»M.F.A. in Creative Writing

The M.F.A. writing program at Chapman fosters the growth of fiction writers and poets through workshops, techniques courses, literature courses, the John Fowles Literary Forum, and the literary journal Calliope.

The creative writing faculty is comprised of a wide variety of award-winning writers and poets who serve as mentors from day one.

The culmination of each M.F.A. writing student’s work is a book-length thesis project in fiction or poetry. (Students may complete a thesis in creative nonfiction, stage drama, or screenplay, with the approval of the graduate program director.) Many M.F.A. graduates teach at two- and four-year colleges, publish their work, or go on to professional careers in writing and editing.

For further information on degree prerequisites, admission requirements, and a list of courses, view the Graduate Course Catalog.

Announcing New MFA Writing Fellowships

All MFA applicants for fall semester admission are considered for the fellowships. To be considered, the application must be received by February 1. To find out more about these fellowships and other scholarships, please contact us at (714) 997-6750 or contact the chair at jlevin@chapman.edu.

+-Why this MFA?

  • The most aesthetically diverse faculty of any MFA in the country.
  • More genre options for students, including Fiction, Poetry, Creative Nonfiction, Screenwriting, and Experimental Writing.
  • Well-published, award-winning authors. Mark Axelrod, Richard Bausch, Jim Blaylock, Alicia Kozameh, Martin Nakell, Tom Zoellner had new books out in 2013 or 2014. Anna Leahy is one of the world’s leaders in creative writing pedagogy.
  • Four competitive fellowships (two each year) with full tuition waiver and a stipend of $18,000. These fellowships are renewable for a second year and require no work obligation so that students can put their writing first.
  • Scholarships of $3,000-$10,000.
  • Graduate Teaching Assistantships and innovative Graduate Assistantships for select students in the second year of study.
  • WordTheatre and the Tabula Poetica Reading Series every fall, the John Fowles Center Reading Series every spring, and Pub(lishing) Crawl in April.
  • Aspects of a Writer, an innovative course that introduces students to the large writing life.
  • Digital Humanities, the cutting-edge of English studies.
  • Flexible Scheduling, with classes offered in late afternoon and evening and part time options.
  • Our MFA alums find employment in related fields of writing, marketing, and teaching and are publishing their work in journals, magazines, and books.

+-Dual M.A./M.F.A. Degree

The dual degree combines the M.F.A. in Creative Writing and the M.A. in English. The dual degree combines the practice and study of creative writing with literary scholarship. It is designed for students who intend to pursue a career in teaching English and creative writing at the university, community college, or secondary-school level.

Dual degree students must be admitted to both the MA and MFA degree programs, be enrolled concurrently in both programs, and complete all requirements for each degree program, including the book-length thesis for the creative writing program and the Comprehensive Examination for the English degree program. For further information on degree prerequisites, admission requirements, and a list of courses, view the Graduate Course Catalog.

In addition to application materials required for the MA, dual-degree applicants must submit a non-returnable portfolio of creative work that represents style and potential; this portfolio should include either 25 pages of fiction or nonfiction or 10-15 pages of poetry.

Students already enrolled in either the MA or the MFA program who wish to switch to the dual-degree program must apply and be admitted to the other degree program before completing 27 credits.

+-Admission Requirements

All applicants must provide the following materials:

  • Official transcripts from baccalaureate degree granting institution.
  • A three- to four-page essay stating your reasons for wanting to attend Chapman University’s MFA Program. Discuss your career and personal goals and how you believe earning your degree at Chapman University will assist in attaining your goals.
  • Two letters of recommendation that speak to your academic preparation, intellectual ability, and aptitude for graduate study.
  • A non-returnable portfolio of creative work that represents your style and demonstrates your potential; this portfolio should include a minimum of either 25 pages of fiction or nonfiction or 10-15 pages of poetry.

+-Application Deadlines

Apply now using the Online Application. Submit your application on time; applications received after the deadlines listed below will be considered on a "space available" basis.

Fall Admission Deadlines
February 1:
Priority deadline to be considered for fellowships and scholarships.
May 1: Regular Admission

Spring Admission Deadline
November 1: Regular Admission

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Writing Opportunities

Professor Richard Bausch

Prof. Bausch Wins the 2013 Rea Award

The Rea Award honors a living American or Canadian writer whose published work has made a “significant contribution in the discipline of the short story as an art form.” (Read More)