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15 Best Masters in Creative Writing Programs in 2021

March 30, 2021 | Staff Writers

Masters in Creative Writing
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Many students who discover that they have a passion for reading, creating new work, and studying literature go on to pursue a master’s in creative writing to boost their own work and to ensure employment in the writing field of their choice. A degree is not required to be a great writer, but it does ensure that a good writer has all the education and opportunities they need to succeed in literary and educational fields.  

Who Should Pursue Their Masters In Creative Writing? 

Anyone who has a degree in English or a Literary related field that wants to elevate their career options, help themselves out of a writer’s block, or simply meet great writers while learning more about the best literary works of our time. Many of the best programs prepare authors for publication. 

Top 5 Masters in Creative Writing Programs

RankSchoolLocation
1Brigham Young UniversityProvo, Utah
2University of MichiganAnn Arbor, Michigan
3Florida State UniversityTallahassee, Florida
4Mississippi State UniversityStarkville, Mississippi
5University of WashingtonSeattle, Washington

Is A Masters In Creative Writing A Worthwhile Investment? 

Yes, if you have a passion for learning and already know you want a career in the field then a deep education can bring you to the next level. 

15 Best Schools For Your Masters in Creative Writing

1

Brigham Young University

  • Provo, Utah

Located in heart of the Wasatch Mountains in what Outside Magazine calls “the second-best place to live in the U.S,” BYU’s MFA program is a literary hub with the wilderness at your fingertips.  Students in this two-year program complete a thesis in poetry, fiction, or nonfiction, and receive excellent teaching opportunities in first-year composition and introductory creative writing.  The award-winning faculty are generous with their time but rigorous in their expectations.  Perks include an annual two-day retreat to Capitol Reef National Monument, editorial opportunities with Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction and Inscape Magazine, research, workshop, and conference travel funding, and a robust year-long multi-genre reading series that has included writers such as Marilynne Robinson, Terry Tempest Williams, Tracy K Smith, Anthony Doerr, and Robert Pinsky.

School Overview

Tuition: $5,790
Enrollment in Graduate Program: 3,026
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2

University of Michigan

  • Ann Arbor, Michigan

The University of Michigan has a writer’s program where creative writing graduate students can choose to focus on either poetry or fiction for their main studies. Then qualified graduates will have a third year, fully paid, writing residency after they complete their two-year MFA at the University of Michigan. Graduates of the program have been published across the globe and the school is well ranked and reviewed positively for its intensive graduate creative writing program.

School Overview

Tuition: $15,558 In-State, $51,200 Non-Resident
Enrollment in Graduate Program: 16,824
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3

Florida State University

  • Tallahassee, Florida

Florida State University has been rated in the top ten for their MFA in creative writing program and the top five for their Ph.D program by The Atlantic. The school has produced graduates who have moved on to produce impressive works, become published many times over, and receive awards from the literary world. A professor in the program is a Pulitzer Prize winner. If you are looking for strong mentorship, freedom to create, and an overall great program consider FSU next term.

School Overview

Tuition: $5,656 In-State, $18,786 Non-Resident
Enrollment in Graduate Program: 9,180
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4

Mississippi State University

  • Starkville, Mississippi

Mississippi State University is a top choice for many writers in the south who want to go the path of Faulkner and tell a story of a place. Whether you are a poet, a fiction writer or a journalist consider Mississippi State’s well-reviewed and prestigious graduate program. They have a low-residency option for students who need to work while advancing their education and they hire graduates from the program when a writer stands out among their peers.

School Overview

Tuition: $8,910 In-State, $23,950 Non-Resident
Enrollment in Graduate Program: 3,434
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5

University of Washington

  • Seattle, Washington

The University of Washington is one of the oldest and most respected universities on the west coast. It has produced many famous graduates and even a few interesting inventions. If you want to hone your creative writing skills with a master’s program in one of the most scenic northern states then find your voice and build your career at the University of Washington. They only take a limited number into the creative writing program so start soon.

School Overview

Tuition: $11,465 In-State, $38,116 Non-Resident
Enrollment in Graduate Program: 15,530
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6

Texas State

  • San Marcos, Texas

Texas State offers a rich MFA in Creative Writing program that has produced many writers who have found their stride and voice under the mentorship of talented professors. The writers that grow at Texas State have gone on to earn many of the greatest awards in the United States for their writing. If you are interested in attending a college in the Southwest and are ready to work hard on your writing then apply and see where the next year takes you.

