College of Arts and Sciences

Creative Writing M.F.A.

College of Arts and Sciences

Colleges / Schools




Program Types

About the Low-Residency M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing

Arcadia University’s low-residency M.F.A. program in Creative Writing, the only one of its kind in the Philadelphia area, is distinctive in that it incorporates both a dynamic online environment and a study abroad experience. The course emphasizes online workshops; personal attention from faculty; studying abroad, with a residency in Edinburgh, Scotland; and the preparation of both a book-length manuscript and a plan to publish it.

Arcadia’s experienced and award-winning faculty help to prepare each student for a career in writing and in teaching the craft at the secondary or collegiate level. 

We offer programs in fiction and poetry, and each runs for two academic years.

Because this is a low-residency program and students take between six and nine credits each term, each participant is able to develop much of his or her own schedule and maintain a full-time professional life outside school.

Students who can attend courses full-time (nine or more credits) and are interested in preparing for teaching college-level literature and composition in addition to writing may consider Arcadia's Dual Degree Program in Creative Writing and English.

Program Highlights

Online Workshops—In Arcadia’s program, students participate in weekly workshops conducted online and led by the faculty, as opposed to many low-residency creative writing programs in which students have infrequent contact with their peers and instructors. Arcadia requires only that students have a consistent Internet connection. There are no extra programs to buy or download.

Personal Attention—In addition to the online workshops, Arcadia’s program provides for consistent one-on-one contact between the students and the faculty. Through the use of e-mail, instant messaging, and voice chat programs such as Skype, students are never out of touch with their faculty advisers, and consistently meet with them to discuss writing.

Partial Funding Available—Funding packages ranging up to $3,000 per year are available. At least one TA position per cohort will be offered. Students must apply by the priority deadline in order to be considered for the TA position.

Study Abroad—A global perspective is an important facet of writing. Therefore, each student spends a weeklong residency abroad in the summer between years one and two of the program. This residency is held in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Manuscript and Publishing—At the end of the program, each student submits a book-length manuscript in his or her genre and works with a faculty adviser to develop a plan for publication.