Best MFA In Creative Writing Degrees

A Master of Fine Arts degree or MFA in Creative Writing is the perfect degree for experienced writers who want to study a specific field or stay in academia.

Best MFA In Creative Writing Degrees

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Every industry needs capable, talented writers.

A Master of Fine Arts degree or MFA in Creative Writing is the perfect degree for experienced writers who want to study a specific field or stay in academia. Considered a terminal degree, it is the highest degree of its kind. Students will practice writing prose while gaining more insight on the history and culture of writing.

The great thing about this degree is the opportunity to engage in one-on-one and group learning with professors and peers. Some students may even get the chance to travel abroad. In addition, as many people will choose to go in to education following this degree, schools generally offer graduate assistantships to help lower the cost of the program. Keep reading to learn more about this degree and how it can help you achieve your future goals!

What kind of MFA in Creative Writing degree should you get?

MFA programs in Creative Writing are either offered on-campus, online, or a hybrid program. An online program may be preferable for those who are already working and may not have enough time to commute to campus daily. Online degrees are completed using interactive lectures individual projects. Although an online degree will require a good computer, distance learning programs are generally affordable.

Before deciding which program is best, students should look carefully to see if the degree requires a residency or not. Most online programs that do require one are low-residency, meaning students will need to come to campus or a remote location a couple of times per year for an extended time. The residencies consist of intensive workshops with faculty to develop one’s writing skills.

Check out our list of the Best Online MFAs in Creative Writing.

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How much do online MFA in Creative Writing degrees make?

It is important to understand that those who graduate from an online program will have the same salary potential as someone who did it on-campus. Based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay of authors and writers as of 2017 is $61,820. Writers who are just starting out will earn significantly less, with the lowest 10 percent only making $28,610 or less. However, the highest 10 percent make $109,440 on average.

Pay for a writer will depend on your field and work situation. For example, someone who freelances may earn less than someone who signs a contract with a publishing company, but several other factors can determine pay. Another option is for people to become college professors, who can earn anywhere from $30,720 to $130,510 depending on the school, if the position is tenured or not, and if graduates have a PhD or not.

What can you do with an online MFA in Creative Writing?

Graduates will be prepared to work in a variety of fields such as magazine, film, television, publishing, or advertising. Many people also choose to go into teaching either at the secondary or college level. Other people may start out as freelance writers and eventually do other types of writing. However, it is important to know that not everyone must be a writer upon graduation of this degree.

While some people choose this degree to level up in their career, others do it for personal fulfillment. An MFA in Creative Writing is also a good opportunity for people to improve in their writing skill, as virtually any job requires some degree of writing. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, writer and author positions are expected to increase 8 percent from 2016 to 2026. However, the definition of a writer has expanded more to someone who just publishes books, but also to those who may write online.

What are the requirements for an online MFA in Creative Writing?

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and a strong GPA. They will also need to submit letters of recommendation, transcripts, and a writing sample. The writing sample must be a substantial length and showcase the student’s writing from within the past few years. Some programs may require a portfolio of several works.

During the program students will take classes in a variety of genres. Some programs may even allow students to specialize in a genre or field. Some common specializations include poetry, nonfiction, or publishing. In addition to completing on-campus residencies (if applicable), there will most likely be a culminating project or thesis before graduation.

Most Affordable Online MFA Creative Writing Degrees

#1

Mississippi University for Women

School Information
Location Columbus, Mississippi
Admission Rate 97%
Graduation Rate 40%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 72% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The MFA in creative writing at Mississippi University for Women, one of the school's 13 master's degrees, offers a rigorous education. The program builds advanced knowledge and skills, helping students increase their career opportunities. Candidates benefit from flexible enrollment options, including schedules designed for full-time professionals.

Learners take advanced creative writing classes that build a theoretical and practical understanding of the field. Internships and hands-on learning opportunities encourage students to gain varied experience while building professional connections. Degree candidates specialize their creative writing education by choosing electives and concentrations.

