MFA in Creative Writing Programs in Minnesota

Oct 04, 2019

Several Minnesota universities offer MFA in Creative Writing programs. For more information to help you decide which one might be right for you, keep reading.

An MFA in Creative Writing could allow you to develop your writing skills with the help of your professors and fellow students. It may also help you develop the skills you need to work as an editor or publisher.

Minnesota Schools Offering MFA Programs in Creative Writing

University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota's MFA program is a three-year degree. In addition to core classes in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, the program also has classes in screenwriting. In addition to coursework and your thesis, you will also need to complete a booklist, consisting of 20 books in different genres that have been influential to you. The deadline to apply is December 1st.

Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato might be a good choice if you are interested in a career in editing, publishing or technical writing. As part of your 3-year MFA at Minnesota State University, Mankato, you will take classes in career-related subjects such as editing technical publications and research & publication in creative writing. You will also have the opportunity to do internships. If you want to receive an assistantship the deadline to apply is February 1st.

Augsburg University

Augsburg University offers a wide variety of options. You will be able to specialize in screenwriting, playwriting, or mixed genre, in addition to fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction. It also offers concentrations in teachings, translation, and publication. Augsburg University has a two-year low residency, in which you take classes in the fall and spring semester online, and do ten-day residencies on campus during three summers.

Hamline University

Hamline is a liberal arts-focused school. In addition to courses and workshops in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction, Hamline University also offers courses in publishing and teaching. This 48-credit degree may be completed on a full- or part-time basis. Financial aid and scholarships are available. The deadline to apply is November 1st for the spring semester, and March 1st for the fall (February 1st for the best chance at receiving scholarship money).

Concordia University, St. Paul

Concordia University, St. Paul's MFA in Creative Writing is a good choice if you want to focus on your own creative writing and also want an alternative to the typical semester system. The 2-year program offers classes online or in-class. Courses meet once per week, and it will take seven weeks to complete a course. You will complete five workshops as well as studies in creative fiction, novels, poetry, and creative nonfiction.

General Information About MFA Programs in Creative Writing

As part of your MFA in Creative Writing, you will typically choose to specialize in a particular genre of writing, generally either fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction, though some programs may offer other specializations. At the end of your MFA program, you will usually be required to write a book-length thesis in your chosen genre. Below are some common courses you might take.


In workshops, you work alongside your professors and fellow students to improve your writing. The most common workshops are in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. You may be required to take workshops outside your specialization, as well.


These courses often explore how to teach creative writing or composition. You might learn how to develop a syllabus, run workshops, and evaluate writing. You may also be able to complete an internship in teaching.


Publishing is one of the pre-professional courses some MFA in Creative Writing programs offer. You might take a look at what goes into the business and craft of publishing books. These courses may involve learning about book design, marketing, and editing.


In these courses, you often work on translating works from foreign languages into English. You may work on both literary and nonliterary works to understand the theory of translation. For course completion, your final project may be to translate a major work.


Your final project in your MFA program will often be to complete a thesis. You could be required to create a book-length work in your chosen area of specialization, guided by a thesis mentor. At the end, you may have to defend your thesis before a thesis committee, reading from your thesis and answering questions they may have.

Program Admittance Requirements

Generally, a GRE is not required to be admitted into an MFA program, although submitted GRE scores may help your application. You will typically need to submit your transcripts, as well as 1-3 letters of recommendation (depending on the program). You could also need to submit a personal statement that explains why you're interested in the program. Finally, you will commonly submit a sample of your creative writing. If you do not speak English as your first language you may also need to submit TOEFL or other English proficiency test scores.

There are a number of different MFA in Creative Writing programs in Minnesota, some of which are focused specifically on training you to become a writer, and others which are designed to help you get a career in publishing or editing. In all of them you will need to complete a great deal of writing in areas like fiction, poetry or creative nonfiction and will spend 2-3 years on your studies.

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