The School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s (SAIC) Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Writing program is for writers of all genres—fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and playwriting—as well as for writers and artists who work with both image and text. 

SAIC MFA Writing Program

The two-year program distinguishes itself from more conventional writing programs in that it both questions typical genre distinctions and nurtures traditional writing approaches. This inclusiveness is the program's unique strength: an approach that fosters a community of writers and artists who are encouraged to evolve according to their interests, be it poetry, story, essay, drama, or collaborative projects that meld diverse literary and visual disciplines into new forms of artistic expression.

SAIC's writing program does not track genre, and you are not limited in the ways in which you can work. The student-driven program provides the freedom to cross between media, and it emphasizes process, as you learn to sustain your career as an artist through seminars and one-on-one advising. The writing program is not situated within an English department, allowing you to experience a shift in thinking, more directed toward the process of creating.

Extracurricular Opportunities

A variety of opportunities exist for you to intersect with the institution, the museum, and its affiliate organizations.

  • Five writing fellowships, in which graduate students assist in teaching sophomore seminars, are available each semester
  • Four teaching assistantships for undergraduate writing classes
  • SAIC Graduate Thesis Exhibition includes the work of writing students who incorporate the visual in their production
  • Collected, an annual publication from the Department of Writing, features all graduating writing students
  • Other editorial opportunities exist for writing students with the award-winning F Newsmagazine

Adapting practices from their studio artist peers, our students have formed collectives, small presses, storefront galleries, and theater groups creating independent arts organizations and venues that outlast their tenure at SAIC and revitalize Chicago's literary scene.

Interested in learning more?

Click around the pages of this website for information on admissions and curriculum requirements, MFA in Writing faculty, students and alumni, and more.

Interested in learning more about how you can apply?

Visit the graduate admissions website or contact the graduate admissions office at 800.232.7242 or