The MFA in Creative Writing is a two-year co-educational low residency program designed for serious, independent writers seeking advanced instruction in poetry, fiction, young adult fiction, creative nonfiction, and environmental writing through a non-traditional course of graduate study. The program emphasizes the mastery and understanding of writing skills and contemporary literature and craft through the master-writer and apprentice mentoring relationship, ultimately offering students a stimulating and individually tailored curriculum of courses and projects.
The degree requires 48 hours of graduate credit completed during four 9-day residencies at Converse College, offered twice annually (summer and in January), four mentoring semesters, a fifth graduating residency, the completion of a substantive analytical project on literature or craft, and a book-length creative thesis and oral defense.
MFA applicants must meet the minimum requirements set by the Converse College Graduate School and must receive approval for degree program status from the MFA program faculty and director.
The main requirement for applications is a portfolio of original work. Please submit three copies of the following:
- Applicants in Fiction and Young Adult Fiction: approximately 25 pages of fiction or young adult fiction, typed and double-spaced.
- Applicants in Nonfiction: 25 pages of creative nonfiction, typed and double-spaced.
- Applicants in Poetry: up to 12 pages of poetry
- Applicants in Environmental Writing: Students applying for the Environmental Writing emphasis are admitted as either fiction, nonfiction, or poetry genre students, and should submit according to the page requirements above.
Your portfolio must include our MFA Manuscript cover sheet.
In addition to the sample manuscript, students should submit the following:
- Completed MFA online application including $40 application fee
- Official transcripts from the accredited college or university from which her/his highest degree was awarded
- Two letters of academic and/or professional reference.
- Submit two copies of a brief personal statement (up to two typed pages) responding to the following:
Whose writing do you admire and why? Why do you want to study the writing of poetry, fiction, or nonfiction? What do you hope to gain from an MFA program, especially a low-residency MFA program?
Applications for the Summer/Fall term should be submitted by February 15.
Applications for the Winter/Spring term should be submitted by October 1.
Learn more about applying to the MFA program, including as a Transfer Student.
Tuition: $510/credit hour
Upon acceptance, a $250 deposit is required to hold the student’s place in the program. This deposit is non-refundable and is applied to tuition. There is a technology fee of $50 per semester.
Full payment of tuition and registration fees are due two weeks before the beginning of each residency (early May for the Summer Residency and Fall Mentoring Semester and early December for the January Residency and Winter/Spring Mentoring Semester) and may be sent by check or money order or paid by Visa or MasterCard by phone before arrival at the residency. Tuition is nonrefundable after the tuition payment deadline.
The MFA program works with Residential Life to provide affordable on campus room & board during the summer residency session when available, and with local hotels to provide housing during the January residency session. Rates vary from year to year, but generally cost approximately $1200 to $1500 annually for room and board.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Converse MFA Graduate, Gabrielle Freeman, Wins Randall Jarrell Prize in Poetry
MFA Alumna Gabrielle Freeman’s poem “Failure to Obliterate” was the prize winner in the 2015 Randall Jarrell Poetry Competition. She won $200 and publication in a special supplement of storySouth. The North Carolina Writer’s Network story gives high praise for this work. Congratulations Gabrielle!