The Master of Fine Arts in Writing program offers graduate students an intimate, personalized learning experience while taking advantage of San Francisco’s vibrant, eclectic literary scene. Founded in 1986, the program is designed to instruct writers in creative techniques, nurture their individual development and vision, and help them thrive in the larger community of writers.
Our two-and-a-half year program offers workshops and literature seminars in the genres of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. The distinctive design of the program emphasizes the connection between reading and the students’ own writing and fosters collegial relationships among faculty and students in small classes. All courses are taught by accomplished practicing writers, so that both literature seminars and workshops pay detailed attention to craft.
Because cross-fertilization enriches creativity, students are free to take courses outside their primary genre and sample a range of cross-genre literature seminars. Because depth of understanding is crucial to successful writing, students also take seminars and workshops that focus exclusively on one genre — long fiction, short fiction, poetry, or nonfiction. Students’ work culminates in a creative thesis — a book-length manuscript that is conceived, composed, and revised with extensive faculty mentoring.
You can request more information by visiting the website
Each year, we provide a small number of fellowships on a competitive basis. They are awarded to the top candidates in each genre. All applicants are automatically considered for a Graduate Fellowship; no separate application is needed. You will learn of any fellowship award at the time we notify you of your acceptance to the program.
Recent graduates of the MFA program can apply to teach the Introduction to Creative Writing for Non-majors course offered by the undergraduate English Department. The fellow will teach craft fundamentals to students at a beginning level, drawing on literary models in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction; provide creative prompts for student writing and helpful feedback on student work; and foster engagement with literature and creative writing.
This fellowship honors Lawrence Ferlinghetti who published and supported the work of writers who were outsiders―outside traditional academia or traditional social conventions. In his long career, Ferlinghetti has been a staunch proponent of First Amendment rights, including free speech. This fellowship, which provides full tuition funding, is awarded bi-annually to an applicant in poetry whose work embodies a concern for social justice and freedom of expression, interpreted in the broadest possible way. January 15, 2019.
The Zivic Fellowship, named after MFA alumna Jan Zivic, recognizes and supports an outstanding fiction or nonfiction student currently in the MFA program. To be considered, students must submit a writing sample and a one page statement to the MFA program. The fellowship is distributed in the fall semester of the student's second year.
The MFA in Writing Program, in conjunction with the undergraduate English department, offers several teaching assistantships to qualified students. Current students can apply for available assistantships. There are usually 8-12 positions per semester.