Writing, MFA

Master of Fine Arts

University of Nebraska at Omaha

  • Course Delivery
    Blended
  • Total Credits
    60
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit
    $500.00
  • Out of State Tuition Per Credit
    $500.00

Earn your degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha

Get the same diploma as on campus students

The Writing, MFA program is designed for individuals with a passion for storytelling. It was created to give students an opportunity to expand their writing in a fully supported online environment.

Why students choose this program:   

  • To learn who they are as a writer, artist and collaborator as they push boundaries to discover and learn about new avenues of their art.
  • To gain an opportunity to focus on individual projects in the students preferred genre, with a plan of study to support these projects.
  • To join a tight-knit community of dedicated writers where relationships last long beyond graduation.
  • To access all genres of creative writing through the short residency requirement.
  • To maximize previously earned graduate-level coursework through the Pathways program.

The flexible structure, guided readings and critical response focus in the following areas:   

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

More about the mentorship:

Each semester a student is paired with a mentor, who is selected not only for their literary and teaching accomplishments but also for their approach to teaching and their style of writing. Mentors are working artists who bring real-world experience to the learning environment. It is truly a collaborative environment where the mentor pushes the students critical writing and reading skills through one-on-one discussion, questions and imagination.

More about the residency requirement:

The residency combines craft and theory where students attend lectures, workshops and readings of original work, all under one roof. The residency is designed to inspire a continued commitment to the art and refuel enthusiasm with the solitary writing time during the semester ahead. Students are introduced to a variety of artistic concepts and practical writing techniques in a mixture of literary activities. Students are encouraged to explore event offerings and network with mentors in all genres.

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

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


Charlene Donaghy
Playwriting Mentor

Charlene Donaghy’s plays have been produced in New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, New Orleans, St. Louis, Pittsburg, Memphis and in other cities around the United States with recognition in Great Britain and Canada. Donaghy is Festival Director of Warner International Playwrights Festival, Producing Director of Tennessee Williams Theater Festival and Producer of the Association of Theatre in Higher Education's Award of Excellence in Playwriting. Donaghy is also founding member of Boston’s Proscenium Playwrights.

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

Three Pathways are available to obtaining the MFA in Writing degree, including the traditional low-residency model and opportunities to transfer credit or take classes offered online or on campus by any University of Nebraska campus as part of the degree.  

  • Pathway 1 Traditional Low Residency MFA in Writing. Currently enrolled and new students are automatically enrolled in this pathway, unless otherwise approved.  
  • Pathway 2 Partial Substitution of Credit Hours Already Earned. If you have successfully completed graduate-level coursework at UNO or any accredited institution, you can reduce costs by requesting that up to 18 hours of previously earned credit be applied to the UNO MFA in Writing degree. Subject to approval.   
  • Pathway 3 Partial Substitution of Credit Hours Earned Through Additional Coursework. You have the option to enroll in a limited number of approved courses offered on campus or online by any University of Nebraska campus and have those credits substituted for required MFA degree credit hours. Subject to approval.   

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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