College of Arts and Humanities

MFA in Writing FAQ

MFA in Writing FAQ

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FAQs & What To Expect in Our Online Classes

Who is the contact person for questions about the MFA in Writing Program?

Please contact us at with any questions you have. If we do not have the specific information you need, we will give you contact information for the correct person.

How do I apply to the MFA Program?

Visit our Prospective Students page for details about the creative writing sample and statement of purpose, then click on the “Apply Now” link on that page to get started with your university admissions application. General university admission requirements are also listed on the Prospective Students page. Our MFA in Writing Program does not require the GRE. The creative writing sample and statement of purpose are the primary basis for MFA Program acceptance.

How many students are accepted into the MFA Program each year?

The MFA Program has a rolling admissions policy and is not limited to a specific number of acceptances each year. Each applicant is considered individually, and every creative writing sample is reviewed on its own merit. We are looking for students who clearly demonstrate strong writing skills, an understanding of the craft of creative writing, and a willingness to continue growing as a writer.

Does my undergraduate degree need to be in English?

No. Any completed undergraduate degree is acceptable for MFA applicants.

Do you accept transfer credits toward the MFA?

Lindenwood University accepts up to 9 credit hours of applicable graduate credit toward the MFA in Writing. Students should contact their academic advisor to have transfer classes evaluated for credit.

How long does it take to complete the MFA in Writing?

Degree completion will depend upon the number of credit hours students enroll in each term. The MFA is a 48-hour degree program, including the Thesis (which is taken in the final term of enrollment, either along with coursework or by itself), and degree completion can take from one and a half years to a maximum of five years. Students work with their academic advisor to determine their degree plans.

How many classes should I take each term?

Students can enroll in one or two online classes per 8-week term (students can request approval to take three classes per term). Each online class requires students to participate on Canvas a minimum of three times per week, so it is up to students to determine how many classes will work best with their schedule. We offer five 8-week terms per year; one 3-credit class per term can be taken in order to apply for financial aid or student loans.

What is the tuition rate for the program? Is there an out-of-state fee?

See our Prospective Students page for the link to the university's Tuition webpage. There is no additional cost for out-of-state online students. The MFA in Writing is a 48-credit-hour program.

What grants are available? Do you offer Teaching Assistantships or scholarships?

The MFA Program offers the three grants listed below (Teacher Grants and 60+ Grant). Lindenwood University does not offer MFA-specific scholarships or Teaching Assistantships (but our program offers some classes that include preparatory information for students who plan to teach after graduation).

Teacher Grant: The MFA in Writing Program offers a grant of $60 off per credit hour for teachers who currently teach at the elementary, middle school, or high school level.

Community College Teacher Grant: This grant offers $40 off per credit hour for current instructors at community colleges.

60+ Grant: This grant offers a 50% tuition grant for students age 60 or over.

Are MFA students required to declare an emphasis area? What courses are required?

LU MFA students are not required to declare an emphasis; however, emphases in Fiction, Poetry, Creative Nonfiction, and Young Adult-Middle Grade writing are available as options for the degree for students who wish to primarily focus on a specific genre. Emphasis students must take a required foundational craft class in their declared genre, and the final thesis should focus primarily on the student's emphasis area.

How do I drop a class? What is the charge for withdrawing?

Students must email their academic advisor with a withdrawal request by the deadline for that term, and then the advisor will fill out the paperwork to withdraw you from class. The university's drop policy is detailed in the catalog, including information about tuition percentages that are charged based on your date of withdrawal.

How do I view my grades/schedule/transcripts/account info/student email?

Final grades, along with other student information such as class schedules, unofficial transcripts, and account information, can be viewed through your Student Portal. Student email is accessed through a student’s Lindenwood email account via Office 365. New students will have access to their student portal and email after they have been fully admitted to the university and registered for classes.

What if I don’t see my question listed here?

Visit our website at for more program information or contact us at

What To Expect in Our Online MFA Classes:

Our online MFA students are required to participate in classes in Canvas a minimum of three times per week.

Several deadlines will be given throughout each week, and students will complete their work before each deadline on the days and at the times that work best with their schedule.

Students do not need to all be online at the same time, as our online classes are asynchronous.

We do offer one synchronous hybrid class in each Fall and Spring term (the code in registration is “FLX”), which local students can attend on campus and out-of-state students can attend via webcam.

An example of assignment deadlines for a literature class would be to view your reading assignment in Canvas on Monday; then to post your primary response to the reading in the discussion thread by Wednesday night; then over the week and weekend, to read posts by other students and the instructor, responding to a minimum of three to five other posts (determined by instructor) to continue the discussion; then to complete a journal entry (viewable only by the instructor) by Sunday night. This is just an example week—each class type (workshop, craft, literature) and each instructor will have assignments and instructions that are appropriate for the course’s subject material and class goals.

The time commitment required for each class will vary depending on class type (for example, a literature class requires more reading time and analysis posts; a workshop class requires more creative writing work and workshop responses). The flexibility of being able to post before deadlines at the time that works best for you during the week should allow the coursework to be manageable for your schedule.

Most of our online students take two classes per term, but it is fine to take one class per term. It is allowed but not recommended to take three classes per 8-week term. Note that one class per 8-week term allows students to apply for financial aid/student loans.

Be sure to read the etiquette information in the Class Requirements module in your classes. MFA students should be respectful to each other and to the instructor, and should give feedback on others' writing in the same way they would wish to receive feedback about their own work—respectful, kind, and insightful responses about what is working well and what areas could use additional revision or development. Please help us maintain a supportive and helpful writing community in our online classes.