Columbia College Chicago

MFA Program

See writers who attended this program
Program Established: 
Chicago, IL
Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Cross-Genre
2 Years
Incoming Class Size: 
Application Deadline: 
January 13, 2024
Application Fee: 
Contact E-mail: 
Contact Name: 
David Marts, Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions
Core Faculty Includes: 

CM Burroughs, Don DeGrazia, Ames Hawkins, Aviya Kushner, Eric May, Joseph Meno, Alexis Pride, Shawn Shiflett, Tony Trigilio

Funding/Employment Opportunities: 

The program offers partial funding. Awarded on a competitive, merit basis, Graduate Award scholarships reduce tuition costs and Assistantships offer students the opportunity to work in the English and Creative Writing department. All program applicants, who apply on or before the priority deadline, are automatically considered for these awards.

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 Teaching Methods and Pedagogies course in fall semester and approval to teach.

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 launched Allium, a new, multi- and cross-genre journal, featuring work by writers nationally as well as by Columbia students.

Other Features: 

The program encourages hybrid writing and allows the option of focusing on a single genre. It also 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, 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 help organize and participate in the Fridays at Five MFA Student Reading Series and are encouraged to create other reading series, journals, and presses of their own.

The program duration is two years including thesis completion.

The program starts in the fall semester and applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. The priority deadline for scholarship consideration is in mid-January.


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