Standard MFA Program

Poets gathered around a table
Three writers discussing while seated at a table
Crowd listening to woman standing up reading in restaurant
Poet taking noes in a greenhouse
Class scene with writers gathered around a table
 Final reading
 Writing on a laptop
 Group of students seated together outside
Please Note: The Miami University Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing is no longer accepting applications.

Program Overview

The Low Residency Creative Writing Master of Arts (MFA) is designed for writers interested in pursuing a terminal degree within a flexible framework.

In just over two years, students complete the requirements of the MFA, including a final book-length project. Students begin with a summer or winter residency and complete 42 credit hours during five residencies and four remote learning semesters working one on one with mentors.


The winter and summer residency weeks, ENG 631, Writing in the Genres, are held in Oxford, Ohio in January and late July/early August of each year. Each full day will include approximately eight hours spent:

  • meeting with mentors to plan reading and writing curricula and scheduling for the next nonresidential semester. Students may work with a different mentor each semester or choose to work with the same mentor more than once.
  • participating in writing workshops focused on their work.
  • connecting with the MFA writing cohort.
  • attending lectures by mentors and visiting writers on aspects of craft specific to each genre, talks by industry professionals, and readings by faculty and visitors.

*Note: To receive credit, students must participate in a workshop and attend mandatory readings and lectures throughout the entire residency.

Final Residency

At the end of the program, once their final projects have been approved by a director and a second reader, students conclude their course of study with a required fifth residency, ENG 637. In addition to participating in the residency, graduating students will give a public reading from their completed final project.

Mentor Semesters

Each residency is followed by a five-month non-residential semester (ENG 632, 633, and 634) during which students respond to four to six texts and exchange four packets of original writing with an assigned mentor and receive timely critiques. The individual reading and writing plan, worked out during the previous residency, is designed to challenge, motivate and help each student discover their best writing. All mentor responses to submitted work and a final narrative evaluation from each semester of the program will become part of each student’s permanent record. Students also create and write responses to a 25-book reading list of contemporary and canonical writers.

ENG 636: Final Project, the fourth and final non-residency semester, will be devoted to completing a book-length final project, based upon work begun during the previous three non-residential semesters. Low-Residency Creative Project (ENG 700.N), will enable students to complete any necessary research and revision under the guidance of their Final Project director.

Literature Course

During the second or third semester of study, in addition to the writing and readings exchange with a mentor, each student participates in an online seminar in contemporary literature in their genre, ENG 635: Reading for Writing – Literary Forms. This course culminates in a significant critical paper, providing an opportunity for students to think through their approach to contemporary writing in their field.

The course prepares the student for a reading list oral exam taken during the fourth residency. The 25-book reading list consists of 15 texts drawn from a program-wide reading list for each genre, and 10 texts selected by each student (with advice from mentors) deemed especially relevant to the student’s own writing.


Applications for the standard MFA in Creative Writing program require submission of a writing sample, academic transcripts, two letters of recommendation, resumé, and a statement of purpose. The final project for the MFA is a manuscript of fiction, creative nonfiction, or poetry.

First Year

Semester I

ENG 631, Writing in the Genres: Residency I | 4 hrs
ENG 632, Mentoring Semester I | 5 hrs

Semester II

ENG 631, Writing in the Genres: Residency II | 4 hrs
ENG 633, Mentoring Semester II | 5 hrs

Second Year

Semester III

ENG 631, Writing in the Genres: Residency III | 4 hrs
ENG 634, Mentoring Semester III | 5 hrs
ENG 635, Genre-Specific Literature Seminar | 4 hrs

Semester IV

ENG 631, Writing in the Genres, Residency IV | 4 hrs
ENG 636, Final Project Mentoring Semester IV | 5 hrs
ENG 704.N, Creative Project | 2 hrs

Final Residency 

ENG 637, Writing in the Genres, Residency V

Tuition and Fees

Semester I – 6,831
Semester II – 6,831
Semester III
– 9,867
Semester IV
– 8,349
Final Residency – no charge

 = 31,878