If you have a passion for creative writing, a master’s degree can help you hone your craft and launch your literary career as a fiction writer or poet. At Temple University, you can earn a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in Creative Writing as a full-time or part-time student. You’ll develop the skills needed to write fiction or poetry of publishable quality, define your individual voice and aesthetics and experience a diversity of approaches to literary forms as you prepare to submit manuscripts to journals, publishers and agents. Familiarize yourself with our curriculum and tuition and fees so you can apply today and begin studying with celebrated authors.
Earn Your MFA in Creative Writing
The Temple MFA Program in Creative Writing awards a two-year Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing, with a focus in either fiction or poetry. Our innovative curriculum immerses students in the study of creative writing and literature, with course offerings that range from special topics and craft classes in creative writing to graduate seminars in literature, the humanities and the arts. Through small workshops each semester and one-on-one manuscript tutorials with our resident faculty in the second year, the curriculum supports students as they gain technique and self-confidence and prepare to hand in their MFA theses in their final semester. The supportive environment also helps our students move successfully from the MFA into the highly competitive world of submissions to journals and book publishers.
Learn More about the MFA Program Curriculum
Workshops are supplemented by individual consultations with visiting writers and a series of readings by prominent writers. For more information, please look at our Poets & Writers events page. Students also have the opportunity to work on our online literary journal, TINGE Magazine, which is graduate student–edited.
Read about the writers and poets who are currently teaching in the MFA program on our faculty page. Faculty who have taught in the program in the past include such noted writers and scholars as David Bradley, Samuel R. Delany, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Toby Olson, Sonia Sanchez, and Susan Stewart.
Please go to the Temple University Creative Writing MFA Facebook page for current updates.
Learn More about the MFA in Creative Writing
Visiting Writers Program
The Creative Writing Program invites a distinguished novelist (in the fall) and poet (in the spring) to be in residence for several days in order to work with MFA students. These guests read student manuscripts in their genre, meet with students individually in conference, give a reading, attend graduate workshops and spend informal time with the students over the course of their visit. During the two years of the master’s program, students have the opportunity to engage with four of these visitors and have conferences on their work with one or two of them (in their specific genre). The writers brought to Temple under this program are a distinctive and internationally recognized group. Recent Visiting Writers have included:
- Peter Carey
- Alexander Chee
- Robert Creeley
- Robert Coover
- Anita Desai
- Brian Evenson
- C. S. Giscombe
- Jaimy Gordon
- Mat Johnson
- Bhanu Kapil
- Jonathan Lethem
- Carole Maso
- Alice Notley
- Anne Waldman
- C. D. Wright
Part-Time MFA Program
You have the option of going part-time over three years (six credits, or two classes, per semester), or possibly taking some classes as a non-matriculated student. If you are interested in the latter option, inquire first by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org at least two weeks before the start of the semester about specific classes. Check Temple’s course schedule (select the semester, then look under English, Graduate). If there is space and the instructor is amenable, you will most likely be asked for a writing sample and other information for further consideration if you have not already sent in a formal application.
Although not required, we prefer applicants to the MFA program in Creative Writing to hold a bachelor’s degree in English or creative writing or to have taken a significant number of workshops or literature classes as an undergraduate. However, in the past, students without this background have performed well in the program. Therefore, we consider the entire application package in our admission decisions.
A writing sample in the genre of your choice, a personal statement, and three letters of reference are required for admission. The GRE is optional.
Please visit the Creative Writing Graduate Bulletin to learn more about graduate program requirements and instructions on how to apply.
Tuition and Fees
Temple University is relatively affordable in comparison to other programs. We have had students in the past choose Temple with no funding as opposed to other programs that offered some funding because ultimately it was a better deal for them. Also note that Pennsylvania residents receive reduced tuition at Temple (see the registrar’s residency page for eligibility). The MFA program requires 33 total credits. Check the Bursar’s Office for current tuition rates and fees. For 2018–19, annual tuition for full-time graduate students from Pennsylvania is $17,378 (18 total credits); for full-time, out-of-state graduate students, it is $23,588. (Note that in the second year of the program, only 15 credits are required.) For part-time in-state graduate students, it is $11,630 (12 total credits); for part-time out-of-state graduate students, it is $15,770.
Learn More about Graduate School Funding