MFA in Creative Writing

A Center for Literary Arts and Publishing Practice

Why Mason?

Why earn your MFA at Mason?

Craft: Work with accomplished writers and dedicated teachers with experience taking students' writing to higher levels while serving as mentors in terms of discipline, practice, and publishing.

Community: You'll meet and workshop with peer writers who will become part of your circle of artists during and long after your time at Mason.

Campus: George Mason University is Virginia's largest R1 research university so MFA students get the feeling of being part of a small program but with access to all the amenities of a large university (everything from a first-rate library to a top-notch shuttle system). Plus, our home in Horizon Hall is literally at the center of it all.

Funding: In recent years, the MFA program has been able to fully fund every applicant who was offered an assistantship and enrolled in the program. Full funding includes a complete tuition waiver for the 48-credit program, a stipend to help cover living expenses, and optional health insurance. The MFA program offers two avenues of funding: Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs) and Graduate Professional Assistantships (GPAs), both supported by the same benefits at the same levels.

Scholarships and Fellowships: Mason offers several opportunities to supplement your education with three scholarships, four third-year fellowships, two summer research fellowships, and three spring writing contests (these opportunities are application-based and competitive).

Career: In addition to the creative and academic aspects of the program, students can deepen their MFA experiences by volunteering for or taking courses built around entities that comprise Watershed Lit: Center for Literary Engagement and Publishing Practice. Not only can these opportunities prepare you for careers in publishing and other fields, but prepare you to be a more happily publishing author.  We also offer a Graduate Certificate in Publishing Practice, so students can graduate from Mason with a terminal art degree and a professional credential. 

Culture Capital: From theater to lectures, from intramural sports to intercollegiate athletics, something is going on almost all the time at Mason. Plus, being a short drive or Metro ride from the National Capital, students can take in all D.C.'s exciting arts and culture scenes.

Apply now.

Why Mason?

Ultimately, the MFA is all about fine art. And fine literary art is what Mason graduates create. Here is a small, small sample of books published by MFA alumni:


The World Doesn't Require You, Rion Amilcar Scott (Liveright)
Dodging and Burning, John Copenhaver (Pegasus Books)
Casualties, Kristen Clodfelter (RopeWalk Press)
How to Prove a Theory, Nicole Tong*  (Washington Writers Publishing House)
Cold Pastoral, Rebecca Dunham  (Milkweed Editions)
Museum of The Americas, J. Michael Martinez (Penguin Random House)
* MFA graduates Nicole Tong (2020-2021) and Danielle Badra (2022-2024) are Fairfax County's first two Poets Laureate!
The Porcelain Thief, Huan Hsu (Crown)
His Other Life: Searching For My Father, His First Wife, and Tennessee Williams, Melanie McCabe (University of New Orleans Press )
Feed the Hungry, Nani Power (Simon and Schuster)