city view at night
streetcar on market
flowers at Kalmanovitz
Shurin and Brady
Kalmanovitz front door
girl with braids
reading series speaker
MFA students and Kate Brady
G_Writing

Creative Writing – Overview

Located in the center of San Francisco, the Master of Fine Arts in Writing Program at USF offers graduate students an intimate, personalized learning experience while taking advantage of San Francisco’s vibrant, eclectic literary scene. Founded in 1986, the MFA program is designed to instruct writers in creative techniques, to nurture their individual development and vision, and to help them thrive in the larger community of writers.


The two-and-a-half year MFA program offers workshops and literature seminars in the genres of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. The distinctive design of the program emphasizes the connection between reading and the students’ own writing and fosters collegial relationships among faculty and students in small classes. All courses are taught by accomplished practicing writers, so that both literature seminars and workshops pay detailed attention to craft.

Because cross-fertilization enriches creativity, students are free to take courses outside their primary genre and sample a range of cross-genre literature seminars. Because depth of understanding is crucial to successful writing, students also take seminars and workshops that focus exclusively on one genre—long fiction, short fiction, poetry, or nonfiction. Students’ work culminates in a creative thesis – a book-length manuscript that is conceived, composed, and revised with extensive faculty mentoring.