Overview

The power of storytelling is undeniable. Behind every good novel and successful marketing campaign is a strong narrative and creative writer. But aside from novels and content writing, creative writers also use their understanding of prose and narrative to work as screenwriters and academics. In short, there is a wealth of opportunity available for those who understand the rhetorical strategy of strong stories.

That said, it’s no secret that writing is difficult. Like any skill, it requires rigorous training which is why many creative writers choose to pursue a master’s degree. These programs offer specializations in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and other genres which means most writers can develop the skills that interest them most. More importantly, these specializations center on developing rhetorical techniques that make for more cohesive narratives and content–the most valuable type of instruction for any writer.

  • ? WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH A MASTER'S IN CREATIVE WRITING?
  • ? HOW DO I GET A MASTER'S IN CREATIVE WRITING?
  • ? HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET A MASTER'S IN CREATIVE WRITING?

  • ? HOW WELL ACCEPTED ARE ONLINE CREATIVE WRITING DEGREES?
  • ? CAN I GET A MASTER'S IN CREATIVE WRITING ONLINE?

There is a common misconception that creative writers do not find lucrative employment. In reality, many creative writers go on to enjoy stable and fulfilling careers. In fact, the average median salary for writers was $61K. Add to that an increasingly digital society, and content is becoming more important than ever, which means that the future is bright for creative writing and expression.

For more more resources and career information related to this degree, please read our career guide here.

Our Methodology

Our Methodology

Best Online Masters in Creative Writing Programs

We took a deep-dive and analyzed every online Masters in Creative Writing program in the nation. Below are the results of our analysis and a list of the 20 best online Masters in Creative Writing programs.

Read about our methodology here.

Emerson College

120 Boylston St Boston, MA 2116

Budding authors who want to publish fiction novels and to explore various genres while having the freedom to follow along at their own pace should consider Emerson College. The online master's in creative writing program gives students the flexibility and convenience to work around their schedule and requires no residency at the campus, so it's ideal for part-time students with work or family obligations.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Department of Writing, Literature and Publishing
Program Name: MFA in Popular Fiction Writing and Publishing
Available Concentrations: Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry
Accrediting Body: New England Association of Schools and Colleges

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Program requirementsCredit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2-4 years
Program start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: February 1

Graduation Rate
80%
School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$1,251 per credit

Lindenwood University

209 S Kingshighway St St. Charles, MO 63301

Lindenwood University offers one of the most innovative creative writing programs in the nation, providing online, on-campus and hybrid program options. Students can participate in craft classes, literature classes, writing workshops and more to develop the necessary skills to succeed in the art of writing.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: School of Accelerated Degree Programs
Program Name: Master of Fine Arts in Writing
Available Concentrations: Fiction, Poetry, Creative Nonfiction
Accrediting Body: HLC

DeliveryFormat: Online, On-Campus, or Hybrid

Program requirementsCredit Requirements: 48 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 1-5 years
Program start dates: Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Summer: May 1; Fall: August 1; Winter: November 1; Spring: February 1
GPA: 3.0

Graduation Rate
49%
School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$480 per credit

Harvard Extension School

Massachusetts Hall Cambridge, MA 2138

Harvard University has an established master's in creative writing program and produced numerous authors who are literary leaders in the world. Students who enroll in this program learn from a renowned faculty and gain the skills to become leaders as screenwriters, novelists, columnists and more.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Arts, Literature, & Media
Program Name: Master of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies, Creative Writing and Literature
Accrediting Body: New England Association of Schools and Colleges

DeliveryFormat: Online, Hybrid

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 12 courses
Program start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling
GPA: 3.0

Graduation Rate
98%
School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$2,750 per course

Wilkes University

84 W S St Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766

Wilkes University's alumni have published more than 100 works and 40 films, giving future students the assurance that they're going to receive a quality education that leads to career advancement. This online master's in creative writing program develops the students' skills and knowledge to produce everything from documentaries to screenplays.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Maslow Family Graduate Program
Program Name: MA in Creative Writing, MFA in Creative Writing
Available Concentrations: Fiction, Poetry, Screenwriting, Playwriting, Creative nonfiction, Publishing, Making documentary films
Accrediting Body: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

