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Creative Writing (M.F.A.)

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Campus: 
Virginia Tech Blacksburg Campus

Instructions:
Residential/On Campus

Program Overview

Our three-year MFA degree offers tracks in Poetry and Fiction, and all students are fully and equally funded via GTA-ships of more than $20,000 per year. We encourage cross-genre experimentation, offer additional courses in creative nonfiction, playwriting, new media creative writing, and literary editing, and all students have the opportunity to teach creative writing and composition, as well as serve as editors of one of our two literary journals.

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  • 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
540-231-7728
meitner@vt.edu

Sally Shupe, Graduate Programs Coordinator
310 Shanks Hall
540-231-4659
sashupe@vt.edu

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

Cross-genre work is encouraged, with additional workshops in creative nonfiction, new media creative writing, and playwriting.

Our program is small—we admit 4–5 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.

All students have the opportunity to to hold editorial positions and gain publishing experience working on the print journal the minnesota review and the digital journal The New River.

Emily Morrison Prizes in Fiction and Poetry, and other MFA writing awards offered each year.

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.

Faculty In Creative Writing

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