10 Best Deals on Online MFA in Creative Writing Degrees

By Jennifer W. Eisenberg

The written word is powerful. Writers can, and often do, change the world. With an advanced degree in writing, you will have the tools to change your own world. Not only will you enhance your skills, but more job opportunities will be available to you.
With a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, you can find employment in a variety of workplaces, including general businesses, advertising, publishing, educational institutions, government agencies, libraries, marketing, media organizations, and public relations departments. While obtaining an advanced degree, you will improve many aspects of your writing skills. The focus of much of your coursework will be on working independently. You will also solve problems, organize and research your assignments, manage your time, think creatively, polish your editorial abilities, solve problems, deal with deadlines, and learn how to market yourself and your work.
If you have been in the workforce for a while, you may be cautious about going back to school for an advanced degree. Responsibilities at work and at home may cause you to wonder if you will be able to manage all of those, in addition to attending a college or university, but you are exactly the kind of student the online master’s programs were created for. While earning an online master of fine arts degree in creative writing, you will be able to complete requirements and still meet your daily obligations.The courses you will take online reflect those taken at traditional schools.
This list of the 10 best deals on online master of fine arts in creative writing degrees will be a great help in finding an accredited, respected college or university that will also suit your budget.
In the following guide, you will find more information about how to use your master of fine arts in creative writing degree as well as the variety of positions that are available to you after graduation.

FAQs:
Why earn a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing?

Students earning an advanced degree in creative writing will realize opportunities for greater financial rewards. Students in this field will also increase their skills, such as the ability to think and act independently, perform research, analyze data, and communicate.

What does a person with a master of fine arts in creative writing do?

Graduate level creative writers may find employment as editors, professors, published authors, managers of web content, creative directors, and technical writers. They may oversee creative aspects of a business or government agency.

What coursework topics does the degree cover?

Coursework for a master of fine arts in creative writing will vary from one university to another, but in general students may expect to study, critique, and create the different types of writing, such as fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, as well as literary sub-headings including young adult, popular fiction, environment writing, and screenwriting. Classes may cover such subjects as character development, critical analysis, the writing industry, pursuing a career as an academic, literary appreciation, plot structure, creative collaboration skills, and editing. The aim of the program is to produce a book-length thesis. Permission may be granted to produce a non-print thesis.
Elective courses would also be taken, along with advanced study in a specific area of creative writing. A timeline of two to five years for completion is typical for MFA programs.

What jobs are available for degree holders, what are some salaries, and what is the job outlook for professions requiring a master of fine arts in creative writing?

The following figures are for the year 2016 and in the following fields:
Creative director–$89,760 (median salary)
Advertising copywriter–ranges from $31,000 to $68,000
Editorial assistant–$58,770 (median salary)
Web content manager–$66,094 (national average)

Other positions obtainable with the advanced degree in creative writing include arts administrator, journalist, digital copywriter, public relations officer, social media manager, film director, academic librarian, and information officer.

In regard to the jobs outlook, the projected employment increase for advertising copywriters is 9%, and for web content managers, it is 27%, both figures projected for the decade from 2014-2024. Factors in specific salary offers for any position may depend on the region of employment, demand for the particular specialty of the degree, prior experience, and the personal network system of the applicant.

Why should I study online instead of in a traditional face-to-face college?

Online schooling is the obvious choice if you are going back to school after working for a while. Earning an advanced degree online gives you the flexibility to work on your own schedule and simultaneously keep up with all your daily responsibilities. Many educational institutions offer decreased tuition for online classes. A not insignificant bonus is that by taking classes online you will not incur expenses for gas or parking. You may opt to finish your degree early with an accelerated program, to bring down your time and expenses even more.
Before you commit yourself to a particular program at a school, you should ascertain whether a period of on-campus attendance is required.

How do I find the online master of fine arts in creative writing program that is right for me?

An online institution of higher learning may be evaluated in many of the same ways as a traditional school. Viable colleges or universities will earn and keep accreditation and also offer attractive student to faculty ratios as well as desirable courses and tuition. Each of these factors may be verified electronically.
Students enrolling in an online school should explore any other important matters, such as the availability of essential courses. Student work should be evaluated in a timely manner. Students should have support from a school’s tech center 24/7. A college or university should provide assistance after graduation in gaining employment.

Does getting an online degree get me a different diploma than people who go to a brick-and-mortar college?

