Writing, MFA

Masters of Fine Arts Degree in Writing

University of Nebraska at Omaha

  • Blended
  • 60
    Credits
  • $514.00
    In-State
  • $514.00
    Out-of-State

Program Overview

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in Writing 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 student's 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 maximize previously earned graduate-level coursework through the Pathways program.

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

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

Faculty 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 student's critical writing and reading skills through one-on-one discussion, questions and imagination.

Short, Conference-Style Residencies: The retreats, located at the stunning Lied Lodge & Conference Center in Nebraska City, NE, combine 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

Admissions and Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. A Bachelor's degree

  2. 2.5 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. Statement of Purpose: A one- to two-page single-spaced self-assessment of your background in writing, reasons for wanting to enter the MFA program, and your goals as a writer. For fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and young adult include any other experience you have in the wider community of literature (e.g. organizing or participating in workshops, attending conferences, working for literary magazines, etc.). For playwriting and screenwriting, include any specific experience as it pertains to screenwriting or to full-length plays, one-act plays, and ten-minute plays, as well as any experience in other areas of film or theatre.

  5. 2 letters of recommendation

    Two letters of recommendation from persons who can attest to your ability to complete a course of graduate study, the ability to work independently, and/or the quality of your prior literary achievements

  6. Official transcripts from all previous schools

  7. Submit a creative writing sample. Requirements of the creative writing sample depend on the focus area (Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, Poetry, Young Adult or Playwriting/Screenwriting)

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:

  1. Complete and submit the online application for admissions
  2. Pay the $50 non-refundable application fee

Courses You’ll Take

Course Information

Three Pathways are available to obtain 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 8710Graduating Residency Session0
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 of their thesis. A graduating ceremony will cap their activities during this session. Prerequisite: Permission of Program Director. Not open to nondegree students.
MFAW 8840Nonfiction Seminar12
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. Prerequisite: Admission to the MFA in Writing program. Not open to nondegree students.
MFAW 8820Poetry Seminar12
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. Prerequisite: Admission to the MFA in Writing program. Not open to nondegree students.
MFAW 8830Fiction Seminar12
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. Prerequisite: Admission to the MFA in Writing program. Not open to nondegree students.
MFAW 8700Residency Session3
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. Prerequisite: Admission to MFA in Writing program. Not open to nondegree students.
MFAW 8850Playwriting and Screenwriting Seminar12
An individualized seminar in playwriting or screenwriting. Taken 4 times, the seminar offers practical instruction in playwriting/screenwriting and criticism. Using distance technologies, students and instructors work through independent projects designed to sharpen the student's writing. Each student will compose both original scripts and critical analyses of scripts by other playwrights or screenwriters preparatory to submitting at minimum a full-length script, a one-act script, and a ten-minute script by the final semester. Prerequisite: Acceptance into the MFA in Writing Program and permission of the MFA Program Coordinator. Not open to non-degree graduate students.

Tuition & Fees

Nebraska Residents

Per Credit Hour

Tuition
$514.00
Fees
$53.75
Total
$567.75

3 Credit Hours

Tuition
$1542.00
Fees
$161.25
Total
$1703.25

Out of State Residents

Per Credit Hour

Tuition
$514.00
Fees
$53.75
Total
$567.75

3 Credit Hours

Tuition
$1542.00
Fees
$161.25
Total
$1703.25
Amy Hassinger
Fiction & Creative Nonfiction Mentor

Amy Hassinger is the author of three novels and her books have been translated into five languages. She has earned awards from Creative Nonfiction magazine, Publisher’s Weekly and the Illinois Arts Council. Her fiction, nonfiction and poetry have appeared in many publications, including Creative Nonfiction, The Writer’s Chronicle and The Los Angeles Review of Books.

Application Deadlines
  • Winter Residency & Spring SemesterNov 01
  • Summer Residency & Fall SemesterJun 01