Online Master’s In Creative Writing

A master's in creative writing can lead to new and exciting career opportunities. Here, we list the top online creative writing programs.

Updated September 7, 2022

Reviewed by ACO Rankings Team
Online Master’s In Creative Writing is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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A creative writing degree prepares learners to communicate clearly, effectively, and creatively. Students in creative writing programs strengthen their writing, editing, and collaboration skills. Graduates with an online creative writing degree work as published authors, content writers, and editors.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), writers earn a median annual salary of $63,200. Most writing jobs require a bachelor's degree in English, journalism, or communication. Although the BLS projects a 2% decline in creative writing jobs between 2019 and 2029, writers can distinguish themselves by maintaining cutting-edge skills.

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Featured Creative Writing Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

Creative Writing Frequently Asked Questions by Students

How do I start a career in creative writing?

Creative writers launch their careers by writing and publishing. Many employers offering entry-level creative writing degree jobs request writing samples.

Is a master's degree in creative writing worth it?

A master's degree in creative writing appeals most to writers who want to gain more advanced writing and editing skills. Master's degree-holders may also qualify to teach creative writing.

What kind of jobs can I get with a creative writing degree?

Because effective communication is an essential skill in the workplace, creative writers work in many professions. The most common creative writing jobs include content writer, author, and copywriter.

Do creative writers make good money?

Salaries for creative writing jobs vary depending on job type and location. For example, successful Hollywood screenwriters generally earn more than corporate copywriters.

Why Get a Degree in Creative Writing?

Companies, nonprofits, and other organizations value creative thinkers. A creative writing degree allows students to master important communication skills. Enrollees also learn how to put those skills into practice in the workplace. Learners who pursue a master's degree in creative writing may qualify to teach other writers in a K-12 or university setting.

Many schools offer online creative writing degrees. These programs offer students maximum flexibility for shaping their education according to their individual needs. Online degrees often cost less than in-person programs. Students in an online creative writing program also benefit from accelerated course options.

How Much Does a Creative Writing Degree Cost?

Costs for creative writing degrees vary by school type and location. Public universities charge less for tuition than private colleges, but both types require students to pay technology, activity, and other fees. Many schools host online or low-residency creative writing programs. These programs often cost less than traditional programs.

Some public colleges extend in-state tuition to all online students. Applicants should check with each school under consideration about the tuition cost for online programs. Online creative writing programs reduce programmatic operating costs, so learners generally pay less as a result. The flexibility of online instruction enables some students to work while attending school.

Students in online creative writing programs need a working computer and access to a reliable internet connection. Creative writing programs do not charge lab fees.

Break down your current financial situation, and receive a college tuition estimate you can afford to pay.

How Much Do Creative Writing Majors Make?

Creative writers work in both corporate and nonprofit settings as copywriters, editors, and content marketers. Graduates with a degree in creative writing also teach, publish creative works, and serve as speechwriters for executives. Writers earn around $63,000 per year, according to the BLS. However, salaries vary depending on writers' role and location.

For example, writers who work in the performing arts and spectator sports typically earn higher salaries than other writers. Technical writers who possess scientific knowledge and skills also earn more on average. Writers who want to work in the nonprofit sector may seek certification from the American Grant Writers' Association.

As creative thinkers who adapt easily to workplace changes, writers often advance quickly in the corporate sector. Individuals who start their careers as copywriters may transition into positions such as creative director or content strategist.

Courses in Creative Writing

Creative writing programs feature courses that prepare students to communicate effectively across genres and media. Enrollees learn how to write and edit written works. They also collaborate with other writers on larger projects.

A typical creative writing program hosts genre-based courses and workshops on fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and screenwriting. Students may also take specialized courses on topics like contemporary world literature, professional writing, and the publishing industry.

Most creative writing students complete a thesis to graduate. This project serves as the culmination of a student's learning experience. The project involves writing a longer creative work in one of several genres. The list below highlights five sample courses from creative writing programs.

