Columbia College Chicago

See writers who attended this program

MFA Program

Program Established: 
Chicago, IL
Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Cross-Genre
2-3 Years
Incoming Class Size: 
Application Deadline: 
January 15, 2021
Application Fee: 
Contact E-mail: 
Contact Name: 
Devon Polderman, Academic Manager
Core Faculty Includes: 

Poetry: CM Burroughs, Lisa Fishman, Tony Trigilio, David Trinidad
Fiction: Don DeGrazia, Garnett Kilberg-Cohen, Patricia Ann McNair, Joseph Meno, Alexis Pride, Sam Weller
Nonfiction: Aviya Kushner, Patricia Ann McNair, Sam Weller

Funding/Employment Opportunities: 

The program offers partial funding. Awarded on a competitive basis, Graduate Awards and Assistantships cover or reduce tuition costs and offer students the opportunity to work in the Department of Creative Writing. All program applicants are automatically considered for these awards. Student fees are not covered.

The Graduate Student Instructorship (GSI) program offers teaching experience for a select number of students. Students are paid a stipend for  teaching one section of Writing and Rhetoric per semester upon completion of the Composition Theory and Praxis course in fall semester and approval to teach.

Federal work-study awards are also offered in the Department of Creative Writing and across the College. In addition, continuing students in graduate programs college-wide may apply for a number of awards, including the Albert P. Weisman Award, the Diversity Award, the Graduate Opportunity Award, and the Graduate Fellowship. The Nathan Breitling Poetry Fellowship and the Andrew Ruzkowski Memorial Scholarship are also available on a competitive basis for poets.

Affiliated Publications/Publishers: 

In the tradition of the Columbia Poetry Review and Hair Trigger, the department has a new, multi- and cross-genre journal featuring work by writers nationally as well as by Columbia students.

Other Features: 

The program offers a flexible curriculum with many interdisciplinary courses available as electives in a wide range of departments across Columbia College Chicago. Annual overseas study opportunities are available for students in Rome, Paris, Bath Spa, and Prague (winter and summer terms). The department hosts an annual reading series in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Students can work as editors on the new journal as well as learn editing and production in such courses as Literary Magazine Editing and Literary Magazine Production. Students also have the opportunity to organize the student-run 33 Reading Series and are encouraged to create reading series, journals, and presses of their own. 

The program duration is two years including thesis completion, with the option to complete the thesis in a third year.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. The priority deadline for a scholarship is January 15.


Holly Amos, S. Marie Clay, Tyler Flynn Dorholt, Erik Fassnacht, Julia Fine, Jessie Ann Foley, Kelly Forsythe, Hafizah Geter, Jan-Henry Gray, Leif Haven, Jeff Hoffman, Brandi Homan, Becca Klaver, Amy Lipman, Sahar Mustafah, Toni Nealie, Kenyatta Rogers, Andrew Ruzkowski, Ryan Spooner, Megan Stielstra, Steven Teref, Brittany Tomaselli, Naomi Washer, yarrow yes woods, Geling Yan, Joshua Young, Abigail Zimmer