Columbia College Chicago

Creative Writing

Columbia College Chicago offers master's degree and graduate certificate programs in the arts, media, education, the business of the arts, and the application of the arts to healing. Students pursue advanced study in small, selective programs that are grounded in history and theory and shaped by the trends of contemporary practice. Under the guidance of award-winning faculty, students prepare to advance their careers, shape the future of their disciplines, and affect meaningful change in their communities.

Graduate Programs

For requirements and more information about these programs, visit the course catalog.


Fiction, MFA

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This Master of Fine Arts program is a studio/academic program in which emphasis on students’ own writing and craft (in workshops and craft seminars) is enriched by the study of literature and the form and theory of fiction. In an environment supportive of aesthetic and pedagogical diversity, students gain a broad sense of the genre over time and a vivid awareness of fiction in the present landscape. Students gain a history of the narrative and, ultimately, complete the program with a substantial manuscript (the MFA thesis), a novel, short stories, novellas, hybrid texts or combination of forms.

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Nonfiction, MFA

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This Master of Fine Arts program is a studio/academic program in which emphasis on students’ own writing and craft (in workshops and craft seminars) is balanced with study of literature and the form and theory of nonfiction. The program emphasizes the essay, including narrative, personal, lyric, experimental, criticism and hybrid texts. Students will develop an understanding of the shifting landscape of nonfiction through new media applications. In an environment supportive of aesthetic and pedagogical diversity, students gain a broad sense of the genre over time and a vivid awareness of nonfiction in the present cultural landscape. Students will develop a meaningful ability to participate in contemporary conversations on social and cultural change as they work toward completing the program with a substantial manuscript, the MFA thesis.

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Poetry, MFA

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The Master of Fine Arts in Poetry is a studio/academic program in which emphasis on students’ own writing and craft (in workshops and craft seminars) is balanced with study of literature and poetics. The Poetry MFA emphasizes a small, intimate graduate experience that encompasses a wide breadth of poetic traditions. In an environment supportive of aesthetic and pedagogical diversity, students gain a broad sense of the genre over time and a vivid awareness of poetry in the present cultural landscape. The two-year program fosters close working relationships with our accomplished, award-winning faculty and a supportive environment in which to grow as a poet and as a student of poetry. Students complete the program with a substantial manuscript (the MFA thesis), a full-length collection of poems.

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Ready to Apply?

We’re happy you’re thinking of joining our creative community. We work hard to make our application process as simple and fast as possible, but should you run into any concerns, we're here to help at any time.

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