Books written by the faculty of Hamline's MFA in creative writing and MFA in creative writing for children and young adults (MFAC) programs

MFA MFA in Creative Writing

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Find your writing community

Join a community of engaged and driven writers in an environment that’s designed to challenge you as much as it supports you. With Hamline’s creative writing master’s degree, you'll dive deep into the study of poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction while you develop a breadth of knowledge to experiment across genres. Guided by faculty members who are accomplished authors themselves, your master of fine arts in creative writing will help you:

  • Get published. Dozens of alumni and current students have gone on to publish work with both local and national publishing houses, and hundreds have placed work in literary magazines.
  • Edit real work. You’ll graduate prepared for a career in literary publishing, with the opportunity to serve on the editorial boards of Hamline’s literary magazines: Water~Stone Review, Runestone, and rock, paper, scissors. Students can also earn internships at Twin Cities presses, including Coffee House Press, Graywolf Press, and Milkweed Editions.
  • Gain teaching experience. Study composition theory and pedagogy in preparation for a job as a writing tutor or English professor, and take advantage of the several teaching internships offered each semester.

What will it take?

Cost per Credit
Time to Complete
Next Session Starts
August 26, 2024

MFA in Creative Writing program details

Important Dates
Application requirements

Start dates and application deadlines

Applications are processed on a rolling basis. Applications submitted and files completed after deadlines may be reviewed if space permits and enough time exists for an application review. 

We strongly encourage international students to submit all application materials two months in advance of the priority deadline.

Priority application deadlines

  • May 1: For a fall term start.
  • November 1:  For spring 2025 term start.
Fall 2024 term starts
Spring 2025 term starts

Creative writing MFA program format

Hamline's MFA in Creative Writing is offered on campus. Each course meets one evening a week from 6 to 9 p.m.

Creative writing degree courses

Core seminar:

  • WRIT 8000: MFA Core (4 credits)

Required craft courses - groundings:

Choose two of the following fundamentals courses, which cover craft techniques in depth in the genre.

  • WRIT 8110: Groundings in the Craft: Elements of Poetry (4 credits)
  • WRIT 8120: Groundings in the Craft: Elements of Creative Nonfiction (4 credits)
  • WRIT 8130: Groundings in the Craft: Elements of Fiction (4 credits)

Required craft courses - workshops:

Take two of your three workshops in your chosen genre:

  • WRIT 8115: Poetry Workshop (4 credits)
  • WRIT 8125: Creative Nonfiction Workshop (4 credits)
  • WRIT 8135: Fiction Workshop (4 credits)

Pre-Professional Course (4 credits):

Choose one of the following:

  • WRIT 8010 - Composition Theory and Pedagogy (4 credits)
  • WRIT 8240 - The Business of Being a Writer (4 credits)

Elective Courses (12 credits):

Elective course options include topics courses and additional Groundings, Workshops, and Pre-Professional courses.

Capstone (8 credits):

The MFA capstone is a two-part process: Thesis I and Thesis II. Each is one semester long. If necessary, Thesis I or II can be extended to two semesters, although the student will have to register again for the course.

  • WRIT 8491: Thesis I (4 credits)
  • WRIT 8492: Thesis II (4 credits)


How to apply to the MFA in Creative Writing

Please submit the materials below to apply for admission to the MFA in Creative Writing program.

  • Online application (no fee for US residents).
  • Questionnaire (submitted as part of the online application). Our faculty reviewers look for well-written, thoughtful responses that let them know more about the kind of writer you are and the student you will be. 
  • Personal statement (two pages): Please tell us why you are pursuing Hamline's MFA. Tell us about your personal history, your development as a writer, and your artistic goals. 
  • Creative writing sample: Submit your best 20 pages (double-spaced) of prose or poetry. Your submission may include more than one piece, provided they are each fully realized.
  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate work. If your transcripts are in a language other than English, you must submit both the original and an official or certified course-by-course English translation. Official transcript of a bachelor's degree must be from a regionally accredited college or university. This should be sent directly from the institution to Graduate Admission or provided in a sealed, signed envelope. Official electronic copies should be emailed to You do not have to provide transcripts for courses taken at Hamline University.
  • Two letters of recommendation written by people unrelated to you who are familiar with your academic, artistic, and/or professional qualifications.
  • Additional materials you wish the admission committee to consider, such as letters of recommendation or previously published work.


hands on a laptop

Genres for all writers

  • Fiction
  • Creative Nonfiction
  • Poetry

How we help make your MFA affordable

Competitive tuition

When you invest in a MFA in Creative Writing from Hamline, you benefit from a prestigious degree from Minnesota's first university. We work hard to ensure our tuition, accompanied by scholarships, tuition discounts, and other financial aid, is a worthwhile investment for all students.


Generous financial aid

In addition to the scholarships, tuition discounts, and assistantships listed below, additional financial aid is also available, and most students use low-interest loans as a valuable way to finance their education.

  • Merit scholarships - 25% of overall tuition
  • Deborah Keenan Poetry Scholarship - $1,000
  • Judi Shaw Memorial Scholarship - $1,000 
  • Richard P. Bailey Endowed Scholarship - $1,000
  • Learning Partnership discounts - 10% off tuition
  • Service scholarships - 10% off tuition
  • Alumni discounts - 10% off tuition
  • Graduate assistantships - $1,000

Scholarships and assistantships

Financial Aid 

Receive up to 25% off the cost of tuition

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