in addition to having a professional creative writing career (salaried or freelance). All of these combined will potentially exceed the aforementioned median salary.

How do I start a career in creative writing?

Begin by identifying the kind of creative writing career you want. The list of job titles above can help you get started. Once you know where you want to go to get a quality education, creating the plan and steps needed to get there becomes easier.

Next, focus on the foundational steps for the creative writing process listed below. These can help every writer build the career they want:

Create your opportunity

Stay social

Practice creative writing

Do your daily creative writing practice. You always hear athletes talk about staying ready. Practice helps you stay ready for when your opportunity arrives. Plus, when you get into the habit of writing purposefully every day, the quality of your work improves, and so does your productivity and efficiency. You will also learn to be more succinct with your writing while still conveying what you want to communicate.

Build your network and be active within it. Let your contacts know when you’re looking for work, and what types of writing work you’re suited for. Your network can’t help if they don’t know that you need help.

Seek feedback on your creative writing

Create a MasterMind Group (an advisory board) to provide feedback on your writing and marketing efforts. Depending on your current network and comfort level, the group can be comprised of other writers and/or people from different industries and professions.

Volunteer your creative writing talents

Volunteering is a great way to gain creative writing experience and expand your network, all while giving something back. Most non-profits need help in many areas, including a variety of writing-related tasks. Plus, if they hold charity events, you might meet key figures in your community. And, what better way to introduce yourself and your work to local luminaries than by helping promote their favorite cause. While some experienced writers say not to give your work away free, when it comes to non-profit group opportunities, think of your effort as an investment both for yourself and the non-profit.

If you’re not getting the opportunities you want — make your own! With all the DIY tools and platforms available, don’t wait for someone to give you a chance. You can:

Beyond these DIY methods, user-generated content platforms like Medium or Quora are also great options. They allow you to reach large audiences and gain valuable feedback. Some of them also have earning opportunities for writers, sometimes based on the response of readers.

Study marketing to boost your creative writing

Even authors with publishing contracts have to know how to self-promote. Learning basic marketing skills can help you launch and grow your career. At a minimum, create your own website and online portfolio, and make sure the content there is optimized for search engine rankings.

Learn how to use social media. It’s a critical way to:

You can also network there. It’s not always the best creative writer that gets hired; it’s often the one people know about and whose work they are familiar with.

Be bold and innovative in your creative writing

Leverage past experiences. This includes writing about what you know. If you’ve had another career or have experience in other fields, write about that or pitch this as an article idea to an industry publication.

While being bold, don’t limit yourself to just one opportunity or path. The Internet has made it much “easier” for creative writers to make a living online, and that includes aforementioned self-starter opportunities. Find and/or create multiple opportunities for yourself, and always come up with new ideas to pitch while waiting for a response to a previous pitch.

This concludes our creative writing mfa programs.

Other Articles of Interest:

Accueil » Careers » 15 Best mfa Creative Writing Programs 2023 | Schools for Creative Writing in the World

15 Best mfa Creative Writing Programs 2023 | Schools for Creative Writing in the World

by Kamerpower · Published · Updated

15 Best mfa Creative Writing Programs 2023 | Schools for Creative Writing in the World. this list rounds up some of the best colleges for creative writing in the United States and the world. if you’re wondering where to brush up your writing skills, this article provides information on the best graduate schools for creative writing in the world.

Who is a Creative Writer?

A Creative writer is someone usually a professional that writes for different print and online publications. Actually, the person writes interesting and entertaining articles, essays, stories or poems for books, magazines, websites, and scripts.

The Best Creative Writing Schools

What Can I Do With a Creative Writing Degree?

However, you can do a lot with a creative writing degree even with an associate degree in creative writing, you can go into the following:

Best mfa Creative Writing Programs 2023 Schools for Creative Writing

If you want a few years to dedicate to your craft, an MFA in Creative Writing is a solid option. It’s also helpful for building a community and finding connections and giving you some credibility. And it’s of course a great way to help improve your writing.

