MFA in Creative Writing

Admissions & Aid

Not sure where to begin? We’re here to help you every step of the way. 

Our team will be glad to answer your questions and walk you through the application and financial aid process. If you’re not sure if the program is right for you, contact the program director, check out our FAQ, or download Your MFA Decision Journal to help you better understand your motivations and goals. 

Application Requirements

  • College transcripts for each college or university attended
  • Curriculum vitae (CV) or resume
  • A creative writing sample.
    • Length: A maximum of 25 pages for fiction or creative nonfiction, a maximum of 10 pages for poetry (no more than one poem per page).
  • Personal essay (3-4 pages)
    In this essay please address the following:
    1. Discuss your specific interest in the Alma College MFA and your preparation for pursuing a formal study of creative writing
    2. Your strengths and weaknesses as a writer
    3. Goals for your two years in the program
    4. Additional experience including what you can bring to our artistic community
  • Literature essay (3-4 pages).
    In this essay please discuss the books and writers that have influenced you.
  • Two letters of recommendation.

There is no application fee. 

Application Deadlines

  • Summer Residency - May 1
  • Winter Residency - November 1

You will receive an admission decision in two weeks. 

Academic Calendar


Summer Residency
June 17 - 27, 2021

Mentored Studies Term
July - November

End of Term, Final Grades Due: December 7, 2021

Winter Residency
December 27, 2021 - January 6, 2022

Mentored Studies Term
January - May

End of Term, Final Grades Due: June 7, 2022                                                             

Summer Residency
June 16 - 26, 2022

Mentored Studies Term
July - November

End of Term, Final Grades Due: December 6, 2022

Winter Residency
January 3-13, 2023                                                                                 

Oxford Residency (optional)
January (Exact Dates TBD)

Mentored Studies Term
January - May

End of Term. Final Grades Due: June 6, 2023

Summer Residency
June 15 - 25, 2023 (Graduating Residency for first cohort)

Tuition & Fees 

Current tuition and fee rates can be found below. The annual fee covers housing and meal at the two residency sites: the Alma campus and the Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center. Additional expenses include books and travel to and from Michigan twice a year for residencies or, optionally, to Oxford, England once.

2022-23 Tuition & Fees

Per Term Costs (There are two terms per year)
Tuition: $9,360
Housing & Meals: $1,250

Annual Cost – attending two terms
Tuition: $18,720
Housing & Meals: $2,500

Other Fees
Graduating Residency Fee: $1,300 (per term)
Single Room Fee (Winter Only): $200
Enrollment Deposit: $300


Tuition Policy

All applicable fees and charges are payable in advance of enrollment. Tuition is due on a term basis. Each term begins with residency so tuition is due before the first day of each new residency. Tuition and fees are subject to change without notice. All MFA students will be billed for the term (tuition; room and board for students staying on campus; the single-room fee for students who request a single room, if available), with the exception of graduating students who are charged room and board (if staying on campus) and the graduation residency fee.

Enrollment Deposit Fee

Accepted applicants are required to pay an enrollment deposit of $300. $100 of this fee is applied as a credit to the student’s account for the first term. Another $100 serves as a security deposit from which the college may recover expenses incurred by the student for damages to college property. The final $100 is a processing fee. Any unexpended portion of the security deposit can be gifted back to the college upon graduation or is refunded to the student after graduation. 

Financial Aid

Our students take advantage of the program’s low residency format to continue with their current employment and finance their education from their own resources. Students are encouraged to complete the free application for federal student aid (FAFSA)

If you need additional assistance or have other questions, contact the Financial Aid office at (989) 463-7347.