College of Arts and Humanities

About the MFA in Writing

About the MFA in Writing

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Tell Your Story. Hone Your Prose. Deepen Your Dialogue. Find Power in Poetic Form. Choose Your Own Adventure!

Lindenwood University offers the opportunity to study and practice the craft of creative writing in our Master of Fine Arts degree in Writing. The MFA is a 48-credit-hour program, composed of a wide variety of courses in many genres, culminating in a final Graduate Thesis.

We offer small class settings, designed for individualized feedback, skill-building, and personal growth in a challenging but supportive environment. The MFA degree can be completed fully online with no residency requirement.

Students have the option to declare an emphasis in one of four areas. Note that you do not have to declare an emphasis.

  • Fiction
  • Poetry
  • Creative Nonfiction
  • Young Adult and Middle Grade Writing

An emphasis requires a minimum of 27 credit hours of coursework in the emphasis area, including at least one Foundations course from the list below for the declared genre; the six credit-hour thesis must focus primarily on the emphasis genre. Note that "Multigenre" courses may count as part of your 27 credits in your Emphasis area, as determined by the MFA program director.

Emphasis students may choose any IMF course numbers for their remaining credit hours. Students work with an advisor to ensure proper emphasis coursework is completed. MFA classes may be offered online, on-campus, or both.

Our program offers dedicated instructors, a flexible and extensive curriculum (including courses in literary fiction, genre fiction, the novel, poetry, prose poetry, creative nonfiction, young adult/middle grade, and many specialized focus areas including careers in writing and teaching composition), and literary events such as the MFA Craft Talks, and a warm writing community in which to grow. Students also have the opportunity to serve as editorial assistants on The Lindenwood Review, the literary journal produced by our program. 

MFA students enhance their writing skills, develop their analytical expertise, and expand their literary knowledge. The MFA is a terminal degree that qualifies graduates to teach writing at the university level. Graduates often pursue careers in writing, editing, publishing, and teaching. Our program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

The MFA in Writing is a selective program, contingent upon acceptance of a creative writing sample and statement of purpose. This ensures 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. Visit our Prospective Students page for full details about the MFA submission process and additional university admissions requirements. For more information, contact us at

The Lindenwood Review

The Lindenwood Review

The Lindenwood Review is an annual literary journal published by the Lindenwood University Press. Students in the university's MFA in Writing program serve as editorial assistants as part of their MFA coursework. This publication features literary prose: Fiction (short fiction and flash fiction), Creative Nonfiction (personal essays, lyric essays, and flash nonfiction), and Prose Poems (block format).

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