Best Online Master’s Creative Writing Degree Programs

You can prepare for a variety of writing vocations, including copywriting, technical writing, and editing, with an online MFA in creative writing

Best Online MFA in Creative Writing Degrees of 2023

When it comes to pursuing an online Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing, the options abound, but discerning the best programs can be daunting. In 2023, several online MFA programs have risen to the top, offering exceptional quality, flexibility, and opportunities for aspiring writers. Let’s explore some of the standout programs that have captured attention and accolades this year:


Online Creative Wring Program

  • University of New Orleans – Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing:

Renowned for its low-residency format, combining online coursework with intensive on-campus residencies, the University of New Orleans offers concentrations in Fiction, Poetry, Creative Nonfiction, and Screenwriting. With opportunities for mentorship and publication in the literary journal Bayou, UNO’s MFA program stands out as a top choice for aspiring writers.

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Consider enrolling in the University of Denver’s master’s degree in professional writing if you want to improve your writing skills and learn more about the business side of the industry. You can select a hybrid program or an asynchronous, entirely online one. You study focus courses, electives, and foundational courses on the business and skill of writing during your master’s program.

Your application consists of a personal statement and your transcripts from your undergraduate studies. There isn’t an application cost right now.

  • Wilkes University – Master of Arts/Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing:

Offering both low-residency and fully online options, Wilkes University provides a supportive community of writers through online workshops, mentorship, and peer critique. With concentrations in Fiction, Poetry, Screenwriting, Playwriting, and Publishing, Wilkes empowers students to explore their unique voices and pursue their literary aspirations.

  • Lindenwood University – Master of Fine Arts in Writing:

Lindenwood’s online program combines coursework with intensive summer residencies, fostering personal and professional connections within a vibrant writing community. With concentrations in Fiction, Poetry, Nonfiction, and Screenwriting, Lindenwood encourages experimentation and exploration across genres, nurturing the development of versatile writers.

  • Murray State University – Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing:

Affordable and accessible, Murray State University’s online MFA program offers a strong focus on craft and technique. With opportunities for teaching experience through assistantships and internships, as well as concentrations in Fiction, Poetry, and Creative Nonfiction, Murray State equips students with the skills and confidence to succeed in the ever-evolving landscape of writing.

Avg. Cost per Credit:
In-State | $849
Out-of-State | $849

Credits to Graduate: 36

You have a choice between a hybrid learning environment and a fully online master’s program in creative writing at Albertus Magnus College. You can finish this program either full- or part-time. Along with finishing your education, you will work with a mentor to develop a portfolio of publishable work. A minimum 3.0 college GPA and a 10- to 15-page writing sample are required for application. For an online degree application, a valid ID is required.

For aspiring writers seeking a flexible and enriching educational experience, these top online MFA programs offer a pathway to realizing their literary ambitions in the digital age.

MFA in Creative Writing: Program Expectations For Students

Institutions offering MFA programs in creative writing may have different requirements. Still, you should expect to take a lot of seminars that cover different genres and writing nonfiction. It’s also customary to participate in peer reviews and use the input you receive to improve your work.

Common requirements for applications could include sending in a statement of purpose, a writing sample, and recommendation letters. You could finish the program in two years if you attend full-time. Maintaining a 3.0 GPA, passing a comprehensive exam, and finishing a creative writing thesis are possible requirements for graduation. Additionally, some programs might include a seminar or intense writing component on campus.

Career and Salary Outlook for Creative Writing Graduates

Pursuing a degree in creative writing opens the door to a wide array of career opportunities across various industries. While some may assume that creative writing degrees lead only to careers in writing novels or poetry, the reality is that creative writing graduates possess versatile skills that are highly valued in today’s job market. Let’s explore the career paths available to creative writing graduates and the corresponding salary outlook:

Content Writing:

Content writing offers abundant opportunities for creative writing graduates to utilize their storytelling skills in a professional setting. Content writers are responsible for creating engaging and informative content for websites, blogs, social media platforms, and marketing materials. They craft compelling narratives, write persuasive copy, and ensure that content aligns with the brand’s voice and message. The salary for content writers varies depending on factors such as experience, industry, and location, but median salaries typically range from $45,000 to $65,000 per year.

Editing and Publishing:

Many creative writing graduates find fulfilling careers in editing and publishing, working for publishing houses, literary agencies, magazines, or as freelance editors. Editors play a vital role in shaping and refining written works, providing feedback to authors, and ensuring that manuscripts meet editorial standards. Entry-level editorial positions typically start around $35,000 to $45,000 per year, while experienced editors can earn upwards of $80,000 to $100,000 annually, depending on the level of responsibility and expertise.

Marketing and Advertising:

The creative skills cultivated in a creative writing program are highly transferable to careers in marketing and advertising. Copywriters, in particular, are in demand to create persuasive and engaging content for advertisements, marketing campaigns, and promotional materials. Copywriters can expect to earn median salaries ranging from $55,000 to $75,000 per year, with opportunities for advancement and higher earning potential with experience and specialization.

Education and Teaching:

For those passionate about sharing their love of writing with others, a career in education may be appealing. Creative writing graduates can pursue opportunities as high school English teachers, college instructors, or writing workshop facilitators. Salaries for teachers vary depending on factors such as location, level of education, and years of experience, but median salaries for high school teachers range from $45,000 to $60,000 per year, while postsecondary English language and literature teachers can earn median salaries of around $70,000 to $80,000 per year.

