Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (Distance) (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 15 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 makes the program unique?

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.

Quick Facts

Degree
Master of Fine Arts
Subject
Creative and Performing Arts
Mode of delivery
Online / Distance (100%)
Registration options
Full or Part-time
Specialization
Creative Writing
Program Components
Coursework + Thesis required
Faculty
Faculty of Arts

Program Enquiries

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

Admission Information & Requirements

In order to apply to this program, the following components may be required.

Online Application

All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

Transcripts

All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.

Minimum Academic Requirements

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:

Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitve process.

Letters of Reference

A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications. 

Statement of Interest

Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.

English Language Proficiency

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.

Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:

90
22
21
22
21
6.5
6.0
6.0
6.0
6.0

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Depending on program, applicants either reach out to faculty members directly or the program supports this process in different ways.

This program has not specified whether applicants should reach out to faculty members. Please review the program website for additional details.

Test Scores (GRE / GMAT or similar)

Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:

The GRE is not required.

Citizenship Verification

Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.

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.

July 2021 Intake

Application Open Date
15 October 2020
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 09 January 2021
Transcript Deadline: 09 January 2021
Referee Deadline: 29 January 2021
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 09 January 2021
Transcript Deadline: 09 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.

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.

 

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$106.00$168.25
Tuition *
Tuition per credit$628.04$1,109.04
Other Fees and Costs
Student FeesVary
* 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.

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

 
 

July 2021 Intake

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

Supervisor Search

 

Departments/Programs may update graduate degree program details through the Faculty & Staff portal. To update the application inquiries contact details please use this form.