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Writing, MFA

Financing Your Education

The MFA in Writing program offers students a number of unique opportunities to help finance their degree. The fellowships and assistantship here are open only to MFA students. There are additional USF graduate student opportunities for aid detailed in the College of Arts and Sciences graduate admission site.

Estimated Tuition

The estimated cost of the MFA in Writing Program is $1,660 per unit for the 2024-2025 academic year, with a minimum of 16 units required to be completed each academic year. Students typically take an average of 16 units in the first academic year and 16 units in the second academic year. A total of 32 units are required for the degree. Program fees are subject to adjustment annually, and the number of required units may vary based on enrollment status. Please contact director Micah Ballard ( to discuss the specifics of the program.

The Dean's Scholarship

The Dean’s Scholarship grants recipients compensation for research and for conference travel. Additional benefits include the Dean's Scholar kickoff and reception, connection with other Dean's Scholars and with leaders across the college, and the chance to serve as program representatives to USF donors and Development initiatives.

To be considered for the $15,000 Dean's Scholarship towards their first year of tuition, students must apply by the program's priority deadline.

Learn about the Dean's Scholarship

Double Dons Scholarship

USF Alumni and current students can be awarded the USF Double Dons Scholarship upon admission. The scholarship covers 20% of the program tuition, and may not be stacked with other USF scholarship awards. Exceptions may apply.

Double Dons on MyUSF

Graduate Fellowships

Each year, we provide a small number of fellowships on a competitive basis. They are awarded to the top candidates in each genre. All applicants are automatically considered for a graduate fellowship; no separate application is needed. You will learn of any fellowship award at the time we notify you of your acceptance to the program.

Post-Graduate Teaching Fellowship

Recent graduates of the MFA program can apply to teach the Introduction to Creative Writing for non-majors course offered by the undergraduate English department. The fellow will teach craft fundamentals to students at a beginning level, drawing on literary models in fiction, poetry, and nonfiction; provide creative prompts for student writing and helpful feedback on student work; and foster engagement with literature and creative writing.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti Poetry Fellowship

This fellowship honors Lawrence Ferlinghetti who published and supported the work of writers who were outsiders — outside traditional academia or traditional social conventions. In his long career, Ferlinghetti has been a staunch proponent of First Amendment rights, including free speech. This fellowship, which provides full tuition funding, is awarded bi-annually to an applicant in poetry whose work embodies a concern for social justice and freedom of expression, interpreted in the broadest possible way.

Zivic Fellowship

The Zivic Fellowship, named after MFA alumna Jan Zivic, recognizes and supports an outstanding fiction or nonfiction student currently in the MFA program. To be considered, students must submit a writing sample and a one page statement to the MFA program. The fellowship is distributed in the fall semester of the student's second year.

MFA Zivic Fellows

  • 2022 - Anagha Garudangiri
  • 2021 - Jesse Herwitz & Basante Yassein
  • 2019 - Sayantika Mandal
  • 2018 - Lindsay Quintanilla
  • 2016 - Katherine Bove & Melanie Morris
  • 2015 - Ebonie Ledbetter
  • 2014 - Ian Jacoby

MFA Faculty Fellow

  • 2022 - Bobbie Quinn

Teaching Assistantships

The MFA in Writing Program, in conjunction with the undergraduate English department, offers several teaching assistantships to qualified students. Current students can apply for available assistantships. There are usually 8–12 positions per semester.