No. If you earn your degree online, you will receive exactly the same diploma as students at a traditional school. If you wish, you may attend the same graduation ceremony. Your diploma will not contain the word “online.” You will in many cases have the same instructors in the online program that you would have had in the traditional program.

How will I pay for an online master of fine arts in creative writing degree?

Often, online educational institutions will charge the same course per hour rates to both in state and out of state students. A master’s degree usually takes eighteen to twenty-four months of full-time study, with an online master of fine arts in creative writing taking from two to five years. Between 36 to 60 semester credits of study (or 60 to 90 quarter-credits) is the norm for an advanced degree,which is equivalent to 12 to 20 college courses. Most master’s degrees are awarded by public or state colleges and universities. Applications for federal student aid and scholarships are made in the very same way for both online and traditional schools.

What kind of skills does online college require?

Whether at a traditional or an online school, students will need to utilize certain organizational skills and habits of discipline. If you wish, you will find online a brief quiz you can take to determine if you have those skills. Many skills you developed in undergraduate school will be needed in an online school. Online education also utilizes certain technical elements, but by finding and reading this article you demonstrated that you likely have the necessary skills to complete a master of fine arts in creative writing degree.

How were these rankings arrived at?

Several factors were used to evaluate the 10 best deals on online Master’s in Business Administration and/or online Master’s in Human Resources Management. You will find these factors described in the bullet points below. If a tie occurs on points in the ranking of schools, the deciding element will be tuition cost. Other factors used are the school’s student to faculty ratio and tuition breaks that may be given for out of state students. If a score is awarded by a prestigious entity, such as US News and World Report magazine, the point scale for that is also shown.
Tuition figures for the year are the out of state, graduate tuition numbers that are reported to the National Center for Education Statistics, an information clearinghouse of the US government. Enrollment and student to faculty ratios also come from this source. Per credit hour tuition rates found in the school review information comes from the school’s website and may show a discount from the rate reported by the government.

Rating and Ranking Methodology

Tuition Points

  1. Under $30,000—1 point
  2. Under $27,000—2 points
  3. Under $24,000—3 points
  4. Under $21,000—4 points
  5. Under $18,000—5 points
  6. Under $15,000—6 points
  7. Under $12,000—7 points
  8. Under $9,000—8 points

Student to Faculty Ratio Points

  1. Above 35-1 point
  2. Above 30-2 point
  3. Above 25-3 points
  4. Above 20-4 points
  5. Above 15-5 points
  6. Above 10-6 points

National Recognition

  1. Top 100-1 point
  2. Top 40-2 point
  3. Top 30-3 points
  4. Top 20-4 points
  5. Top 10-5 points
  6. Top 5-6 points

Bonus for special tuition discount for online students

  1. Has special online discount for tuition-3 points
  2. Online students charged standard tuition-0 points

#10 – University of Denver

Denver, Colorado

The University of Denver was founded by Methodists, but is nonsectarian.

Online Master of Arts in Professional Creative Writing

Website
Points: 9
Enrollment: 11,614
Tuition: $47,520
The University of Denver is nonsectarian, but was founded in the Methodist tradition. With a student to faculty ratio of 11 to 1, the school offers an online master of arts in professional creative writing that is a 48 quarter credit hour program including the genres of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry and dramatic writing. The University of Denver offers an online graduate tuition rate of $672.88 per credit hour for this program. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

#9 – Bennington College

Bennington, Vermont

Bennington College

Bennington College has a low student to faculty ratio for their online MFA in creative writing program.

Online Master of Fine Arts in Writing

Website
Points: 10
Enrollment: 805
Tuition: $23,300
Bennington College was founded as a school for women in 1932 and began admitting men in 1969. With a student to faculty ratio of 9 to 1, the school offers an online master of fine arts in writing that is a 64 credit hour program that allows single or double genre study among fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Bennington College charges an annual full time graduate online tuition rate of $20,500. The school is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.

#8 – Southern New Hampshire University

Manchester, New Hampshire

Southern New Hampshire University online master's degree in English literature

Southern New Hampshire University is a large scale provider of distance higher education.

Master of Arts in English and Creative Writing Online

Website
Points: 10
Enrollment: 73,177
Tuition: $18,810
Southern New Hampshire University’s school motto translates from the Latin as, “The Greatest and The Best.” With a student to faculty ratio of 30 to 1, the school offers an online master of arts in English and creative writing that is a 10 class program including coursework in studying the craft and story and concept. Southern New Hampshire University offers an online graduate tuition rate of $627 per credit hour for this program. Military discounts are available. The school is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.