DeliveryFormat: Online, Hybrid
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree in any field
Credit Requirements: 48 credits
Field Education Requirements: A semester-long internship in the arts education or publishing field

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2 years
Program start dates: January, June

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling

Graduation Rate
56%
School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$684 per credit

University of Arkansas at Monticello

346 University Dr Monticello, AR 71656

The University of Arkansas at Monticello offers affordable tuition for the online master's in creative writing program. The university also provides financial assistance for students, such as graduate assistantships and scholarships, to keep the tuition as low as possible.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: School of Art & Humanities
Program Name: Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
Accrediting Body: HLC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 48 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program start dates: Spring, Summer, Fall

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Spring: December 26th; Summer: May 13th, June 17th; Fall: August 7th
GPA: 3.0

Graduation Rate
23%
School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $269 per credit; Out-of-state: $615 per credit

National University

11255 N Torrey Pines Rd La Jolla, CA 92037

National University offers a rigorous curriculum that includes a variety of subjects regarding creative marketing. Students not only explore various genres such as science-fiction, horror and mystery but also go over textual strategies, literary theory and other topics for those who may want to pursue teaching careers after college.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Arts and Humanities
Program Name: Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
Accrediting Body: WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous, Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university
Credit Requirements: 58 wuarter credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time

Admission RequirementsGPA: 2.5

Graduation Rate
42%
School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$430 per quarter credit

Mississippi University for Women

1100 College St Columbus, MS 39701

Mississippi University for Women accepts men and women in the online master's in creative writing program, which has a heavy emphasis on fiction writing. Students take courses in modernist fiction, African American fiction and more, increasing their knowledge and skills in the subject to improve their own writing in the field.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Department of Languages, Literature and Philosophy
Program Name: MFA in Creative Writing
Accrediting Body: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Baccalaureate degree from an regionally accredited four-year institution
Credit Requirements: 48 credits
Field Education Requirements: 12 hours of workshop courses, 12 hours of literature or forms classes, and 12 hours of electives

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2-3 years
Program start dates: Fall, Spring

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Spring: December 1; Fall: June 30
GPA: 3.0

Graduation Rate
39%
School Type
Public
Tuition
$380 per credit

Eastern Oregon University

1 University Blvd La Grande, OR 97850

Students who enroll in Eastern Oregon University's online master's in creative writing program learn from faculty members who excel as leaders in their own writing professions. These skilled educators teach on campus and provide the coursework for online students, passing along their skills to help graduates advance in their careers as publishers, novelists, communications directors and more.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Program Name: MFA Creative Writing
Available Concentrations: Wilderness Writing Concentration
Accrediting Body: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous, Synchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution
Credit Requirements: 60 credits
Field Education Requirements: Practicum/Internship

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, Summer, Autumn

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling
GPA: 3.0

Graduation Rate
31%
School Type
Public
Tuition
$445 per credit

University of New Orleans

2000 Lakeshore Dr New Orleans, LA 70148

The University of New Orleans is a great value for students who enroll in the online master's in creative writing program. With affordable tuition, small class sizes, flexible scheduling and military discounts, full- and part-time students enjoy numerous benefits while earning an accredited master's degree online.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Department of English
Program Name: MFA in Creative Writing
Available Concentrations: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Playwriting, Screenwriting
Accrediting Body: SACSCOC

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous, Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Undergraduate degree
Credit Requirements: 45 hours

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program start dates: Fall, Summer, Spring

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall/Summer: March 15; Spring: OCtober 1
GPA: 3.0

