MFA in Creative Writing


The Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing is a terminal degree awarded by the University of Illinois and earned through our MFA program. Our three-year MFA program provides students with graduate study and professional training in the writing of fiction and poetry with our distinguished graduate faculty: Janice Harrington, Amy Hassinger, Michael Madonick, Ted Sanders, Alex Shakar, and David Wright.

The primary goal of the MFA in Creative Writing is to give literary artists time and space to work on perfecting their art. Students will teach creative writing and produce a book-length, publishable manuscript. Students will also gain extensive experience in literary editing and publishing while enrolled in the program. Ninth Letter, the University of Illinois's innovative literature and arts magazine, is a semi-annual publication featuring emerging and established writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and other genres undefined, as well as visual artists working in a variety of mediums. This collaborative energy comes together in a highly-designed format, both in print and on the web. Ninth Letter is dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all interested MFA candidates. Students may enroll in the Ninth Letter-based literary publishing course and are eligible to apply for a range of semester-long and annual assistantships.

All students admitted to the graduate program are granted financial aid throughout the program, as long as they remain in good standing and make reasonable progress toward their degree. Most awards are in the form of teaching assistantships, but some fellowships are available. All awards include tuition and partial-fee waivers, although students must pay some fees. Entering MFA candidates receive three years of support. The first year of support, set at 33% (teaching one class a semester), earns the graduate student $10,745; non-recurring fellowship funds, typically in the amount of $2,500, are given to first-year students to augment the stipend, making it around $13,245. In their second and third years, students receive 67% appointments (teaching two courses a semester) and earn approximately $21,817*.

Application deadline: December 1, 12 noon (CST)


*as of 2017-2018