Best Graduate Writing Programs

Find out everything you need to know about the best graduate writing programs, from career prospects to areas of specialty. Get an overview of three schools, their distinctions and the programs they offer. Schools offering English Reading & Writing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How to Choose a Graduate Writing Program

There are several types of graduate writing degrees, including creative writing and journalism. You can usually select a specialty within each degree program, such as fiction, poetry or nonfiction. First, you need to decide what type of writing career you wish to pursue. When selecting a graduate writing program, choose a school that's ranked, particularly in the writing specialty that interests you.

Learn all you can about the faculty. Consider a school that offers an experienced faculty that's recognized for its writing expertise. Research the alumni to learn what type of job success they've had after graduation. What type of student services does the school offer? Do they offer internship or job placement assistance? Are teaching fellowships available?

What are Three Top Schools Offering Graduate Writing Programs?

Bennington College in Vermont

Bennington College is known for helping students develop their own programs of study based on their interests. In 2019, U.S. News & World Report ranked Bennington as having the 95th best liberal arts college. Alumni consist of many award-winning authors, including a Pulitzer Prize recipient. Additionally, several Bennington graduates hold editorial positions for various prestigious publications and organizations.

Faculty members include renowned and award-winning playwrights, essayists, novelists and nonfiction writers. Student services include career counseling, online job search assistance, alumni news access and fellowship assistance. The Bennington Free Press and The SILO are on-campus publications that allow students to experiment with their writing skills. You could earn the following degree:

  • Master of Fine Arts in Writing

Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island

Brown University is a large research university known for its academic excellence, innovative style of teaching and superior faculty. The literary arts graduate program at Brown offers courses in poetry, fiction, playwriting and electronic writing. The faculty members are professors, assistant professors and lecturers with years of experience. Many have won fellowships and literary prizes in addition to recognition for their scholarly contributions. In 2019, U.S. News & World Report ranked Brown University 14th among national universities.

Admission to graduate programs is selective, with only a small number of students accepted each year. Brown offers fellowships, proctorships or teaching assistantships to eligible graduate students that include health insurance, a tuition waiver and a stipend. Graduate students have the opportunity to win university-awarded literary prizes. Brown offers the following graduate writing program:

  • Master of Fine Arts in Literary Arts

Columbia College Chicago in Illinois

As a private arts and media learning institution, Columbia College Chicago is one of the nation's largest and most diverse colleges. Students can choose from master's degrees focusing on the arts, communication, education and media. Expert faculty members include writers, poets and journalists. Certain graduate students may be selected to receive fellowships or merit awards upon acceptance. In 2019, U.S. News & World Report ranked Columbia College between #128 and #165 in the category best regional university in the Midwest.

Columbia students can publish work in the college's award-winning journals. Hair Trigger - an annual anthology from the Fiction Writing Department is also offered. F Magazine and Fictionary are also nationally distributed publications sponsored by the Fiction Writing Department. Available graduate writing programs include:

  • Master of Fine Arts in Nonfiction
  • Master of Fine Arts in Fiction
  • Master of Fine Arts in Poetry

Other Top Graduate Writing Programs

College/University Institution Type LocationEstimated Graduate In-State Tuition and Fees*
University of Iowa 4-year, Public Iowa City, IA$11,000
University of Michigan 4-year, Public Ann Arbor, MI$23,000
University of Wisconsin 4-year, Public Madison, WI$12,000
Brown University 4-year, Private Providence, RI$55,000
Cornell University 4-year, Private Ithaca, NY$30,000
Syracuse University 4-year, Private Syracuse, NY$39,000
University of Virginia 4-year, Public Charlottesville, VA$19,000
University of Texas 4-year, Public Austin, TX$12,000
Washington University 4-year, Private Saint Louis, MO$53,000
University of Minnesota 4-year, Public Minneapolis, MN$19,000

*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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