AcademicsGraduate AcademicsCreative Writing (Low-Residency)

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in

Creative Writing (Low-Residency)

Earn your MFA degree in creative writing at an esteemed university while still remaining connected to your existing writing community. Find artistic freedom from your home writing desk.

Naropa’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Low-Residency program is designed for writers who wish to take their craft a step further. Maybe you have the sketch for a novel waiting to be written. Perhaps you’re a teacher ready to begin your journey towards a doctorate. Or, you’re a poet and editor craving knowledge of the publishing industry. Our low residency writing program welcomes writers from all walks of life and all parts of the country.

Through online courses and summer intensives, our MFA graduate students experiment with language, receive mentorship from published writers, and learn the ins and outs of publishing.

Quick Facts




in Boulder
Total Days


To an MFA

Courses You Could Take

in the Creative Writing Low-Residency Program

Your two years in the low-residency MFA in creative writing will be rich in both rigorous writing instruction and professional development. Through online mentorship, intensive residencies in Boulder, and concentrated work on a final creative manuscript, graduate students deepen their writing craft and widen their literary networks.

Students with already full lives appreciate Naropa’s low-residency MFA in creative writing because it affords them the opportunity to grow as writers and readers. Here, you can explore the contemporary arts and letters movements, engage in contemplative writing practices, and find yourself through your work.

Courses in Naropa’s low-residency MFA in Creative Writing include: 

The Naropa Difference

If you’re seeking an MFA creative writing program that allows you to keep your current zip code, choose the only low-residency option with a focus in contemplative practices and open-genre instruction. Join a community of writers from around the country in a transformative creative experience.

Open-Genre Curriculum

Founded in 1974 by Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman, the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics embodies the spirit of creative writing through experimentation and innovation. While there are many low-residency writing programs to choose from, Naropa’s is the only MFA in creative writing that embraces an open genre curriculum.

Our graduate students are encouraged to earn their MFA degrees by honoring their individual artistic processes and welcoming creative expansion. Here, you are welcome to explore poetic forms, mix genres, take risks, and play with language. Your final, ready-for-publication MFA thesis will be a reflection of your own distinctive style.

Personalized Mentorship

At Naropa, earning your MFA in creative writing online is an experience of expansion, not isolation. You’ll work closely with MFA in creative writing faculty, engaging in powerful written exchanges that include creative manuscripts, reflective essays, and critical responses to literature. Naropa’s faculty mentors—all active, published writers—offer clear, compassionate feedback aimed at drawing the best, most authentic work from graduate student writers.

From unearthing your personal writing process to preparing your creative manuscript for publication, your mentor will do more than help you earn an MFA degree. They’ll help you find your voice.

Enriching Residencies

Expanding your writing community may not seem like the likely outcome of an online creative writing degree, but Naropa’s low-residency MFA offers a host of opportunities for connecting with other writers.

During your spring and fall residencies, held on our campus in Boulder, Colorado, you will convene with fellow low-residency MFA students over the study of literature, poetic form, literary history, and writing practice.

Your summer residencies, each eight days in length, offer participation in Naropa’s celebrated Summer Writing Program. This convocation of scholars, poets, fiction writers, performers, and more is fertile ground for sharpening your craft and building community.

Students Transformed

Student Transformed

What to Expect

Fine tune your technique and feel confident in your final drafts.
Highly Developed Writing Craft
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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