Creative Writing: Nonfiction

Master of Fine Arts (MFA), low-residency graduate program

Hone your craft and develop your narrative.

Lesley University's celebrated low-residency MFA program nurtures and challenges your creative potential. Attend nine-day residencies in the literary mecca of Cambridge. Pursue interdisciplinary study as a spur for fresh ideas. Cultivate mentor relationships with prize-winning writers. Graduate with the work and connections to publish books and essays, win literary prizes and fellowships, and find teaching positions or work related to your writing.

Through our nonfiction genre, gain a foundational approach to craft in genres such as memoir, personal essay, literary journalism, food and travel writing, and research-based narratives.

Receive professional guidance through our exclusive partnership with Aevitas Creative Management. Submit a sample of your thesis for an immediate read and publishing advice from the acclaimed literary agency.

Exclusive partnerships create opportunities for you to put your essays in front of prominent publishers and agencies. You’ll meet literary figures who, as masters of their craft, will give you the tough love you need to achieve your aspirations. Benefitting from our small-group learning, you’ll form bonds with fellow writers from diverse backgrounds, and join in craft seminars, workshops, readings, and publishing events.

Program Structure

Low-Residency Program

49 Credits
English alum Jess Rizkallah

Residencies in Cambridge, MA

Our residencies immerse you in a vibrant literary arts scene. Your faculty mentor will work with you throughout your residency to create a tailored plan for the upcoming semester. Seminars, lectures, and readings foster discussions about concept and craft. Genre-specific workshops allow you to share work and receive the praise/tough love that fuels you to keep writing, revising, and moving forward.

Distinguished Visiting Writers
creative writing students discussing
Interdisciplinary Study

Through our program’s interdisciplinary component, you can design an independent study on a topic vital to your writing, gain professional experience in publishing or education, take courses in subjects related to your concentration, and experiment in other genres.

Dylan thomas summer school in wales
Study Abroad in Wales

Study abroad at the Dylan Thomas International Summer School in Wales, a ten-day residency offering workshops, lectures, and readings with internationally renowned writers.

“Writing may be a solitary craft, but working within a community of Lesley faculty and fellow writers gave me the inspiration I needed.”
Sara Farizan ’10, MFA in Creative Writing
Creative Writing
Leland Cheuk ’11
Leland was told that he had a few years, if not a few months, to live. His only hope: no-guarantees stem cell transplant surgery. Nearly two years after the surgery that saved his life, Cheuk is a cancer survivor and the published author of The Misadventures of Sulliver Pong. He tells us how his health influenced his urgency to write, and how earning his MFA in Creative Writing has changed the way he approaches his work. "I'm working with more urgency than ever, knowing that time may be short,” says Leland.
What Graduates Achieve


Program Cost Description
Total approximate cost for this master's degree program.
Creative Writing: Nonfiction
  • Tuition
    $975/credit x 49
  • Fees
    Residency Fee
    Registration Fee
    Degree Completion Fee
  • Total
Estimated Cost

Review all graduate tuition and fees, and what they cover.

Tuition and fees are subject to change each year, effective June 1.

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Total approximate cost for this master's degree program. Tuition and fees are for the 2017-2018 academic year.
Use our step-by-step guide to apply for federal, state, and university funding. Scholarships, grants, Work-Study, and loans. It’s all right here.

Next steps to apply

Ready to get started? We're here to make the application process as smooth as possible. Just answer a few quick questions, and get your customized application guide.