Top Creative Writing Masters Programs: School List

A master's degree in creative writing is a practical degree that helps students develop advanced writing skills. Get rankings and program details for the top creative writing master's programs in the country.

School Overviews

Two of the best creative writing master's degree programs can be found at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Columbia University. Each of these schools are nationally recognized for excellence in fine arts education. The graduate programs offer students several options to explore various aspects of the creative writing field.

1. School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, IL

School Highlight: U.S. News & World Report ranked the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) tied for 2nd among fine arts graduate programs in 2012.

SAIC offers a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Writing, where students can tailor the degree to their particular creative writing genre, such as fiction, poetry, screenwriting or creative nonfiction. Coursework may include plot structure, satirical writing and young adult fiction. The 2-year program encourages students to select coursework outside their genre and even in other art forms, such as visual or performance art.

2. Columbia University in the City of New York

School Highlight: Columbia University, located in the center of the arts scene, was listed 10th among graduate fine arts programs by U.S. News & World Report in 2012.

The school's MFA in Writing program is held in an intimate, workshop format and emphasizes artistic development in their students. Students select from a concentration in fiction, poetry or literary nonfiction. Classes include the study of plot, narrative, editing and publication.

Top Creative Writing Master's Programs

College/University Name Distinction Location
Arizona State University University's Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing offers an 18-month Your Novel Year program during which students can get mentoring and support in writing a novel; students can also network with agents, editors and publishers Tempe, AZ
Indiana University- Bloomington MFA students receive funding for three years for teaching nine courses in creative writing and first-year composition Bloomington, IN
New York University University offers a low-residency MFA program in creative writing in which students pursue intensive study through five, 10-day writing workshops in Paris New York, NY
Temple University Creative writing master's students can get experience as an editor while working on TINGE Magazine, the school's online literary journal Philadelphia, PA
University of Georgia Creative writing MFA program includes a study of creative nonfiction, as well as fiction and poetry Athens, GA
University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign MFA in Creative Writing students publish Ninth Letter, the university's literature and arts magazine, twice a year Champaign, IL
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Helen Zell Writer's Program Ann Arbor, MI
University of Southern California University offers a Master of Professional Writing (MPW) program that incorporates stage and screen writing and new media writing studies, in addition to fiction, poetry and nonfiction Los Angeles, CA
University of Washington - Seattle Campus Creative writing students can get hands-on experience in publishing by working on the university's literary journal, Seattle Review Seattle, WA
University of Wisconsin - Madison MFA in Creative Writing program only admits six students yearly; poetry students are only admitted in even-numbered years and fiction students are admitted in odd-numbered years Madison, WI

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