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, 2022
Application Fee: 
Contact E-mail: 
Core Faculty Includes: 

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

Funding/Employment Opportunities: 

The program offers partial funding. The program fully funds 75 percent of its students with teaching assistantships that feature two pedagogical courses plus experience in composition, literature, and creative writing instruction. The program also offers limited professional assistantships that support the development of students’ literary citizenship and publishing practice. Most positions offer stipends, full tuition waiver, and paid student health insurance. Additional funds may be available for conducting research abroad or attending writers’ conferences and retreats.

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

Affiliated Publications/Publishers: 

Phoebe; So to Speak, Stillhouse PressPoetry Daily

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: 

The program’s mission is to produce better writers with mastery of literary art and smarter authors with unique insight into the world of publishing. Therefore, the program has developed several ways to engage in literary citizenship and publishing practice, including the recently inaugurated Watershed Lit: Center for Literary Engagement and Publishing Practice, which emerges organically from separate efforts that the Mason Creative Writing Program has spearheaded for nearly four decades: Fall for the Book, Northern Virginia Writing Project, Poetry Daily, Stillhouse Press, and the Cheuse Center for International Writers.

Fall for the Book, an annual festival for over twenty years, has become one of the country’s premier literary events.

—Developed in 1978, the Northern Virginia Writing Project works to improve writing instruction across disciplines in area schools through Summer Institutes for teachers, semester classes taught at the university, professional development programs, and annual Learning Conferences.

The Cheuse Center for International Writers, named after the late Alan Cheuse, a longtime faculty member and acclaimed writer, sends MFA students abroad to research and study, as well as brings international writers to the campus to study and collaborate with students.

The program’s Visiting Writers Series brings twelve writers to campus every year (six each semester) for intense classroom experiences capped at ten students, readings that are open to the public and that offer networking opportunities for MFA students.