Illinois Graduate Creative Writing Programs
Creative Writing Graduate Programs might be a great opportunity to develop your writing through a balance of academic study and practical application. First, you could broaden your literary horizons with rigorous curriculum. Classes might cover subjects like English theory and scholastic criticism.
Second, graduate writing programs could develop your skills and knowledge through workshop courses. This part might provide you with valuable peer feedback to help improve your work.
The Basics of Creative Writing Graduate Programs
Creative Writing graduate programs aim to improve the skills and knowledge students bring to their writing. Of course, writing isn’t limited to one category. Graduate writing courses reflect this by supporting multiple genres in their programs. For instance, you could pursue some of the following areas in your postgraduate studies.
- Young Adult Fiction
- Children’s Fiction
- Creative Nonfiction
- Literary Translation
While students may be focusing on different genres, they may take similar, if not identical, coursework. Your preferred genre mainly effects your personal writing projects and the feedback you receive. Speak with your intended creative writing school for more information about possible concentrations.
Creative Writing Masters Programs
Masters in Creative Writing programs, often called MFA in Creative Writing programs, are a popular option that focuses on writing development and academic instruction. Students in these programs may encounter a holistic education that is equal parts workshops and in-classroom study.
Some schools may also ask creative writing masters students to take part in a residency requirement. This may require students to live and write on campus for an assigned duration. Keeping in mind these core requirements, students could potentially earn a masters degree in creative writing in 1 to
3 years. Program lengths vary by school.
Unlike typical graduate admissions, creative writing masters programs might place equal weight on previous writing experience and undergraduate transcripts. Typically, students are asked to submit samples of their previous work.
Samples could include things like completed novel chapters, poems, or stage plays. Check with your intended university for more information about their admissions guidelines and writing requirements.
MFA Creative Writing Workshops
A large portion of a creative writing masters program is devoted to writing new pieces for workshop classes. These are writing intensive courses where students may be required to submit new drafts of their current writing for peer feedback.
These classes might be a great way to practically apply your writing know-how and also see what your peers are creating. Additionally, writing workshops could provide a welcoming and safe environment for students to give and receive critical feedback on their work.
It’s important to note that creative writing workshops may combine students from different writing genres. These students could provide constructive feedback from their different creative perspective. For example, you might find that students writing creative nonfiction could offer insightful critique on your children’s book.
Workshop requirements may differ by school. For more details, speak with your preferred mfa creative writing program about their workshopping process.
MFA Writing Courses
In addition to practicing writing, creative writing masters programs may help expand students’ understanding of the writing process with core academic courses. For this purpose, many schools offer classes that deal with new perspectives or ways to interpret literature. These courses may challenge writer’s status quo and encourage them to try to experiment with new writing styles or methods.
In addition, creative writing masters programs may require students to take graduate English courses to round out their literary knowledge. Classes could touch on the following topics.
- Literary Adaption
- Cross-genre Writing
- Literary Criticism
- Regional Writing Traditions
Courses offered may vary by institution. Check with prospective masters in writing programs for more details about their course guide.
PhD Creative Writing Programs
Creative Writing PhD Programs are writing intense programs concentrated on taking your work to the next level. Unlike the MFA, PhD Creative Writing Programs may emphasize the workshop experience over other coursework. However, these programs similarly may require students to take part in an on-campus residency.
A great example of this is the creative writing doctoral dissertation. Other doctoral programs typically have students present research for their dissertations. In comparison, creative writing dissertations usually require students to submit long-form works. This could include some of the following.
- Short Stories
While this may be a mandatory assignment, it might also help jumpstart a writing career. These finished pieces could be a great addition to your professional portfolio.
Due to the intensity of the above-mentioned writing requirements, students could potentially complete a Creative Writing PhD program in 3 to 5 years. Program length may vary by school and enrollment.
Creative writing PhD programs may require previous graduate experience, as well as a 3.5 graduate GPA. Additionally, writing schools may ask students to submit samples of their previous work. Check with intended programs for more admissions details.
Creative Writing Graduate Certificate Programs
Graduate Certificate Creative Writing programs might be a great way to quickly build your creative writing skills and knowledge. Many certificate programs only workshop one specific genre. For example, they might focus solely on children’s literature instead of combining students with opposing styles. This may provide a succinct curriculum without requiring unnecessary academic electives.
Additionally, these programs typically do not require a minimum GPA for admissions. This may make it more accessible to a wide array of students so that they can begin to hone their craft before moving on to another graduate program.
While the writing focus may sound like the PhD Creative Writing program, graduate certificates are often shorter. This is because they focus on starting new writing pieces as opposed to completing long-form ones.
Full time students could potentially earn a Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing in 1 year, although program lengths vary. Contact an advisor to learn more.
High vs. Low Residency Writing Programs
Residency requirements are common in many Graduate Creative Writing Programs. Biannually, students may be required to live and work on campus.
This is done to provide a space for students to concentrate on writing, reviewing, and revising their work. During this time, you could be sharing housing with other students from your program. Students are also encouraged to workshop pieces with others in the residency program to further refine the final product.
Typically, graduate writing programs either offer a low or high residency option. Low residency writing programs are shorter and may last around 10 days. High residency writing programs are often lengthier, lasting from 2 to 6 weeks. Residency lengths and details may vary by university.
Graduate Creative Writing Program Formats
Pinpointing Creative Writing Graduate Programs that complement your daily routine could be difficult. But, there are several different program types that could ease your educational transition.
Creative Writing Schools
On campus programs are what you might picture when you imagine the traditional university experience. Graduate creative writing schools provide the opportunity to develop your work alongside your peers and mentors.
Things like workshops and office hours could make seeking out additional assistance to help polish your work easier. Additionally, this might be an opportunity to build professional relationships with classmates. You never know who might be your connection to a literary agent or publishing house.
Online Creative Writing Graduate Programs
Online programs are a great way to stay in your creative writing space while earning your degree. No matter where you’re living, you could attend classes on your own schedule. And, you could still receive valuable feedback from peers and professors via email or online forums.
An online creating writing degree may be a perfect option for students who are working. This way, you could pursue your professional endeavors while honing your craft.
It’s important to note that online programs may require students to take part in residency programs. Typically, these are offered in the low-residency format but could require you try travel to campus or a nearby location.
Hybrid Graduate Programs in Creative Writing
Hybrid Creative Writing programs offer a little taste of both above programs. Depending on your personal schedule, you could choose to pursue one style of learning at any given time. For instance, you could take online courses while working. Or, take on campus courses in between jobs.
This might be great for current freelance writers because of their constantly changing work schedule. Depending on your future responsibilities, you could plan your semesters accordingly.
Find Perfect Graduate Writing Programs
Looking for a way to elevate your writing? You may find inspiration in creative writing graduate programs.
What next? You could start by browsing the list of potential programs on this page. Or, you could narrow your search by selecting your preferred degree program and learning format from the menus on this page.
Then click on any of the sponsored creative writing programs to learn more and contact schools directly. Now you're one step closer to you're graduate creative writing degree!
- 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 p...
- Edwardsville, ILEdwardsville, IL
Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville
- 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 Sc...
- Charleston, ILCharleston, IL
Eastern Illinois University
Staffed exclusively by Ph.D. holding faculty from major universities.
- 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.
- Chicago, IL
- 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...
- Schaumburg, IL
- Carbondale, ILCarbondale, IL
Southern Illinois University - Carbondale
- Chicago, ILChicago, IL
Chicago State University
The art of writing: poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.
- Madison, ILMadison, IL
Fairleigh Dickinson University - College at Florham