Decide if you’d like experience teaching at the college level, Investigate what programs specialize in or are known for. Decide if prestige matters to you, Go to an AWP Conference, Talk to graduates of the program you’re interested in. Decide if you really need an MFA writing program after all.

obs directly related to your degree include Advertising copywriter, Arts administrator, Creative director, Digital copywriter, Editorial assistant, Lexicographer, Magazine journalist, Newspaper journalist.

Now, let’s get to the good stuff: the list of schools! The exact numbering is always arguable, so look at it as a general trend from absolutely amazing to still super great, rather than fixating on why one school is ranked #3 and another is ranked #4.

1. Cornell University

Actually, this is a private and statutory Ivy League research university in Ithaca, New York that was founded in 1865 by Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White. Conversely, the department of English in this best graduate school for creative writers is in charge of the MFA/Ph.D. Program in Creative Writing. Also, creative writing here is small and highly selective.

2. Brown University

This school is a private Ivy League research university in Providence, Rhode Island that was founded in 1764. However, the MFA program in creative writing at this top school of creative writing is offered through the Department of Literary Arts. Also, the program is a two-year residency type.

3. University of Michigan

The University of Michigan is a public research university in Ann Arbor, Michigan and it was founded in 1817. Actually, this institution being one of the best accounting schools in the world has an acceptance rate of 29%. Also, the graduation rate is 91%.

4. Boston University

This University is a private research university in Boston, Massachusetts. Besides, this institution has been historically affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Also, Boston University has above 3,900 faculty members and almost 33,000 students.

5. University of Virginia

However, this is a public research university in Charlottesville, Virginia that was founded in 1819. So, the Creative Writing Program at this school for creative writing is a two-year residency MFA program.  Also, this top school for creative writing has an acceptance rate of 30% and a graduation rate of 94% of students.

6. New York University

New York University is a private research university based in New York City. Actually, this best graduate school for creative writing was founded in 1831. Also, the creative writing program is located in the heart of Greenwich Village.

7. The University of Texas

Well, the University of Texas at Austin is a public research university in Austin, Texas that was founded in 1883. Actually, the Michener Center for Writers hosts an MFA in Writing Program this best writing school for creative writing majors. Thus, creative writing here is a three-year, full-time residency program.

8. Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University was founded in 1876. It is a private research university in Baltimore, Maryland. Actually, this institution was named after its first benefactor, Johns Hopkins. However, the MFA in Fiction and Poetry in this top school for creative writing in the world is known as The Writing Seminars. Actually, this is a two-year residency program.

9. University of Houston

Master of Fine Arts – University of Houston. Positioned at the intersection of the visual arts, performance, music, visual and media studies and design, School of Art students enjoy world-class resources and learn from renowned faculty at the University of Houston. Applicants to the MFA program must complete two separate and equally important applications. The University of Houston Graduate School application is required by the UH Graduate School and does not allow applicants to upload their portfolios; the Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts application is required by the School of Art and does allow for applicants to upload their portfolios.

10. Northwestern University

Northwestern’s part-time Master of Fine Arts in Prose and Poetry program provides students the opportunity to grow as artists within the specializations of fiction, nonfiction, popular fiction, poetry, and publishing and professional development. A dual-genre specialization is also offered. The 15-course curriculum includes workshops in a concentration, electives, and two thesis courses to complete the MFA program experience. Required courses vary by specialization.

Tags: Opportunities for Students and Graduates Careers

Kamerpower est un hub pour les étudiants, les demandeurs d'emploi et l'annuaire des bourses d'études. Le site fournit des informations informatives gratuites concernant les concours, des opportunités éducatives, Universités, Résultats, Jobs, Stages, Épreuves, Conseils etc, Le meilleur endroit informatif au Cameroun, l'Afrique et africains dans le monde entier.

These lists are always a bit weird. Good schools here, but why aren’t programs like Houston and Northwestern ever on them rather than the usual, predictable suspects? I think both UH and Northwestern each have Pulitzer winners on their faculties. Northwestern is the highest paying fully-funded MFA program in the country (their stipend is like 35K a year I think). Or look at programs like Texas State and UC Berkeley and UC Irvine. Many of the ones in this list don’t even provide much funding.

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