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Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

AU's MFA Program Rated as One of the Top Programs in Country

Poets & Writers, a top, nationally circulated, creative writing magazine that rates MFA programs across the nation, has determined that Ashland University’s low-residency MFA program ranked second in job placement, fourth in fellowship placement, and 11th in selectivity among all 47 U.S. low-residency MFA programs.

In addition, an independent agency that ranks higher education degrees for economic return on investment ranked AU’s low-residency MFA as its top value program:  “Of all the low-residency creative writing MFA’s, Ashland University’s is probably the most prestigious,” concluded Iris Stone of “AU has a strong reputation for launching careers in creative writing and publishing.”  

As further evidence, graduates of the Ashland MFA program already have published some 20 of their own books since completing the program and the list is growing. Recent titles of graduate publications may be found at

Faculty Member Wins Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award

Angie Estes, an Ashland University faculty member in the low residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program, has won the $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for best book of poems published in the previous year.

Is the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing right for you?

This multi-track, Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing graduate program allows students to pursue a creative writing degree in poetry, creative nonfiction and fiction, with a cross-genre option available to students interested in multiple genres. This program strengthens the skillset of accomplished poets, creative nonfiction writers and fiction writers, and also prepares graduates for a career in creative writing.

What you'll learn

For writers at all levels of skill and achievement, this MFA in Creative Writing degree stimulates and inspires your writing whether you choose to specialize in poetry, fiction, nonfiction or a cross-genre degree. This low-residency MFA program synthesizes a built-in writing community with rigorous standards for creative output across all genres.

Why earn your MFA in Creative Writing at Ashland?

  • Offering degree tracks in one primary genre: poetry, creative nonfiction or fiction
  • Cross-genre options 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 nonresidential semesters of study via the Internet
  • Award-winning faculty members
  • Maximum of five students per faculty mentor
  • Writing packets exchanged four times per semester
  • Ongoing, intensive online discussion of assigned books

Flexible, low-residency format

The low-residency format of our creative writing MFA programs is based on 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 original materials in chosen genre(s)
  • Complete a book-length manuscript
  • Deepen an ability to assess literature critically
  • Re-energize a commitment to the literary arts

Career opportunities

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, writing jobs will increase 3% between 2012 and 2022. Creative writing MFA programs like this can help you to take advantage of the positive employment outlook in this exciting field.

Get started today!

If you are looking for a creative writing program that does not solely rely on teaching out of a book, but instead actively engages and challenges you, consider Ashland University for your Creative Writing MFA. Simply fill out the Request Info form above, email or apply nowStudents are able to enter the program at the beginning of each semester, including the Fall, Spring, and Summer. Before enrolling in their first semester of classes, admitted students will be asked to pay a $500 enrollment deposit, which will then be credited to their student account and deducted from their first semester bill.