» M.F.A. in Creative Writing

The M.F.A. in Creative Writing at Chapman University is the most aesthetically diverse program you’ll find anywhere, with more genre options for students. Our faculty include award-winning writers Mark Axelrod, Richard Bausch, James P. Blaylock, Alicia Kozameh, Anna Leahy, Martin Nakell and Tom Zoellner. At Chapman University, we write nestled between the mountains and the ocean, with sunshine almost every day of the year.

Our MFA students begin with a common course called Aspects of a Writer that introduces the practice and business of the writer’s life. Students read great literature and write fiction, poetry, nonfiction or even screenwriting and can work in more than one genre and in digital modes. The MFA program culminates with a thesis guided by a faculty mentor. All courses are offered in the late afternoon and evening.

Three competitive fellowships are awarded each year with full tuition scholarship and a stipend of $18,000 per year. These fellowships are renewable for a second year and require no work obligation so that students can put their writing first. In addition, the program offers one full tuition scholarship and one half tuition scholarship to incoming students each year. Graduate Teaching Assistantships and innovative Graduate Assistantships with literary projects and in campus offices such as Chapman Magazine are available for select students in the second year of study. Our program beyond the program is unbeatable, with the Tabula Poetica reading series and WordTheatre every fall, the John Fowles Literary Forum of international writers every spring and an international poetry journal on which M.F.A. students work as readers and book reviewers.


+ - Admission Requirements

All applicants must provide the following materials:

  • Official transcripts from ALL degree-granting (bachelor’s or master’s degrees) colleges and universities attended. An official transcript submitted in a sealed envelope which you have received from your college or university is acceptable.
  • An essay expressing your reasons for wanting to join the particular academic program to which you are applying.  What are your personal and career goals, and how will this particular degree from Chapman University help you reach those goals?  Your essay should be double spaced, size 12 font, and 1-2 pages in length.
  • Two letters of recommendation that speak to your academic preparation, intellectual ability, and aptitude for graduate study.
  • A portfolio of creative work to be evaluated by the MFA faculty committee. You should submit work that you believe best represents your style and demonstrates your potential. The portfolio should include a minimum of either 25 pages of fiction or non-fiction, 10-15 pages of poetry, or the first 15 pages of a screenplay or stageplay. Be advised that the purpose of the portfolio is to demonstrate your creative potential as an MFA student; however, you should also be aware that literature courses will also be part of the degree and you should be comfortable writing critical essays as well.



+ - Application Deadlines

Apply now using the Online Application. Submit your application and all supporting documents online by the deadlines listed below. Applications received after these deadlines will be considered on a rolling basis as space is available.

• For Fall Semester, including fellowship and scholarship consideration: February 1

• For Spring Semester: November 1

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

The dual degree combines the MFA in Creative Writing and the MA in English by merging the practice and study of creative writing with in-depth literary scholarship in a three-year program. It is designed especially 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 programs, be enrolled concurrently in both programs, and complete all requirements for each degree program, including both thesis requirements. 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 MFA, dual-degree applicants must submit a non-returnable critical essay of 10-15 pages that demonstrates critical skills and ability to discuss literary and theoretical texts.

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.

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Contact Us

Jim Blaylock
Director, M.F.A. in Creative Writing
(714) 744-7916

Allison DeVries
Graduate Programs Coordinator
(714) 997-6752

Shannon McCance
Graduate Admission Counselor
(714) 516-5236

For additional admission information, please contact:
Office of Graduate Admission
888-CU-APPLY or (714) 997-6711
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The Fowles Center for Creative Writing

Learn more about the Fowles Center!
Professor Richard Bausch

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