Mississippi University for Women at a Glance:

Location: Columbus, Mississippi

School Type: Public

Admission Rate: 97%

Graduate Tuition In State: $7,425

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $7,425

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 97%

Average Amount Aid Awarded: $7,762

Average Price After Aid: $11,725

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#2

University of New Orleans

School Information
Location New Orleans, Louisiana
Admission Rate 56%
Graduation Rate 42%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The creative writing MFA at University of New Orleans stands out for its academic rigor and flexibility. The program serves students seeking advanced education and increased career opportunities. Graduate programs prioritize flexibility through their enrollment options, which help students balance school with work or other responsibilities.

During the program, learners take challenging courses that strengthen theoretical and practical creative writing knowledge. Students strengthen their knowledge through internships and other hands-on learning opportunities, which also build valuable professional connections. Faculty advisors help degree-seekers choose electives and concentrations to specialize their creative writing education.

University of New Orleans at a Glance:

Location: New Orleans, Louisiana

School Type: Public

Admission Rate: 56%

Graduate Tuition In State: $6,090

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $10,660

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 95%

Average Amount Aid Awarded: $9,730

Average Price After Aid: $10,780

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#3

University of Arkansas at Monticello

School Information
Location Monticello, Arkansas
Graduation Rate 29%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

University of Arkansas at Monticello offers a master of fine arts in creative writing for students seeking career advancement. The public institution serves degree-seekers with diverse needs by offering many enrollment options. Enrollees gain an advanced understanding of creative writing topics while strengthening their skills.

Master's candidates access a generous selection of college resources and support services during their studies. Financial aid advisors recommend scholarships and grants, while academic advisors help with course selections. Master's degree-seekers can also take advantage of tutoring, mental health counseling, and library services.

University of Arkansas at Monticello at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 7

Total Online Master's Programs: 4

Graduation Rate: 29%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13-to-1

Graduate Tuition In State: $6,631

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $12,511

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $27,300

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#4

University of Houston-Victoria

School Information
Location Victoria, Texas
Admission Rate 56%
Graduation Rate 19%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 83% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The master of fine arts in creative writing at University of Houston-Victoria is one of the school's 17 master's degrees. The program builds advanced knowledge and skills, helping students increase their career opportunities. Candidates may be able to choose from campus and online enrollment options, adding flexibility for enrollees who need to work full time while in school.

Learners strengthen their theoretical and practical understanding of creative writing through the program's challenging curriculum. Internships and hands-on learning opportunities encourage degree-seekers to gain varied experience while building professional connections. Concentrations and electives allow learners to customize the degree based on their career goals.

University of Houston-Victoria at a Glance:

Location: Victoria, Texas

School Type: Public

Admission Rate: 56%

Graduate Tuition In State: $6,338

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $13,934

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 94%

Average Amount Aid Awarded: $8,905

Average Price After Aid: $10,063

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#5

University of Nebraska at Omaha

School Information
Location Omaha, Nebraska
Admission Rate 83%
Graduation Rate 50%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 53% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Students seeking career advancement benefit from the master of fine arts in writing at University of Nebraska at Omaha. The public university offers a variety of enrollment options for degree-seekers, including online programs. The writing program features a curriculum that covers advanced topics in creative writing.

Whether they study online or on campus, master's candidates can access a generous selection of college resources and support services. For example, career counselors host job fairs and offer resume workshops for specific industries. Master's degree-seekers can also take advantage of tutoring, mental health counseling, and library services.

University of Nebraska at Omaha at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 39

Total Online Master's Programs: 6

Admission Rate: 83%

Graduation Rate: 50%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17-to-1

Graduate Tuition In State: $5,558

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $14,440

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $38,600

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#6

Eastern Kentucky University

School Information
Location Richmond, Kentucky
Admission Rate 94%
Graduation Rate 45%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Learners can earn their MFA in creative writing at Eastern Kentucky University, which offers 40 master's programs. The program incorporates career-focused training to help students advance their professional opportunities. Working professionals benefit from the school's flexible enrollment options, which make it easier to schedule classes around other responsibilities.

