Creative Writing: Poetry

Master of Fine Arts (MFA), low-residency graduate program

Nurture your writing to its fullest potential.

Lesley University's celebrated low-residency MFA program nurtures and challenges your creative potential. Attend nine-day residencies in the literary mecca of Cambridge. Pursue interdisciplinary study as a spur for fresh ideas. Cultivate mentor relationships with prize-winning writers. Graduate with the work and connections to publish books and pieces, win literary prizes and fellowships, and find teaching positions or work related to your writing.

Through our poetry genre, learn directly from internationally recognized poets and faculty as you explore the poetic forms and approaches that will serve to establish your aesthetic voice.

Make connections with our program’s acclaimed visiting poets, who have included David Ferry, Nikky Finney, Louise Gluck, Marie Howe, Major Jackson, Robert Pinsky, David Rivard, and Tom Sleigh, among others. Graduate deeply read and immersed in a close-knit community that will provide ongoing support as you venture into the professional world.

Program Structure

Low-Residency Program

49 Credits
English alum Jess Rizkallah

Residencies in Cambridge, MA

Our residencies immerse you in a vibrant literary arts scene. Your faculty mentor will work with you throughout your residency to create a tailored plan for the upcoming semester. Seminars, lectures, and readings foster discussions about concept and craft. Genre-specific workshops allow you to share work and receive the praise/tough love that fuels you to keep writing, revising, and moving forward.

Distinguished Visiting Writers
creative writing students discussing
Interdisciplinary Study

Through our program’s interdisciplinary component, you can design an independent study on a topic vital to your writing, gain professional experience in publishing or education, take courses in subjects related to your concentration, and experiment in other genres.

Dylan thomas summer school in wales
Study Abroad in Wales

Study abroad at the Dylan Thomas International Summer School in Wales, a ten-day residency offering workshops, lectures, and readings with internationally renowned writers.

“I try not to pretend that I have answers (I don't), but work to ask those questions intended to help students find their own answers.”
David Elliott, MFA in Creative Writing Faculty
Creative Writing
Steven Cramer
Steven is the author of five books of poetry, and his work has appeared in numerous journals, including AGNI, The Atlantic Monthly, Field, Harvard Review, Paris Review, Ploughshares, and Slate, among others. Having worked with poetry students for more than 28 years, he prides himself on “teaching with an editor’s eye,” and is interested in the "dispute between free verse and traditional form."

What Graduates Achieve


Program Cost Description
Total approximate cost for this master’s degree program.
Creative Writing: Poetry
  • Tuition
    $975/credit x 49
  • Fees
    Residency Fee
    Registration Fee
    Degree Completion Fee
  • Total
Estimated Cost

Review all graduate tuition and fees, and what they cover.

Tuition and fees are subject to change each year, effective June 1.

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Total approximate cost for this master's degree program. Tuition and fees are for the 2017-2018 academic year.
Use our step-by-step guide to apply for federal, state, and university funding. Scholarships, grants, Work-Study, and loans. It’s all right here.

Next steps to apply

Ready to get started? We're here to make the application process as smooth as possible. Just answer a few quick questions, and get your customized application guide.