George Mason University

MFA Program

See writers who attended this program
Program Established: 
Fairfax, VA
Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction
3 Years
Incoming Class Size: 
Application Deadline: 
January 15, 2025
Application Fee: 
Contact E-mail: 
Core Faculty Includes: 

Poetry: Sally Keith, Vivek Narayanan, Peter Streckfus
Fiction: Alexia Arthurs, Courtney Brkic, Tania James, Helon Habila Ngalabak
Nonfiction: Timothy Denevi, Kyoko Mori

Funding/Employment Opportunities: 

The program offers full funding. Not every student who is admitted receives funding, but those who do are fully funded by either traditional graduate teaching assistantships or graduate professional assistantships, which contribute to the wide-ranging work of Watershed Lit. GTAs and GPAs receive the same level of support in the form of a salary stipend for 20 hours per week of duties during the academic year, full tuition waiver as long as they remain enrolled full-time and in good academic standing, and optional health insurance.

Affiliated Publications/Publishers: 

PhoebePoetry DailySo to Speak, Stillhouse Press

Stillhouse Press is a student-run small press that allows students to gain experience throughout the realm of book publishing, from manuscript selection to production to marketing. 

Phoebe and So to Speak are student-edited journals that allow students to experiment with new forms of publishing while developing their aesthetic awareness and developing an editor’s eye.

Launched in 1997, Poetry Daily moved to Mason in 2019 and guides students in developing their curatorial skills, designing and maintaining a robust website, and managing the work of a daily online poetry journal.

Other Features: 

Launched by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences in 2020, Watershed Lit: Center for Literary Engagement and Publishing Practice is a collective of organizations whose missions create and promote transformative experiences in the literary arts at Mason and beyond. Member organizations include Fall for the Book, a nonprofit that presents literary events year-round; Stillhouse Press, a student-managed literary imprint; Poetry Daily, a daily online poetry anthology and newsletter; Cheuse Center for International Writers, which brings writers from around the world to Mason and supports student research abroad; and the Northern Virginia Writing Project, teaching teachers of writing best practices for more than forty-five years.

With the new Graduate Certificate in Publishing Practice, MFA students can graduate with a terminal art degree and a professional certification that can jumpstart their careers in publishing, communications, or editorial fields.

The program’s Visiting Writers Series brings several writers to campus every year for intensive, small-group classroom experiences, public readings, and networking opportunities for MFA students.

Priority application deadline: January 15
Funding deadline: February 15
Final deadline: April 1