Online MFA Degrees in Creative Writing: The Inside Scoop

By Joe Aguilar

Creative writers need both money and a room before they can achieve success, or so said Virginia Woolf. While financial stability and artistic space are always important, attending school for a master's degree in writing could also help speed you toward publishing that novel, screenplay, or poetry reader. During your master's degree coursework, you can hone your creative writing skills in a workshop setting. Your degree requirements usually include composing a publishable thesis. If your hectic schedule stops you from taking courses on campus, you should consider an online master's degree.

Why Earn an MFA Online?

To boost contact between faculty and students, online MFA degree courses normally use a mix of email, handwritten letters, phone calls, and recorded messages. Due to the diversity in communication methods, students taking online writing courses can gather a wider range of personal writing feedback than traditional MFA students. Online master's degrees can also save you money on gas and parking costs. Additionally, with a flexible schedule, you can also work a full-time job. While most of your writing correspondence happens off campus, you might occasionally go to short on-campus residencies, where you can chat with your college peers and professors in person.

What Can I Do After My MFA?

  • Salaried author
  • Freelance writer or editor
  • College or university professor
  • Technical writer
  • Book publisher
  • Student in a PhD program

Whether you land a book contract or start a career as a copywriter, the writing skills you learn from your MFA program could last you a lifetime. Also, writers can bring in lucrative paychecks. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2004, salaried writers earned a median annual wage of $44,350.


U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Writers and Editors

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