UC Irvine offers graduate degrees in a number of creative areas, including writing which is part of the equally reputable UC Irvine English department , visual arts through the Claire Trevor School of the Arts , and drama , which includes specialization in acting, directing, stage management, design, and music direction. Through workshops, graduate seminars offered by the Department of English, the Department of Comparative Literature, and other humanities programs, and concentrated work on a creative thesis, this writing MFA fully prepares students to become professional writers.
Similarly, the visual arts MFA is for students pursuing careers in contemporary arts. This program is especially experimental and interdisciplinary with a curriculum combining independent study with critique courses and seminar classes.
Recognized as a Public Ivy, the University of California Irvine is consistently ranked among the best schools in the country, as are many of its individual academic and creative departments, including its prestigious MFA programs. Cranbrook Academy of Art is one of the best art, design, and architecture graduate schools in the nation, and it works in close relationship with the renowned Detroit Institute of Arts. There is no set curriculum at Cranbrook. Cranbrook offers Master of Fine Arts degrees in the following mediums: 2D design, 3D design, ceramics, fiber, metalsmithing, painting, photography, print media, and sculpture.
Since there is no set curriculum, students participate in critique rotations, reading and discussion groups, presentations, travel, and visits with guest artists and critics. Students are also privileged to have access to the Cranbrook Art Museum and to the Detroit art scene, which not only has a long history but is booming again right now.
New York University is globally recognized for its academic standards, research achievements, and its commitment to the arts. Located in the middle of one of the greatest art, drama, and literary scenes in the world, New York University boasts one of the best Master of Fine Arts programs in the world.
Each takes approximately two years to complete and each pairs students with nationally recognized artists, writers, actors, and directors to cultivate an education marked by mentorship and relational guidance. Though the University of Texas students concentrate in fiction, poetry, playwriting, or screenwriting, the curriculum is notably interdisciplinary, allowing students to develop work in a second field of study.
The rest of the program is comprised of approximately three courses per term in addition to workshops, reading and critical studies classes, and thesis work.
The faculty board at the Michener Center for Writers is made up of faculty members from across many UT departments, including the Department of English, the Radio, TV, and film departments, and the theatre and dance department. A number of visiting writers and artists also take part in the annual UT reading and writing series each year, making this program a highly relational one. This three-year MFA in Creative Writing program is one of the most affordable on our list, with competitive tuition that is, in most circumstances, fully paid through the Michener Fellowship.
The former is a two-year program that is distinctly not workshop-driven, but emphasizes and prioritizes graduate projects. The specializations abound at SAIC and include everything from art and technology studies to ceramics, fiber, performance, print media, sound, and more. Almost all the programs on our list require full residency, but at SAIC the fine arts MFA students have the option of enrolling in the low-residency program, studying at a distance and visiting campus only a couple times a year.
There are still workshops, though they do not weigh as much in the curriculum as the writing projects, interdisciplinary seminars, and relationships among peers, faculty, and the greater SAIC community at large.
Hunter College offers three ways to specialize in the fine arts—memoir, poetry, and fiction—and has a curriculum comprised of workshops, craft seminars, and literature classes that include topics ranging from Greek tragedies and Chaucer to post-colonial and contemporary literature. As a Hunter student you will also have access to their renowned gallery program, diverse lecture series, and exhibitions, as well as their woodshop, ceramics studio, digital workspace, photography studio, metal shop, printmaking studio, and more. Students are given five concentrations to choose among: sculpture, painting, photography, combined media, and works on paper.
The Master of Fine Arts in Writing program at Hunter College, part of the CUNY system, offers free tuition to all of its students by way of teaching opportunities, research fellowships, internships with celebrated New York fiction writers and poets, and internships as editors and proofreaders at Threepenny Review. For those interested in studying playwriting, fiction, or poetry, this program is the only on our list that can be completed in one year which includes summer study.
BU is also home to several art labs, research centers, a global music concert series, a prison education program, community projects, and much more. There are MFAs in theatre and visual arts, and both have their own specializations: theatre MFA students can choose from among concentrations in theatre education, directing, production, playwriting, production management, and design; and visual art MFA students can concentrate in sculpture, painting, and graphic design.
The Atlantic has recently ranked the MFA in Creative Writing program at Boston University as among the top 5 percent of all creative writing programs in the country. This allows students to take part in the translation seminar and earn a Global Fellowship, which gives students the opportunity to study, write, and travel for up to three months anywhere outside of the United States.
