Writing MFA Degree & Concentrations

Our workshops, master classes, seminars, and lectures are created for writers by writers who discuss student work and examine literature from a practitioner's perspective, not that of a scholar or theorist. We draw fully on the cultural resources of Columbia University—its faculty, libraries, archives, scholarly centers, diverse students, and wealth of facilities. The other Programs of the School of the Arts—Film, Theatre, and Visual Arts—enrich the Program's programs. The 28 departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences offer courses that provide incomparable opportunities for a developing writer. In addition, the Program offers its students the chance to edit, manage, and publish their own magazine, Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art.

We also draw fully on the cultural resources of New York City. As the publishing and arts center of the country, New York provides writers with opportunities and experiences not available elsewhere. Editors, publishers, agents, and other literary professionals participate in our classes, panels, and informal discussions. Current students serve as interns at magazines such as The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and Parnassus, and at literary presses and organizations such as Archipelago Press, PEN, Poets & Writers, and the various poetry organization listed under Poetry.  We also offer our students opportunities to work as research assistants to writers who also serve as mentors, such as Alan Burdick, William Finnegan, Tim Weiner and Brenda Wineapple.