The curriculum builds comprehensive knowledge, highlighting theoretical and practical approaches to creative writing. Internships and experiential learning opportunities build professional connections and provide real-world experience. Choosing a concentration also helps learners gain specialized skills in a specific area of creative writing.

Eastern Kentucky University at a Glance:

Location: Richmond, Kentucky

School Type: Public

Admission Rate: 94%

Graduate Tuition In State: $9,900

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $13,950

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 98%

Average Amount Aid Awarded: $8,121

Average Price After Aid: $14,674

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#7

Northern Arizona University

School Information
Location Flagstaff, Arizona
Admission Rate 85%
Graduation Rate 57%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Northern Arizona University offers a master of fine arts in creative writing that helps graduates advance their careers. The Flagstaff-based public institution serves degree-seekers of all types thanks to its many enrollment options. During the program, learners build on their undergraduate knowledge to gain an advanced understanding of creative writing.

Master's candidates access a generous selection of college resources and support services during their studies. For example, career counselors host mock interviews to prepare graduates for the workforce. The university also offers library services, networking events, and more for graduate degree-seekers.

Northern Arizona University at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 62

Total Online Master's Programs: 25

Admission Rate: 85%

Graduation Rate: 57%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 19-to-1

Graduate Tuition In State: $10,305

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $19,522

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $36,900

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#8

Old Dominion University

School Information
Location Norfolk, Virginia
Admission Rate 89%
Graduation Rate 53%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 54% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The MFA in creative writing at Old Dominion University, one of the school's 48 master's degrees, offers a rigorous education. The program incorporates career-focused training to help students advance their professional opportunities. Graduate programs offer flexible enrollment options that make it easier for enrollees to fit classes into their schedule.

The curriculum builds comprehensive knowledge, highlighting theoretical and practical approaches to creative writing. Students strengthen their career-readiness through internships and hands-on learning opportunities. Choosing a concentration also helps learners gain specialized skills in a specific area of creative writing.

Old Dominion University at a Glance:

Location: Norfolk, Virginia

School Type: Public

Admission Rate: 89%

Graduate Tuition In State: $10,207

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $29,851

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 94%

Average Amount Aid Awarded: $8,021

Average Price After Aid: $16,681

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#9

Texas Tech University

School Information
Location Lubbock, Texas
Admission Rate 69%
Graduation Rate 61%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 52% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Texas Tech University offers 83 master's programs, including a highly ranked master's in creative writing. The program encourages career growth through its experiential learning components. Graduate programs prioritize flexibility through their enrollment options, which help degree-seekers balance school with work or other responsibilities.

Learners strengthen their theoretical and practical understanding of creative writing through the program's challenging curriculum. Students prepare for the workforce with internships and other hands-on learning opportunities. Concentrations and electives let learners individualize the program based on their interests and professional goals.

Texas Tech University at a Glance:

Location: Lubbock, Texas

School Type: Public

Admission Rate: 69%

Graduate Tuition In State: $5,958

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $13,428

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 78%

Average Amount Aid Awarded: $7,527

Average Price After Aid: $16,463

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#10

Western Connecticut State University

School Information
Location Danbury, Connecticut
Admission Rate 76%
Graduation Rate 52%
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 28% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The MFA in creative and professional writing program at Western Connecticut State University is one of 16 master's degrees offered at the university. The program helps students advance their education and increase their career opportunities. Graduate programs prioritize flexibility through their enrollment options, which help degree candidates balance school with work or other responsibilities.

The curriculum uses theoretical and practical approaches to encourage a comprehensive understanding of creative writing. Internships and hands-on learning opportunities encourage students to gain varied experience while building professional connections. Degree-seekers select electives and concentrations to specialize their creative writing education in a specific area.

Western Connecticut State University at a Glance:

Location: Danbury, Connecticut

School Type: Public

Admission Rate: 76%

Graduate Tuition In State: $7,378

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $19,008

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 85%

Average Amount Aid Awarded: $4,629

Average Price After Aid: $18,110

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#11

Lindenwood University

School Information
Location Saint Charles, Missouri
Admission Rate 88%
Graduation Rate 50%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 53% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Lindenwood University offers a total of 56 master's degrees, including a top-ranked MFA in writing. Students can increase their earning potential and advance their careers with this degree. Flexible enrollment options make it easier for busy degree-seekers and working professionals to attend a graduate program.

