Northwester University :: NewPages Guide to Creative Writing Programs

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Northwestern University

MA & MFA in Creative Writing

Contact information:

School of Professional Studies

339 E. Chicago Avenue, 6th Floor

Chicago, IL  60611


Program director: Sandi Wisenberg

Founding director: Reginald Gibbons

Phone: (312) 503-6950; (847) 491-5612


Program Information:

Degrees offered: MFA, MA

Type of program: residency

Length of program: varies

Genres: fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction

Enrollment: quarterly

Total credits required: 18 (MFA), 10 (MA)

Application deadlines: October 15; January 15; April 15; July 15 (approximately)

Scholarships: no (see website for other options)

Core faculty: Eula Biss, John Keene, Stuart Dybek, Alex Kotlowitz , Alice George, Michael McColly, Reginald Gibbons, Naeem Murr, Steve Amick, Hannah Pittard, John Bresland, Ed Roberson, Sheila Donohue, Donna Seaman, Golda Goldbloom, Shauna Seliy, Susan Harris, Peggy Shinner, Aleksandar Hemon, Christine Sneed, Cristina Henríquez, Patrick Somerville, Marya Hornbacher, S.L. Wisenberg

Assistantships: yes (see website)

Publishing/editing courses: yes (see website)

Literary magazine: TriQuarterly

Reading series: yes, about five times a year

Program description: Northwestern University School of Professional Studies’ part-time evening classes offer scheduling flexibility to pursue your writing goals while balancing your professional and personal life. Core writing competency developed through peer workshops, reading and discussing other authors’ works, literature courses, electives, a teaching practicum, and publishing internships.

Students learn to read like writers, and faculty members lead them in exploring a range of aesthetic approaches. In workshops, faculty facilitate discussions that help student writers examine and address strengths and weaknesses in their writing. In the thesis quarters, students work one-on-one with faculty to explore deeper possibilities of their work, improve structure and style, and shape the thesis manuscript.

The program includes numerous opportunities for study beyond the classroom. Students may gain experience in publishing by serving as staff of TriQuarterly, the program’s own international literary journal, or by interning with outside organizations. Through a teaching seminar and related internships, students may also prepare for teaching careers. Students connect with other writers at readings and related events in an artistic community of faculty and peers that extends beyond the University.


last updated 7/28/2014