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English literature and creative writing masters

Creative Writing & Literature

Claim your individual voice and vision through one of the two graduate programs offered by the Mills Literatures & Languages Department. Choose our innovative Flex Res MFA in Creative Writing that enables you to earn a degree from Mills from anywhere in the country. Or pursue our renowned master of arts degree in English language and literatures in just one year. Whatever option you choose, you’ll find inspiration and support from an inclusive community of writers and scholars in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area’s literary scene.

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The Flex Res MFA in Creative Writing

Mills offers a new kind of MFA in creative writing in poetry or prose that enables you to choose how you want to learn each semester. Whether you’re interested in traditional classes, individualized mentoring, or both, we give you the flexibility to earn your degree your way along with one-on-one support from our writers and scholars.

MA in English Language & Literatures

The one-year master of arts (MA) in English language and literatures is designed to develop your critical writing and scholarly research skills in the context of your unique goals. You’ll work closely and collaboratively with our faculty of renowned scholars to choose a course of study and develop a final thesis project that is a sustained piece of scholarly research.

Graduate Assistantships

All full-time students can apply for a graduate assistantship where you might help publish our student journal, work on our writing and reading series, or collaborate in the community as part of the We Are the Voices initiative.

Faculty Artists/Scholars

Be inspired by award-winning novelists, poets, and journalists as well as published scholars. All are dedicated educators who will mentor you one-on-one.

Contemporary Writers

Meet renowned writers at our annual Contemporary Writers Series. Past speakers include literary legends such as Joyce Carol Oates and exciting new writers such as Aria Aber and Wendy C. Ortiz.

Creative Writing and Literature Graduate Program

Develop your skills in creative writing and literary analysis.

Explore literature, fiction, screenwriting/writing for TV/playwriting, poetry, and nonfiction.

What You’ll Learn

Through the master’s degree in the field of creative writing and literature you will:

  • Master key elements of narrative craft, including characterization, story and plot structure, point of view, dialogue, and description.
  • Develop skills across multiple genres, including fiction, nonfiction, and dramatic writing.
  • Analyze works of literature and learn how to approach these texts as a writer and a scholar.
  • Practice the art of revision as a means to hone your voice as a writer.

Your Harvard Degree
Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Extension Studies, field: Creative Writing and Literature.

Your peers in English, literature and creative writing work in a variety of writing, research, and communication industries, such as publishing, advertising/marketing, fundraising, and education (secondary and higher education).

Courses Taken Each Semester

Would Recommend the Program

17 Years

Pursued For Personal Enrichment

Getting Started: Admissions and Degree Requirements

At Harvard Extension School, your admission is based largely on your performance in two specific Harvard Extension courses that you complete before submitting an application.

To get started, we invite you to explore the degree requirements, confirm your initial eligibility, and learn more about our unique “earn your way in” admissions process.

At Harvard . we were there, together. I have never seen this effortless camaraderie anywhere else. This positive environment enabled me to complete my studies with a greater depth than if I had been worried or stressed.

Cost and Financial Aid

Affordability is core to our mission. When compared to our continuing education peers, it’s a fraction of the cost.

Our Tuition (2021–22 rate) $2,980 per 4-credit course ($745 per credit)
Average Tuition of Peer Institutions $5,476 per course
Average Total Cost $35,760

After admission, you may qualify for financial aid. Typically, eligible students receive grant funds to cover a portion of tuition costs each term, in addition to federal financial aid options.