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Online Programs - MFA - Writing

For additional information contact:
Program Director,
MFA in Writing Degree
Beth Mead
(636) 949-4524


Online Programs - MFA in Writing

The online option for the MFA in Writing Program at Lindenwood University focuses on the practice and study of creative writing. We offer personalized instruction in small workshop sessions featuring a wide range of genres—fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, scriptwriting, and narrative journalism—along with offering literature and craft classes. MFA students may also earn course credit for serving as editorial assistants on the literary journal The Lindenwood Review.

LU MFA students can take classes entirely in the classroom, entirely online, or through a combination of in-class and online coursework. Fully online students have no residency requirement; all coursework, including the final thesis, may be taken online. (Online students who live in the area are also welcome to take in-class coursework along with online classes if they prefer.) Fully online students may take one, two, or three 3-credit online classes per quarter. The MFA in Writing degree is a 48-credit hour program, with the final three hours dedicated to a thesis in the writer’s chosen genre. Our program and our university are fully accredited.

Admission to the MFA in Writing program is based on a creative writing sample and a brief statement of purpose. Both items should be emailed directly to MFA Program Director Beth Mead. The writing sample should be 7-10 pages of creative writing—fiction, poetry, and/or literary creative nonfiction. The Statement of Purpose should be a brief description of why you would like to pursue the MFA degree and the role writing has played in your life. We are looking for students with strong writing skills, an understanding of the craft of literary creative writing, and a willingness to grow and stretch as a writer. We offer rolling admissions with four deadlines per year. We do not require letters of recommendation or GRE scores; students are selected individually based on their submitted writing.

Submission Deadlines: To begin coursework in Summer Quarter (July-Sept.), the writing sample and statement of purpose must be emailed to the MFA Program Director by May 1; to begin in Fall Quarter (Oct.-Dec.), by August 1; for Winter Quarter (Jan.-March), by November 1; for Spring Quarter (April-June), by February 1.

Upon the Director’s acceptance into the MFA program (based on the writing sample and statement of purpose), students must also apply for full admission to the university and meet all university admissions requirements. For identification purposes, fully online students who are unable to meet in person with admissions or the director prior to initial enrollment must submit a notarized copy of their driver’s license.

Tuition is $440 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 students who are currently teaching elementary, middle school, or high school receive $60 off per credit hour. Complete the FAFSA to apply for other financial aid and student loans.

Please visit our full MFA website for more information, and feel free to contact the director with any other questions at or (636) 949-4524.

Online Coursework Options:

Students in the MFA in Writing Program choose 45 credit hours of coursework from the options below. Additionally, all students enroll in the 3-credit Graduate Thesis at the end of their program. Classes are offered intermittently on a rotating schedule. There are no required classes (other than the thesis) and no class prerequisites; students may choose the coursework that works best for them. Please see the instructors’ course descriptions for more details about the classes we offer. 

Fiction courses:
IMF 51600 Fiction Genres (3)
IMF 51900 Advanced Fiction Genres (3)
IMF 52200 Focused Fiction Workshop (3)
IMF 53200 Advanced Focused Fiction Workshop (3)
IMF 53500 Fiction Writing Workshop (3)
IMF 53600 Fundamentals of Contemporary Fiction (3)
IMF 53700 Selected Emphases in Fiction (3)
IMF 53800 Advanced Fiction Workshop (3)
IMF 53900 Advanced Studies in Contemporary Fiction (3)
IMF 54100 Special Topics Focused Workshop (3)
IMF 54300 Genre Fiction as Literature (3)
IMF 54400 Genre Fiction Workshop (3)
IMF 55600 The Prose Collection (3)
IMF 57300 The Literary Novel (3)
IMF 57400 Literary Novel Workshop (3)

Poetry courses:
IMF 51700 Poetry Genres (3)
IMF 52100 Focused Poetry Workshop (3)
IMF 52500 Poetry Writing Workshop (3)
IMF 52600 The Craft of Poetry (3)
IMF 52700 Selected Emphases in Poetry (3)
IMF 52800 Advanced Poetry Workshop (3)
IMF 52900 Advanced Studies in Craft of Poetry (3)
IMF 53100 Advanced Focused Poetry Workshop (3)
IMF 54100 Special Topics Focused Workshop (3)

Creative Nonfiction courses:
IMF 52300 Focused Nonfiction Workshop (3)
IMF 53300 Advanced Focused Nonfiction Workshop (3)
IMF 54100 Special Topics Focused Workshop (3)
IMF 54500 Creative Nonfiction Workshop (3)
IMF 54600 The Personal Essay (3)
IMF 54700 The Lyric Essay (3)
IMF 55600 The Prose Collection (3)
IMF 56600 Narrative Journalism

Additional course options:
IMF 52400 Focused Scriptwriting Workshop (3)
IMF 55700 The Literary Journal (3)

Final Thesis Requirement:
IMF 58999 Graduate Thesis (3)

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