School Overview

Tuition: $10,581 In-State, $22,397 Non-Resident
Enrollment in Graduate Program: 4,270
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7

University of Maine

  • Orono, Maine

The University of Maine offers an MA in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. The MA program allows students the freedom to find their own voice with a lot of writing, and with strong mentorship. Students can choose their concentration and when they graduate they will have a portfolio of well-reviewed work that they have written as they discovered who they are as writers.

School Overview

Tuition: $11,438 In-State, $31,748 Non-Resident
Enrollment in Graduate Program: 2,131
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8

Harvard University

  • Cambridge, Massachusetts

Harvard offers a prestigious Creative Writing graduate program. Graduates from Harvard often go on to have successful literally careers and many apply to the program each year with the hopes of being a part of this mentorship and rigorous education. Out of the many applicants, only 10-15 students are accepted each year, so be sure to put your best foot forward on your application writings to stand out among the best in the nation.

School Overview

Tuition: $51,925
Enrollment in Graduate Program: 21,592
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9

Boston University

  • Boston, Massachusetts

Boston University offers a one year program for creative writers looking to perfect their art. Among other requirements, a minimum 90-page thesis must be completed perfectly to graduate. The program also has the requirement of completing a non-English language course related to the field. Students who graduate from Boston University’s graduate programs earn their degree with critical thinking, hard work, and they also find their own voice through the extensive writing requirements.

School Overview

Tuition: $55,892
Enrollment in Graduate Program: 15,737
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10

Emerson College

  • Boston, Massachusetts

Emerson College offers its students the chance to find their literary voice, become storytellers, hone their critical thinking and teaching skills, and still add extra courses to color their education. Graduates must complete a thesis novel or portion of a novel that is perfected and ready to submit to publishing houses across the nation. This program truly prepares students to become authors.

School Overview

Tuition: $49,432
Enrollment in Graduate Program: 1,052
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11

Tulane

  • New Orleans, Louisiana

Tulane campus and the location itself almost brings forth creativity in authors. Their graduate program in English offers a creative writing concentration but also focuses on ancient texts and museum studies. If you have always seen yourself as a literary tomb raider, if you want to get lost in the beautiful southern college and extensive library as you read, write, and study your passion during the program then look into Tulane before the MFA deadline.

School Overview

Tuition: $56,800
Enrollment in Graduate Program: 4,943
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12

Columbia University

  • New York City, New York

Columbia University offers a two-year program that is designed to teach with a curriculum that enriches the graduate student’s current education. A lot of reading is required. Beyond that students will discover that the curriculum is backed by small workshops that require the students to share their writing often. The end goal will be a publishable work that is ready to be submitted to publishers and likely to be accepted.

School Overview

Tuition: $61,788
Enrollment in Graduate Program: 23,235
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13

Brown University

  • Providence, Rhode Island

Brown University offers its Literary Arts MFA in one of three tracts: fiction, poetry, or digital/cross-disciplinary writing. The program, like many in the higher learning institutions, is geared to help students learn to find their voice, polish their work, and create a finished product for a dissertation. Many apply to Brown’s MFA program and very few get through, they require a 30 page sample of your work during the application process.

School Overview

Tuition: $58,404
Enrollment in Graduate Program: 3,173
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14

Northwestern University

  • Evanston, Illinois

Northwestern University offers a three-year program with intimate classes, plenty of feedback, and time to write on your own projects, and many options for deeper study into courses that will add color to your writing. Immersion is key in this program and students are required to submit a thesis manuscript at the end of the program.

School Overview

Tuition: $56,691
Enrollment in Graduate Program: 13,766
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15

Johns Hopkins University

  • Baltimore, Maryland

Johns Hopkins University states on their site that graduates will be able to write and edit at the highest level possible. They offer residency programs for students who want to truly get lost in the creative process and see what happens, and they actually offer flexible learning options which are not always true when it comes to high requirement MFA programs. If you are ready to immerse yourself in learning and prepare your portfolio at one of the best colleges in the nation consider Johns Hopkins MFA program.

School Overview

Tuition: $55,350
Enrollment in Graduate Program: 20,823
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Our Ranking Methodology

The schools on this list were ranked after extensive research, data from the school website, real student reviews, and other credible sources. If you feel that your school is misrepresented on this list please contact us so we can correct the error and provide the most accurate information to potential students. 

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