Learners gain theoretical and practical knowledge through the rigorous creative writing curriculum. Internships and hands-on learning opportunities strengthen classroom skills and help students expand their professional networks. Concentrations and electives let enrollees individualize the program based on their interests and professional goals.

Lindenwood University at a Glance:

Location: Saint Charles, Missouri

School Type: Private

Admission Rate: 88%

Graduate Tuition In State: $18,000

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $18,000

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 100%

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#12

Bay Path University

School Information
Location Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Admission Rate 72%
Graduation Rate 54%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 62% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

For students looking to advance their career, Bay Path University hosts an MFA in creative nonfiction writing. The private institution offers several enrollment options on its Longmeadow, Massachusetts, campus and through its online programs. During the program, learners take graduate-level courses in creative writing to enhance their understanding of the field.

Master's candidates rely on the school's support services to progress toward their degree. For example, financial aid counselors recommend scholarships, grants, and other forms of financial aid. Master's degree-seekers also attend networking and training events hosted by the university.

Bay Path University at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 21

Total Online Master's Programs: 8

Admission Rate: 72%

Graduation Rate: 54%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 12-to-1

Graduate Tuition In State: $14,670

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $14,670

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $37,000

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#13

West Virginia Wesleyan College

School Information
Location Buckhannon, West Virginia
Admission Rate 64%
Graduation Rate 54%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 8% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

West Virginia Wesleyan College enrolls learners in 10 master's degrees, including an MFA in creative writing. The program helps students advance their education and increase their career opportunities. Graduate programs offer flexible enrollment options that make it easier for degree-seekers to fit classes into their schedule.

During the program, learners complete a challenging curriculum that builds comprehensive knowledge of creative writing. Internships and hands-on learning opportunities strengthen classroom skills and help students expand their professional networks. Degree-seekers choose concentrations and electives to build specialized skills in a specific area of creative writing.

West Virginia Wesleyan College at a Glance:

Location: Buckhannon, West Virginia

School Type: Private

Admission Rate: 64%

Graduate Tuition In State: $12,006

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $12,006

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 100%

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#14

Oregon State University

School Information
Location Corvallis, Oregon
Admission Rate 82%
Graduation Rate 67%
Accreditation Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Percent Online Enrollment 47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The MFA in creative writing at Oregon State University, one of the school's 78 master's degrees, offers a rigorous education. The program strengthens subject-specific knowledge, allowing graduates to pursue advanced career opportunities. Flexible enrollment options appeal to busy enrollees balancing school with work or other responsibilities.

Learners gain a comprehensive understanding of creative writing through a curriculum that highlights theoretical and practical approaches. Internships and other hands-on learning opportunities let enrollees apply classroom knowledge in real-world settings. Concentrations and electives let learners specialize their creative writing education around particular fields.

Oregon State University at a Glance:

Location: Corvallis, Oregon

School Type: Public

Admission Rate: 82%

Graduate Tuition In State: $12,933

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $24,975

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 85%

Average Amount Aid Awarded: $7,288

Average Price After Aid: $19,273

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#15

Converse College

School Information
Location Spartanburg, South Carolina
Admission Rate 89%
Graduation Rate 58%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 62% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The MFA in creative writing at Converse College stands out for its academic rigor and flexibility. The  program appeals to students seeking a graduate degree that will increase their career opportunities. Candidates benefit from flexible learning options, which make it easier to work while enrolling in graduate school.

The curriculum balances theoretical and practical approaches to creative writing, emphasizing a comprehensive understanding of the field. Students can often complete internships and other hands-on learning opportunities, gaining varied experience while building professional connections. Learners choose concentrations and electives to build specialized skills in a specific area of creative writing.

