Writing, MFA

Master of Fine Arts

University of Nebraska at Omaha

  • Course Delivery
  • Total Credits
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit
  • Out of State Tuition Per Credit

Earn your degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha

Get the same diploma as on campus students

The blended Writing, MFA program is designed for individuals with a passion for storytelling. It was created for those who are committed to a literary career. Students enjoy the flexible structure of writing, guided readings and critical response.

The program comprises four 16-week online seminars and five 10-day long conference-style residency sessions.

Students choose from the following majors:

  • Fiction 
  • Poetry 
  • Creative Nonfiction  
  • Young Adult
  • Playwriting
  • Screenwriting

Faculty members are not only chosen for their literary and teaching accomplishments, but also their approach to teaching and their craft of writing. Faculty take a personal interest in each student with whom they are paired for a semester tutorial study and pour their talent and energy into coaching them for success in their writing careers. Many of our mentors publish and teach in multiple genres, including Adult and Young Adult Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Screenwriting and Playwriting.

In addition to being paired with a faculty mentor, students participate in five 10-day conference-style residency sessions. The residency is designed to inspire your continued commitment to your art and refuel your enthusiasm for the solitary writing time during the semester ahead. You will be introduced to a variety of artistic concepts and practical writing techniques in a mixture of literary activities. We encourage you to explore event offerings in all genres.

Students are given an option to complete the program according to three different pathways.

  • Pathway 1: Traditional MFA in Writing. The low-residency option requires that a student enrolls in a total of 15 credit hours each semester for four semesters, comprising of the residency session and appropriate seminar based on the track. A fifth graduating residency session culminates the student's program.   
  • Pathway 2: Partial Substitution of Credit Hours Already Earned. A student who has successfully completed graduate-level coursework at either a University of Nebraska campus or another institution may request that a limited amount of credits be applied to the MFA degree. Inquire for more specific information.  
  • Pathway 3: Partial Substitution of Credit Hours Earned through additional coursework. Students have the option to enroll in a limited number of approved non-degree courses offered by any University of Nebraska campus and have those credits substituted for required MFA degree credit hours. Approval must be obtained from the MFA in Writing office and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Inquire for additional information.  

Students are paired with a mentor and join a tight-knit community, setting the tone for a warm professional relationship that will last long beyond graduation.

More information about the residency requirement:

The residency combines craft and theory where students attend lectures, manuscript workshops and readings of original work. Students receive three credit hours for the residency experience. Residency symposia participants have the opportunity to work with faculty mentors and make choices regarding their preferences for the coming semester. 

The residencies are held at Nebraska City's Lied Lodge & Conference Center, a stunning facility in a serene and peaceful setting. 

Each residency will include a combination of instructional activities and co-curricular events, including:

  • Lectures and craft discussions conducted by faculty and guest writers 
  • Small team-taught workshops 
  • Readings of original work by faculty, guest writers and graduating students 
  • Individual conferences with faculty mentors  

Tonya Kuper
Fiction Mentor

Tonya Kuper is the author of Anomoly (2014) and Enigma (2017), a young adult science fiction duology, published by Entangled Teen/Macmillan. Anomoly has sold over 17,000 copies worldwide.

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. A bachelor's degree

  2. 2.50 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale

  3. Taken the TOEFL or IELTS

    (Only required if English is not your native language)

  4. A written personal statement

    Self-assessment of your background in writing, reasons for wanting to enter the MFA program, and your goals as a writer

  5. 3 letters of recommendation

  6. Official transcripts from all previous schools

NOTE: This program is authorized, exempt, or not subject to state regulatory compliance and may enroll students from all 50 states

To apply to this program:

  • Complete and submit the online application for admissions
  • Pay the $45 non-refundable application fee
Apply Now

Application Deadlines

Winter Residency & Spring Semester
November 15
Summer Residency & Fall Semester
June 15

Core Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
MFAW 8700Residency Session3

Course Number: MFAW 8700

A ten-day colloquium presenting lectures, classes, workshops, readings and individual conferences with seminar faculty. Taken 4 times, the Residency Session ends one seminar session and begins the next. The session affords students intensive contact with faculty and peers before returning to their writing projects. Prereq: Admission to MFA in Writing program. Not open to nondegree students.

MFAW 8710Graduating Residency Session0

Course Number: MFAW 8710

The Graduation Residency Session is the final residency for MFA students who have successfully completed their seminars and creative thesis. In the ten days of this residency, students will give a graduating lecture, "mentor" new students in their first residency, and give a reading from their thesis. A graduating ceremony will cap their activities during this session. Prereq: Permission of Program Director. Not open to nondegree students.

MFAW 8820Poetry Seminar12

Course Number: MFAW 8820

An individualized course in poetry writing. Taken four times, the seminar offers practical instruction in writing and criticism. Students will compose both original poetry and critical analyses of poetry. Prereq: Admission to the MFA in Writing program. Not open to nondegree students.

MFAW 8830Fiction Seminar12

Course Number: MFAW 8830

An individualized course in fiction writing. Taken four times, the seminar offers practical instruction in writing and criticism. Students will compose both original fiction and critical analyses of fiction. Prereq: Admission to the MFA in Writing program. Not open to nondegree students.

MFAW 8840Nonfiction Seminar12

Course Number: MFAW 8840

An individualized course in nonfiction writing. Taken four times, the seminar offers practical instruction in writing and criticism. Students will compose both original nonfiction and critical analyses of nonfiction. Prereq: Admission to the MFA in Writing program. Not open to nondegree students.

MFAW 8850Playwriting Seminar12

Course Number: MFAW 8850

An individualized seminar in playwriting. Taken 4 times, the seminar offers practical instruction in playwriting and criticism. Using distance technologies, student and instructor work through independent projects designed to sharpen the student's writing and staging skills. Each student will compose both original scripts and critical analyses of plays by other playwrights preparatory to submitting at minimum a full-length playscript, a one-act playscript and a ten-minute playscript by the final semester. Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Acceptance into the MFA in Writing Program and permission of the MFA program director. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

Cost for Nebraska Residents

  • Per Credit Hour

  • Tuition: $500.00
  • Fees: $52.25
  • Total: $552.25
  • 3 Credit Hours

  • Tuition: $1500.00
  • Fees: $156.75
  • Total: $1656.75

Cost for Out of State Residents

  • Per Credit Hour

  • Tuition: $500.00
  • Fees: $52.25
  • Total: $552.25
  • 3 Credit Hours

  • Tuition: $1500.00
  • Fees: $156.75
  • Total: $1656.75

Questions about tuition? We can help.

What's it like to take a program online?

  • Quality learning experience

    The University of Nebraska has offered distance education courses for more than 100 years so you can expect a quality, rigorous experience. Online courses are often highly interactive with faculty and students communicating through e-mail, discussion forums and chat groups. You’ll have direct access to world-class faculty – researchers who are experts in their fields or practitioners with real-world experience. Also, you’ll be part of a community of learners and can benefit from the perspectives of students from across the globe.

  • Flexibility

    Online learning gives you the flexibility and freedom to attend your classes wherever is convenient to you. You can save time and money by being able to continue to work and by avoiding relocation or travel costs. You will be required to complete assignments in a certain timeframe, but in most instances, you can log in and complete coursework during the time of day that works best for you. You aren’t tied to a specific class time.

  • Service you expect from a leading University

    Online learners at the University of Nebraska have access to the same student services available to on-campus students. An academic adviser will guide you along your journey, library services are available to help you excel in your program and career services are available when you are ready to take your next step. These are just a few of the services in place to help you succeed.

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