UNO's Online MFA program offers unmatched flexibility, affordability, and community. Working on the university semester model rather than the one to one mentorship model, students take online courses in writing and literature with peers from all over the world, which allows them to build a learning community. Students looking for more face to face interaction can also, if they choose, join our summer programs abroad to meet their fellow students and faculty in person, give public readings, and meet industry professionals. This is not required, though, so it is also possible for students to get our top notch MFA without ever having to relocate. As all of our online students pay in state tuition (approx 4,500 per semester), UNO is also an incredible bargain. Interested should writers should not hesitate to apply, as we accept students in both fall and spring.
M.O. Walsh, Director, The Creative Writing Workshop
Graduation Rate
34%
School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $338 per credit; Out-of-state: $592 per credit

Queens University of Charlotte

1900 Selwyn Ave Charlotte, NC 28274

Queens University of Charlotte offers an online master's in creative writing program and provides full individualized support for its students. Small class sizes make it easy for students to receive one-on-one attention from professors, helping them to understand the coursework and to get the most out of the program and their degree.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: English and Creative Writing Department
Program Name: MFA in Creative Writing
Accrediting Body: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

DeliveryFormat: Hybrid

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 53 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2 years
Program start dates: Summer, Fall, Spring

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Summer: March 1; Fall: June 15; Spring: October 15

Graduation Rate
62%
School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$659 per credit

Antioch University

602 Anacapa St Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Antioch University requires students to attend a 10-day residency as part of the online master's in creative writing program. This residency coincides with the online coursework and gives students a chance to meet their peers and professors, to build networking opportunities and to learn about the school, the curriculum and more.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Creative Writing & Communications
Program Name: MFA in Writing & Contemporary Media
Accrediting Body: HLC

DeliveryFormat: Hybrid

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree conferral from a regionally accredited institution
Credit Requirements: 48 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 4 semesters
Program start dates: Winter, Summer

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling

School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$808 per credit

Southern New Hampshire University

2500 N River Rd Manchester, NH 3106

Southern New Hampshire University's online master's in creative writing program is ideal for full-time students who want to earn their degree quickly. Most students finish the program within 15 months and have successful careers in publishing, writing, marketing and more.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Liberall Arts
Program Name: Master of Arts in Creative Writing
Available Concentrations: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Screenwriting
Accrediting Body: New England Association of Schools and Colleges

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor'sdegree
Credit Requirements: 48 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time,part-time
Program Length: 15 months
Program start dates: December 17; March 11; May 27; August 12

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling
GPA: 2.75

Graduation Rate
50%
School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$627 per credit

University of Houston - Victoria

3007 N Ben Wilson St Victoria, TX 77901

The University of Houston-Victoria gives students the tools that they need to succeed in the online master's in creative writing program. It has a very user-friendly virtual center, making it easy to check on lessons, to watch video streams, to get faculty support and more at the click of a button.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: School of Arts ans Sciences
Program Name: MFA in Creative Writing
Available Concentrations: Creative Writing, Applied Literary Translation
Accrediting Body: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

DeliveryFormat: Online, On-campus
Instruction Style: Synchronous, Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program start dates: Spring, Summer, Fall

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Spring: January 3; Summer: May 10; Fall: August 10

Graduation Rate
18%
School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $342 per credit; Out-of-state: $757 per credit

Western Connecticut State University

181 White St Danbury, CT 6810

Western Connecticut State University offers a comprehensive creative writing program for students who enroll in full- and part-time classes. The university designed this program for career-driven authors, preparing them for career advancement via online coursework, residencies, workshops, live seminars and more.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Writing Department
Program Name: MFA in Creative & Professional Writing
Accrediting Body: New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.

