Creative Writing (M.F.A.)


Virginia Tech Blacksburg Campus

Residential/On Campus

Program Overview

Our three year MFA degree offers tracks in Poetry and Fiction. Our program is based upon the recommendations outlined by the Association of Writers & Writing programs. We also focus on professional skills with our extensive pedagogical training in both composition and creative writing, as well as an offering of courses in literary editing, new media, and publishing.

The “Electing the House of Representatives, 1840–2016” website offers the option of viewing a map (western half of the graphic) or a cartogram (eastern half of the graphic).
  • Minimum GPA 3.0 (4 Scale)
  • TOEFL/ IELTS score Required  (If Applicable)

Learn more 

The Department of English has a limited number of graduate assistantships and fellowships available for students applying for full time study on the Blacksburg Campus. Entering students can apply for such funding as part of their admissions application. No separate application required.

  • All students equally and fully funded through Graduate Teaching Assistantships.
  • GTA-ships include tuition remission, health insurance, and stipends of more than $20,000 per year for all three years of the program

Find out what loans are available as a graduate student and other opportunities.

Domestic Application

  •  *Fall:  January 8

International Application

  • *Fall: January 8

Erika Meitner, Director M.F.A. in Creative Writing
406 Shanks Hall

Sally Shupe, Graduate Programs Coordinator
310 Shanks Hall

Our Students

Why choose this program?

  • Virginia Tech’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program began in the fall of 2005, and graduated our first full class of students in the spring of 2008.  In the ten years since the program started, we’ve been consistently ranked among the top 30 programs in the country by Poets & Writers in their MFA rankings.
  • The faculty members in our creative writing program at Virginia Tech are accomplished, prize-winning, innovative, and diverse: Ed Falco, Nikki Giovanni, Evan Lavender-Smith, Jeff Mann, Erika Meitner, Lucinda Roy, Carmen Giménez Smith and Matthew Vollmer.
  • All students are equally and fully funded through Graduate Teaching Assistantships.
  • Cross-genre work is encouraged, with additional workshops in creative nonfiction, new media creative writing, and playwriting.
  • Our program is small—we admit 3-5 students a year in each genre—and we pride ourselves on the diversity and rigor of our program, our respect for our students’ voices, our financial support for our students, the individual attention students receive from faculty, and our robust Visiting Writers Series
  • Our students and alumni are exceptional; they have published books, received prestigious awards and fellowships for their writing, and gone on to further success as writers, teachers, and professionals.
  • Emily Morrison Prizes in Fiction and Poetry, and other MFA writing awards offered each year.
  • Editorial positions and publishing experience via the Minnesota Review and The New River.

What You'll Study

The MFA in Creative Writing is designed to be completed in three years. Students may specialize in Fiction or Poetry. A minimum of 49 hours is required for this terminal degree. A series of creative writing workshops, courses in form and theory, new media writing, composition pedagogy, and literature and theory electives are designed for students wishing to pursue careers as writers or writer/scholars at the college level. Students also have the opportunity to work as editors on the Minnesota Review and The New River: a Journal of Digital Writing and Art. A creative thesis, a written final exam, and an oral defense are required.

The 49 hours required for the degree must be distributed as follows:

Creative Writing Workshops: 15 hours (6704/Fiction, 6714/Poetry, 6724/Playwriting, 6734/Creative Nonfiction, 6744/New Media Writing); at least 9 hours must be in the designated specialty; students are encouraged to explore other genres in 6 hours of workshops.

Form and Theory Courses: 6 hours (5734/Form and Theory of Fiction, 5744/Form and Theory of Poetry).

GTA Training and Composition Pedagogy: 3 hours.
Creative Writing Pedagogy and Practicum: 3 hours.

Editing a Literary Journal (5774): 6 hours 

Research & Thesis (5994): 6 hours; a book-length creative thesis (a collection of poetry; a collection of short stories, or a novel)

Graduate English courses: 9 hours; students may use an independent study in Editing a Digital Journal to help fulfill this requirement.

Literary Awards 

  • Virginia Tech Fiction Prize
  • Virginia Tech Poetry Society of Virginia Award
  • Creative non-fiction nomination
  • Emily Morrison prize for fiction
  • Emily Morrison prize for poetry 

More Info

Faculty Bookshelf