Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (MFA)

Overview

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 50 years, UBC’s Creative Writing program has been producing writers who’ve shaped Canadian and international culture. A studio program with the writing workshop at its heart, the 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. 

What makes the program unique?

UBC’s Creative Writing program was the first writing program in Canada, and is the largest and most comprehensive in the country. It is highly ranked internationally, and draws students from around the world 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.

Small, intensive workshops characterize the program, as does our breadth of offerings: with 12 genres of writing available for study there are more opportunities for learning than at any other writing program in the world.

Faculty are distinguished, working writers. We have 12 professors, an additional 9 permanent instructors and regularly bring in a wide variety of writers in residence and adjunct instructors from the writing community.

Quick Facts

Degree
Master of Fine Arts
Subject
Creative and Performing Arts
Mode of delivery
On campus
Specialization
Creative Writing
Program Components
Coursework + Thesis required
Faculty
Faculty of Arts

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Program Enquiries

If you have reviewed the information on this program page and understand the requirements for this program, you may send an enquiry

Requirements

TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement

90
22
21
22
21

IELTS Overall Score Requirement

6.5
6.0
6.0
6.0
6.0

Deadline Details

Application Deadline

Deadline to submit online application. No changes can be made to the application after submission.

Transcript Deadline

Deadline to upload scans of official transcripts through the applicant portal in support of a submitted application. Information for accessing the applicant portal will be provided after submitting an online application for admission.

Referee Deadline

Deadline for the referees identified in the application for admission to submit references. See Letters of Reference for more information.

September 2020 Intake

Application Open Date
15 October 2019
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 10 January 2020
Transcript Deadline: 10 January 2020
Referee Deadline: 31 January 2020
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 10 January 2020
Transcript Deadline: 10 January 2020
Referee Deadline: 31 January 2020

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
15 October 2020
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 08 January 2021
Transcript Deadline: 08 January 2021
Referee Deadline: 29 January 2021
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 08 January 2021
Transcript Deadline: 08 January 2021
Referee Deadline: 29 January 2021

Funding Sources

Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.

We encourage all applicants to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund your graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.

In addition to scholarships and awards, applicants may be eligible to apply for financial aid or other benefits in the form of loans, bursaries, tax credits, or similar.

Career Options

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. 

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$106.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,698.56$2,984.09
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,095.68$8,952.27
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$944.51 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,954.00 (check cost calculator)
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Statistical Data

Enrolment Data

 20182017201620152014
Applications289239205255267
Offers5566587154
New registrations3636475033
Total enrolment181192205194192

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 93.79% based on 161 students admitted between 2009 - 2012. Based on 149 graduations between 2015 - 2018 the minimum time to completion is 1.66 years and the maximum time is 5.83 years with an average of 3.41 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 22 March 2019]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Rates and times of completion depend on a number of variables (e.g. curriculum requirements, student funding), some of which may have changed in recent years for some programs [data updated: 27 October 2019].

Research Supervisors

This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.

Further Program Information

 

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September 2020 Intake

Application Open Date
15 October 2019
Canadian Applicant Deadline
10 January 2020
International Applicant Deadline
10 January 2020

September 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
15 October 2020
Canadian Applicant Deadline
08 January 2021
International Applicant Deadline
08 January 2021
 

Supervisor Search

 

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