Skip to main content

MFA in Creative Writing - 5 year Bachelor to Masters, Bachelor's , Master's


Eligible undergraduates can apply for this unique dual degree program.  

Because the MFA is online, incoming and current undergraduates can apply to start the MFA coursework during their senior year at DeSales. Students will graduate with a BA/BS degree and then complete the MFA the following year, saving time and money.

Specialize in fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction in this innovative low-residency MFA creative writing program.

Work with and learn from some of the finest writers in the United States, Ireland, Scotland, and Canada.

This online program is five semesters, 36-credits total, with two 10-day in-person residencies each year, one in the Lehigh Valley and one in Celtic Europe or Canada. 

  • Summer residencies are held abroad in Ireland, Scotland or Canada.
  • Winter residencies are held on the DeSales Campus in Center Valley, PA.
  • All residencies include writing workshops, sessions with visiting writers, publishers and publishing professionals, and field trips to literary destinations.
  • Both residencies include sessions focused on writing in place and spirituality.  
  • During the on-line semesters, students work one-on-one with a writing mentor on a book-length project, reading extensively in their chosen genre.
  • The final semester, students refine their thesis for publication with expert editorial guidance from their mentor.

A distinctive feature of this program is the emphasis on publishing. You'll not only learn how and where to publish your own work, but also to find careers in the world of publishing — a dynamic field that is experiencing diversified growth opportunities.


Admissions Requirements

Two types of undergraduate students can apply to this program:

  1. High school seniors accepted to DeSales University with an SAT score of 1150 or higher (ACT of 23 or higher). Applicants should have demonstrated serious interest in writing in their high school years, such as work on the school newspaper, the yearbook, the literary magazine, attendance at and submission to our Poetry Festival, etc. 
  2. Fall semester juniors at DeSales University who have maintained a 3.0 cumulative GPA. Current DeSales students will enter the program with the summer international residency at the end of their junior year. All majors will be considered as long as the student has shown a serious interest in writing. 

Admissions Requirements for High School Seniors

Admissions Requirements for Current DeSales Students


In addition to the requirements for your bachelor's degree, students must complete the following graduate degree requirements:

  • 4 intensive, 10-day residencies alternating at DeSales and in Europe
  • 4 practicum semesters with a writing mentor
  • An additional semester to produce, complete and refine an original creative manuscript of poetry or fiction.
  • A defense of the creative manuscript, including a meeting with the review committee as well as a public reading and Q&A defense.

Academic Catalog

Course Requirements


Graduation Requirements

Careers & Internships

The MFA is considered a terminal degree, which means it's the highest degree awarded in a particular field of study.

Graduates can:

  • teach full-time in college or high school creative writing programs
  • work for magazines, either full-time or freelance, or for publishing companies as editors, copy-editors and proof-readers
  • work for college literary publications or the educational publications of such entities as museums, scholastic publishers, and non-profit enterprises
  • manage independent and subject-specific bookstores
  • work on the editorial staffs of AWPThe Writer’s Chronicle, Poets and Writers, The Writer and Writer’s Digest
  • work for any university MFA program in the country, either as an adjunct, a visiting writer, an editor or an administrator
  • and more!

Tuition & Fees

DeSales can help make your college expenses affordable through a combination of grants, loans, student employment, and scholarship resources.

View a comprehensive list of financial aid forms and undergraduate program information sheets

Cost of attendance for undergrads for 2024-2025


Resident Students

Direct Costs
Tuition - $45,000
Room and Board - $13,800
Mandatory Fees - $1,800
One-time Orientation Fee for First-Year students and Transfers - $200
Total = $60,800 (including first-year/transfer fees)

Estimated Indirect Costs
Books/Supplies - $1,711
Personal Expenses - $4,605
Total cost for resident students: $67,116

Commuter Students

Direct Costs
Tuition - $45,000
Mandatory Fees - $1,400
One-time Orientation Fee for First-Year students and Transfers - $200
Total = $46,600 (including first-year/transfer fees)

Estimated Indirect Costs
Books/Supplies - $1,711
Personal Expenses - $4,605
Transportation Costs - $1,908
Living Expenses - $2,298
Total cost for commuter students: $57,122


Direct Costs
Tuition - $45,000
Mandatory Fees - $1,400
One-time Orientation Fee for First-Year students and Transfers - $200
Total = $46,600 (including first-year/transfer fees)

Estimated Indirect Costs
Books/Supplies - $1,711
Personal Expenses - $4,605
Transportation Costs - $1,908
Living Expenses - $9,192
Total cost for off-campus students: $64,016
*First-year students are required to reside on campus or commute from home.

Parking Fee - $100

View a comprehensive list of financial aid forms and undergraduate program information sheets

Dual Degree Undergraduate-to-Graduate Programs

If you are enrolled in an undergraduate-to-graduate degree program — for example a 5-year, 3+2, 3+3, program — the undergraduate tuition and fees apply only to the undergraduate portion of the program. As you progress into the graduate phase of your program, graduate tuition and fees apply. Please see your respective graduate program for more information. 

The financial aid process may appear overwhelming at first glance, but don't worry, we'll help you through it.

Accepted students are automatically considered for scholarships upon receipt of a completed application and are awarded regardless of financial need. Funds for scholarships are limited, so we do encourage students to apply early.

Our comprehensive financial aid packages carefully explain the types and amounts of assistance —including federal, state, and institutional — that you may be eligible for to help cover education related expenses.

Total cost of attendance includes estimates for tuition, fees, room, board, books, and personal, transportation, and living expenses.

You can estimate your total cost of attendance with our Net Price Calculator


Online Learning at DeSales

Attending classes from an off-campus location can be an excellent option for many busy students. Distance education at DeSales encompasses everything from video conference courses to hybrid (a combination of in-class and online) to online courses. 

Brightspace by D2LTM is our online learning system.

Learn About Online Learning at DeSales

Contact Us

MFA in Creative Writing
Dooling Hall 255