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The priority application date for fall 2020 admission is February 1.  The final application date for fall 2020 is July 1.

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Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program Philosophy

What’s unique about OSU-Cascades' ecological approach to the craft of writing is its investment in the whole writer. The geographies — social, spiritual, physical, aesthetic, political — each writer negotiates to get to the page are as various as the texts that give each one of us a purchase on this art. Together in the MFA in Creative Writing program we teach ourselves to work — at least some of the time — outside our comfort zones. By cultivating a passion for what’s difficult about this art, as well the courage to celebrate our own and each other's adventures in self-expression, we tend the practical skills and whimsical experiments that grow writers with healthy writing lives.

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Top 20 Online MFAs

We are #4 on the Best College Reviews list of Top 20 Master's in Creative Writing Online for 2020.

Faculty-Student Ratio: 1-4

Our instructors create an individualized program of study for each student mentee.


TC Tolbert, a core member of the OSU-Cascades MFA faculty, is one of the first recipients of the Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowships.

Residencies in Bend, Oregon

This two-year, low-residency program holds ten-day residencies each fall and spring at OSU-Cascades' beautiful campus in Bend. OSU-Cascades is on the road to Mt. Bachelor, minutes from the Deschutes River, and a quick bike ride to amazing restaurants and breweries. Supported by faculty mentors, you will master the techniques of craft in your genre, develop a sustainable writing praxis, practice what it means to be a literary citizen, and learn about what's really exciting in contemporary literature. You conclude the program with a thesis, a creative piece of publishable quality and literary merit.


MFA students select a genre, but write and study across genres to deepen their craft and understanding. Students may also write cross- or hybrid-genre theses.

  • Fiction
  • Poetry
  • Creative Non-Fiction


Have questions about the application and admission process? Contact Jordon Zardinejad, our graduate recruitment and program support coordinator.

OSU Corvallis Partnership

The MFA in Creative Writing at OSU in Corvallis has a long tradition of excellence. Recognizing the need to bring an outstanding education to students with different life stories, faculty on both campuses partnered to bring a low-residency MFA in Creative Writing to Central Oregon in 2013. Here in the OSU-Cascades low-residency MFA, we continue that tradition of excellence, growing creative writers with exemplary publication records, and a passion for loving this world, through art.