Online Creative Writing Degree Programs

Bachelor's and master's degree programs in creative writing can be completed through distance learning. Read about what you can learn in these programs and specializations you may choose, and see how online programs typically work. Schools offering Creative Writing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Which Creative Writing Degree Programs are Available Online?

You can pursue a Bachelor of Arts, a Master of Arts or a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. Even with online programs, most schools will require some portion of the curriculum to be completed in person. Examples might include attending colloquia or writer's workshops, completing an internship or presenting a final project or senior thesis.

Degree Levels Bachelor's and master's degrees available
Graduate Degree Distinction Master of Fine Arts focuses on the craft of writing, while the Master of Arts degree concentrates on the study of literature
Prerequisites Varies, depending upon the institution; a bachelor's degree and creative portfolio are required for admission into master's degree programs
Key Topics Non-fiction, fiction, poetry, playwriting
Distance-Learning Environment Communication is primarily through email, message boards and chat rooms

What's the Difference Between a Master of Arts (M.A.) and a Master of Fine Arts (MFA)?

Generally, the study of literature is significant within the M.A. program curriculum. By contrast, the creative writing MFA is usually considered a practical degree of the arts, focusing primarily on the craft of writing. Both degrees often share many of the same required classes, but earning the MFA may take longer than earning the M.A.

Are There Any Prerequisites?

Naturally, you should already have a well-developed command of the English language if you're considering a bachelor's degree program of this nature. For admission to a master's degree program, you must already have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, but it doesn't usually have to be in creative writing or a related subject. For both degrees, a portfolio of writing samples may be required - although you don't have to be a published author or work in the industry.

What Will I Learn?

During a bachelor's degree program, you'll learn the basics of effective creative writing. You'll explore voice, tone, characterization, dialogue and imagery. You'll learn how to develop dramatic scenes. Sharing your work for critique and critiquing the work of others will play a key part in the program. You'll also complete several writing exercises to expand your skills into new forms and genres. You can also choose electives in poetry, fiction, non-fiction or playwriting.

Master's programs may focus strictly on writing fiction, non-fiction or poetry. They may also allow a student to focus on one genre, like writing romance, science fiction or children's books. During these programs, you'll move beyond technical proficiency in writing to create works that are compelling and even commercial. Intensive workshops with professors and fellow students will allow you to hone your skills.

How Does Online Learning Work?

A school's online class often has the same curriculum and is taught by the same professor as its on-campus counterpart. During an online class, you obtain your lessons, submit writing assignments and take exams via the school's distance learning website. Communication with the instructor and other classmates occurs online as well, using e-mail, chat rooms and message boards. There will still likely be deadlines given for homework and other assignments.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Maryville University

    Maryville University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Maryville University:

    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ashford University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Full Sail University

    Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Full Sail University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Queens University of Charlotte

    Queens University of Charlotte responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Queens University of Charlotte:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster

    Penn Foster responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster:

    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Northcentral University

    Northcentral University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Northcentral University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University

    Purdue University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

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