MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing

Do you have a passion for writing and a desire to tell powerful stories drawn from lived experience?

The Bay Path MFA in Creative Nonficition is one of the first no-residency programs in the country and the only one to focus solely on the rich and varied genre of creative nonfiction. Courses on craft and theory are balanced with in-depth, specialized courses on the art of the memoir, biography, contemporary women’s stories, the spiritual journey, food and travel writing, and cultural reporting.

The program also offers professional tracks that help prepare graduates to explore careers in the literary world after graduation.

Our award-winning MFA faculty are accomplished memoirists, journalists, food and travel writers, editors, and publishers with a wealth of real-world expertise. Work with a New York Times bestselling memoirist on the memoir you’ve always wanted to write. Discover your inner journalist with renowned magazine editors and newspaper columnists. Write about the life of the spirit with a recent winner of the Best American Spiritual Writing Award. Explore the world of travel and food writing with an author of numerous travel books. Learn the art of writing family histories with a literary anthology editor.

Our MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing Offers:

  • Professional tracks in:
    • Publishing: Learn how to generate agent/editor interest; the structure of the publishing industry (including digital publishing); the roles played by agent, editor, publicist, sales representatives, and other key figures; and the all-important work an author can do after publication to give his or her book the best chances for commercial success. Gain first-hand experience in the publishing world via a semester-long internship at a publishing house, an independent bookstore, in an editor’s office, or at a literary agency. 
    • Narrative Medicine 
    • Teaching Creative Writing:  Understand the pedagogy and practice of teaching creative writing. Pursue an actual teaching practicum. Students will have a teacher-training experience arranged at a location near the home of the student, which can include facilitating a non-credit community-based class to an underserved population, such as new citizens or residents of shelters, housing projects, nursing homes, and hospitals.
  • Workshops with small peer groups for intensive writing practice, feedback, and support
  • A summer Creative Writing Seminar option in Ireland
  • Multiplicity, a literary magazine run by faculty and students
  • A supportive, inclusive, welcoming community
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MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing Online Degree program Frequently Asked Questions


When can I start the Master's in Creative Nonfiction Writing Online Degree program?
The MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing offers three start dates through the year, with classes starting in January, May, and September.

Can I complete the MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing Online Degree program while working full-time?
The majority of our students are working full-time and are able to manage their academic coursework with their outside commitments. 

How many courses and credits are there?
The online MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing is a flexible 39 credit program, which you can complete on a full-time or part-time study basis.

Is the MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing program offered online?
Yes, the course schedule is 100% online and there is no residency requirement. Students learn in a small, intimate, highly dynamic, and interactive online community.

Who teaches the courses in the MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing Online Degree program?
Our extraordinary faculty are teaching practitioners, as well as academics, who are accomplished memoirists, journalists, food and travel writers, editors, and publishers with a wealth of real-world expertise.

How much is tuition for the MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing Online Degree program?
The cost per credit is $775/credit.

Can I get help paying for my MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing Online Degree program?
Yes, financial aid is available.

Do you accept transfer credits?
Yes, graduate credits can be transferred into the MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing Online Degree program.

Do I have to take a standardized test for admission?
No. The GMAT and GRE are not required. 

Will I have access to learning resources?
Yes. Students have access to mentoring, tutoring, library resources, academic resources, and career services.

Fill in the form today and one of our admissions counselors will be happy to answer any other questions you may have.

The Bay Path Advantage in Creative Nonfiction

Learn from award-winning practitioners in the field

Our award-winning MFA faculty are accomplished memoirists, journalists, food and travel writers, editors, and publishers with a wealth of real-world expertise.

A Unique Program

The Bay Path MFA is one of the first no-residency programs in the country and the only one to focus solely on the rich and varied genre of creative nonfiction.

Skills that prepare you professionally

Learn to write exceptionally well, how to navigate the publishing world successfully, and how to parlay your skills into professions that include journalism, copywriting, editing, public relations, communications, and teaching.

Student testimonials

"Bay Path’s top-notch program helped me to move into a new position writing news features full time for The Daily Hampshire Gazette in Northampton.”
- Andy Castillo G'19

"I live on a ranch in Nogales, Arizona, where I am involved with communities on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. My writing mission is to amplify the voices of the people who live on borders and whose lives are affected by politicians’ rhetoric. The fantastic education that Bay Path’s MFA is providing me has made and will continue to make mine a better voice for my community." 
-Tony Sedgwick G'20

Q&A with the Program Director, Leanna James Blackwell, MFA

What’s the value of degree in Creative Nonfiction Writing

Writing can be a lonely profession, so a supportive community is vitally important to keep you going. The community of a good MFA program says, Yes, you can do this, finish this, publish this! And, perhaps more importantly, Yes, you have something to say. Yes, your story matters.

From a career perspective, an ideal MFA program prepares students not only to write exceptionally well but also to teach the craft of writing, navigate the publishing world successfully, and parlay their skills into professions that include journalism, copywriting, editing, public relations, communications, and teaching.

Why choose Bay Path for a MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing?

  • For our faculty. They are not only acclaimed authors and editors but experienced educators who are passionate about teaching and mentoring and who give students an exceptional amount of attention at every stage of the writing process. They also represent the culturally diverse, pluralistic world we live in, which means that students from a multiplicity of backgrounds feel their experience is reflected and understood.
  • For the strong community among our students, fostered by the intimate online environment that faculty create, and by the core philosophy of the program: respect for each writer’s individual journey. Within the highly interactive online classroom, students learn to give respectful, supportive feedback in a confidential space. Although they live in locations across the country, students form deep connections and friendships that last beyond graduation.
  • For our curriculum’s professional tracks and electives. Our Publishing and Teaching tracks give students practice and connections in those professions, such as online internships with literary magazines or book publishers, and teaching experience in a college classroom or community setting. And our electives allow students to learn about a wide array of creative nonfiction disciplines, including writing about travel and food, spirituality, women’s stories, nature and the environment, health and wellness, and culture and identity.
  • For our summer trip to Dingle, Ireland, an optional week-long immersion in reading, writing, exploring, and culture with fellow writers and acclaimed guest authors. Students describe it as “magical” and some have called it one of the most meaningful experience of their lives; many return multiple times.

About Bay Path University

Our Mission and Vision

Since Bay Path opened its doors to students in 1897, its goal has been to provide a practical, affordable, and career oriented education to meet the needs of companies, organizations, and communities, while preparing students to realize their dreams, and to make a lasting difference in the world.

Accreditation

Bay Path University is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Flexible and Affordable

Bay Path was one of the first universities to pioneer online learning.  Our courses are a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous, letting you study when it works for you and allowing you to take care of your work, family and other commitments.

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Our Admissions Counselors can answer all your questions.