Illinois On Campus Masters in Creative Writing Programs
An on campus masters in creative writing program might be a great way to sharpen your creative tools and receive feedback to elevate your writing. Potentially smaller class sizes means you could have the chance to work alongside fellow authors. Together, you might strengthen your writing abilities through writing intensive workshops and literature based academics. This balanced process could be a great way to enhance your literary techniques to better write, review, and revise your work. Additionally, professors could provide industry insights that may prove key to your future writing endeavors. This could be the push you need to get your ideas on to the page!
On Campus Masters in Creative Writing: Curriculum
On campus creative writing masters programs may be a great way to practically apply and grow your writing techniques. But, the term “creative writing” includes many different forms. For example, students could pursue some of the following styles while earning their degree.
- Young Adult Fiction
- Children’s Fiction
- Creative Nonfiction
- Literary Translation
Program concentrations may vary by institution. No matter which style you prefer to write, program curriculum will comprise of both writing workshops and academic studies. This balance of practical application and coursework is designed to create a well rounded education to potentially push your writing to the next level.
Creative Writing Workshops
Writing workshops are an important part of most on campus creative writing programs. Students are required to submit current drafts of their writing projects for review and critique. This might be a great way to receive valuable criticism for your work. Peers and professors read each piece and could provide targeted feedback for you to improve upon in the next draft.
But, critique isn’t
reserved for the classroom. Since you’re taking your courses on campus, you could go to professors’ office hours for additional feedback. Or, you might start a writing group with your classmates. Your campus could become a one stop shop for your writing needs!
Also, workshops might be a great place to begin your professional network of other writers. Finding a literary agent, publishing job, or future career might be difficult after graduation. Your classmates could provide vital information about potential leads. Or, you might even find a writing partner after reading your classmate’s work.
In addition to the workshop experience, students may also study theory surrounding their art form while earning their on campus masters in creative writing degree. In this case, coursework could touch some of the following subjects.
- Literary Adaption
- Cross-genre Writing
- Thematic Literature Criticism
- Regional Writing Traditions
Courses may differ by university. Learning about the concepts behind different styles and best practices might be a great way to expand your writing knowledge. Not to mention you could be exposed to new authors and genres who influence your work. Depending on your chosen degree, these courses may be offered as part of the required curriculum or as an elective.
Choosing a Creative Writing Masters Degree: MFA vs. MA
Schools that have a creative writing masters program typically offer them as a master of fine arts (MFA) or a master of arts (MA). While both may be available, MFAs are generally more common. MFAs tend to focus on the practical application of writing. Students may be involved in more workshop courses in these programs. MAs differ in that they split writing intensive coursework with academics to create a holistic curriculum. In addition to your creative courses, you may also study topics typically reserved for English graduate programs. This could include classes in literary theory and scholastic critique. The MFA and MA do share a common point, though. Each of these degrees intend to help students elevate their craft to confidently pursue creative writing after graduation.
MFA Writing Programs Class Size
Both the MA and MFA in creative writing offer an intimate working environment for students to hone their craft. While class sizes vary by school, many departments accept only 4 to 6 applicants per year. This might be an ideal makeup for students constantly submitting pieces to be workshopped. Since this is a smaller setting, you could become more familiar with your classmates work and vice versa. You may find they easily pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses after a time.
Additionally, the smaller class size might help professors become more aware of each student’s body of work. As industry professionals, they could provide insightful feedback and offer lessons from their own experiences.
On Campus Residency
MFA creative writing programs typically require students to be on campus for a residency. This part of the program is designed to help writers focus more intently on their work. To do this, students are usually asked to live on campus with other students in their year. During this time, you may not have to take additional classes. Instead, you could devote your time to writing. This may be a great chance to work on your graduation piece. Typically, a creative writing masters thesis is work created by the student in their preferred style. Residencies could provide you the time necessary to complete these larger endeavors.
Residencies are typically offered in both low and high formats. Low residency programs are often shorter, frequently lasting around 10 days. These shorter stays are generally offered once a semester. This may be a great option for working professionals because it is easier to fit into their working schedule.
In comparison, high residency programs typically last 2 to 6 weeks. These writing intensives are a great way for students to dig deep into their work. As an on-campus student, you might find that a high residency program is the better choice for your studies. Since you’re already attending the university, living there for a short period of time might be an easy jump.
Potential On Campus Creative Writing MFA Length
Creative writing masters programs may run longer than other graduate programs. This is due in part to the above-mentioned curriculum, which may take a longer time to complete. Additionally, residency requirements may also extend your graduation timeline. Keeping this in mind, students could potentially earn a MFA in creative writing in 1 to 3 years. Program length may vary by institution.
On Campus Creative Writing Masters Admissions
Typically, masters program admissions emphasize your undergraduate GPA and GRE scores. However unlike other concentrations, creative writing masters programs balance your past academic performance with your creative abilities. As part of the application process, schools may request students to submit samples of their previous work. This could include manuscripts, short stories, poems, or plays. Schools require these examples to see if students are a good fit for their program. For example, a children’s lit author might be less suited for a creative nonfiction concentration!
Find an On Campus Masters in Creative Writing Program
With this information, you’re ready to grab your books and pursue a masters in creative writing on campus! To continue your search, browse the list of potential schools on this page. For more information about a degree, click its associated link. While there, select “request info” to receive more information about admissions deadlines, curriculum, and residencies from your intended university. Good luck finding a perfect creative writing MFA school.
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
Northwestern University School of Continuing Studies
Northwestern University School of Professional Studies offers two graduate degrees in creative writing: the MA and MFA.
- Normal, ILNormal, IL
Illinois State University
The graduate faculty in English includes nationally recognized professors in a wide range of fields. Master's degree students are placed in doctoral programs throughout the nation.
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
School of The Art Institute Of Chicago
Recognized as an innovator in the arts since its inception more than 100 years ago, and internationally esteemed as a school of art and design, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago offers a comprehensive college education centered in the visual an...
- Edwardsville, ILEdwardsville, IL
Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
Chicago State University
The art of writing: poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.
- Charleston, ILCharleston, IL
Eastern Illinois University
Staffed exclusively by Ph.D. holding faculty from major universities.
- Carbondale, ILCarbondale, IL
Southern Illinois University - Carbondale
- Schaumburg, ILSchaumburg, IL
The Roosevelt MFA in Creative Writing strives to provide its students with the best in creative teaching provided by instructors with strong credentia...