Scholarships for Creative Writing

Creative writing students may qualify for many scholarships and writing awards. These opportunities help learners pay for tuition and fees. State and federal financial aid programs provide degree-seekers with other options for funding their education. See below for scholarships available for creative writing students at all levels.

Scholarships for Creative Writing
Scholarship Amount Who Can Apply

Mary Shelley Scholarship

$2,500 The Horror Writers Association sponsors an annual scholarship for creative writing students interested in the horror genre. Applicants must submit an online application form and an education plan outlining their educational and career goals.

Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship

Varies The Poetry Foundation sponsors this annual award for poets between the ages of 21 and 31 to pursue further education. Application requirements include an online form, a personal statement, and 10 poems.

NYFWA Scholarship

Varies The New York Financial Writers' Association sponsors annual awards for undergraduate and graduate students interested in business writing. Applicants must submit a personal essay, writing samples, and a current resume.

Online Master's in Creative Writing Programs 2021


The University of Texas at El Paso

School Information
Location El Paso, Texas
Admission Rate 100%
Graduation Rate 37%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 40% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

A great option for distance learners, The University of Texas at El Paso offers an online master of fine arts in creative writing. The institution reports that 7,813 students take online classes. 

The program's accredited curriculum ensures that students receive a rigorous education employers value. The degree's advanced training prepares graduates for creative writing careers. Enrollees enjoy a student-to-faculty ratio of 20-to-1, which gives them one-on-one time with faculty. Prospective students can learn more about online support services at the college's website. 

The school offers affordable tuition rates and financial aid opportunities. This helps graduate students afford the master's degree with less debt. Degree candidates can expect a graduation rate of 37% for this program.

The University of Texas at El Paso Numbers:

Total Online Enrollment: 10,039

Number of Online Master’s Programs: 14

Graduate Tuition: $5,497 per year in-state, $14,766 per year out-of-state

Average Amount of Aid Awarded: $8,946

Average Net Price: $8,414

The University of Texas at El Paso has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting agency.

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University of Arkansas at Monticello

School Information
Location Monticello, Arkansas
Graduation Rate 29%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

University of Arkansas at Monticello delivers undergraduate and graduate programs in various fields. The school delivers four master's programs online, including an MFA in creative writing.

Students can pursue this degree in a flexible online format. Learners currently employed in the field can pursue promotions or raises after earning their master's degree. Learners can access support services including faculty mentorship, academic advising, and career counseling.

The school's affordable tuition rates make graduate studies more accessible. Students at the accredited institution can receive federal financial aid. Private scholarships and institutional fellowships can also help enrollees fund their master's studies.

University of Arkansas at Monticello Fast Facts:

Average Cost Per Credit: Unavailable

Students Receiving Aid: 90%

Students Receiving Loans: 46%

Total Master's Programs: 7

Total Online Master's Programs: 7

Transfer Credits Accepted: No

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Bay Path University

School Information
Location Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Admission Rate 72%
Graduation Rate 54%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 62% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Bay Path University delivers high-quality online programs for distance learners. The private institution delivers 31 online programs, including eight master's programs. Graduate degree-seekers can enroll in the MFA in creative nonfiction writing program. With flexible enrollment options, the online program appeals to busy students and working professionals.

In addition to core coursework, learners complete advanced classes in nonfiction writing. Master's students can participate in experiential learning opportunities to apply skills and knowledge from program coursework. Master's degree-seekers typically graduate in 1-2 years, unless enrolled part time. For specific application details, including requirements and deadlines, prospective learners can contact an admissions advisor.

Students pursuing their master's degree online benefit from the school's affordable tuition rates and can apply for institutional funding. Degree candidates pay an average tuition of $14,670. Enrollees with financial need can submit the FAFSA to apply for federal grants, loans, and work-study programs. The school reports that 95% of its student body receives financial aid to fund their education.

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