What You Should Know About This Degree
There is no single way to become a published writer. Many individuals pursue a master’s in creative writing because it allows them to sharpen their skills, gain a better understanding of the craft of writing, and make professional connections.
However, these factors do not guarantee publication or success as a writer. Individuals considering a master’s in creative writing should understand that often, this degree is as much about personal and artistic fulfillment as it is about financial return-on-investment. Other options for pursuing education in creative writing include participating in writers groups, residencies, and continuing education programs.
In a creative writing master’s program, students are typically expected to select a genre in which to specialize. Common areas of focus include fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, or screenwriting. Other programs have broader curriculums that do not require specialization. Before applying, consider your career and creative goals, so you can select the program that is right for you.
Many online programs have required or optional residencies. These residencies are a chance for students to connect in person, and meet with writers and other publishing professionals. Review the program’s residency options, and confirm that you can accommodate any in-person requirements in your schedule and budget.
Here are some questions to ask when researching Online Master’s in Creative Writing programs:
- Is there a portfolio requirement for admission? Although many creative writing master’s programs accept students from all educational and professional backgrounds, applicants must usually demonstrate their writing proficiency during the application process by submitting a portfolio of creative writing work. Review the program’s admissions requirements to ensure you have the necessary materials to submit for your application.
- How are courses delivered? Online courses are typically delivered either synchronously, meaning classes meet remotely at scheduled times each week, or asynchronously, in which students can access lessons and assignments at any time. Since creative writing programs rely heavily on teacher and student interaction for feedback, it’s important to find out how the program delivers classes and conducts reviews.
At this point, you should also be taking the following steps: reviewing application deadlines and admission requirements for programs; gathering application materials, and researching funding resources, including student loans, scholarships, assistantships, and employer tuition benefits, if you are currently employed. If you have questions or need assistance, you can contact the school’s admissions and financial aid departments.