The Perfect Blend of Creative, Digital Format Plus Short Residency
Poetry, Fiction, Nonfiction Workshops
Optional Third Year, Second Genre Thesis
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Low residency MFA Creative Writing degree
Inspired by nature, serenity and likeminded wordsmiths, you’ll create characters and storylines alongside an intimate, collaborative group.
Though this degree is conveniently online with engaging coursework in a variety of writing genres, you’ll bathe in the afterglow of the immersive, two-week residency each summer where you’ll gain editing/publishing knowledge from expert published faculty and guest readers. You’ll attend open mics, writing workshops, and enjoy panel presentations. An ecological backpack experience will inspire your writing. Share work with other deep thinkers and receive honest feedback.
Emerge with deepened writing and analytical skills, and knowledge to enter high-level writing, editing, and teaching roles. Stand out with your MFA, fully prepared to enter a post-secondary education career.
About the Low-Residency MFA Specialization
EOU’s two-week summer residency is unique because of the opportunities it provides to MFA cohorts. The residency is required for two summers.
MFA Creative Writing Curriculum
MFA students will complete 30 credit hours each year. First-year curriculum is tailored to writing workshops while you complete courses in literature and film, writing and rhetoric and variable special topics.
Your second year will focus on the completion of coursework and your thesis. The required practicum gets you involved in your home community writing and/or teaching as you work to complete your thesis. An optional third year could be spent writing a second thesis in a second genre.View Courses
What It’s Like to Study Online
Earning your MFA degree online at Eastern Oregon University is a great opportunity because there is only a two-week summer residential requirement. You will have access to the same professors, content and opportunities as on-campus students, only in a creative digital format. Our faculty work on campus and are professionals and experts who are trained to deliver innovative, engaging online education.Online Experience
We feature affordable tuition, especially when compared to similar universities. The total cost of your program (assuming no transfer credits) is just under $30,000. The cost per credit hour for EOU online graduate courses is $498.
About 92 percent of online students benefit from financial aid and scholarships to cover part of these costs.View Tuition Details
Per Term: Based on 18 credits. Costs for average competitors are estimations of state schools found on public university websites.
- Develop a diverse, creative skill set in writing
- Provide meaningful, hands-on learning opportunities
- Connect you to the Pacific Northwest’s rich tradition of writers and thinkers
- Complete literary practica
- Prepare to teach literature and writing, if desired
- Participate in your cohort and community
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that in 2018, the median annual salary for writers was $62,170.¹ A closely related field is editing; editors made a median annual salary of $59,480.² Salaries for writers and editors vary by medium and genre.
If your goal is to teach writing in high school, the BLS gives a median annual salary of $60,320.³ Postsecondary educators made a median annual salary of $78,470.⁴ EOU’s MFA will prepare you with real-world experience that sets you apart from the competition.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions about this program.
Additional fees for the summer residencies would include travel, room and board while in attendance at Fishtrap and on EOU’s campus, and these would be dependent on an individual’s choice of options.
The Visiting Writers Series is a series of talks and lectures from established authors, up to a dozen per year. Recent author presentations include Carl Adamshick, “Curses”; Sandra Alcosser, “A Fish to Feed All Hunger”; Sherman Alexie, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian”; Christopher Buckley, “Thank You for Smoking”; Kerry Cohen, “Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity”; Jon Davis, “Preliminary Report”; Matthew Dickman, “Amigos”; Anthony Doerr, “About Grace”; Danielle Deulen, “Lovely Asunder”; Debra Earling, “Perma Red”; Scott Elliott, “Temple Grove: a Novel”; Molly Gloss, “The Jump-Off Creek”; Garrett Hongo, “Volcano: A Memoir of Hawai’i”; Marie Howe, “Magdalene”; Thomas Kennedy, “Copenhagen Quartet”; Keetje Kuipers, “Beautiful in the Mouth”; William Kittredge, “Hole in the Sky”; Melissa Kwasny, “The Nine Senses” and more.
There are opportunities in the MFA program to work with our award-winning literary magazines, “Basalt” and “Oregon East,” as well as with our affiliated presses, Lynx House Press and Lost Horse Press.
Although each year brings different authors to the MFA and its residencies, in the past we have worked with the late Ursula K. LeGuin, Luís Urrea, David James Duncan, William Kittredge and Cheryl Strayed to name a few.
The online program is designed for maximum flexibility and may be taken full-time if you feel you have the time to do so successfully. Full-time means you’ll take 3-4 classes every 11 weeks.
To see the curriculum, view our courses page.
Our most recent virtual open house was held on February 10, 2021. Feel free to watch the most recent virtual open house, and stay tuned for the next live event.
¹Writers and Authors. Sept. 4, 2019. Retrieved Sept. 19, 2019, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/writers-and-authors.htm
²Editors. Sept. 4, 2019. Retrieved Sept. 19, 2019, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/editors.htm
³High School Teachers. Sept. 4, 2019. Retrieved Sept. 19, 2019, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/high-school-teachers.htm
⁴Postsecondary Teachers. Sept. 4, 2019. Retrieved Sept. 19, 2019, from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm