An extraordinary opportunity to learn the craft of writing from the inside out.

Some people are naturally gifted writers and storytellers. But no matter how great one’s innate abilities, every writer must hone their skills to take their writing to the highest level to achieve success. The University of Missouri–St. Louis offers a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing to help you do just that. In fact, our MFA graduates have published books in fiction and poetry, won prestigious awards and placed poems, stories and essays in hundreds of esteemed literary journals.

To apply to the MFA in Creative Writing program you must have earned an undergraduate degree and provide an appropriate writing sample: 10-15 poems if applying in poetry or 20-30 pages of prose if applying in fiction (roughly two stories or novel chapters). The curriculum includes 15 hours of workshop classes, 12 of which must be taken in your genre (poetry or fiction). Additional coursework includes Form and Theory (writing craft seminar), Literary Journal Editing (reading and evaluating submissions for Boulevard magazine) and an MFA thesis.


Program type:

Graduate, MFA


On-Campus, 100% Evenings

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Why get a master's in creative writing from UMSL?

UMSL’s MFA in Creative Writing is a 39-credit-hour program designed as a terminal degree to allow a select group of student writers the extraordinary opportunity to learn the craft of writing from the inside out. The methods of instruction are simple but effective: writing workshops in fiction and poetry, as well as seminar classes on the craft of writing and assistant editorial work in conjunction with the internationally-renowned literary magazine Boulevard.

Graduate Writers Association

The Graduate Writers Association at UMSL is a student run organization focused on supporting graduate student writers by sponsoring a range of events, including writing retreats, informational seminars and visits by nationally-known writers and poets.

Outcomes and Career Outlook

The MFA in Creative Writing is designed to provide specialized knowledge, skills and training in a flexible format, with classes available in-person, online and in a hybrid format. You’ll learn from highly qualified educators who hold terminal degrees from some of the world’s most prestigious academic institutions. The University of Missouri–St. Louis provides the knowledge, resources, tools, skills and support students need to be successful in a wide variety of jobs in today's interdisciplinary landscape.

Employment of writers and authors is projected to grow up to 4% to 2032, with a median annual salary of greater than $73,150, according to wage and employment data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and


Median annual salary


Employment growth by 2032

Career Opportunities

  • Author
  • Communications Director
  • Content Manager
  • Copywriter/Editor
  • Journalist
  • Marketing/Social Media Manager
  • Professor
  • Survey Analyst
  • Technical Writer


Plan of study

All majors must meet the general education requirements of the university in addition to completing degree-specific curriculum requirements.

Review Full Degree Requirements Download Program Requirements

Non-Missouri Residents: Prospective students are responsible for reviewing the UMSL state authorizations page to see if this program is offered in their state throughout their program and to review the licensure or certification requirements for the state in which they reside.

Student Organizations - Make new friends and learn new skills by joining one of our Recognized Student Organizations

Career Services – Students have access to professional career counselors who can assist in everything from resume development and interview preparation to lining up an internship or connecting you with your next fulltime career. UMSL alumni also enjoy high quality, lifelong career management programming, services, events and resources to assist in all phases of career development.

Networking – with the largest alumni network in the region, UMSL graduate students have access to leading professionals engaged in business, research, entrepreneurship, non-profit, government, community organizations. Our academic units engage this network in curriculum development to ensure our graduate students gain the skills needed to advance along their choose career path.

Research – There are many opportunities for graduate students to showcase their research including our annual Graduate Research Fair, which is open to students from all graduate programs. Doctoral and thesis master’s students can also compete in the Three Minute Thesis challenge to be evaluated by a panel of judges for a chance to win cash prizes.