Graduate Programs

MFA - Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

Ashland University's low-residency master of fine arts program insists on both high aesthetic standards in writing and a strong, supportive, interrelationship between faculty, students, visiting writers and staff. The program is built on the understanding that even the most accomplished writers need a dynamic and critically acute group of fellow writers to reach the full potential of their art.

Diversity of Background and Commitment to Growth

The Ashland University MFA Program attracts people from all walks of life—lawyers, doctors, psychologists, business professionals, parents, college professors, high school and primary teachers, veterans, journalists, retirees. Students come from 17 different states and range in age from 24-70. The average age of students in the program is around 40 years.

Summer Residency


Ashland University offers:

  • Degree tracks in one primary genre, poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction
  • Cross-genre option for students interested in multiple genres
  • Single, annual-residency model: 14 days each summer for three summers
  • Six total weeks of intensive residencies on campus during entire program
  • Four non-residential semesters of study online
  • Maximum of 5 students per faculty mentor
  • Writing packets exchanged four times per semester
  • On-going, intensive online discussion of assigned readings

The low-residency format is based on the sort of mentorship relationships that informed the development of many accomplished writers prior to the establishment of traditional, residential MFA Programs. Throughout all aspects of the Ashland MFA Program, students will:

  • Connect with and learn from distinguished writers
  • Develop writing relationships to last a lifetime
  • Build a basis in reading for a life of writing
  • Create and revise poetry and/or prose
  • Complete a book-length manuscript
  • Deepen an ability to assess literature critically
  • Re-energize a commitment to the literary arts


Each summer residency includes:

  • Daily writers’ workshops
  • Daily craft, style, and publishing seminars
  • Evening readings by faculty and visiting writers
  • Student readings and thesis defense sessions
  • Individual conferences


Congratulations to Steven Harvey, MFA faculty member, and Jon Kerstetter, MFA alumnus (class of 2011), whose essays from River Teeth have been selected for inclusion in Best American Essays 2013 by Guest Editor Cheryl Strayed. BAE 2013 will be available in October 2013. Read More...


Ashland University Department of Music presents its final band concert...Read more
The honors recital features the best of spring 2018. Students...Read more
Several student ensembles perform including the saxophone, brass and string...Read more
The Ashland University Choir and Ashland Area Chorus join the...Read more
The Ashland University Choir, Chamber Singers, and the Women's Chorus...Read more