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BFA in Creative Writingon-campus

Create a portfolio you’re proud of

Regardless of your plans for the future, our BFA offers a strong, supportive mentorship program where you’ll create a body of publishable work suitable for use in graduate school applications, future employment opportunities, and as a demonstration of your writing skills.

Your writing studio time will be enriched by a carefully selected peer group, an editorial board of three dedicated faculty members, a studio supervisor, and an outside reviewer. Over the course of the semester, you’ll complete a full-length creative manuscript or professional portfolio.


Personal transformation, creative inspiration

Our program focuses on the growth of your creative ethos as an author. You’ll study the creative process, understanding it on a profound level, while growing your professional skills as a writer.

Our roots in the expansion of personal awareness will help you achieve inner and outer balance, bringing your writing to a compelling new level of depth and expression.

Watch video introducing the BA and BFA in Creative Writing, 10 minutes

Get started by contacting Adriene

Adriene Crimson, admissions counselorAdriene Crimson is this program’s admissions counselor for US students. Adriene will provide you with all the details of becoming a student, including connecting you with the program director or faculty.

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International applicants may connect with us through our international inquiry form.


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Meditate and create

As a student at MIU, you’ll practice the Transcendental Meditation® technique daily.

This evidence-based technique reduces stress, enhances clear thinking, and gets you in touch with the deepest, most authentic part of yourself to help you create in a whole new way.

Courses may include

    In Creative Process, students study their own creative process as well as what artists, writers, and filmmakers have shared about creative inspiration. The purpose of this class is to break boundaries and rediscover an easy relationship with the inner Muse. The primary textbook is The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. The Syllabus Reader contains material by a wide range of authors such as Annie Dillard, Jorge Luis Borges, Eudora Welty, Ann Patchett, Patricia Hampl, William Saroyan, John Ciardi, Frank Conroy, Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe, William Stafford, Rainer Maria Rilke, Lu Chi, Mark Strand, Jane Hirshfield, Billy Collins, Elizabeth Gilbert, plus interviews with great authors by Bill Moyers and material from creativity experts Anne Lamott and Natalie Goldberg. A variety of guest lecturers working in different media will come to the class to discuss their work, career paths, and creative process. Students will keep a daily journal and engage in various creative projects during the course. As a final project, students produce a portfolio and can choose to participate in a group installation/exhibit on creativity. (4 credits) Prerequisite: ART, LIT, or MC major, or permission of instructor
    In this course, you’ll learn how to read and assess a poem and construct your own poetry. We explore the building blocks of craft and technique in poetry — imagery, figurative language, sound devices, rhyme, rhythm, repetition, meter, point of view, and form. Our textbook is Frances Mayes’ The Discovery of Poetry: A Field Guide to Reading and Writing Poems. This course heightens the senses to illuminate the beauty in the most mundane corners of life and uncover the lost poems hiding in the attic of the mind. By the end, you have a collection of poems that you cherish and take with you on your journey forward. Prerequisites: WTG 192 or consent of the instructor.
    Rhetoric concerns itself with both creating and interpreting messages and cultural artifacts, emphasizing the value of understanding both one’s own and others’ perspectives when communicating with others. This survey course will help you improve your communication skills by examining the dynamic relationships between author and audience within their social contexts. We read and discuss articles by prominent thinkers in fields of rhetoric and communications studies, including genre theory, metaphor theory, feminist theory, cultural rhetoric, queer theory, rhetoric of the body, visual rhetoric, ecocriticism, and critical theory. Your final project calls on knowledge in the readings to dig deeper into the challenges and possibilities of human communication. Prerequisites: WTG 192 or consent of the instructor. (4 credits)
    The personal essay celebrates heart and mind, exploring age-old questions about the human experience. Students learn the history of the personal essay, reading examples of personal prose discussion in Oriental and classical Literature, then tracing the origins of the modern essay tradition to the European Renaissance with the work of Michel de Montaigne. Students learn about the range and freedom of this brief “formless form” by acquainting themselves with modern and contemporary masters: Mark Twain, Virginia Woolf, Zora Neale Hurston, Jorge Luis Borges, Flannery O’Connor, Annie Dillard, David Sedaris, Dave Eggers, Amy Tan, Mark Spragg, and more. The class also focuses on experimental, contemporary hybrids, tracing the relationship between the personal essay and flash nonfiction, the lyric essay, the “hermit crab” essay, and prose poetry. Students are encouraged to keep a daily journal in which they record memories, observations, insights, and reflections. Students also create a substantial portfolio of at least three personal essays, learning about prewriting, drafting, and revision in the process. Students are encouraged to find a natural, authentic personal voice, intimate yet not self-indulgent. In the specificity of personal reflection, it is possible to touch upon the universality of human experience. Prerequisites: WTG 192 or consent of the instructor. (4 credits)
    Writing to Publish is an advanced writing course designed to guide experienced writers through the publication process. This class teaches writers how to acutely edit their work, select a market for their work, and the intricate details about what publishers and editors are looking for. Upon completion, students will have submitted several pieces for publication. Prerequisites: WTG 192 or consent of the instructor. (4 credits)
    As a culmination of the BFA in Creative and Professional Writing, every BFA candidate enrolls in four consecutive studio courses, which provide concentrated, advanced level immersion in craft. Students receive in-depth, challenging feedback from faculty and peers as they push a body of work toward completion for an end-of-semester public reading. The workshop format hones the ability to critique the work of self and others and offers the opportunity for rigorous revision. Studio classes promote self-reliance as well as intensive self-discipline. Students are encouraged to reach beyond their boundaries, experiment, and keep an open mind.

