Creative Writers are at the heart of our cultural industries. Poets, novelists, screenwriters, playwrights, graphic novelists, magazine writers: they entertain, inform and inspire. For more than 10 years, UBC's Creative Writing program has been educating writers through distance education in a program which complements our long-standing on-campus MFA program.
A studio program with the writing workshop at its heart, the distance MFA focuses on the work created by students as the primary text. Through intensive peer critique and craft discussion, faculty and students work together with the same goal: literary excellence.
The MFA granted to distance students is the same degree as granted to on-campus students, and the same criteria of excellence in multiple genres of study apply.
What sets the UBC program apart?
UBC's Optional-Residency (Distance) MFA was the first distance education MFA program in Canada and remains the only full MFA which can be taken completely online. It is designed to be uniquely flexible, allowing students across Canada and around the world to study writing at the graduate level while still living in their local communities and fulfilling career and family obligations.
The program is unique globally for its multi-genre approach to writing instruction: students are required to work in multiple genres during the course of the degree. As a fine arts program rather than an English program, students focus on the practice of writing rather than the study of literature. Students may work on a part-time basis, taking up to five years to complete the degree.
Graduates of the MFA program have found success in varied fields related to writing and communication. The MFA qualifies graduates for teaching at the university level and many graduates have gone on to teach at colleges and universities in Canada, the United States and overseas as well as holding writing residencies. Many publish books and win literary awards. Others go on to work in publishing, and graduates have become book and magazine editors.
Although the MFA is a terminal degree, some graduates go on to further study in PhD programs in the US, UK and Australia.
The Optional-Residency MFA is particularly well suited to teachers: our teacher-students have been able to gain an advanced degree while continuing their careers.