The MFA in writing program at Lindenwood University focuses on the study and practice of the craft of creative writing.
Lindenwood University offers you the opportunity to earn a master of fine arts (MFA) in writing. There are two ways for you to earn your MFA in writing from Lindenwood: a traditional classroom in an accelerated format or completely online.
Coursework can be taken fully online, with no residency requirement, or through on-campus clusters in an accelerated format (9 credit hours in 12 weeks, meeting one night per week). You may also take both online classes and on-campus clusters if preferred.
Lindenwood University offers craft classes, literature classes, and writing workshops in small class settings (enrollment limit is 14 students per online class or on-campus cluster), with personalized instruction and workshop feedback from our dedicated faculty, including writers such as Tony D’Souza, Eve Jones, Wm. Anthony Connolly, Catherine Rankovic, and Kelli Allen. The MFA program is directed by Beth Mead, Editor of The Lindenwood Review. Students may serve as TLR editorial assistants as part of their MFA coursework.
Coursework options available to you include poetry, literary fiction, genre fiction, the novel, creative nonfiction, narrative journalism, scriptwriting, and literary journal editing. You are not required to declare an emphasis area; coursework may be primarily focused on one genre, or it may include multiple genres. The MFA in Writing is a 48-credit-hour degree program, with the final 3 credit hours devoted to a thesis in your genre(s) of choice.
The MFA is a selective program, in order to ensure that all students are at a point in their writing development where they are prepared for an intense focus on their writing, and that they are well-equipped to give useful feedback to other writers. We are looking for students with strong writing skills, an understanding of the craft of creative writing, and a willingness to continue growing as a writer. Program admission is dependent upon acceptance of a creative writing sample and a statement of purpose. Visit our Prospective Students page for full details about the MFA submission process and additional university admissions requirements.
TUITION AND GRANTS
Tuition is $453 per credit hour, and there is a 10% surcharge for online classes. We offer two grants: students age 60 and over receive a 50% tuition discount, and MFA students who are currently teaching elementary, middle school, or high school receive $60 off per credit hour (teachers must contact the MFA program director every quarter to complete a form to receive this grant). Complete the FAFSA to apply for other financial aid and student loans. Visit our MFA FAQs page for more information.
ACCELERATED ON-CAMPUS CLUSTERS
As an on-campus MFA student, you will meet once per week from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. to earn 9 credit hours in each 12-week quarter. You will also attend one literary reading or event each quarter.
If you choose to take all of your coursework on-campus, you can complete the degree in one year and three months, if the thesis is taken along with the final cluster. To further accelerate the degree program, you may enroll in one online class along with each cluster for three quarters, then take the thesis with a fourth cluster, to complete the degree in one year. You will have up to five years to complete your degree.
FULLY ONLINE OPTION
The MFA in writing is also available in a fully online format. Fully online MFA students have no residency requirement. Online students are welcome to take some coursework on-campus if preferred; however, all coursework, including the final thesis, may be taken fully online.
If you choose to take your courses online, you may enroll in one, two, or three classes per quarter (at least two classes per quarter are required to apply for financial aid/student loans). If three online classes are taken each quarter, with the thesis taken along with the final three classes, you may complete the program in one year and three months. Most fully online students take two classes per quarter, with the thesis taken along with the final class, to complete the degree in two years. You will have up to five years to complete the degree.
Online classes are offered through CANVAS. You will be required to participate in class a minimum of three times per week (to take part in discussions, post workshop pieces and responses, write journal entries, etc.). You are not required to log in to class at the same time as your fellow students. Each week, you will click on a weekly folder for assignment details and due dates. MFA faculty members are active on CANVAS, giving feedback on workshop pieces and participating in class discussions.
A variety of online classes and various emphases are offered each quarter. Online coursework options can be viewed in the catalog. Personalized instructor course descriptions are also available. Recent class schedules can be viewed on the Quarter Information page.