Freelance Writing:

Freelance writing offers creative writing graduates the flexibility to work on a freelance basis, writing articles, essays, or other content for various clients and publications. Freelance writers set their own rates and schedules, allowing for greater autonomy and control over their work. Freelance writers’ earnings vary widely depending on factors such as expertise, niche, and workload, but experienced freelancers can earn substantial incomes with rates ranging from $0.10 to $1.00 or more per word, or project-based fees ranging from $500 to $5,000 or higher depending on the scope of the project.

Common Best Creative Writing Courses

You can improve your writing and literary analysis abilities by enrolling in an online MFA program in creative writing. Many students focus on poetry or fiction, although some programs offer screenwriting, creative nonfiction, and travel writing as other alternatives.

varied MFA schools take varied methods of instruction; some include standard literature courses, while others use a studio format to emphasize the study of literary craft.

Typical MFA creative writing program coursework includes the following:

Writing Workshop: This course usually uses a workshop format in which you turn in your writing for criticism and comment on that of your peers. You should plan on taking workshop classes almost every semester.

Forms of Fiction:

In this section, you’ll examine literary writing techniques in detail, including subjects like plot, pacing, and narrative structure. Specific literary genres or subjects, like dialogue or the novella, maybe the focus of specialized classes.

American Literature After 1945:

Traditional literature classes are a common feature of MFA programs, providing in-depth analysis of specific historical periods or literary genres. Significant post-World War II innovations in American literature, such as postmodernism and multiculturalism, are frequently covered in this course.

Studying Women’s Literature:

This course looks at how women’s writing has influenced culture around the world and how it reflects the historical and cultural settings in which its authors lived. Understanding the influence of authors’ backgrounds on their writing and valuing a variety of voices are among the learning objectives.

Advanced Topics in Rhetoric and Composition:

This course, which involves analyzing rhetorical techniques from many civilizations, is frequently included in online MFA programs in order to improve students’ abilities in persuasive writing. It might be offered as an elective, enabling you to work with academic counselors to customize your coursework to meet your professional goals.

Top Creative Writing Programs Online

How Much Does a Creative Writing Degree Cost?

Undoubtedly, attending college may be expensive, so you want to be sure your investment will pay off. Additionally, even though the cost of tuition for online MFA programs in creative writing might vary greatly, you can lower the cost by applying for teaching assistantships and scholarships.

The average cost of tuition and fees for graduate programs in the 2020–21 academic year was $19,749, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

 The Landscape of Online Master’s Creative Writing Programs

In today’s digital era, pursuing a Master’s degree in Creative Writing has become more accessible than ever before, thanks to the proliferation of online learning platforms. Aspiring writers now have a myriad of options to choose from, each offering unique benefits and opportunities for growth. In this article, we delve into the realm of online Master’s Creative Writing degree programs, exploring the top institutions and what sets them apart.

The Rise of Online Education in Creative Writing

With the rise of remote learning, online education has witnessed unprecedented growth across various disciplines, including Creative Writing. The flexibility and convenience offered by online programs have attracted students from diverse backgrounds, allowing them to pursue their passion for writing without geographical constraints.

Exploring the Top Online Master’s Creative Writing Degree Programs

1. University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP)

Known for its highly acclaimed online MFA in Creative Writing program, UTEP stands out for its innovative curriculum and esteemed faculty members. Students enrolled in this program benefit from mentorship opportunities with experienced writers and participate in workshops designed to hone their craft.

2. National University

National University’s online Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program boasts a comprehensive curriculum that covers various genres, including fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. With flexible scheduling options and a supportive learning environment, it caters to the diverse needs of aspiring writers.

3. Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU)

SNHU offers an online Master of Arts in English & Creative Writing program that emphasizes both the theoretical and practical aspects of writing. Students have the opportunity to work closely with published authors and receive personalized feedback on their work.

Advantages of Pursuing an Online Master’s Creative Writing Degree

Flexibility and Convenience

Online programs offer unparalleled flexibility, allowing students to balance their studies with other commitments such as work or family responsibilities. This flexibility enables individuals from all walks of life to pursue their passion for writing without sacrificing their existing obligations.

Access to Diverse Perspectives

Online learning transcends geographical boundaries, providing students with the opportunity to interact with peers and instructors from diverse backgrounds. This exposure to different perspectives enriches the learning experience and fosters a vibrant community of writers.

Personalized Feedback and Mentorship

Many online Master’s Creative Writing programs offer personalized feedback and mentorship opportunities, allowing students to receive guidance from experienced writers and industry professionals. This individualized support plays a crucial role in nurturing their talent and refining their craft.


FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Are online Master’s Creative Writing programs as reputable as traditional on-campus programs?

Yes, many reputable institutions offer online Creative Writing programs with experienced faculty and rigorous curriculum.

Can I pursue a Master’s degree in Creative Writing while working full-time?

Absolutely! The flexible nature of online programs allows students to balance their studies with other commitments.

What career opportunities are available to graduates of online Master’s Creative Writing programs?

Graduates can pursue various career paths, including authorship, editing, teaching, and freelance writing, among others.

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