Our program at Dominican is the only true low-residency MFA in Creative Writing in the San Francisco Bay Area. Rather than offering weekend classes or a build-your-own degree program, Dominican's MFA program offers a traditional MFA with two jam-packed residencies per year in June and January and year-round distance mentorship with our renowned faculty. We're located in the San Francisco Bay Area, which allows our student to build career-defining connections with a vibrant literary community. Dominican students benefit from exclusive on-campus readings and lectures, and exclusive access to events, travel opportunities, partnerships with publishers, and more.

The Low-residency Format

The low-residency MFA program consists of twice-yearly residencies and semester distance mentorships, allowing you to advance your writing career without disruption to your family or job.

You will complete five on-campus residencies, three summers and two winters, over the course of two years. The 11-day summer residency and the 8-day winter residency consist of morning workshops, afternoon talks, and evening readings. Four semesters of distance mentorship give you a personalized academic experience based on your unique writing goals. You share work with faculty through a mutually agreed upon mode of communication, whether that be through our online Moodle platform, video chat, campus meetings for local students, or even snail mail. Online chats and video conferencing keep you in touch with your fellow students and faculty.

Our Residencies

During the summer residencies, students stay at Edgehill Village, a suite-style dorm featuring a central living room, two bedrooms, and a shared bathroom. Meals are served in the campus dining hall. Conlan Recreation Center offers workout rooms and an outdoor pool. During winter residencies, students are housed in accommodations close to campus. Residencies offer group workshops, tutorials, craft lectures, and readings, all designed to prepare you for your semester work. You meet with your mentor to receive detailed feedback on your writing, set goals, and design an individualized syllabus for the upcoming semester. These gatherings will also give you the opportunity to build a literary community with fellow writers and poets. The schedule allows for casual meetings with faculty and guest speakers, as well as opportunities to read your work at local venues.

Winter 2018 Residency
Saturday, January 6th - Saturday, January 13th

Summer 2019 Residency
June dates TBA

Admission Requirements:

  1. $50 application fee
  2. Completed online application.
  3. Bachelor's degree or its equivalent from a regionally accredited institution of higher education.
  4. Official transcript of coursework completed from each college or university attended (undergraduate and graduate). Transcripts must be in a sealed envelope sent directly from the college or university.
  5. Two letters of recommendation (academic and/or professional)
  6. Resume
  7. Statement of purpose or intent: a brief essay (2 pages, double-spaced, 12 point font) describing writing background, professional and/or personal goals, and additional life and/or academic experience relevant to your application
  8. Writing sample: 8 poems, not to exceed 20 pages (single spaced); 25 pages of prose; fiction or creative non-fiction (double-spaced, 12 point font)
  9. 2 - 3 page discussion of your current reading (double-spaced, 12 point font)
  10. Interview with Programme Director
  11. Please note: International Candidates must meet additional admissions requirements.
Program taught in:
  • English

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Last updated November 2, 2018
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 2020
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