Creative Writing MFA Programs in Arkansas

Arkansas has three universities offering Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing programs. This article gives a glimpse into each program, as well as provides tuition and admission information for each. Schools offering Creative Writing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

The University of Central Arkansas

The University of Central Arkansas, located in Conway, Arkansas, offers a three-year Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program that trains students in creative writing pedagogy, composition, and offers students experiential practice by serving on the editorial staff of the university's online literary magazine, Arkana, which has national exposure. All MFA students in the creative writing program must complete a thesis project prior to graduation, some will be offered graduate assistantships to teach undergraduate writing classes, while others work as graduate assistants in the Writing Center, sponsored programs, the graduate school, or other programs that provide practical experience in teaching and the writing process.

University of Arkansas at Monticello

The University of Arkansas in Monticello, Arkansas, has a non-residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program that offers students admittance into one of three genres (fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction), but because students must complete workshops in all three literary areas, it is recommended that they consider tailoring their degrees to include some coursework from each genre ('genre jumping'). Since up to 12 semester hours may be taken per term, it is possible that this 48 semester-hour program can be completed in two years if that fits within the scope of the student's work-life-academic balance, and a select few qualified students will have the opportunity to teach freshman level online writing courses through graduate assistantships.

University of Arkansas

Delivering a four-year curriculum that admits students in three distinct tracks (literary translation, poetry, and fiction writing) the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville offers small, hands-on class sizes and the opportunity for students to explore the genres outside of their own concentration via coursework and workshops. Each semester, visiting writers come for the Walton Reading Series and hold one-on-one, mini-mentor sessions with the MFA Creative Writing students and also hold public readings from their own respective works that students and the public can attend.

School Name Programs Offered Average Graduate Tuition Per Academic Year (2018-2019)*
University of Central Arkansas Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing in-state $4,807
out-of-state $9,614
University of Arkansas at Monticello Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing in-state $4,839
out-of-state $9,249
University of Arkansas Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Translation in-state $7,563
out-of-state $20,477

Source: NCES*

Admittance Requirements for Arkansas' Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Programs

  • Grade Point Average Requirement: To be considered for admittance, applicants will need between a 2.7 and 3.0 minimum to meet the GPA requirement for Arkansas' Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing programs.
  • Test Scores: All three programs have graduate-level standardized test requirements for admittance consideration, such as the GRE (Graduate Record Exam), and international students should be prepared to prove academically functional English language proficiency by submitting TOEFL, or other approved test, scores.
  • Writing Samples: Along with a statement of purpose or personal essay, potential applicants should be prepared to submit personal writing samples of various length in the form of poetry, literary translation, critical analysis, a work of short fiction, literary non-fiction, screenwriting, and/or an excerpt from a novel written by the applicant.
  • Teaching Statement: Applicants should be prepared to meet the additional requirement of submitting a teaching statement on their respective interest and philosophy toward teaching at the university level, particularly as it pertains to teaching English composition.
  • Letters of Recommendation: Applicants should be prepared to submit three letters of recommendation from educators, editors, or others that can attest to the applicant's writing ability and aptitude to complete coursework at the graduate level.

MFA in Creative Writing Career Options

Advertising Manager

Graduates working as advertising managers can use their creative writing skills to generate consumer market interest for a product or service by writing advertising and sales pitches. Their communication skills can prove beneficial in wording and presenting ideas or guidelines to co-workers, consumers, and clients.


Although a master's degree isn't required, that credential could be beneficial for breaking into the competitive field of traditional publishing. Writers often find work as freelancers or conduct research and write non-fiction and fictional stories and books to submit for possible publication in magazines, online publications, anthologies, and books.

Postsecondary Educator

Because teaching at the postsecondary level generally requires at least a master's degree, graduates interested in teaching at the college/university level can use their degree in pursuit of that goal. MFA graduates may desire to use their knowledge and skills to teach literature or composition.

Job Title Median Salary (2018)* Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Advertising Manager $132,620 (advertising, promotions, and marketing managers) 8% (advertising, promotions, and marketing managers)
Writer/Author $62,170 0%
Postsecondary Educator $78,470 (all postsecondary teachers) 11% (all postsecondary teachers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics*

The university system of Arkansas offers three distinct Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing programs with one offering an additional focus on literary translation, and all have opportunities for teaching experience as graduate assistants in class and/or online. With full-time enrollment, the respective programs can take between two to four intensive years before completion.

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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