MFA in Writing

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.

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Micah Ballard

Administrative Director

Offered In

USF Main Campus

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.

MFA Reading Series

Public readings from visiting writers are held on campus every semester. In the spring we host the Emerging Writers Festival, which features two days of readings by five up-and-coming writers of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction.

Event Schedule and Videos

Beyond the classroom, I had the opportunity to work on the program's literary journal, attend the Lone Mountain Reading series, and gain experience teaching as a graduate assistant. My thesis project, which later became my first book of poems, could not have been possible without this experience.

Craig Santos Perez ('06), winner of a 2015 American Book Award

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Contact Info

MFA in Writing

Monday-Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Kalmanovitz Hall 302 (415) 422-6066 (415) 422-6996