Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

Expand your writing practice and refine your craft within the supportive community of Ashland University’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program.

Contact Us

MFA Office

401 College Avenue
Ashland, Ohio 44805
Phone:
419-289-5098
Email: mfa@ashland.edu

The MFA Office is also home to The Ashland Poetry Press and the Black Fork Review.

Graduate Admissions

Call Us: 419.289.5738 or 1.800.882.1548 x5688

E-mail: grad-admissions@ashland.edu

Request Info

Curriculum

Summer Residency

Summer residencies are integral to the MFA experience. The residency is held on the campus of Ashland University and features a rigorous schedule of workshops, seminars, and readings. The 2019 Summer Residency will be held Monday, July 22 through Friday, August 2. The residency begins with a program dinner on July 22. The final Friday is a travel day.

Learn more about the MFA Summer Residency.

Academics

Upon entrance into the program, students choose a primary genre in which to work: poetry, creative nonfiction, or fiction (includes our sci-fi/fantasy track).

The MFA program encompasses three intensive two-week summer residencies, three online semesters of creative writing and critical reading, and one online semester of thesis preparation. Students are encouraged to begin the program with the summer residency, but they may opt to begin in the spring.

Learn more about the MFA Academic Curriculum and courses.

Admissions

Admission

Admission is open to all qualified persons regardless of handicap, religion, race, creed, age, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin.

Students seeking admission to the Master of Fine Arts Program must:

  • complete an application
  • submit official transcripts from all institutions from which a degree was earned
  • submit writing sample (10-15 pages of poetry or 20-25 pages of prose)
    • fiction and creative nonfiction writing samples may be comprised of several shorter pieces or one longer piece totaling 20-25 double-spaced pages
    • poetry writing samples should have no more than one poem per page
    • writing samples may be uploaded within the online application or sent electronically to enroll-grad@ashland.edu
  • submit two letters of recommendation
  • submit a $30 application fee

Admission is based on the following:

  • completed bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with a GPA above 2.75 (conditional acceptance for GPAs 2.25-2.75)
  • submission of 10-15 pages of poetry or 20-25 pages of prose deemed by the MFA faculty to be of sufficient quality for admittance to the program

Application Deadlines

Summer Residency

The best way to enter our program is to start with the Summer Residency. Priority deadline is February 1. As long as space is available, new applications will be accepted until May 15th.

Exception: students interested in the Residency in Paris must apply by November 1 of the previous calendar year.

Online Semesters

Students may enter the program during an online semester as well.

There is a priority deadline of September 15 for students interested in enrolling during the spring online semester. New applications for spring will be considered through December 1 as long as there is space available in the program. The semester begins in January.

Application Process

Start Your Application Now

After completing the application, send your official transcripts and other support materials to enroll-grad@ashland.edu or mail them to:

Enrollment Services
Ashland University
401 College Ave
Ashland OH 44805

Applicants may send letters of recommendation as they are ready for submission. If you are completing a hard copy application, you may email your writing sample to enroll-grad@ashland.edu.

Accepted students are required to make a one-time $150 enrollment deposit to secure their place in the program. The deposit is credited toward their tuition.

Questions about the application process should be directed to Angie Kessinger at 419.289.5438.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Tuition and Fees

Financial Aid

Information regarding financial aid for students in the Master of Fine Arts Program is posted on the Graduate School Financial Aid page.

2019-2020 Tuition Rates

AWP membership is included in tuition cost.

Tuition Schedule, Beginning Fall 2019

Year

Semester

Course

Cost

1 Summer English 501 $2,196
1 Fall English 631 $6,660
1 Spring English 632 $6,660
2 Summer English 502 $2,196
2 Fall English 633 $6,660
2 Spring English 701 $6,660
Final Residency (End of 2nd Year) English 503 $2,196
Total 45 Credits $33,228

NOTE: * Tuition rates are subject to change. We will do our best to inform you of these changes.

Residency Only Fees:

Individuals interested in attending the residency only are invited to apply as a non-degree student. Rates for non-degree students are the same as for degree-track students.

Additional Fees:

A distance education fee of $15/credit hour was added for all online courses beginning spring 2017.

Meals and lodging during the residency are optional. For more information about room and board, visit Summer Residency Room and Board.

There is a $100 fee to graduate, which is charged by the Registrar's office.

