How Long Does Creative Writing School Take?

For those who are truly passionate about the written word, a career as a creative writer is definitely a dream job. Nothing could be more fulfilling than putting ideas and imagination into words and weaving a bestselling novel out of it. Aside from the opportunity to tell stories, many creative writers get to do the work they love at their own schedules.

With all these perks, it’s no wonder why those with a penchant for storytelling want to break into what can be considered as one of the more competitive and demanding careers today. Not all aspiring creative writers really make it big in this profession and those who don’t have the tenacity to hold on to their dream of creating their first bestseller eventually look for more stable occupations.

If you’re thinking of pursuing a creative writing career fulltime in spite of the challenges that you are bound to face in the future, you increase your chances of success by going to creative writing school. There are associate’s degree programs and bachelor’s degree programs in creative writing offered in colleges and universities around the country.

Associate’s degrees typically take a couple of years to complete while bachelor’s degrees take four years to finish. It should be noted that in addition to the more focused creative writing degree, some writers also decide to obtain a bachelor’s degree in English since it is also a good preparation for this career. At Carnegie Mellon University, the bachelor of arts in creative writing program helps students to write fiction, poetry, nonfiction, poetry and other genres.

Many schools offer creative writing as a postgraduate degree. Students who already have bachelor’s degrees in other fields or hold a bachelor’s degree in creative writing will typically just have to complete anywhere from two to two-and-a-half years of study to get their master’s degree. The American University in Washington, D.C., has a master of fine arts (MFA) in creative writing program which can be completed in two years.

Since this 48-credit hour program, which requires a thesis for graduation, can be quite demanding, many opt to complete the program in five to six semesters. Meanwhile, Emerson College also offers an MFA in creative writing. The school allows the student to finish the requirements to get a degree in seven years. Cornell University also has a postgraduate creative writing program.

The MFA in creative writing program takes two years to complete while the joint MFA/PhD degree can be finished in five years. Students who are accepted into these programs receive full funding.

Creative writing programs do not only offer instruction to their students but allow them to get first-hand experience through internships and other work opportunities in publishing houses, foundations, magazines and others. The experience and knowledge that students can get in these exposures will enrich their skills so that they are able to come up with a rich and compelling manuscript for their final thesis in postgraduate school.

Career Spotlight: Creative Writer

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