• Wilkinson College students reading from poetry books
Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

» Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

The Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Chapman University’s Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences encourages students to write boldly, read thoughtfully, and live vibrantly. Whether you’re interested in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, or a combination of genres, including course options in graphic novels, young adult (YA), and screenwriting, the MFA at Chapman invites you to write better than you ever thought you could.

At Chapman University, Your Writing Comes First

  • Workshops with genre options that appeal to your tastes and style of writing including Fiction, Poetry, and Creative Nonfiction, with electives offered in areas such as Screenwriting and Graphic Literature.
  • Each MFA student's degree program culminates in a book-length thesis project of distinction so that you graduate with a complete (or near to complete) manuscript, as well as a diverse portfolio from workshop writing.
  • Six competitive fellowships (three awarded each year) with full tuition waiver and a fellowship payment of $18,000, each renewable for a second year and requiring no work obligation — so you can focus on writing. Limited full-tuition scholarships are also available.
  • Literary events like the Tabula Poetica Reading Series every fall, the John Fowles Center Reading Series every spring, and Pub(lishing) Crawl in April make this MFA program an especially energetic milieu for emerging writers.
Alumni Highlight
Audrey Fong, MFA '24
"The MFA program provided me with attention and one-on-one help, factors key in making me feel like I belong at Chapman... The care and attention both helped me improve my writing and introduced me to what the world of writing and academics looks like beyond the classroom."
Alumni Highlight
Emily Velasquez, MFA '24
"As someone who came into this program without experience in a workshop, being among such a brilliant and exceptional group of educators and students felt intimidating. However, I am amazed at how assignments are always geared to help you gain new practice and skills that work towards thoughtfully and professionally shaping your ideas."
Alumni Highlight
Deborah Paquin, MFA '23
"[After] a traumatic brain injury, I couldn’t sit in class without getting debilitating migraines. Disabilities services worked with me to provide an environment where I could succeed. As a result, I had a safe and creative place to explore new aspects of writing and literature, along with a supportive community of teachers and students."
Alumni Highlight
Tryphena Yeboah, MFA '21
"As an international student from Ghana, my experience at Chapman University and the relationships I’ve built have been an invaluable part of my life. Not only has this inclusive community become a home to me but it also continues to empower and challenge me in honing my craft as a writer."
Faculty Highlight
Professor Mildred Lewis
Courses taught: Techniques in Screenwriting, Film Theory, Caribbean Literature
Faculty Highlight
Dr. Martin Nakell
Courses taught: James Joyce, Twentieth-Century Poetry, Italy travel course
Faculty Highlight
Dr. Justine Van Meter
Courses taught: Modern/Contemporary Irish Literature, Postcolonial Theory and Literature, Cultural Theory, World Literature, Fairy Tales, Writing about Diverse Cultures

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Contact Us

Anna Leahy, Ph.D.
Director, MFA in Creative Writing

David Krausman
Graduate Programs Coordinator
(714) 516-7116

Shannon McCance
Senior Graduate Admission Counselor
(714) 516-5236

For additional admission information, please contact:

Office of Graduate Admission
888-CU-APPLY or (714) 997-6711

Live Information Session

Watch our last virtual information session from fall of 2023!

Application Deadlines

Apply now using the Online Application. Submit your application and all supporting documents by the deadline listed below. 

Applications received after these deadlines will be considered on a rolling basis as space is available.

  • For Fall Semester: February 1
  • For Spring Semester: November 1