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Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing

The Perfect Blend of Creative, Digital Format Plus Short Residency

Hybrid Format

Poetry, Fiction, Nonfiction Workshops

Optional Third Year, Second Genre Thesis

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Complete the form to learn more about this program.

  • Duration 2 years
  • Cost per Credit $498
  • Credit Hours 60

Program Benefits

  • Guest lectures and panel presentations with authors
  • Hands-on editing and publishing skills
  • Tight MFA cohort for support and inspiration
  • Transfer 15 credits – now accepting applications

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.

Wilderness, Ecology and Community

In the first week of your residency, you will meet with MFA cohorts for the Summer Fishtrap Gathering at Wallowa Lake in northeastern Oregon, which offers a wide range of intensive workshops in poetry, fiction, nonfiction and cross-genre writing. You will have opportunities to hear faculty and guest readings, attend open mics, listen to craft talks and enjoy panel presentations. The following week includes related coursework on EOU’s main campus. The goals of this generative, collaborative experience are to work with established professional writers and become inspired by the community.

An additional option exists for those who would prefer their classroom in the nearby Eagle Cap Wilderness. During the weeklong workshops at Wallowa Lake, a group of students and faculty will backpack to a wilderness base camp, where they will live in the elements while engaged in generative writing workshops focused on ecological topics.

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

Career Outlook

By earning your MFA online with Eastern Oregon University, you’ll become qualified for a variety of careers that involve creative expression, such as roles like author and editor. Research by the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual salary for authors and writers was $67,120 in 2019.1 The Bureau also reports that the median annual salary for editors that same year was $63,400.2

In addition to these roles, your online MFA will also prepare you for a variety of teaching positions, which are always in demand. In fact, the number of available teaching careers is expected to grow four percent by 2029.3

Discover the professional opportunities that await you as a graduate of the online MFA program, and embark on the pathway to career success with EOU Online.

Explore Careers

Program Outcomes

  • 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

Admission Requirements

  • Online Application and fee
  • Creative portfolio
  • Official transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal essay
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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

Tuition Details

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
EOU: $8,964; Average Competitor: $11,934

Per Term: Based on 18 credits. Costs for average competitors are estimations of state schools found on public university websites.

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.

Visit our FAQ page


  1. Writers and Authors. Apr. 9, 2021. Retrieved May 17, 2021, from
  2. Editors. Apr. 9, 2021. Retrieved May 17, 2021, from
  3. High School Teachers. Apr. 9, 2021. Retrieved May 17, 2021, from