The University of Texas at Austin is fortunate to have two M.F.A. programs in creative writing: The Michener Center for Writers and the New Writers Project, which is supported by the English Department. Though the programs share faculty, workshops, seminars and visiting writers, they also have distinct differences in terms of length, specialization, funding and teaching opportunities.
Programs at a glance
- Two-year commitment
- Students focus on one genre (fiction or poetry)
- All students fully funded through both teaching opportunities and fellowships
- Students receive valuable experience teaching literature and leading creative writing workshops
- Administered by the UT English Department
- Three-year commitment
- Students work in two genres, a primary and a secondary field (fiction, poetry, screenwriting or playwriting)
- All students funded through James A. Michener Fellowships
- Students do not teach literature or lead creative writing workshops
- Administered by the Michener Center for Writers
The New Writers Project
The English Department sponsors this two-year program. M.F.A. candidates specialize in one genre (fiction or poetry) and complete a manuscript at the end of their second year. Qualified M.F.A. candidates are funded through both teaching assistantships and fellowships. Typically, students who have been awarded teaching assistantships lead discussions and workshops for literature and creative writing courses during their first three semesters. During their last semester, when they are preparing their Master's Report, all students currently receive a fellowship that will cover tuition and living expenses for the semester. Students graduate with a Master of Fine Arts in English.
The Michener Center for Writers
Founded in 1993 and made possible by an endowment from the late James A. Michener, students study for three years in this M.F.A. program. The Michener Center for Writers is closely affiliated with the graduate writing programs of English, Theatre and Radio-TV-Film. Students must work in two genres — a primary and secondary field — chosen from fiction, poetry, screenwriting and playwriting, and do not teach literature or creative writing workshops during their time at UT. The program supports its students with James A. Michener Fellowships, renewable for all three years, and contingent upon annual reviews. Students graduate with a Master of Fine Arts in Writing.
Applying to more than one M.F.A. program at UT
Although students may apply to both the New Writers Project and the Michener Center for Writers, each application must be conducted separately. The New Writers Project and English Department cannot answer questions about the Michener Center for Writers, nor can the Michener Center for Writers answer questions about the New Writers Project. Students interested in applying to the New Writers Project can visit the application procedures page. Students interested in applying to the Michener Center for Writers can learn more about the program through their website.