Converse College at a Glance:

Location: Spartanburg, South Carolina

School Type: Private

Admission Rate: 89%

Graduate Tuition In State: $8,736

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $8,736

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 99%

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#16

National University

School Information
Location La Jolla, California
Admission Rate 89%
Graduation Rate 29%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 53% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

National University offers an MFA in creative writing for students seeking career advancement. Located in La Jolla, California, the private university offers a variety of enrollment options for degree-seekers, including online programs. During the program, learners complete a rigorous curriculum that builds on their undergraduate training.

While pursuing a master's degree, enrollees benefit from college resources and support services. Academic advisors help with course selections, while career counselors host workshops, offer internship programs, and provide career planning services. Master's degree-seekers can also take advantage of career advising, tutoring centers, and internship programs.

National University at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 54

Total Online Master's Programs: 41

Admission Rate: 89%

Graduation Rate: 29%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16-to-1

Graduate Tuition In State: $15,480

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $15,480

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $51,900

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#17

Queens University of Charlotte

School Information
Location Charlotte, North Carolina
Admission Rate 65%
Graduation Rate 59%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 67% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The MFA in creative writing at Queens University of Charlotte stands out for its academic rigor and flexibility. The program helps students advance their education and increase their career opportunities. Flexible enrollment options appeal to busy degree-seekers balancing school with work or other responsibilities.

Learners take challenging courses that strengthen theoretical and practical creative writing knowledge. Students often complete internships and other experiential learning opportunities to build career-ready skills. Degree candidates select electives and concentrations to specialize their creative writing education in a specific area.

Queens University of Charlotte at a Glance:

Location: Charlotte, North Carolina

School Type: Private

Admission Rate: 65%

Graduate Tuition In State: $13,824

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $13,824

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 100%

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#18

Northwestern University

School Information
Location Evanston, Illinois
Admission Rate 9%
Graduation Rate 94%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 2% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The MFA and MA in creative writing and English at Northwestern University, one of the school's 147 master's degrees, offers a rigorous education. The program serves students seeking advanced education and increased career opportunities. Candidates may be able to choose from campus and online enrollment options, adding flexibility for learners who need to work full time while in school.

Degree candidates can take advanced creative writing classes that build a theoretical and practical understanding of the field. Internships and hands-on learning opportunities strengthen classroom skills and help students expand their professional networks. Learners work with faculty advisors to choose electives or concentrations that customize the program.

Northwestern University at a Glance:

Location: Evanston, Illinois

School Type: Private

Admission Rate: 9%

Graduate Tuition In State: $56,067

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $56,067

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 64%

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#19

Wilkes University

School Information
Location Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
Admission Rate 79%
Graduation Rate 63%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Students interested in career advancement can earn their creative writing MA/MFA at Wilkes University. From its campus in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, the private institution offers several enrollment options, including online programs designed for working professionals. Degree-seekers take graduate-level courses to strengthen their understanding of creative writing.

Master's candidates rely on the school's support services to progress toward their degree. Academic advisors help with course selections, while financial aid counselors connect students with ways to pay for their education. Master's degree-seekers also participate in training events, networking opportunities, and tutoring sessions.

Wilkes University at a Glance:

Total Master's Programs: 19

Total Online Master's Programs: 13

Admission Rate: 79%

Graduation Rate: 63%

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 12-to-1

Graduate Tuition In State: $25,104

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $25,104

Average Alumni Earnings After Six Years: $47,200

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#20

New England College

School Information
Location Henniker, New Hampshire
Admission Rate 100%
Graduation Rate 29%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 61% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

New England College enrolls learners in 51 master's degrees, including a master of fine arts in creative writing. The program incorporates career-focused training to help students advance their professional opportunities. At the school, graduate programs offer flexible enrollment options, including schedules designed for working professionals.

Learners take theoretical and practical creative writing classes to gain a comprehensive knowledge of the field. Students complete internships and hands-on learning opportunities to complement their classroom knowledge and expand their professional networks. Degree-seekers can choose concentrations and electives to build specialized skills in a specific area of creative writing.

New England College at a Glance:

Location: Henniker, New Hampshire

School Type: Private

Admission Rate: 100%

Graduate Tuition In State: $14,088

Graduate Tuition Out of State: $14,088

Percent of Students Awarded Aid: 99%

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