MFA Creative Writing

Master of Fine Arts

Creative Writing


Ranked #4

MFA Creative Writing Program

Ranked #2

for creative nonfiction
by Poets & Writers


Work with award-winning authors in fiction, nonfiction, & poetry

Full Funding

Up to 3 years of funding for MFA graduate students


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Get full funding to develop your writing in fiction, poetry, or nonfiction and work with our world-class faculty in small workshops.

About the MFA Program

  • A fully funded (at $21,750/year) three-year program in three genres (poetry, fiction, and nonfiction) with active encouragement to work across and between them.
  • Funding via Graduate Teaching Assistantship positions (typical teaching load: 1-2, 2-1, 2-1), with opportunities to teach creative writing workshops.
  • An active prose and poetry series of visiting writers and editors.
  • Excellent student-teacher ratio.
  • A challenging, supportive, and dynamic atmosphere in a super-literary, culturally vibrant, and progressive border city.
  • An extremely active and critically acclaimed faculty.
  • Additional funding opportunities for research and travel
  • MFA thesis defense that may include outside readers. Past outside readers have included such writers as Jenny Boully, Brandon Shimoda, Gary Paul Nabhan, Steven Church, Luís Alberto Urrea, and Kim Stanley Robinson.
  • Opportunities to work on nationally- and internationally-known literary magazines, websites, and presses
  • Opportunities to engage in writing and research on the US-Mexico border through the Southwest Field Studies in Writing Program
  • The lushest desert in the world with mountains all around.

Since 1972, the University of Arizona has offered one of the preeminent MFA programs in the country for the study of creative writing. With workshops and craft seminars in fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry, we offer intensive instruction in literary craft and the study of literature from a writer’s perspective, as well as opportunities to strengthen professional skills and flourish as a writer. The program requires three years in residence, the completion of 42 academic units. A student’s studies culminate in the production of an aesthetic statement and a thesis manuscript.

Full Funding for Students

The program is fully funded, with teaching assistantships offered to all incoming MFA students. Students have the opportunity to apply to teach creative writing. Assistantships include salary, health insurance, and a complete tuition waiver.

Additional funding opportunities for research and travel are available from the departmental English Graduate Union, the Graduate and Professional Student Council, and the Confluence Center, among other organizations.

Supportive Literary Environment

A writer engages in the world. With this in mind, we invite students to develop a course of study parallel to the page, whether it is in the University, the city of Tucson, the Sonoran desert, or beyond. You have the chance to volunteer with and/or have a for-credit internship with such organizations as the UA Poetry Center, Sonora ReviewFairy Tale ReviewDiagramNew Michigan Pressterrain.orgSpork PressKore Press, and the poetry collective POG.

The literary community here is strong. Please look into the offerings at the Poetry Center, our partner in many adventures. In addition to the Poetry Center Readings & Lectures Series, the creative writing faculty curates the Distinguished Visitors in Creative Writing Series, which brings in prose and poetry writers for public readings and visits with MFA students.. MFA students run the Works-in-Progress (WIP) Reading Series, and Infuse, a cooperative reading and art series between creative-writing and visual-arts MFA students. The University of Arizona is the home to the Sonora Review, one of the oldest student-run literary magazines in the country.

Inspiring Setting

You'll have the opportunity to live, work, and write in the lushest desert in the world with mountains all around. Tucson is a a super-literary, culturally vibrant, progressive border city.

For more on Tucson literary happenings, read Poets & Writers overview of our literary city and check out MFA alumna Eshani Surya's piece entitled 5 Reasons a Writer Should Move to Tucson.

Contact Us

For general information about the program, please contact Stephanie Mao.

Creative Writing Program

Department of English
1423 E. University Blvd. Rm. 445
Tucson, AZ 85721-0067 U.S.A.

Specific inquires can be directed to Farid Matuk (