DeliveryFormat: Online, Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous, Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Baccalaureate degree or its equivalent
Credit Requirements: 52 credits
Field Education Requirements: Internship

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2-4 years
Program start dates: Fall, Spring

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling

Graduation Rate
43%
School Type
Public
Tuition
$650 per credit

Oregon State University - Cascades

1500 SW Chandler Ave Bend, OR 97702

Oregon State University-Cascades has an online master's in creative writing program with internship opportunities for students who want to increase their skill set. These internships help aspiring writers gain the knowledge to improve their writing ability by working with professionals in the field.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: School of Writing, Literature, and Film
Program Name: Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing
Available Concentrations: Poetry, Fiction, Nonfiction
Accrediting Body: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university
Credit Requirements: 77 credits
Field Education Requirements: 4 residency quarters and 4 mentorship quarters

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time
Program Length: 2 year
Program start dates: Spring: April; Fall: September

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Spring: September 1 (Priority), December 15 (Final); Fall: February 1 (Priority), April 1 (Final)
GPA: 3.0

School Type
Public
Tuition
$21,213 per year

West Virginia Wesleyan College

59 College Ave Buckhannon, WV 26201

West Virginia Wesleyan College is dedicated to providing quality mentorships for its creative writing students. With the opportunity to study poetry, fiction, and nonfiction with dedicated faculty members, students are able to become proficient in their craft as well as productive members in the writing community.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: School of Fine Arts and Humanities
Program Name: MFA in Creative Writing

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's Degree
Credit Requirements: 49 credit hours

Program LengthProgram Length: 2 years
Program start dates: Winter, Summer

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Winter Residency: October 1; Summer Residency April 1
GPA: 3.0

School Type
Private
Tuition
$475 per credit

Full Sail University

3300 University Blvd Winter Park, FL 32792

Full Sail University is an arts and media school and takes a creative approach to delivering the online master's in creative writing program. Students in this program discover a different course each month, some of which delve into script analysis, business writing and character development, and develop the skills to advance their careers in marketing, gaming, fictional writing and more.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Media & Communications
Program Name: MFA in Creative Writing
Accrediting Body: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous, Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree or higher
Credit Requirements: 48 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time
Program Length: 12 months
Program start dates: Spring, Summer, Fall

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling
GPA: 2.5

Graduation Rate
27%
School Type
Private for profit
Tuition
$596 per credit

Arcadia University

450 S Easton Rd Glenside, PA 19038

Arcadia University offers a chance for students to earn two degrees when they enroll in the online master's in creative writing program. Along with the creative writing degree, students can earn their Master of Fine Arts in English degree, increasing their opportunities for career growth.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: English Department
Program Name: MFA in Creative Writing
Accrediting Body: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution
Credit Requirements: 39 credits
Field Education Requirements: Practicum

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2 years
Program start dates: Summer, Fall, Spring

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: March 1
GPA: 3.0

Graduation Rate
60%
School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$750 per credit

Bay Path University

588 Longmeadow St Longmeadow, MA 1106

Bay Path University's online master's in creative writing program focuses on writing nonfiction, making it perfect for authors who want to specialize in this area. Students learn foundational and advanced skills in the subject not only to improve their writing but also to teach nonfictional writing in their own careers.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Graduate College
Program Name: MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing
Available Concentrations: Publishing, Teaching
Accrediting Body: New England Commission of Higher Education

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Synchronous, Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Undergraduate or graduate degree from an accredited institution
Credit Requirements: 39 credits
Field Education Requirements: Semester-long internship at a publishing house, an independent bookstore, in an editor's office, or at a literary agency

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2 years
Program start dates: January, May, August

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling
GPA: 3.0

Graduation Rate
63%
School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$730 per credit

Eastern Kentucky University

521 Lancaster Ave Richmond, KY 40475

Eastern Kentucky University offers a master's degree in creative writing and prepares graduates for teaching at the collegiate level. The Master of Fine Arts track in writing gives graduates the skills to teach more effectively and to get the most out of their own students in class.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Bluegrass Writers Studio
Program Name: MFA in Creative Writing
Available Concentrations: Literary Fiction, Popular/Genre Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry
Accrediting Body: Southern Association of Schools and Colleges - Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC)

DeliveryFormat: Online, In-person
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Undergraduate bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 48 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: August 1; Spring: December 1; Summer: March 1, May 1
GPA: 3.0

Graduation Rate
42%
School Type
Public
Tuition
$535 per credit