Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

A group of students looking over a canyon

Program Information

Western Washington University’s English Department offers a 2-year MFA program in Creative Writing within a community that values creative development and intellectual versatility. We encourage a focus on multigenre or cross-genre writing, based on our view that creative writing graduates need to be versatile in their comprehension of genre conventions and conversant in the way diverse genres inform one another. A variety of courses we offer stress either a multigenre focus or encourage experimental works that blur genre boundaries.

Creative writing practice and literary study are synergistic in our program. Students take seminars in creative writing and literature, as well as courses in rhetorical thinking and composition, digital and technical writing, film studies, and linguistics. We offer Graduate Assistantships that provide quality teacher training, as well as opportunities to gain editorial experience with the award-winning journal Bellingham Review.


The MFA program in English is designed for those who desire to prepare for:

  • Life as a serious author, with an understanding of the literary marketplace and publication
  • PhD programs, as well as other advanced degrees in fields such as law or teaching
  • Teaching at both two- and four-year colleges and universities
  • Public or private teaching (elementary, middle, secondary)
  • Careers in technical writing and communication
  • Careers in editing and publishing
  • Careers in nonprofit and other business organizations
Bellingham Review cover with yellow house artwork

The Bellingham Review

A literary journal produced by Creative Writing and English graduate students, The Bellingham Review is known for innovative poetry, fiction, nonfiction and hybrid works.

Application Requirements

  • All applicants must complete the Graduate School's ApplyWeb application and pay the $100 application fee.
  • Within the application you will be prompted to upload an unofficial transcript from each institution attended. If admitted, you will be asked to provide official transcripts.
  • Additional application materials are specified below. Applications will not be forwarded to the department for review until all required materials have been received by the Graduate School.
  • International Applicants: Please review the requirements for information regarding Degree Equivalency, English Language Proficiency and student VISA requirements.

Additional Application Requirements

  • Three (3) Letters of Reference
  • Statement of Purpose: This 1‐2 page statement should explain your intellectual and/or creative interests, and your professional goals. Reviewers value statements that are intellectually mature, coherent, and well‐organized. If you are interested in being considered for a funded Teaching Assistantship, please include relevant experience and information that will aid us in making funding decisions.
  • Two writing samples: 10-15 pages of prose (fiction or creative nonfiction); OR 10-15 pages of poetry; OR a combination of genres, 15 pages total; AND a critical writing sample of 7-12 pages of analytical work in literary study.


Alyssa Quin with short brown hair, wearing a denim and lace tank top

They were really good about recognizing what I was trying to do and helping me to do it better.

Alyssa Quinn Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing; her thesis is to be published in the Cupboard Pamphlet, and she is a former managing editor of the Bellingham Review