About this Program

As part of the English Department at ODU, the MFA Program began in 1994 with twelve students and three creative writing instructors. It continues to grow with vigor: today, a range of 25-35 students work with the program's talented 7-member creative writing faculty in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. In addition to taking workshops and craft courses with the MFA faculty, our students take courses with dynamic faculty who have expertise in American, British, and world literature, as well as literary theory, film studies, and rhetoric. In our 54-hour program, students graduate not only as writers but also as individuals competent in literary studies. Our students accomplish a great deal, even while they are in the program: publishing fiction and nonfiction books with major publishers, stories and poems in national literary magazines and journals, articles and reviews in major newspapers, prestigious citations, awards, and grants.

Program Highlights

  • Opportunities to participate in the MFA Reading Series held at Borjo Coffeehouse in University Village or at similar venues on and around campus

  • Opportunity to assist in the internationally recognized, annual ODU Literary Festival

  • Opportunity to present papers or give readings at the spring conference sponsored by the English Department

  • Writer-in-Residence Program (offered in both the fall and spring semesters) allows MFA students to work one-on-one with nationally renowned poets and writers

  • Offers valuable volunteer and short-term internship types of experiences Writers-in-Community Program gives creative writing graduate students the chance to facilitate writing workshops in various local venues

Degree Level
Degree Earned
Master of Fine Arts
Delivery Modes


Check out these ideas from ODU Career Development Services and the Occupational Information Network (O*NET). A median salary is a midpoint of what people typically earn—half of those surveyed earned above the median salary, and half earned below.

Communications Teachers, Postsecondary

$75,640 Median Salary

Teach courses in communications, such as organizational communications, public relations, radio/television broadcasting, and journalism. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.


$68,230 Median Salary

Plan, coordinate, or edit content of material for publication. May review proposals and drafts for possible publication. Includes technical editors.

Writers and Authors

$72,120 Median Salary

Originate and prepare written material, such as scripts, stories, advertisements, and other material.

Poets, Lyricists and Creative Writers

$72,120 Median Salary

Create original written works, such as scripts, essays, prose, poetry or song lyrics, for publication or performance.

Alumni Careers

The Virginia-Pilot
USA Today
Norfolk Public Schools


What are the requirements to apply for Creative Writing at ODU?
Students entering the Master of Fine Arts program in Creative Writing should meet the minimum university admission requirements Graduate Admission.

The deadline to apply is March 1 for attendance the following fall.

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with at least a 3.0 G.P.A

  • Submit writing samples in their genre (candidates should note genre on title page of submission)

  • Three letters of recommendation

  • Academic transcripts

  • Personal statement


Estimated rates for the 2023-24 academic year. Rates are subject to change. Anyone that is not a current Virginia resident will be charged non-resident rates. That includes international students.

Virginia Resident
Cost Per-Credit $599
Technology Delivered Courses Outside Virginia and/or the United States
Cost Per-Credit $623
Cost Per-Credit $1,439

Ways to Save

Here are a few ways for you to save on the cost of attending ODU. For more information visit University Student Financial aid

The Perry Morgan Fellowship

The Perry Morgan Fellowship in Creative Writing established in 2005 by Frank Batten and is awarded to two or more first year full-time graduate students enrolled in the creative writing program. Recipients must maintain a minimum 3.5 GPA.

The David Scott Sutelan Memorial Scholarship

The David Scott Sutelan Memorial Scholarship is made possible by an endowment established by David, Charles and May Scott Sutelan. The recipient will be seeking a Master in Fine Arts in the creative writing program.

The Friends of the MFA Program Fellowship

The Friends of the MFA Program Scholarship was established for the purpose of helping incoming students to mitigate tuition costs. This scholarship will be distributed annually to an incoming first-year student who isn't receiving any other tuition remission.


Graduate Program Director

NORFOLK, 23529