Distance Learning Creative Writing Degree Program Overviews

Essential Information

Most distance learning creative writing degree programs are taught at the master's degree level; however, some bachelor's degree programs are available.

Most programs offer hybrid on-campus and online instruction formats, so some campus attendance is usually required.

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

The vast majority of distance learning creative writing degree programs are found in the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) academic category. While some MFA programs are offered entirely online, most are hybrid, requiring limited residency or some on-campus participation. These programs tend to be self-directed by the student and typically require limited on-campus attendance for seminars, readings, workshops and/or supervised teaching practice.

Program Information and Requirements

Online MFA programs normally follow a 2-year or 48-credit academic format. Through the distance learning part of their program, students must complete a series of writing projects and, possibly, a graduate thesis. MFA students may correspond virtually with peers who can assist them throughout the writing process by offering helpful critiques of their work.

Common Course Topics

Students enrolled in an online MFA in Creative Writing program often have several genres, or areas, from which to choose, including the following:

  • Poetry
  • Fiction
  • Creative nonfiction
  • Children's literature

Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing

Students enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts (BA) program offered through a school's hybrid course system might have the option to major in creative writing or to specialize in the subject as part of a more general English major. While entire degree programs are generally not available online, certain institutions of higher learning make some individual courses within the bachelor's degree program available via Web-based learning. The rest of the coursework, however, must be completed on a physical, 'brick-and-mortar' campus.

Program Information and Requirements

Course requirements for these programs are approximately 120 credits and usually include general education classes, concentration courses and an internship.

Common Course Topics

Throughout the program, students may take courses in the following areas:

  • Short fiction
  • Creative non-fiction
  • World literature
  • Writing and literature
  • Expressive arts
  • Documentary studies

Completing an online creative degree program can be done at the bachelor's level, but is more common at the master's level, resulting in an MFA in approximately 2 years. For both degree levels some on-campus work is typically required.

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