Columbia College Chicago

MFA Program

MFA Program Established: 
Chicago, IL
Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction
2-3 Years
Program Size: 
Application Deadline: 
January 13, 2017
Application Fee: 
Contact E-mail: 
Contact Name: 
Devon Polderman
Core Faculty Includes: 

Poetry: Jenny Boully, CM Burroughs, Lisa Fishman, Matthew Shenoda, Tony Trigilio, David Trinidad
Fiction: Don DeGrazia, Aleksandar Hemon, Garnett Kilberg-Cohen, Joseph Meno, Nami Mun, Samuel Park, Alexis Pride, Sam Weller
Nonfiction: Jenny Boully, T Fleischmann, Aleksandar Hemon, Aviya Kushner, David Lazar, Sam Weller

The Liberal Arts and Sciences Emerging Writer-in-Residence for 2015–2017 is nonfiction writer T Fleischmann.

Funding/Employment Opportunities: 

Graduate Assistantship positions—awarded on a competitive basis—cover all tuition costs and offer students the opportunity to earn additional wages through working in the Department of Creative Writing. All program applicants are automatically considered for this award. There are eight positions available, and the positions are renewable. Student fees are not covered.

The Graduate Student Instructorship (GSI) program offers invaluable teaching experience for eight MFA students in each genre of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Students are paid at the level of an adjunct faculty member and teach one section of Writing and Rhetoric each semester, after taking a Composition Theory and Praxis training course in the fall semester.

Federal work-study awards are also offered in exchange for staff and research assistance provided to the Department of Creative Writing. In addition, continuing students in graduate programs across Columbia College Chicago can 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 is also available for MFA Poetry students.   

Affiliated Publications/Publishers: 
Other Features: 

The program hosts an annual reading series in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. The series attracts prestigious, award-winning poets, fiction writers, and nonfiction writers who perform for, engage with, and educate students on a myriad of topics and traditions. Students also can delve into the world of publishing by working on literary magazines Columbia Poetry Review, Hair Trigger, and Punctuate, and there also are numerous editorial opportunities for Hotel Amerika. MFA 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.


Holly Amos, Christopher Ankney, Arnie Bernstein, Erik Fassnacht, Jessie Ann Foley, Kelly Forsythe, Leif Haven, Brandi Homan, Becca Klaver, Joe Meno, Toni Nealie, Ryan Spooner, Megan Stielstra, Steven Teref, Sam Weller, Geling Yan, Joshua Young