#7 – University of Louisiana at Monroe

Monroe, Louisiana

The University of Louisiana Monroe is offering a 30 credit hour MFA program online.

Online Master of Arts in English with a Specialization in Creative Writing

Website
Points:11
Enrollment: 9,038
Tuition: $18,590
The University of Louisiana at Monroe was established in 1891. With a student to faculty ratio of 21 to 1, the school offers an online master of arts in English with a specialization in creative writing that is a 30 credit hour program including coursework in poetry writing and fiction writing. The University of Louisiana at Monroe offers an online graduate tuition rate of $500 per credit hour, regardless of residency. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

#6 – University of Nebraska at Omaha

Omaha, Nebraska

University of Nebraska - Omaha

The University of Nebraska Omaha’s athletic teams are known as the Mavericks.

Online Master of Fine Arts in Writing

Website
Points: 11
Enrollment: 15,627
Tuition: $12,987
The University of Nebraska at Omaha was established in 1908. With a student to faculty ratio of 17 to 1, the school offers an online master of fine arts in writing that is a 60 credit hour program including the genres of fiction, nonfiction, playwriting and poetry. The University of Nebraska at Omaha charges an online out of state graduate tuition rate of $753 per credit hour. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges.

#5 – Fairfield University

Fairfield, Connecticut

Fairfield University is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church.

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Online

Website
Points: 14
Enrollment: 5,137
Tuition: $16,968
Fairfield University was founded by the Society of Jesus in 1942. With a student to faculty ratio of 12 to 1, the school offers an online master of fine arts in creative writing that is a 60 credit hour program including the genres of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and screenwriting/playwriting. Fairfield University offers an online graduate tuition rate of $575 per credit hour for this program. The school is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.

#4 – Lindenwood University

Saint Charles, Missouri

Lindenwood University online MFA in creative writing

Lindenwood University has a low hourly tuition rate for the online MFA in creative writing offering.

Online Master of Fine Arts in Writing

Website
Points: 14
Enrollment: 10,750
Tuition: $16,300
Lindenwood University is a private liberal arts institution of higher learning located in the Show Me State. With a student to faculty ratio of 13 to 1, the school offers an online master of fine arts in writing that is a 48 quarter credit hour program including coursework in women poets and the sonnet. Lindenwood University offers an online graduate tuition rate of $480 per credit hour. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges.

#3 – University of New Orleans

New Orleans, Louisiana

The University of New Orleans has a 45 credit hour online MFA in creative writing program.

Online Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

Website
Points: 15
Enrollment: 8,037
Tuition: $10,660
The University of New Orleans was established in 1956. With a student to faculty ratio of 19 to 1, the school offers an online master of fine arts in creative writing that is a 45 credit hour program including coursework in form and idea, and nonfiction writing. The University of New Orleans offers an online graduate tuition rate of around $560 per credit hour for this program. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

#2 – University of Arkansas at Monticello

Monticello, Arkansas

niversity of Arkansas at Monticello online MFA in creative writing

The University of Arkansas at Monticello is the Diamond State’s designated public liberal arts university.

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Online

Website
Points: 16
Enrollment: 3,924
Tuition: $9,249
The University of Arkansas at Monticello’s school motto translates from the Latin as “To Advance With Truth As Our Guide.” With a student to faculty ratio of 15 to 1, the school offers an online master of fine arts in creative writing that is a 48 credit hour program including three genres, poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. The University of Arkansas at Monticello offers an online out of state graduate tuition rate of $510 per credit hour. The school is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

#1 – Converse College

Spartanburg, South Carolina

Converse College online MFA in creative writing

Converse College tops this list of the Best Deals for an Online MFA in Creative Writing.

Online Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

Website
Points: 17
Enrollment: 1,320
Tuition: $8,400
Converse College was established by the residents of Spartanburg in 1889. With a student to faculty ratio of 13 to 1, the school offers an online master of fine arts in creative writing that is a 48 credit hour program including the genres of poetry, fiction, young adult fiction, creative nonfiction, and environmental writing. Converse College offers an online graduate tuition rate of $530 per credit hour for this program. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges.

Also of interest:
10 Best Deals: Online Master’s in English Literature