Costs and Financial Aid

Master in Fine Arts in Creative Writing

Full-time enrollment in the MFA extends over 25 months, spanning three summer residencies and four tutorial non-residency terms between those summers (fall-spring-fall-spring). Students may also attend half-time or take a leave-of-absence if necessary.

The cost per credit hour for graduate courses is $700. The cost of recommended credits for Writing the Rockies in the first Summer Intensive is $125 per credit hour.

Program cost per term:

First Year

  • First Summer Intensive, 3 credits: $2100. With Writing the Rockies 2-credit option (recommended), 5 credits: $2,350.* Please note: the first Summer Intensive requires a separate FAFSA application because it falls in the previous year's financial aid cycle. The subsequent summers are part of the fall-spring-summer cycle for aid awards.
  • Fall, 12 credits: $8,400
  • Spring, 12 credits: $8,400
  • Second Summer Intensive, 3 credits: $2,100

Second Year

  • Fall, 12 credits: $8,400
  • Spring, 12 credits: $8,400
  • Third Summer Intensive, 6 credits: $4,200 (plus $50 for thesis binding)

Thesis Binding Costs

Two bound copies of each thesis are added to the Leslie J. Savage Library, one to the University Archives and the second to the library’s circulating collection. Each student pays $50 ($25/copy) to cover the cost of printing and binding their thesis.  For theses with extensive color images, an additional cost may be charged.  Students who wish to have the library print and bind a personal copy may contact the library director to arrange this.  The cost is $25 for a bound personal copy.

Total tuition cost of MFA program (including Writing the Rockies Credit option; excluding textbooks, extra thesis copies, and summer residency costs of room, meals, and transportation): $42,300

Master of Arts in Creative Writing

Full-time enrollment in the MA extends over 13 months, spanning two summer residencies and the two tutorial non-residency terms between those summers (fall-spring). Students may also attend at half-time enrollment, but this option doubles the length of time required to complete the tutorial portion of the program. Students may also take a leave of absence.

The cost per credit hour for graduate courses is $700. The cost of recommended credits for Writing the Rockies in the first Summer Intensive is $125 per credit hour.

Program cost per term:

  • First Summer Intensive, 3 credits: $2,100. With Writing the Rockies Credit option (recommended)*, 5 credits: $2,350
  • Fall, 12 credits: $8,400
  • Spring, 12 credits: $8,400
  • Second summer Intensive, 3 credits: $2,100

Total tuition cost of program (including Writing the Rockies Credit option; excluding textbooks and summer residency costs of room, meals, and transportation -- see below): $21,250

* Federal financial aid regulations for the first Summer Intensive require a minimum of 4.5 credits for students to qualify for loans. All students register for 3 credits ($2,100). Those who wish to apply for aid may also register for 2 additional, recommended credits for participation in our conference Writing the Rockies ($125 per credit hour) for a total of 5 credits ($2,350). We encourage students to sign up for Writing the Rockies in either event, as this conference better prepares students for what is to come in the program and in their careers in the writing world.

Certificate in Publishing

Full-time enrollment in the Certificate in Publishing extends over 13 months, spanning two summer residencies and the two tutorial non-residency terms between those summers (fall-spring). Students may also attend at half-time enrollment, but this option doubles the length of time required to complete the tutorial portion of the program. Students may also take a leave of absence.

The cost for Certificate courses is $350 per credit hour. The cost of recommended credits for Writing the Rockies in the first Summer Intensive is $125 per credit hour.

Program cost per term:

  • First Summer Intensive, 3 credits: $1,050
  • Fall, 6 credits: $2,100
  • Spring, 6 credits: $2,100
  • Second Summer Intensive, 3 credits: $1,050

Total tuition cost of program (excluding textbooks and summer residency costs of room, meals, and transportation -- see below): $6,300

Note that the Certificate in Publishing is NOT eligible for federal financial aid loans, as it does not lead to an MA or terminal degree.

Non-Matriculated Enrollment

Non-matriculated students may take up to 9 credits in the MA or MFA program before formally matriculating. Such courses will be transcripted at the 600 level, but please note that completion of the courses does NOT in in any way imply matriculation into the program, which requires full admissions review. Costs per credit are identical with costs for matriculated students, $700 per credit hour.

Note that non-matriculated courses are NOT eligible for federal financial aid loans, as the work is not formally tied to an MA or terminal degree.

Non-Matriculated Enrollment in Summer Intensives

There are three categories of non-matriculated enrollment in Summer Intensives available to the public:

1) Students who have been admitted through our admissions process to non-matriculated status (see above) and who wish to attend a Summer Intensive pay the same amount per credit as matriculated MA/MFA students and receive transcripted 600-level graduate credit. These credits are transferrable to degree-earning status if students matriculate into the program at a later date.

2) Students who have completed an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution and who wish to attend a Summer Intensive can earn 2 credits of 500-level graduate non-degree-seeking credit. Admission is at the discretion of the instructor and the program director, and is subject to availability. Cost: $650.

3) Students who wish to attend a Summer Intensive without earning any credit may also register at the discretion of the instructor and the program director. The program has offered this option to a wide range of participants, from advanced high school students to members of our local community and visitors who are passionate about writing but not interested in pursuing a degree or graduate credit. Cost: $400.

Participation in a Summer Intensive includes not only classes, but also readings, workshops, lectures and other special events. It does not include housing, meals, travel and any other events that require extra fees. Summer Intensive registration also does not include registration for Writing the Rockies, our national conference that begins on the final day of the Summer Intensive and runs through the weekend (July 22 - 25, 2015).

Non-Matriculated Credit Options for the Conference "Writing the Rockies"

Undergraduate and graduate students who are not enrolled in Western's Graduate Program in Creative Writing may apply to earn credit at for attendance at "Writing the Rockies" through Western's Division of Extended Studies. Undergraduates can earn degree-seeking credit. Students with an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution can earn one non-degree graduate-level credit in “ENG 510,” which is run through the Western Teachers Institute, administered by Western's Extended Studies Office.. Additional fees apply. For more information contact Western's Extended Studies Program at or 1-800-876-5309 , ext. 7, or ExtendedStudies@western.edu.

Auditing

The Graduate Program in Creative Writing does not currently offer any option to audit courses.

Scholarships

MFA Poetry Scholarship: The Poetry Concentration is currently offering one $10,000/yr. scholarship for a new full-time student who enrolls in fall 2015. The scholarship is for two years, at the same amount each year. We are tremendously grateful to the Kenney Brothers Foundation and the Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation for this support.  Click here for the MFA Poetry Scholarship Application and information.

Financial Aid

For students in good standing who wish to apply for financial aid, Federal Stafford loans are available for up to $20,500 for each year of attendance. Students must complete the FAFSA application each year with the Student Financial Services office to determine eligibility.

Graduate students are NOT eligible for the Colorado Opportunity Fund (COF).

Students who wish to attend part-time, or who need to take a reduced course load for a semester, may do so, as long as they enroll in a minimum of 4.5 credit hours for any semester of attendance.

For more information, visit Financial Aid Information.

Textbook Costs

Textbook costs vary from year to year and by concentration. However, the cost of required textbooks and other resources ranges from $100 to $350 for each year of the program.

Summer On-Campus Housing Costs

Summer residency requires on-site attendance for twelve consecutive days (with reception and check-in, a total of thirteen nights). Rooms in standard Western residence halls are available. The rate for a one-bedroom campus apartment with kitchenette is $80 per night on average, plus a one-time, $10 linen fee.

Graduate Program in Creative Writing, Application Information