    Each Studio block offers master classes diving into the subtle mechanics of technique. Students attend panel discussions where professional poets and writers discuss creative process, the career of the writer, and publication. In the course of four BFA Studios, students develop a 30–60-page portfolio in a genre of choice. Each student works under the guidance of their monthly BFA Studio faculty as well as a board of faculty advisors. Students who want to work in more than one genre need permission from their faculty board. BFA portfolio work should be of publishable quality.

    The aim is to create a body of work that can be submitted as a portfolio for an MFA application or for publication to literary magazines and chapbook competitions. The BFA studio provides the perfect preparation for publication and/or graduate work in creative writing, allowing students to immerse themselves in the professional writing life. Prerequisites: WTG 192, final semester, plus consent of the department chairs and the program director. (16 credits)

Degree requirements

A minimum of 128 credits (semester hours) is required for students to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. This may include up to 90 transfer credits.

Undergraduate degree students can apply transfer credits to cover electives, some general education requirements, and up to half the course work in the major, for a maximum of 90 total credits. General transfer credits are accepted for courses completed with a grade of “C” or higher.

To graduate with a bachelor’s degree, students must satisfy the following general education requirements:

    This course introduces students to three fundamental sources of knowledge that can be used together to evaluate any idea: personal experience, scientific reasoning, and traditional wisdom. On the basis of evidence from all three sources, a new consciousness-based framework is introduced as a new way of viewing the world and addressing its challenges.
    The course will explore the new paradigm in science that the “Physiology is Consciousness.” Current concepts of mind and body will be understood in terms of this new paradigm. This course will present our facts of brain structure and function in light of Maharishi Vedic Science and the discovery of Veda and the Vedic Literature in human physiology done by Tony Nader, MD, PhD. We will examine how our brain constructs reality at every moment and how the experience of unboundedness – the Self of every individual – can transform our physiology and awaken the total creative potential of the brain in enlightenment, which is the birthright of every human being.
    This course gives a deep and non-mathematical understanding of the differences between classical and quantum physics. It explains the meaning and mechanics of unification and symmetry, and the main concepts of unified quantum field theories and superstring theory. It shows that at the basis of the universe lies a completely unified field, a self- interacting entity from which all particles and forces arise through the process of spontaneous symmetry breaking. The course gives students experience and understanding of the interconnectedness between the laws of physics, the universe, and themselves.

Sample a Free Creative Writing Class

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Graduate success

Unlike most undergraduate writing programs, our BFA in Creative Writing has a track record of student publishing success. In fact, 80 percent of our inaugural cohort received publication acceptances from well-respected literary and consumer magazines by graduation.

