Join a community of writers from all walks of life on an immersive and personalized educational journey. Our faculty and mentors have uniquely designed a low-residency, personalized program geared toward helping you discover and reach your full writing potential in fiction, creative nonfiction or poetry.  

An integral part of the program are four, 11-day residencies, in Pittsburgh and Dublin, Ireland, that create an opportunity for you to engage and interface with fellow students, staff, mentors, and visiting renowned writers.

You will work one-on-one with American and Irish Mentors. With their expert guidance and your skill, you will become the writer you were meant to be.

Quick facts

  • Sharpen your writing and storytelling skills in fiction, creative nonfiction, or poetry
  • Learn an immersive and supportive community
  • Travel to Pittsburgh and Ireland for engaging 11-day residencies with internationally-known writers
Group of MFA students sitting around a table discussing ideas
In Grace Library, spanning the third and fourth floor of the University Commons, there are numerous quiet spaces and study rooms for individuals and groups to use.
Credits Required:

36 credits

Cost per credit:


Time to degree:

As few as 5 semesters


On campus, some online

You will work one-on-one with mentors both virtually and in person as you explore writing genres and engage in four, 11-day residencies in Pittsburgh and Dublin, Ireland. The residencies include workshops, masterclasses, and mentor conferences as well as opportunities to engage with visiting writers and alumni.

In a required practicum, you will work on a writing and reading plan and submit work for critique, review, and collaborative feedback. By the end of the program, you will produce a publishable body of work.

Choose the creative writing specialization that is best for you

Choose the creative writing area that best fits your career goals and personal aspirations. Each specialization provides you with the opportunity to hone the writing and storytelling skills for that area.

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Develop your author’s voice and explore your creativity as you learn to write with a fiction focus. Choose from historical fiction, flash fiction, and young adult fiction. 

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Creative Nonfiction

Explore memoirs, personal essays, short narrative work, and lyric essays as you find the voice and structure that best suits your story.

drawing of pen on paper


Understand the theories and treatment skills needed to work with a Explore your creativity, refine your voice, collaborate with other students and work with acclaimed and published poets to develop a publishable body of work.

Testimonials #1
Meet our Alumni
Georgia Hertz


“Writing - like any artform - can be a lonely path to tread, but it doesn't have to be done in isolation. Never have I felt such warmth and compassion from a group of writers as I have from my peers and mentors at Carlow University, both in Pittsburgh and in Dublin. We all delight in our growth as writers and we celebrate each other's successes with love, as if they were our own.”

Phillip Border


“Every member of the poetry, fiction and CNF programs all feel like extended family members to me. They are always checking up on me to see what's new with my writing and to keep up on all of my forthcoming publications."

Testimonials #1

View or download our latest e-newsletter [pdf].

MFA Mentors
Our American and Irish Mentors

Award-winning American and Irish writers mentor students in Carlow’s low-residency MFA in Creative Writing Program with residencies in Pittsburgh and Dublin. Our MFA mentors are dedicated teachers and writers whose work has been recognized in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Within an inclusive, supportive community, our mentors are committed to helping each student achieve their full writing potential.

  • Official transcripts from all degree-granting institutions you have attended
  • Two essays: Self-assessment of your writing ability and a critical response to a substantive piece of literature
  • Authored work (should match chosen specialization): 25 pages of fiction you authored, 25 pages of nonfiction you authored, or 10 poems you authored
  • Current resume or curriculum vitae
  • Two letters of recommendation that address your leadership potential and ability to succeed in graduate-level work


Start terms:

Spring & Summer

If you are interested in this graduate program, our Admissions team is available to help you with the next steps, including scheduling an on-campus visit or attending an upcoming event.

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