Earn your master’s in fiction writing 

You can develop your author’s voice and explore your creativity with an MFA in Creative Writing with a fiction focus. You can write historical fiction, flash fiction and young adult fiction. Experienced, published faculty will guide you on your writing journey in a supportive literary community.

A student gazes out of a window at sunset. The reflection show in the glass behind her.
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

Master’s in fiction writing curriculum 

Carlow’s MFA in fiction program includes four 11-day residencies in Pittsburgh and Dublin, Ireland, that feature workshops, master classes and mentor conferences. 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 and defend a publishable, book-length fiction manuscript. Lectures and readings in all genres are also available.

Quick facts

  • Elevate your work with literary experiences and mentorships
  • Build close connections with faculty and peers
  • Expand your reading horizons and learn to critique fiction
  • Create a publishable body of work
Two students at work on their fiction in a creative writing class.

Career opportunities for fiction writers

Career opportunities for those with creative writing degrees range from writing to social media to working in publishing. The creative thinking skills you will cultivate in this program are highly sought by employers.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for writers and authors is expected to decline 2% over the next 10 years, but many authors leverage their skill sets in freelance capacities, or go on to become postsecondary teachers. The employment rate for postsecondary teachers is expected to increase 9% over the next 10 years.

Admission requirements and application process

  • 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
  • 25 pages of fiction 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

Master’s in fiction writing faculty

Contact Admissions

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.

Minor in Theatre

You can combine your interest in creative arts, humanities and sciences with a minor in Theatre. In this program you will develop your mind, body and imagination with a combination of thinking, doing and creative problem-solving. You can get your hands dirty with everything from building sets to being the star of the show.

Carlow University’s Rosemary Heyl Theatre is a professional space that features programming by the theater program and the University Theatre Group, which is composed of both Carlow students and Pittsburgh community members and has produced shows from William Shakespeare to Tom Stoppard.

Theatre minor curriculum

This minor is open to any major and can be customized to your interests. A minimum of 18 credits is required.

Required courses include:

  • Introduction to Theatre Arts
  • Acting

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