Optional Cost for Use of Athletic Facilities

Note: During summer residencies, MFA students and faculty members may purchase a $20 two-week membership to the recreation center. This membership can be purchased the first day of the residency from the Sports Science and Recreation Center Help Desk.

Facilities include a 25-yard long pool, high dive, whirlpool, sauna, fitness center, racquetball courts, basketball and volleyball courts, indoor soccer, track, rock climbing wall, simulated golf, ping pong, pool tables, etc.

Graduate Assistantships

A limited number of graduate publishing assistantships are available for poetry students in the Master of Fine Arts program who work with the Ashland Poetry Press.

Graduate publishing assistantships are available to students who have taken ENG 631: Mentorship I and have selected poetry as their primary genre. Students are chosen for assistantships during the fall semester; decisions are based on faculty recommendations and a cover letter sent to the managing editor of Ashland Poetry Press.

News

Subscribe to our newsletter

Our program newsletter includes information about coming events, deadlines, and opportunities, as well as news from our faculty, students, and alumni.

Sign up here.

View our most recent issue.

View previous campaigns.

Social Media

Contact Us

MFA Office

401 College Avenue
Ashland, Ohio 44805
Phone:
419-289-5098
Email: mfa@ashland.edu

The MFA Office is also home to The Ashland Poetry Press and the Black Fork Review.

Graduate Admissions

Call Us: 419.289.5738 or 1.800.882.1548 x5688

E-mail: grad-admissions@ashland.edu

Request Info

Curriculum

Admissions

Tuition & Financial Aid

Graduate Assistantships

A limited number of graduate publishing assistantships are available for poetry students in the Master of Fine Arts program who work with the Ashland Poetry Press.

Graduate publishing assistantships are available to students who have taken ENG 631: Mentorship I and have selected poetry as their primary genre. Students are chosen for assistantships during the fall semester; decisions are based on faculty recommendations and a cover letter sent to the managing editor of Ashland Poetry Press.

News

What to Expect in the MFA in Creative Writing Program

The MFA in Creative Writing program offers degree tracks in one primary genre:

  • Poetry
  • Creative Nonfiction
  • Fiction (literary fiction and science fiction/fantasy tracks)

Cross-genre options also are available if you’re interested in more than one genre.

This program is offered in a low-residency format based on the mentorships that informed the development of many accomplished writers prior to the establishment of traditional, residential MFA programs.

The format of this low-residency program includes:

  • Intensive two-week residencies each summer for three years
  • Four online semesters of workshop
  • Individualized mentorship from established writers
  • Ongoing, rigorous discussions of contemporary literature

Learn more about the MFA in Creative Writing program.

Summer Residency

Summer Residency

Summer residencies are integral to the MFA experience: it is a time of vibrant community building as you work closely with expert faculty and supportive peers. The residency is held on Ashland University’s campus and features a rigorous schedule of workshops, craft classes, readings, and panels. Learn more about Ashland University's MFA Summer Residency.

Summer Reading & Craft Seminar Series

Each summer the Ashland MFA program brings a variety of highly accomplished visiting writers and editors to the Ashland University campus for its summer residency. Many events are free and open to the public thanks to a grant from the Ohio Arts Council. Learn more about Ashland University's MFA Summer Reading & Craft Seminar Series.

Residency in Paris

Participate in a ten-day residency abroad, exploring the beautiful city of Paris through the eyes of a writer. Learn more about Ashland University's MFA Residency in Paris.

Program Benefits

As a student in the MFA program in Creative Writing, you’ll:

  • Connect with and learn from distinguished writers
  • Develop writing skills and relationships that will last a lifetime
  • Build a basis in reading for a lifetime of writing
  • Create and revise original work in your chosen genre
  • Complete a book-length manuscript
  • Deepen your ability to critically assess contemporary literature
  • Re-energize your commitment to the literary arts
  • Form a strong writing community, especially through the Summer Residency
  • Have the opportunity to work with a faculty mentor and peers abroad via the Residency in Paris
  • Have the opportunity to build publishing experience as an editor for the Black Fork Review (link) and/or via a Graduate Publishing Assistantship

The Black Fork Review

The Black Fork Review is a literary journal featuring poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction. The journal is edited by MFA students who lead teams of undergraduate editors in each genre. The journal merges the work of the AU community (students and faculty) with work submitted by writers in the wider literary landscape.

About #AshlandMFA

Hear from some of our students and graduates about Ashland University's MFA program.

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