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2023 Most Affordable Master's in Creative Writing Online

By the OnlineU team | Updated 11/16/2022
2023 Most Affordable Online Degrees Badge

An online master's degree in creative writing is designed for established career professionals and aspiring writers who want to develop their writing skills. Most creative writing programs at the master's level cover American literature, poetry, professional writing, and creative writing. Common courses include Fiction Writing, Nonfiction, and Creative Writing. Prospective students can expect to complete a thesis alongside a capstone project or comprehensive exam before graduation. With a graduate degree in writing, alumni can enter careers as content writers, editorial assistants, and authors.

View our methodology for details about rankings or learn more about us. You can also check out our overall list of the most affordable online degrees for some inspiration. You may also want to explore similar online graduate programs: English, journalism, and fine arts.

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All tuition numbers were manually collected and verified
Rank School Locations Annual Tuition
# 1 #1 North Central College Naperville (IL) $986
# 2 #2 Eastern Illinois University Charleston (IL) $6,753
# 3 #3 Mississippi University for Women Columbus (MS) $7,866
# 4 #4 University of Arkansas at Monticello Monticello (AR) (and 1 other) $8,490
# 5 #5 The University of Texas at El Paso El Paso (TX) $9,200
# 6 #6 University of Nebraska at Kearney Kearney (NE) $9,702
# 7 #7 University of Louisiana - Monroe Monroe (LA) $9,900
# 8 #8 Tiffin University Tiffin (OH) $11,600
# 9 #9 University of North Alabama Florence (AL) $12,000
# 10 #10 University of New Orleans New Orleans (LA) $12,008
#1
#1

North Central College

Naperville (IL)
Annual Tuition: $986
Annual Tuition: $986
Annual Tuition: $986

North Central College (North Central) is a private, nonprofit institution offering an online Master of Arts in Professional and Creative Writing, which totals 30 credit hours. It can take two years to complete. North Central's acceptance rate is 53%, and it has a 69% graduation rate.

North Central facilitates asynchronous online learning on the learning management system (LMS) Blackboard. A professional writing curriculum provides students with the fundamentals to develop their creative skills in a range of fields. For example, some sample coursework includes Grant Writing, Professional Writing and New Media, and Fiction Writing. Students must also complete a thesis before graduation. Potential careers include editors, journalists, and travel bloggers.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Average SATs: 1030 -1260
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 0
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 91
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#2
#2

Eastern Illinois University

Charleston (IL)
Annual Tuition: $6,753
Annual Tuition: $6,753
Annual Tuition: $6,753

Eastern Illinois University (EIU) is a public institution that offers an online Master of Arts in English - Creative Writing requiring 33 credit hours. If students maintain a full-time schedule, they can finish in about two years. EIU accepts 56% of applicants, and 61% of students graduate.

At EIU, online students work on the LMS D2L Brightspace, which delivers coursework in asynchronous and synchronous formats. The creative writing program is designed for teachers and writers who want to develop their written communication skills. Sample core classes include Intro to Creative Writing, Advanced Poetry, and Intermediate Dramatic Writing. Students must also take seminars and complete a capstone course. Graduates may pursue careers ranging from freelance writers and social media specialists to English teachers.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
  • Average SATs: 940 -1130
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 562
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 524
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#3
#3
Annual Tuition: $7,866
Annual Tuition: $7,866
Annual Tuition: $7,866

At Mississippi University for Women (The W), a public institution, prospective students can pursue an online Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing totaling 48 credit hours. The program can take two to three years to complete based on a student's full- or part-time status. The university's acceptance rate is 99%, and The W has a 62% graduation rate.

The W's online students complete coursework on Canvas asynchronously and synchronously. A creative writing curriculum — which includes courses like Poetry, Nonfiction, and Playwriting — helps students develop their research and storytelling skills. The W also requires creative writing students to finish a thesis and attend brief residency courses and workshops on campus. Prospective jobs for graduates include editorial assistants, authors, and literary agents.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 97%
  • Average SATs: 960 -1200
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 809
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 118
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
#4
#4

University of Arkansas at Monticello

Monticello (AR) (and 1 other)
Annual Tuition: $8,490
Annual Tuition: $8,490
Annual Tuition: $8,490

The University of Arkansas at Monticello (UAM) is a public institution that offers an online Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, which totals 48 credit hours. It can take two years for full-time students to complete. UAM accepts 100% of students who apply, but it's important to keep in mind that only 31% graduate.

UAM facilitates asynchronous and synchronous online learning through the LMS Blackboard. This program's curriculum provides students with the knowledge and skills to pursue writing careers in the creative industries. Sample core classes include British Literature, Introduction to Literary Studies, and American Literature. Students can expect to complete a seminar, internship, and senior project. Potential job opportunities for graduates include creative directors, journalists, and web content writers.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 90%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 219
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 184
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#5
#5
Annual Tuition: $9,200
Annual Tuition: $9,200
Annual Tuition: $9,200

The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) is a public institution that offers an online Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. Requiring 48 credit hours, students can complete this program in two years on a full-time schedule. The university accepts 100% of applicants, with 49% graduating.

