Badge: Best Masters in Creative Writing 2021

COLUMBUS, Miss.–The Mississippi University for Women’s Online Master’s in Creative Writing Degree Program is No. 1 again.

For the second year in a row, ranked The W’s Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing the best in the nation in its annual assessment of the top educational offerings.

“We are thrilled that our MFA program has been ranked first by Intelligent again,” said Dr. Kendall Dunkelberg, professor of English, chair of the Department of Languages, Literature, & Philosophy and director of creative writing. “It’s great to know they pay attention to the strength of the program, the total cost of tuition and student engagement. Rankings like this help our program become better known and help students find us when they are looking for a quality program that is flexible and affordable.”

The W offers a 48-hour, low-residency MFA in Creative Writing program that can be completed in two to three years, or longer if students choose to attend part time. Students take online classes, combined with two types of brief residency classes. Online classes include graduate writing workshops in fiction, poetry, nonfiction, playwriting, translation and writing for new media, as well as literature and form classes. gave The W a score of 99.22 (out of 100) based on its reputation, flexibility, cost, faculty and outcomes. Its goal is to help students in their pre-college journey by ranking colleges and programs across the country using aggregated publicly available date. develops its rankings without any advertising or affiliate relationships to ensure there is zero bias in its results.

Dunkelberg said The W’s commitment to having small online classes allows it to offer intense personal mentoring found in many low-residency programs with the collegiality among students and faculty offered in most traditional MFAs. He said the faculty is dedicated to its students and that more students are completing thesis every semester.

Dunkelberg also highlighted the fact that alumni are beginning to publish books, including Beth Kander’s “Original Syn” trilogy, Dani Putney’s “Salamat sa Intersectionality”, Thomas Richardson’s “How to Read” and C. T. Salazar’s recent chapbooks and forthcoming collection of poems “Headless John the Baptist Hitchhiking.”

Dunkelberg said the MFA program continues to add new faculty members to meet students’ needs. He said The W will hire a new faculty member in fiction who will teach at least part time in the program. Dunkelberg also said the MFA program has been working with the MFA in Theatre Education students in our drama classes. He said he hopes that work will lead to more collaboration with their program as it grows.

“We’ve learned a lot in the past year about streaming our readings, seminars and other content to program alumni and to the general public,” Dunkelberg said. “We look forward to continuing this as we move back to combined in-person and virtual residency classes this summer.”