The Writing Program
Columbia MFA in Writing - Overview
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.
At the core of the curriculum is the writing workshop. All workshops are small (7 to 12 students), ensuring that all students present work at least three times per semester. Students receive substantial written responses to their work from their professors and classmates; they also have regularly scheduled one-on-one conferences with faculty. The second-year thesis workshops (6 to 9 students) are dedicated to shaping each student’s work into book form.
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.
Current student Antoinette Bumekpor at TEDx Columbia University
Alumna Gnaomi Siemens '18 Awarded Poetry Society of New York Micro-Residency
Alumna Gnaomi Siemens '18 was awarded The Poetry Society of New York Micro-Residency at The New York Public Library, presented in partnership with the Poetry Society of New York.read more
Alumna Carlie Hoffman '16 Announces Debut Poetry Collection, 'This Alaska"'
Alumna Carlie Hoffman ‘16 had her first collection of poems,This Alaska, picked up by Four Way Books, forthcoming in 2021.read more
Three Faculty Members Named 2019-2020 Cullman Center Fellows
Writing professors Susan Bernofsky, Ben Marcus, and current adjunct Mitchell S. Jackson have all been named 2019-2020 Cullman Center Fellows by The New York Public Library’s Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers.read more
Professor Deborah Paredez Awarded Humanities War & Peace Initiative Grant for Forthcoming Collection 'Year of the Dog'
Associate Professor Deborah Paredez was recently awarded a Humanities War & Peace Initiative Grant from Columbia's Division of the Humanities in the Arts and Sciences for her forthcoming poetry book, Year of the Dog.read more
Alumna Xuan Juliana Wang '11 Releases Debut, 'Home Remedies1
Home Remedies, the debut collection from alumna Xuan Juliana Wang '11, is set for release May 14.read more
Alumna Mandy Berman '15 to Release Second Novel 'The Learning Curve'
The Learning Curve by Mandy Berman ‘15 is set for release through Random House on May 28. The book is available for preorder now.read more