This roundup of creative writing programs includes some you’ll surely have heard of and some that may be unfamiliar. What makes them exciting is that they all have something unique to offer incoming students, whether it’s a flexible schedule, strong funding, courses open to the community, internationally recognized literary magazines, or stunning faculty. Check out our M.F.A. database at for more programs.

Program: Arcadia University, Glenside, Pa.

Type: Low-residency M.F.A.

Genres: Fiction, poetry

Faculty: Genevieve Betts, Paul Elwork, Dorian Geisler, Richard Wertime, and others

Highlights: Arcadia offers weekly online workshops so that low-res doesn’t mean working in isolation. The residency is held in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Program: Arizona State University Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, Tempe, Ariz.

Type: On-site and online workshops ranging from one day to several weeks

Genres: Fiction, poetry

Faculty: Matt Bell, Dexter Booth, Paul Cook, Tara Ison, and others

Highlights: The Piper Center offers a comprehensive slate of writing classes, readings, and events, including “Your Novel Year,” an 18-month course focused on developing and revising a complete novel.

Program: Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo.

Type: Full-time M.F.A.

Genres: Fiction, poetry

Faculty: Dan Beachy-Quick, Matthew Cooperman, E.J. Levy, and others

Highlights: Colorado State University houses the Center for Literary Publishing, a small press that publishes the magazine Colorado Review and several books of poetry each year. Students can intern at the center, gaining in-depth knowledge of varied aspects of book and periodical publication.

Program: Converse College, Spartanburg, S.C.

Type: Low-residency M.F.A.

Genres: Fiction, nonfiction, poetry

Faculty: Albert Goldbarth, Robert Olmstead, and others

Highlights: Courses on YA and environmental writing distinguish this program, as does its requirement for a project of criticism, which builds writers’ skills in other disciplines, as well as a book-length creative work.

Program: Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, N.J.

Type: Low-residency M.F.A.

Genres: Fiction, nonfiction, poetry, YA, literary translation

Faculty: Minna Proctor, Eliot Schrefer, Rene Steinke, and others

Highlights: This program recently added YA and literary translation concentrations. Residencies are held both in New Jersey and in England. Students also have opportunities to work on the Literary Review, an international literary magazine with a six-decade history.

Program: Hamline University, St. Paul, Minn.

Type: Full- or part-time M.F.A.

Genres: Fiction, nonfiction, poetry, children’s and YA

Faculty: John Brandon, Deborah Keenan, and others

Highlights: Hamline offers full, or part time options, and the program encourages students to write across genres and to experiment.

Program: Rosemont College, Rosemont, Pa.

Type: Full-time M.F.A.

Genres: Fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, children’s and YA

Faculty: Anne Kaier, J.C. Todd, Liz Abrams-Morley, and others

Highlights: This program offers more concentration choices than many others, as well as a “double degree” option, allowing students to earn an M.A. from Rosemont’s publishing program in addition to an M.F.A.

Program: St. Mary’s College, Moraga, Calif.

Type: Full-time M.F.A.

Genres: Fiction, nonfiction, poetry

Faculty: Brenda Hillman, Lysley Tenorio, Matthew Zapruder, and others

Highlights: St. Mary’s offers access to the thriving Bay Area literary scene and strong connections to literary presses in California, as well as its own student-edited online literary magazine, Mary.

Program: UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, Los Angeles

Type: Open-enrollment online certificate, M.F.A. prep, consultations, mentorships

Genres: Fiction, nonfiction, poetry

Faculty: More than 100

Highlights: UCLA Extension’s open-enrollment courses are designed to help students hone their skills in preparation for an M.F.A. or for pleasure and passion. With its wide course offerings, there’s something for every writer.

Program: University of Houston, Victoria, Tex.

Type: Low-residency M.F.A.

Genres: Fiction, nonfiction, poetry

Faculty: Charles Alexander, Diana Lopez, Beverly Lowry, Saba Razvi

Highlights: Electives lets students customize their degree. Publishing courses help equip students for jobs in the changing fields of media.

Program: University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Type: Full-time M.F.A.

Genres: Fiction, poetry

Faculty: Maile Chapman, Claudia Keelan, Donald Revell, and others

Highlights: This three-year program has a unique international emphasis. Students take courses in literature and creative writing and study abroad; they can also earn credit for serving in the Peace Corps.

Program: University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop, New Orleans

Type: Full-time and low-residency M.F.A.s

Genres: Fiction, nonfiction, poetry

Faculty: Fredrick Barton, Barb Johnson, M.O. Walsh, and others

Highlights: Full-time and low-residency options make this program a good pick for lots of different kinds of students. Low-res students do their residencies in Ireland and Italy.

Program: University of Tampa, Fla.

Type: Low-residency M.F.A.

Genres: Fiction, nonfiction, poetry

Faculty: Sanda Beasley, Tony D’Souza, Kevin Moffett, and others

Highlights: Tampa’s structure—a 10-day residency followed by a semester of one-on-one correspondence with a faculty member—offers the best of workshop and individual-mentorship approaches.

Program: Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier, Vt.

Type: low-residency M.F.A.

Genres: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, translation

Faculty: Jen Berven, Trinie Dalton, Matthew Dickman, and others

Highlights: This highly ranked low-residency program offers intense one-on-one mentorship following group residencies, and the focus on translation and options for cross-genre study allow for broad engagement across the creative writing spectrum.