The Columbia University MFA Writing Program is highly regarded for its rigorous approach to literary instruction and for its faculty of acclaimed writers and editors who are devoted and dedicated teachers. The faculty, the students, and the curriculum represent and foster a full range of artistic and literary diversity. Students are encouraged to make the most of their own artistic instincts and to realize as fully as possible, beyond any perceived limitations, their potential as writers.

The Columbia MFA is a two-year program requiring 60 credits of coursework to complete the degree and can take up to three years to complete the thesis. Students concentrate in fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction, and also have the option of pursuing a joint course of study in writing and literary translation. Most MFA programs require 48 credits or as few as 36 credits, but the Columbia Writing Program considers the study of literature from the practitioner's point of view—reading as a writer—essential to a writer's education. Every semester, students take a workshop and, on average, three craft-oriented seminars and/or lectures designed to illuminate, inform, clarify, augment and inspire each student’s experience and practice as a writer.  New seminars, lectures and master classes are created every year.

flux by jinwoo chong

Jinwoo Chong '21

school for good mothers by jessamine chan

Jessamine Chan '12

butts a backstory by heather radke

Heather Radke '19

palm-line potience by basie allen

Basie Allen '19

penguin book of modern tibetan essays

Tenzin Dickie ’14

shane mccrae memoir

Shane McCrae
Professor, Poetry

Fall 2025 Admissions Deadline*

Information & Q&A Sessions*