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School of Adult and Graduate Education
Blaney Hall 105

About the MFA

Learn why this program is best suited to the goals and needs of writers.

Genres: Poetry, fiction, nonfiction, travel writing, or a dual-genre
Residencies: Three 15-day residencies, which each take place in the summer at a different European locale
Distance learning: Fall and spring semester learning—between the residencies—takes place in the student’s own home
Total credit hours: 48 total credits

Methods of Instruction

During three 15-day summer residencies, students participate in workshops, seminars, field experiences, and face-to-face classroom instruction from faculty. From September through May, students work individually with a faculty member in continual online communication, creating and submitting work and receiving feedback from their faculty mentor.

Primary Program Goals

During this program, you will:

  1. Prepare for individual residencies through research and reading
  2. Complete a variety of creative works and critical essays throughout the year
  3. Attend three residencies, immersing yourself in locale and culture as they relate to writing
  4. Produce a final book-length creative thesis, along with a critical essay on your genre’s craft

What Sets Us Apart

Convenient low-residency requirements. This MFA program provides three residencies, all of which take place in Europe during the first two weeks of July. Throughout the rest of the year, no on-campus coursework is required. You participate in writing mentorships on your own time, in your own home.

The first pan-European program. This Creative Writing MFA program is the first graduate-level writer’s program offered by an American college that includes residencies that take place exclusively in Europe.

Award-winning, internationally acclaimed faculty-writers. Our faculty consists of highly acclaimed and published writers of poetry, nonfiction, fiction, screenplays, radio plays, oratorios, libretti, and collaborative projects. All are dedicated to mentoring students throughout the MFA program, providing valuable insight and instruction.

Local settings, artistic awareness. Like most MFA programs in creative writing, the curriculum of this program will be craft-based, with genre-specific writing workshops and craft seminars comprising the residencies. A unique feature of this program, however, will be its focus on creative writing as it relates to a sense of place. Residencies are specifically designed to inform and inspire writing through a study of the society, history, arts—in short, the culture—of each respective locale.

Our Mission

The Cedar Crest College Low-Residency, Pan-European MFA in Creative Writing combines European cultural studies with master’s level coursework in creative writing of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, or travel writing, provided by award-winning faculty-writers. The program enables students to earn their MFA by guiding them toward the completion of a publishable-level work.

The Cedar Crest College MFA in Creative Writing is designed to assist you in the following:

  1. Producing publishable-quality work in one or more genres of writing
  2. Enhancing your creative writing skills to tell stories more dramatically, to craft images more aesthetically
  3. Preparing you for a successful career in a writing-related field
  4. Broadening your global and cultural awareness
  5. Improving your ability to reflect on, evaluate, and refine your work and the work of others, resulting in a finished product of better quality and clarity
  6. Participating in an interdisciplinary learning experience in the liberal arts by combining writing with the study of history, culture, literature, and other arts
  7. Gaining the experience necessary to pursue competitive grants in one or more genres of creative writing

Program Timeframe

For students who start at a summer residency, the MFA program can be completed in a little over two years:

  • Year One: The program begins with an initial 15-day summer residency in Europe—in Dublin, Barcelona, or Vienna—followed by two consecutive semesters of distance mentorship (Sept.-Dec. and Feb.-May.). The locale of the European residency will rotate each year, allowing each student to experience all three locales during the course of study.
  • Year Two: Year two also begins with a 15-day summer residency in Europe, followed by two more semesters of distance mentorship. The program ends in the third summer with a 15-day graduating residency and the presentation of both a creative thesis and a critical essay.

For students who begin with a fall or spring semester distance mentorship, the program can be completed within three years:

  • Year One: The program begins with one or two semesters of distance mentorship (Sept.-Dec. and Feb.-May.) that culminates with a 15-day summer residency in Europe—in Dublin, Barcelona, or Vienna.
  • Year Two: The second year includes two more semesters of distance learning followed by a 15-day summer residency in Europe. The locale of the European residency will rotate each year, allowing each student to experience all three locales during the course of study.
  • Year Three: Year three includes work on the creative thesis and critical essay (and, for students who began in a spring term, one semester of distance mentorship) that are then presented at the graduating 15-day summer residency.