For students pursuing careers and craft development in fiction or poetry this program gives a generous financial aid package and opportunities for its students to teach, work on literary journals, take workshops in other genres including playwriting, creative nonfiction, and screenwriting , and enroll in cross-departmental courses in an array of subjects eg. This program is distinctly interdisciplinary and flexible, encouraging its students to work with faculty from a diverse range of mediums and departments. Notable to the UW Madison MFA is the two-to-one student-teacher ratio, which is unmatched by any other program on our list.
Students can specialize in ceramics, digital and media art, furniture design the only on our list to offer such a specialization , glass, graphic design, jewelry and metalsmithing, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and textiles. Additionally, as a RISD student you can take electives in a diverse array of topics and mediums, including design and the developing world, the ethics of humanitarian design, late modernism and postmodernism, from immaterial to material, studio languages, and much more.
This program is truly one of the best in the country for its visual arts MFA and is known for its post-graduation placement rates. As a RISD student you can also expect a high degree of community involvement, as MFA students work closely with the undergraduate population, as instructors in workshops or departmental courses, and through other professional development opportunities.
The consistently well ranked California Institute of the Arts CalArts offers a MFA for artists of all genres and mediums; one can pursue a Master of Fine Arts in everything from creative writing to choreography, studio art to graphic design, and much, much more. There are even more concentrations available within certain disciplines. CalArts is committed to nurturing and challenging the aesthetic vision of its students. For that reason the university goes to lengths to connect its students with working artists and professionals as well as offering access to career services, workshops, global initiative opportunities, and more.
Based in the beautiful Hudson River valley and on the foothills of the Catskill Mountains, Bard College is a liberal arts institution that is consistently well ranked by The Princeton Review, Newsweek, U. Bard campus is comprised of a renowned art museum, a conservatory, multiple research and cultural centers, and is known for its interdisciplinary approach to its undergraduate education, but also in its structuring of the MFA programs, of which there are six : film and video, music and sound, painting, photography, sculpture, and writing. Whichever specialization and focus you choose, at Bard you can anticipate a hands-on approach to learning and working closely with faculty to develop and direct your craft.
The Department of English at Indiana University—Bloomington is one of the best in the country, ranked among the top twenty, and it is home to their creative writing program, which gives students the opportunity to hone either their fiction or poetry under the mentorship of nationally recognized writers. This program is a three-year degree for those who either want to become professional writers or who wish to teach at the college level.
Consisting of workshops, faculty mentorship, small classes, and a creative thesis, MFA students are given access to one of the, hands down, best writing communities in the country. Likewise, the MFA in Studio Art degree through IU Bloomington trains students on a number of mediums, including ceramics, digital art, graphic design, metalsmithing and jewelry design, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and textiles.
These MFA students are guided through a curriculum marked by a liberal arts experience and influenced by the resources of a top research university. As an Iowa Writer you will gain teaching experience as well as have the opportunity to work as a research assistant during the course of your two years of study and manuscript development. Finally, this is also the oldest program on our list, boasting over eighty years of training writers and fostering a literary community.
The University of Iowa also offers MFAs in theatre and contemporary dance, acting, design and technology, and studio arts, the latter offering further areas of concentrations: ceramics, graphic design, 3D design, drawing, intermedia, jewelry and metal arts, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture.
Not only do world renowned novelists, poets, and memoirists teach in the program, but they earn their MFAs there: graduates have won nearly every literary prize there is, including seventeen Pulitzer Prizes and national Laureate recognition. Students are also expected to supplement their studio hours, workshopping, and thesis making with classes on theory, history, criticism, and philosophy courses.
The teaching assistantships at CCA help augment the cost of attendance as well as providing MFA students with meaningful and influential teaching experience. Furthermore, CCA students are not only privileged to work among world-class artists, designers, and writers, their proximity to the Bay Area art scene and community plays an influential and developmental role in both art making and community building.
Indeed, graduates from CCA have gone on to work in fields of art, publishing, design, architecture, criticism, film, curation, and business. Back in the s, happily, a different school approved my realistic teaching bent.
Editors spoke to my classes and I organized professional panels, and half my students got into print each term. Dozens of them have landed book deals, many with five- and six-figure advances.
As graduate school costs skyrocket and elitist attitudes persist, it turns out that many writing students love getting practical—and getting paid. Susan Shapiro is a writing professor at the New School and the author of Unhooked and other books. In the s big auto dreamed up freeways and demanded massive car infrastructure. Micromobility needs its own Futurama—one where cars are marginalized. The climate protest movement Extinction Rebellion is facing a backlash after disrupting commuters on the London Underground.
Washington Square Review Literary Journal. Fellowships and Literary Outreach. A Sample Residency Calendar. Scholarships and Grant Opportunities. Program of Study. Dates and Deadlines.