Eastern Programs (Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia)

Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Length: 2 years, each beginning with a 2-week summer residency followed by correspondence with faculty mentor; 2nd year concludes with 3rd and final residency; students must also complete a 45-contract hour internship with a journal, magazine, newspaper, publishing house or web-based publisher—or work with a published writer, agent, or editor
Subject areas: Narrative Nonfiction, Personal Essay, Memoir, Literary Journalism, Travel/Nature/Science Writing, Biography/Profiles
Faculty: Thomas French, Diana Hume George, Philip Gerard, Kevin Kerrane, Suzannah Lessard, Joe Mackall, Leslie Rubinkowski, Richard Todd, Laura Wexler
Tuition per year: Easier to go by credit. Tuition is $620 per credit; degree is 36 credits—in all, it should cost $22 320. Each summer residency costs $67.50 per night, or $945 for 2 weeks.
Application materials: Submit all materials to Welch Center for Graduate and Professional Studies: MFA Creative Nonfiction Application for Admission, $50 application fee, 3 recommendations, transcript, 3 copies of personal statement (should address expectations for the program, professional writing goals and interests, and reasons for seeking MFA degree in creative nonfiction), 3 copies of writing sample; GRE optional
Deadline: 23 Feb. (fall); no spring admissions
Financial Aid: At least the degree website is frank: “No program scholarships or teaching assistantships are currently available.” But that is not unusual for a low-residency degree.
Web address: http://www.goucher.edu/x1166.xml

Location: Madison, New Jersey
Length: Each year is divided into 4 “modules”--a module is a 10-week online course in a certain genre. Since the program is 2 years long, you will participate in 8 modules. There is also a 10-day residency every August and January; you are expected to participate in at least 3 residencies throughout the course of your program)
Subject areas: Poetry, Fiction, Creative Nonfiction
Faculty: Jeffery Renard Allen, Renée Ashley, Walter Cummins, David Daniel, Martin Donoff, Samantha Gillison, David Grand, Thomas E. Kennedy, René Steinke, William Zander, Linh Dinh, Victor Rangel-Ribeiro, Bino Realuyo
Tuition per year: The program cost is $2 822 per module—remember to multiply it by 8. This will also cover the cost of the 3 residencies.
Application materials: Submit to Graduate Admissions: Graduate Application, $40 application fee, and transcript. Contact the Director of the MFA in Creative Writing to request an application for the MFA (may include personal statement), and return it with 3 copies of a writing sample. Recommendations not mentioned; GRE not mentioned
Deadline: 1 Apr. (fall); 15 Sept. (spring)
Financial Aid: The department has not yet set up any assistantship or fellowship program to provide funds for graduate students, probably because this is a low-residency program. Which leaves you with the usual options: FAFSA, federal grant or loan, etc.
Web address: http://alpha.fdu.edu/becton/writeMFA/overview.html

Location: Roanoke, Virginia
Length: 3 to 5 summers to complete ten courses, thesis, and final examination
Subject areas: Juvenile/YA Fiction
Faculty: Amanda Cockrell, Michelle Ann Abate, Brian Attebery, Susan Campbelle Bartoletti, Rhonda Brock-Servais, Lisa Rowe Fraustino, Tina Hanlon, Hillary Homzie, Len Hatfield, Alexandria LaFaye, William Miller, Han Nolan, Julie Pfeiffer, Klaus Phillips, Ruth Sanderson, J.D. Stahl, Karen Adams Sulkin, Ann B. Sullivan, C.W. Sullivan III, Ernest Zulia
Tuition per year: Easier to go by credit. Tuition is $550 per credit; program is 48 credits. In all, the degree should cost $26 400. Housing for each 6-week summer term is $820.
Application requirements: Submit all materials to Graduate Center: Application for Graduate Admission, $40 application fee, 3 recommendations, transcript, statement of purpose, manuscript; GRE optional
Deadline: 15 Feb. for the next summer
Financial Aid: It’s a low-residency degree, so you shouldn’t expect the department to have set up any assistantship or fellowship programs, but the degree website states that “Hollins may offer partial tuition remission to certain qualified students, and student loans are also available.”
Web address: http://www.hollins.edu/grad/eng_writing/eng_writing.htm