AcademicsGraduate AcademicsCreative Writing (Low-Residency)

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (Low-Residency)

Naropa’s Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing is designed for writers ready to hone their craft and earn their Master of Fine Arts degree through rigorous, cross-genre study. Whether you have a novel in progress, are preparing for a PhD program, or looking to strengthen your prose, poetry, and hybrid writing, our low-residency MFA provides structure, support, and professional development to take your writing to the next level.

Low-residency creative writing MFA programs provide writers with resources, accountability, and inspiration that fit their schedules. Naropa takes traditional low-residency MFA programs a step further with our history of experimental and innovative writing, critical study, and cross-genre publishing. 

Our unique cross-genre online writing courses, generative residencies, and one-on-one mentorship provide students with a writing community, no matter where they live. 

Discover Career Pathways for Creative Writing Graduates

Creative Writing Low-Res MFA Quick Facts


Credit Hours


in Boulder


Olivia Phipps headshot


with your counselor

Olivia Phipps

Graduate Admissions Counselor

Online Creative Writing Courses

Through asynchronous 6-credit online creative writing courses that are designed for low-residency lifestyles, MFA students develop critical reading and writing skills through an open-genre curriculum. They study the history of contemporary and experimental literary trends in our renowned audio archives, deepen their craft through contemplative writing practices, and develop professional skills towards arts, literary, publishing, and academic job markets. 

Courses in Naropa’s Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing include: 

The Naropa Difference

The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University encourages writers to explore innovative approaches to literary arts through extensive reading, writing, and artistic practices. Students finish the program with a manuscript that shows their unique voices across genres.

Cross-Genre Curriculum

Founded in 1974 by Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman, the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics encourages experimental forms across genres. Unlike other Creative Writing MFA programs, our low-residency MFA is open-genre. This means that writers can work in fiction, poetry, prose, non-fiction, playwriting, and hybrid forms throughout their degree program. From audio recording to text & image, students experiment with narrative structures and forms that fit their unique voices. This leads students to strengthen their craft through experimentation and multi-genre writing. Writers develop their unique style, critical ear, and vast knowledge of contemporary trends across literary genres. 

One-On-One Mentorship

One-on-one mentorship and small classes online writing classes help writers develop their style, refine their editing skills, and publish their work.

Each writer dedicates their final semester to a thesis manuscript. Working one-on-one with their thesis mentor and workshopping with classmates through written exchange, students finish their MFA with a completed manuscript in the genre of their choice. 

Current MFA thesis mentors include: 


MFA thesis mentors work across genres to support every stage of manuscript development and provide insight on the next steps for publication. 

Generative Residencies

Every semester, our Low-Residency MFA students gather in Boulder, Colorado, for enriching and energizing residencies. Each academic year culminates in a week-long writing intensive at Naropa’s Summer Writing Program. This annual festival brings over 60 artists, writers, and thinkers to Boulder, for workshops, readings, panels, and professional development. Students connect with writers and artists across fields and expand their professional network. 

During fall and spring residencies, MFA students meet one-on-one with mentors, enjoy master classes with guest writers, attend readings, and bond with writers in our residency MFA program. Residencies overlap with our spring and fall symposiums, providing students with a rich 4-days of community and inspiration. 

Students Transformed

Student Transformed

What to Expect

Highly Developed Writing Craft
Hone your voice in every step of the writing process.
Learn to discuss literary works through a variety of critical lenses.
Skill in Critical
Use your writing practice as a tool for self-inquiry and discovery.
Writing Practice
Recognize the role of race, class, and gender in literary history and works.
Social and Cultural Awareness
Graduate with a publishable manuscript and/or professional dossier.
Career Preparedness

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This is where experiential learning meets academic rigor. Where you challenge your intellect and uncover your potential. Where you discover the work you’re moved to do—then use it to transform our world.

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