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Low Residency MFA Programs For Creative Writers

Updated on December 10, 2010

Low residency Master of Fine Arts programs allow writer's to pursue a higher degree and further the study of their craft with little interruption in their current career and family life.

Low residency programs free the students from having to live near campus. They are brought together with other creative writers during the twice per year residency sessions. During these sessions, students can fully immerse themselves in the writing community and prepare for the upcoming periods of independent study with individualized direction from their faculty advisers.

M.F.A. Program at Pacific University - Oregon

The goal of Pacific University is to build upon the skills of talented writers. With two residency periods per year, the students are left to explore and develop their own style through online mentoring with professionals in the field of creative writing.

The summer residency is held in June on the campus in Forest Grove, Oregon. The winter residency in January is held in Seaside on the Oregon coast. During each ten day residency students attend workshops, lectures and readings.

The degree requires the completion of four semesters of study and five residency periods.

Students may apply for and start the program with the June residency or the January residency. Applicants are asked to submit a creative manuscript, a personal essay, a critical analysis, two letters of reference, transcripts from all institutions attended, and a $50.00 application fee.

Financial Aid is available for those that qualify.

Pacific University - Oregon
Pacific University - Oregon

Master of Fine Arts From Antioch University - California

Antioch University is located in Los Angeles California. The program started in 1997 and was the first low residency program on the west coast. With two 10 day residencies per year, Antioch's program strives to expose students to the many faces of the 'writer in society'. They stress the writer's role in making a difference in the communities where they live and develop their own voice.

The Antioch program gives the student a chance to concentrate on their choice of fiction, poetry or creative non-fiction and educates them in how the different genres fit together. One to one mentoring with Antioch's nationally recognized faculty gives the student a personalized education.

Students may start at the beginning of either the summer/fall residency period of the winter/ spring session. Applicants are asked to provide the following to their admission package, application, transcripts, a sample of their work, two letters of recommendation, and a $60.00 application fee.

Financial aid is available for those that qualify.

Antioch University - Los Angeles
Antioch University - Los Angeles

Low Residency Program at Bennington College - Vermont

As their motto, Read one hundred books, write one, suggests, the MFA program at Bennington College puts a strong emphasis on reading as a path to better writing. Along with their twice per year residency periods, Bennington's one to five ratio of student to faculty, assures individual attention and progress toward perfecting the writing craft during the six month periods of individual study.

The residency sessions are filled with readings, lectures, workshops, seminars and other events meant to enrich the writers experience and create lifelong bonds with others in the writing community.

The application process includes a creative manuscript, a personal essay, transcripts and a consideration of past work history and how the student has previously fit into the writing community.

Financial aid is available to those who qualify.

Bennington College - Vermont
Bennington College - Vermont

Low Residency MFA at Vermont College

The low residency program at Vermont College is designed to fit into the individual writer's personal and professional life. The program includes two residency periods with longer periods of individualized study during the school year. During this time, students are mentored by Vermont College's award-winning faculty. Students are free to follow their own chosen track in poetry, fiction or creative non-fiction.

The residency periods are designed to enrich the lives of the students with seminars, workshops, visiting speakers, and public readings. Friendships made during the residency sessions often last a lifetime and allow students to settle into the writing community.

Applicants are asked to submit the following materials, application, 10-pages of creative writing, a personal essay, two letters of recommendation, transcripts and a $75.00 fee.

Financial aid is available for those who qualify.

Vermont College
Vermont College

Warren Wilson College MFA - North Carolina

Warren Wilson College was the first to offer a low residency program. It was established in 1981. The program offers students the opportunity to pursue their degree in creative writing with little interruption to their daily lives and responsibilities. Highly qualified academic mentors help guide and strengthen the work of students, encouraging them to become active members of the writing community.

The two residency sessions are designed to offer camaraderie, direction and inspiration through workshops, lectures, classes and meetings. Students leave prepared to embark on the upcoming session of independent study.

Applicants are asked to supply the following along with their application, 25 pages of creative work, a personal essay, a critical analysis, two letters of recommendation, transcripts and a $70.00 application fee.

Financial aid is available for those who qualify.

Warren Wilson College
Warren Wilson College


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