At UTEP, remote students utilize Blackboard, which delivers their coursework asynchronously and synchronously. A creative writing curriculum is designed for students to acquire the skills necessary for a writing career. Sample coursework includes Forms and Techniques of Fiction, Narrative Theory and Poetics, and Forms and Techniques of Poetry. Students are required to complete a thesis before they can graduate. The program's alumni may pursue career opportunities like public relations specialist, technical writer, and screenwriter, to name a few options.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 86%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 1,157
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,069
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
#6
#6
Annual Tuition: $9,702
Annual Tuition: $9,702
Annual Tuition: $9,702

The University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) is a public institution offering an online Master of Arts in English - Creative Writing, which totals 36 credit hours. Students can expect to complete this program within two years on a full-time schedule. UNK's acceptance rate is 88%, and it has a 59% graduation rate.

UNK facilitates asynchronous and synchronous online learning on Canvas' LMS. This program implements experiential practices to help students understand the brainstorming, revising, and drafting processes of writing. Some of the program's core courses include Poetry Writing, Creative Nonfiction, and Directed Readings. Students must also complete a thesis workshop. After graduation, they typically pursue careers as copywriters, editors, and editorial assistants.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 94%
  • Average SATs: 990 -1168
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 487
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,643
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#7
#7
Annual Tuition: $9,900
Annual Tuition: $9,900
Annual Tuition: $9,900

At the University of Louisiana - Monroe (ULM), a public institution, future students can pursue an online Master of Arts in English - Creative Writing. Totaling 33 credit hours, this program can take two years to complete at a full-time pace. ULM accepts 78% of students and has a 46% graduation rate.

ULM's online students complete coursework on Moodle, which is in a synchronous format. This program's curriculum covers foundational literary topics and skills students can take into their careers. Core classes include Poetry Writing Seminar, Advanced Poetry Writing, and Directed Research. Students are also required to take workshops, produce a thesis, and take a comprehensive exam. Graduates often become journalists, novelists, and content writers.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 98%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 899
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 939
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
#8
#8

Tiffin University

Tiffin (OH)
Annual Tuition: $11,600
Annual Tuition: $11,600
Annual Tuition: $11,600

Tiffin University (TU) is a small, private nonprofit institution that offers an online Master of Humanities in Creative Writing requiring 30 credit hours. Full-time students can expect to spend two years completing this program. TU's acceptance rate is 62%, and its graduation rate is 15%.

TU facilitates asynchronous and synchronous online learning through Moodle. The creative writing program encourages students to explore various forms of composition in order to develop their writing skills. For example, the program's core courses include Literary Theory, Aesthetics, and British Literature. A capstone project comprehensive exam is also required to graduate. Then, program alumni may pursue careers like email marketing specialists, columnists, and English teachers.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 100%
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 420
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 613
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
#9
#9
Annual Tuition: $12,000
Annual Tuition: $12,000
Annual Tuition: $12,000

The University of North Alabama (UNA) is a public institution offering an online Master of Arts in Writing - Creative Writing that totals 36 credit hours. This distance learning program can take two years to complete at a full-time pace. The university accepts 83% of applicants and has a 49% graduation rate.

At UNA, remote students complete coursework asynchronously and synchronously through the LMS Canvas. A creative writing curriculum covers foundational writing topics like research and instruction. A couple of the program's courses include Advanced Creative Writing in Fiction and Drama and Thesis Defense, as students are required to complete a thesis project in order to graduate. Graduates often become authors and editors.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 96%
  • Average SATs: 1015 -1180
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 700
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 1,331
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
#10
#10

University of New Orleans

New Orleans (LA)
Annual Tuition: $12,008
Annual Tuition: $12,008
Annual Tuition: $12,008

The University of New Orleans (UNO) is a public institution that offers an online Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing requiring 45 credit hours. Students typically spend two years completing this program if they maintain a full-time schedule. UNO's acceptance rate is 83%, and it has a 40% graduation rate.

UNO facilitates asynchronous and synchronous online learning through Moodle. The creative writing curriculum involves students participating in writing workshops and literary studies. Some of the program's courses are Online Fiction Workshop, Remote Poetry Writing, and Craft of Fiction. A creative thesis is also required, as well as a passing grade on the comprehensive exam. Some potential job opportunities for graduates include higher education teachers, public relations specialists, and playwrights.

  • Financial Aid Recipients: 95%
  • Average SATs: 1015 -1240
  • Undergrad Online Enrollment: 336
  • Graduate Online Enrollment: 231
  • School Type: Nonprofit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC

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