Graduate Admissions

Creative Writing - Nonfiction MFA

Application Deadline: January 15, 2014


Nonfiction, MFA

Columbia College Chicago’s Nonfiction, MFA program is designed to provide students with the opportunity to study, read, write, edit, and teach with leading authors and scholars in the field, preparing them to make a living through their passion for writing nonfiction. The program’s curriculum covers a broad range of approaches including the personal essay, lyric essay, memoir, prose poetry, nonfiction film, and hybrid works. Students explore theory and work closely with faculty to develop their own voice and style. The program culminates in a book-length manuscript of publishable quality. Students are also given the chance to work on publications as well as teach undergraduate students as part of the Graduate Student Instructor program.

students explore theory and work closely with faculty to develop their own voice and style

Gradute Student Instructor Program

Qualified Nonfiction MFA candidates are offered the unique opportunity at Columbia College Chicago to gain hands-on teaching experience through the Graduate Student Instructor program while still earning their degrees.  Students who elect to pursue teaching undergo an intense Composition Theory and Praxis course during their first semester of study, which provides them with the pedagogical knowledge and materials to teach writing to first-year college students.  Upon successful completion of the Composition Theory and Praxis course, students are offered their own Writing and Rhetoric I or II course, in which they gain professional experience while being financially compensated.  Most students leave the program with teaching experience and an individually crafted teaching portfolio.

gain hands-on teaching experience while still earning their degrees

Publishing and Reading Opportunities

Students also have the option to work as readers and editors on one of two renowned literary journals: Hotel Amerika and The South Loop Review.  In addition to this professional experience, students also get the chance to attend readings each semester by visiting writers who are leaders in the genre.  Through these visits, students build contacts and become connected to the larger world of contemporary nonfiction.  Students also participate in and curate their own second-year reading series.

Visit the Department Website