MFA in Creative Writing

Our Program

Develop mastery by combining creativity and focus with vital learning and community. 

The Program

The Alma College MFA features a strong literature-based curriculum designed to develop your ability to read and think critically and to write with a high level of artistic proficiency. The program has a low residency format and offers study in the genres of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. Over the course of the two-year program students are required to complete five ten-day intensive residencies (or six residencies for a dual genre concentration) and four terms of one-on-one study with a faculty mentor (five terms for a dual genre concentration).

After the residency and over the course of the term the primary focus will be each student’s own creative writing. Students submit five monthly packets of work to their mentors. Each packet includes approximately 25 pages of creative work as well as craft papers, three to four pages each, on a technique or techniques gleaned from assigned reading.

Each term’s reading and writing activities require a minimum of 25 hours per week. It may also, at the faculty mentor’s discretion, include conferencing with other students.

Who is it for?

The Alma MFA is for students who want to make a serious commitment to the craft of writing. Our students come from all walks of life and varying levels of experience. There will be those who are published and those who are not. There will be students who have been in workshop before and those for whom this will be their first. But what everyone will have in common is a passion for writing and reading and a willingness to learn. They long to be around other creatives who care about writing as much as they do and want to talk about the work—a lot! They wish to pursue a degree and a literary life in a way that will allow them to maintain their work and family lives. The best and most efficient way to do this is with the low residency MFA in Creative Writing. The program provides ongoing focus and the deep dive students need to understand their craft and to learn how they want to show up in the world as writers. For complete details of the program, view the MFA Student Handbook.

What our students say

I can continue working my regular job and participating in my family’s active schedule.” 

“This program is helping me to attain the self-discipline I couldn’t maintain before while supporting my desire to be a stronger and learned writer.”

“There are many MFA programs in which the students and even the faculty are competitive and sometimes belittle student work. That would never happen here …” 

“I love the immersion with amazing, creative people. You learn so much and gather tons of inspiration during your 10-day residencies.”

“No two students will have the same experience.”