A Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing enables graduate students to further develop their writing craft in an intimate environment that emphasizes independent work. Alongside the guidance of experienced professionals and professors, students will explore different styles of writing to cultivate their own unique mode of expression. This article will outline a handful of the best creative writing MFA programs in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as what students can expect for admittance requirements.
MFA in Creative Writing: Program Admittance Requirements
Students looking to apply to an MFA program in creative writing should have completed a bachelor's degree, and they must also produce transcripts indicating a good standing with their undergraduate institution. Furthermore, students must prepare a writing portfolio containing approximately 20 pages of original writing. Finally, students will also include a personal essay or statement of purpose that outlines their writing experience and what they hope to gain and work on in their MFA program.
San Francisco Schools Offering MFAs in Creative Writing
University of San Francisco
The University of San Francisco, located in northern San Francisco, offers a two-and-a-half-year MFA program that runs courses twice a week. Students can expect coursework to range from feedback-based workshops on students' work to seminars that study the literary styles of other authors and their relation to historical developments within literature. Although students will select a primary genre or form to work within, they are still able to select courses in other genres, leading to a more diverse work experience within their program. Furthermore, with regards to a student's ability to diversify, the program also offers internship courses with professionals that have careers in writing or writing-adjacent careers.
California College of the Arts
Located in the eastern part of the city, the California College of the Arts offers a two-year MFA program that encourages students to explore forms of writing beyond the writer's focus as well as other disciplines altogether, emphasizing breadth and depth as the writer's strength. Furthermore, this MFA program seeks to situate the writer's learning and development within the region's deep literary history, with the program's inspirations ranging from the San Francisco renaissance to the modern slam and spoken word movement. MFA Students will have access to a writers' studio on campus, where they can collaborate with peers and take various workshops and seminars. The California College of the Arts prides itself on cultivating a small but supportive community of writers that can help enable every student to find their unique voice and style.
San Francisco State University
The San Francisco State University, a California State University campus, offers a focused MFA in Creative Writing. Ranging from general writing workshops to special studies or graduate creative process courses, the curriculum at SFSU offers graduates a considerable breadth of courses to focus their craft and growth as a writer in the way they see fit. The program states its learning outcomes as including the professional preparation of students in the field of literature as well as ensuring students produce publishable work by the end of their program. Furthermore, students will have studied a broad range of writers during their stay, growing their appreciation for the history of literature and the various elements of the craft.
Students seeking to further cultivate their creative writing skills will find multiple schools and programs to choose from in the San Francisco Bay Area. With regards to admittance, students should expect to build a portfolio relevant to their program as well as have completed an undergraduate degree. Finally, students should have a clear idea of their goals in pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing and likely must outline them in a personal essay for their school of choice.