Tuition, Fees and Other Costs

Tuition and Fees

Institutional costs directly associated with Western's Graduate Program in Creative Writing include tuition, fees and housing. Students should also budget for travel, meals, textbook purchases and other expenses.

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.

Program cost per term:

First Year

  • First Summer Intensive, 3 credits: $2,100. With Writing the Rockies 2-credit option (CRWR 698, recommended), 5 credits: $3,500.* 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 Year

  • Second Summer Intensive, 3 credits: $2,100
  • Fall, 12 credits: $8,400
  • Spring, 12 credits: $8,400

Third Summer

  • Third Summer Intensive, 6 credits: $4,200

Third Year (only for MFA students pursuing a second concentration)

  • Third Summer Intensive, 6 credits: $4,200
  • Fall, 12 credits: $8,400
  • Spring, 12 credits: $8,400

Fourth Summer (only for MFA students pursuing a second concentration

  • Fourth Summer Intensive, 6 credits: $4,200

Maintaining Matriculation to Complete the MFA Thesis

According to the Western Graduate Catalog, "Students have a maximum of five years for completion of a Master's degree from initial enrollment as a graduate degree seeking student." Further, "to maintain active status, graduate students must register in at least one graduate corse per academic year." Because some MFA students may not be able to complete their theses by the end of their formal coursework in the program, the GPCW allows students to maintain matriculation and work with their thesis advisers by maintaining matriculation up to the five-year maximum. This is accomplished by enrolling in a two-credit version of CRWR 692, "Independent Study," a variable credit course, each fall and spring semester until the student completes the thesis. Students who do not enroll in this course do not receive instruction on the thesis, lose their active status and must complete a Graduate Application for Readmission form and submit it to the GPCW and the office of Graduate Studies. The cost of CRWR 692 is $700/credit ($1,400/semester for a two-credit course), which gives the student access to Western email and to MyWestern, along with instruction from the thesis adviser.

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. The cost of printing and binding the thesis is covered by student library fees included in tuition. 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 per extra bound copy. Theses with extensive color images may incur an additional cost. 

Writing the Rockies fee

All students pay a fee of $100 each summer as part of attending writing the Rockies. This fee includes registration for all activities, including one three-day workshop or seminar. Those attending the conference for credit must also pay this fee in addition to tuition.

Total tuition cost of MFA program (including Writing the Rockies Credit first-summer option and Writing the Rockies registration fees; excluding textbooks, extra thesis copies, and summer residency costs of room, meals, and transportation -- see below): $43,700

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 $700 per credit hour.

Program cost per term:

  • First Summer Intensive, 3 credits: $2,100. With Writing the Rockies Credit option (recommended)*, 5 credits: $3,500
  • Fall, 12 credits: $8,400
  • Spring, 12 credits: $8,400
  • Second summer Intensive, 3 credits: $2,100

Writing the Rockies fee

All students pay a fee of $100 each summer as part of attending writing the Rockies.  This fee includes registration for all activities, including one three-day workshop or seminar. Those attending the conference for credit must also pay this fee in addition to tuition.

Total tuition cost of program (including Writing the Rockies Credit option and Writing the Rockies registration fees; excluding textbooks and summer residency costs of room, meals, and transportation -- see below): $22,600

* 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 of CRWR 698 for participation in our conference Writing the Rockies ($700/credit hour) for a total of 5 credits ($3,500). CRWR 698 is a rostered course with required writing in response to your work at the conference.

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.

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

Writing the Rockies fee

All students pay a fee of $100 each summer as part of attending writing the Rockies. This fee includes registration for all activities, including one three-day workshop or seminar. Those attending the conference for credit must also pay this fee in addition to tuition.

Total tuition cost of program (excluding textbooks and summer residency costs of room, meals, and transportation -- see below): $6,500

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 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.

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

Summer Intensives in Genre Fiction, Poetry, Screenwriting and Publishing are open to non-matriculated students depending on availability each year, and at the discretion of the instructor and concentration director. There is no auditing option for summer intensives; all students must either be admitted to the program or hold formal non-matriculated status.