  • Dylene Cymraes’s poem Writer’s Portrait, Too was included in Volume Five of The American Journal of Poetry
  • James R. Davidson’s poem Lithosphere was published in Oyster River Pages
  • Several students have completed internships and published online and in print with iPhone Life Magazine, a consumer magazine that provides how-to guides as well as reviews of apps and iPhone-related gear:

Cost & Aid, 2024-25

    US On-Campus Undergraduate

    This estimate is based on one year for a typical on-campus Federal Pell Grant recipient (represents 80% of our onsite undergraduates). File your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and then contact our financial aid office for questions on variables.

    Annual Cost and Typical Financial Aid
    Tuition and fees$16,530
    Housing (single room) and meals$7,400
    Grants and Scholarship (typical)-$14,400
    Net cost per year$9,530
    Federal student loans-$9,530
    Your payment$0

    Additional Financial Aid Information

      $2,400 Federal Work Study is available toward your estimated $4,800 out of pocket costs.
      Scholarship from MIU described above consists of the Federal Pell Grant and the Federal Supplemental Education Grant and is based on (1) full-time enrollment and (2) financial need based on expected FAFSA outcome.
      Repayment begins after your enrollment ends. Unique repayment plans are available such as income-based, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, and deferments based on low income or unemployment.

      There are a variety of money-saving tax benefits to assist in reducing the cost of education expenses. More about education tax benefits.
      Veterans should contact the VA for information on Veterans Education Benefits. Veterans eligible for BAH monthly benefits: The VA utilizes a scale of credits per block of courses; therefore, the VA sometimes pays part-time benefits for an individual month while the university delivers full-time federal aid for an entire semester. Our Veterans Certifying Official is our Director of Financial Aid.

    Loan Repayment Options

      Payments are a fixed amount that ensures your loans are paid off within 10 years (within 10 to 30 years for Consolidation Loans).
      Payments may be fixed or graduated and will ensure that your loans are paid off within 25 years.
      Payments are lower at first and then increase, usually every two years, and are for an amount that will ensure your loans are paid off within 10 years (within 10 to 30 years for Consolidation Loans).
      Your monthly payments will be either 10 or 15 percent of discretionary income (depending on when you received your first loans), but never more than you would have paid under the 10-year Standard Repayment Plan.
      Payments are recalculated each year and are based on your updated income, family size, and the total amount of your Direct Loans. Any outstanding balance will be forgiven if you haven’t repaid your loan in full after 25 years.
      Your monthly payment is based on annual income, but your loan will be paid in full within 15 years.

    Tuition, other fees, scholarships, and financial policies are subject to change prior to the entry date. For more information, contact us at finaid@miu.edu for a quick reply — normally one business day — or see more about financial aid.

    International On-Campus Undergraduate

    Annual Cost and Typical Financial Aid
    Tuition and fees$16,530
    Housing (single room) and meals$7,400
    Health insurance (estimate)$1,992
    Personal expenses, books, unexpected needs (estimate)$3,500
    Cost Per Year$29,422

    Full-time students may apply for up to $6,000 scholarship based on qualifying level of documented family income. Our undergraduate scholarship application form will be available upon application to the university.


    Tuition, other fees, scholarships, and financial policies are subject to change prior to the entry date.

Professor Nynke Passi relates one of Emily Dickinson’s poems to the experience of transcending; going deep within consciousness to connect with one’s inner self.

Featured faculty

Leah-Waller

Leah Waller

Leah-Waller

Leah Waller is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing and the director of the BA and BFA in Creative Writing.

Leah’s work has been published in literary journals, magazines, newspapers, and anthologies. Her book Under the Cedar Tree had a soaring debut in Amazon’s top ten bestseller list for poetry and continues to be a popular favorite among reading circles.

Leah received her bachelor’s degree in literature and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Northern Arizona University. At NAU, Leah worked as the Assistant Managing Editor for Thin Air Magazine and an instructor of composition writing.

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