The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Writing program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) allows for a flexible, yet structured curriculum that supports your individual goals.

We strongly recommend first year students take a workshop, a seminar, and a graduate projects adviser within the MFA in Writing program. In succeeding semesters, you can work with graduate advisers to construct a schedule of courses from within the writing program and any area of SAIC that best supports and provokes your continued growth.

WRIT 5001 Writing Workshop  12  
WRIT 5500 Topics in Writing Seminar 12  
MFA 6009 Graduate Projects 
(minimum of 12 credits with writing advisors)
Courses at the 3000 level or above. Art History courses must be at the 4000 level or above.
Participation in four graduate critiques   
Inclusion in graduate publication or participation in the Graduate Exhibition or equivalent   
Completion of the thesis   
Total Credit Hours60  

Students may elect internships to satisfy up to 6 hours of elective credit.

Degree requirements and specifications

  1. Completion schedule: Students have a maximum of four years to complete the degree (this includes time off for leaves-of-absence).
  2. Transfer credits: A minimum of 45 credit hours must be completed at SAIC. Up to 15 transfer credits may be requested at the time of application for admission and are subject to approval at that time. No transfer credit will be permitted after a student is admitted.
  3. Thesis requirement: During their final semester, students are required to submit a thesis of appropriate length in any genre.
  4. Exhibition requirements: MFAW students planning to participate in the Graduate Thesis Exhibition or Time Arts events are required to complete at least 6 studio credits by the end of the third semester AND to advise with a studio faculty member in their final semester.
  5. Studio space: Individual studio space is not provided automatically to students in the MFA in Writing; however, Writing students with a visual arts practice in addition to their writing may apply for a space through the Administrative Director, Graduate Division, at
  6. Graduate Projects: MFA 6009 Graduate Projects enrollments must be in increments of 3 credit hours. No more than two advisors and a total of 6 credit hours may be scheduled for a given semester. The number of credits earned by the student has no correlation with length or frequency of the advising sessions or to faculty assessment of student work.

Full-time status minimum requirement: 12 credit hours

Interested in learning more?

Click around the pages of this website for more information on admissions 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