Low-Residency MFA program at Carlow

Earn Your MFA and Have an Inspiring Experience Abroad

Not your typical study abroad program. This international academic experience is offered only to students earning their Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Creative Writing.

In this low-residency MFA program, you'll refine and explore your writing through concentrations in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction under the guidance of award-winning American and Irish mentors. You'll find your voice as a writer, develop skills for publication and a professional career in writing, and enjoy an enriching international experience that fits into your busy lifestyle.

The Master of Fine Arts degree program is offered in a low-residency format, with the bulk of your apprenticeship experience happening remotely as you work with renowned writer faculty, collaborating via postal mail and email from any location you choose. You'll also complete four 11-day intensive creative writing workshops (residencies) - two of which involve residency in Dublin, Ireland, and two of which are completed on the Carlow University campus in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Learn more about what you'll learn in the MFA program, or request more information today.

"'Home, where you first sang whatever it is you first sang. What welcome means, this you first learned at home…' This quote comes from Rick Moody's latest book (I got to hear him read aloud!!!) and it came to mind when I hugged my mom at the airport. That reading was just one of the unforgettable experiences of many I had over these past two weeks at Carlow. I have left inspired, challenged, and armed to write. Thank you to new friends new mentors, a new community. Now, time to write!" -- Stephanie Bedford


MFA in Creative Writing - Residency Experience

Each residency in this program involves seminars, lectures, and readings given by visiting writers and guest speakers from the publishing and writing communities. These events will fill your schedule in the afternoons and early evenings. And, while some events are open to the public, workshops and seminars are for MFA students only. At the end of each residency, you'll work with your mentor to design an individualized five-month writing and reading schedule that will help guide your progress in the MFA program.


Dublin, Ireland, Residency

Trinity College Dublin (June 4th-17th 2019)

Studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland, means studying in the home of some of the world's best-known writers: James Joyce, William Trevor, John McGahern, Edna O'Brien, Colm Toibin, Roddy Doyle, and Anne Enright. You'll experience the inspiration of Dublin's rich literary history and intellectual traditions while working with Ireland's current generation of acclaimed writers.

Students in the 2018 June MFA residency studied at Trinity College Dublin - where great writers such as Oscar Wilde, Johnathan Swift, and Samuel Beckett also studied. For more information, visit the City of Dublin's website.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Residency

Carlow University (January Term)

During your residencies at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, you'll be studying in a hub of literary talent and activity. Pittsburgh is home to literary greats such as Pulitzer Prize winner Annie Dillard; Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon; and two-time Pulitzer nominee and National Book Critics Circle Award winner Jack Gilbert.

Join your cohort in a city that is full of publishing professionals, institutions, and writers exploring their craft and organizing literary events. Take the next step and further your education at Carlow University. Apply for free online.

MFA in Creative Writing Program Fees

Ireland Residency Fees (Subject to Change)

Total fees for the Dublin, Ireland, residency are TBD -- the fee includes room, board, and student traveler health insurance.

Program fees include:

  • Housing
  • Residency curricula
  • Meals (All breakfasts, lunches, and most dinners)
  • Excursions

Extra fees:

  • Airfare
  • Some dinners
  • Personal expenses

Pittsburgh Residency Fees (Subject to Change)

Residency fees for the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, residency are TBD.

Graduate Student Financial Aid

Graduate students enrolled in at least half time (3-5 credits) in this program may be eligible for Federal Stafford loans. (Full-time status is 6 credits or more.)

Learn more about your graduate financial aid options, or contact our financial aid office directly. We can be reached at 412.578.6389 or by email at finaid@carlow.edu.