In most years, the summer intensives available include CRWR 631, “Scansion Immersion,” taught by GPCW Program Director David J. Rothman, CRWR 632, "Public Performance for Poets," taught by Andrew Sellon, and CRWR 661, "Film History and Analysis," aka "Screenwriting Bootcamp," taught by Screenwriting Concentration Director JS Mayank.

Courses meet 1:00-4:00 pm for eight days in the second half of July (2018: M-F, July 10-14 and M-W, July 17-19).

Participation in a Summer Intensive includes all classes, readings, workshops, lectures and other special events throughout the entire summer program. Please note: tuition 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. General registration for Writing the Rockies is $300 for all attendees. Scholarships are available.

All students must make arrangements for lodging during the summer. Please contact Lisa Swarts, GPCW Office Support Coordinator, at 970-943-2163 or lswarts@western.edu to fill out the GPCW housing reservation form if you plan to stay on campus. Students may stay off-campus, but please let us know your plans as soon as possible. To learn more about off-campus accommodations, visit the Gunnison Chamber of Commerce.

Extended Studies Credit Options for the Writing the Rockies Conference

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. Public school teachers can earn Professional Development in a number of ways. Please note that this credit does not apply to degree completion in any program of the GPCW, and cannot be retroactively upgraded for credit towards any such degree.

Undergraduate Credit. Undergraduates can earn degree-seeking credit of 1 to 3 credits in English 397: Special Topics / Writing the Rockies. Additional fees apply beyond the Writing the Rockies General Registration fee. Western assigns these credits as upper division electives and will record them on transcripts, but students enrolled in other institutions are responsible for determining whether their home institutions accept these credits.

Graduate Credit. Students with an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution can earn from 1 to 3 non-degree graduate-level credit in ENG 510, which is run through the Western Summer Teacher Institute, administered by Western's Extended Studies Office. Additional fees apply beyond the Writing the Rockies General Registration. Western will record the courses on transcripts, but students are responsible for determining whether their home institutions accept these credits. Cost: $125/credit. You can see the syllabus for ENG 510 here.

Public School Teachers. Certified public school teachers can earn professional development credits and make progress towards recertification in a number of ways at Writing the Rockies.

ENG 510 Credit for Recertification and Professional Development. A teacher may take ENG 510 for either 1, 2 or 3 credits and then submit transcripted graduate credit to the Colorado Department of Education with the application for recertification. Cost: $125/credit. You can see the syllabus for ENG 510 here.

Certificate of Completion for Professional Development Credit within a District. Subject to district approval, a teacher seeking professional development credit within a school district may submit evidence of having attended Professional Development hours at Writing the Rockies. Western provides a Writing the Rockies Certificate of Completion that verifies the number of hours a teacher has spent in sessions. Teachers seeking Professional Development Credit must verify on their own that their district will accept Writing the Rockies for such credit. Western will then issue the Certificate after the conclusion of the conference. There is no additional work required to earn the Certificate, and there are no additional fees beyond standard fees for participation in Writing the Rockies.

For more information on all of these options contact Western's Extended Studies Program at or 1-800-876-5309 , ext. 7, or ExtendedStudies@western.edu. The instructor of record for all credit-bearing courses at Writing the Rockies and all Certificates of Completion for Professional Development is Conference Coordinator Mark Todd, who can be reached at 970-943-2016 or mtodd@western.edu.

Auditing

The Graduate Program in Creative Writing does not currently open courses to auditors.

Other Costs

Summer On-Campus Housing

Summer residency requires on-site attendance for 15 consecutive days (with reception and check-in on the initial Sunday, a total of fifteen nights). All students must make arrangements for lodging during the summer. Rooms in standard Western residence halls are available. Standard rates in suites with roommates are $620. If students want to occupy a suite without roommates, higher rates apply. Please contact Lisa Swarts, GPCW Office Support Coordinator, at 970-943-2163 or lswarts@western.edu to fill out the GPCW housing reservation form if you plan to stay on campus. Students may stay off-campus, but please let us know your plans as soon as possible. To learn more about off-campus accommodations, visit the Gunnison Chamber of Commerce.

Textbooks

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.

Graduate Program in Creative Writing, Application Information