female teacher and student

Whether your long-term plans involve the pursuit of an MFA, a PhD, or a career in professional writing or editing, Ball State’s master of arts in creative writing is designed to prepare you for the next step in your writing life. You’ll study with a faculty of accomplished, published authors who’ll help you become a better writer, find a path to publish your work, locate teaching and other job opportunities, and hone your application materials for a terminal degree.

The only one of its kind in Indiana, our MA in creative writing is tailored for two essential purposes:

  1. Give students considering a master of fine arts or doctorate of philosophy in creative writing a chance to gain teaching experience and hone the critical thinking abilities, writing skills, and writing samples they’ll need to make themselves competitive when applying to MFA and PhD programs.
  2. Give nontraditional students and those not interested pursing an MFA or PhD the opportunity to develop their writing, critical and creative thinking, and close reading skills in ways they can apply to their current or aspirational careers or their personal goals as writers.

What You Will Learn

  • Creative thinking
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • How to research
  • How to write in a variety of genres
  • The importance of close observation and deep curiosity
  • How to teach creative writing effectively
  • How to engage in literary editing and publishing as a professional

Our Alumni

Learn more about what our graduate-program alumni do.

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What Can You Do with an English Major?

We’re asked this question all the time. Our answer: A lot. You will learn skills that transfer across hundreds of possible careers and industries—some of which may not even exist yet. Our graduates go on to work in marketing, publishing, non-profit fundraising, speechwriting, as well as in countless other fulfilling occupations.

Explore Careers

A student and a professor working together.

Program Benefits

This program fills a niche in Indiana as the only MA of its kind in the state. It helps students find their next step in graduate school, their careers, and beyond.

The program encourages cross-genre study in:

  • poetry
  • fiction
  • creative nonfiction
  • screenwriting
  • literature

As part of our graduate program in creative writing, you will study with highly experienced, well-published, nationally recognized faculty with diverse areas of expertise and a deep commitment to teaching.

Their areas of expertise and interest include:

  • creative writing pedagogy
  • flash fiction
  • memoir and essays
  • short and feature-length screenwriting
  • film poetry
  • eco-poetry
  • hybrid forms
  • mixed media and digital media
  • literary editing and publishing

Read our faculty bios:

Our department’s teaching assistantships will help you fund your tuition and living expenses while giving you professional experience.

In this program, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in our annual Practical Criticism Midwest conference. You’ll also hear from visiting writers, including those participating in the English Department’s Visiting Writers Series and its annual In Print Festival of First Books.

Major Requirements

Our MA in creative writing includes courses, workshops, literature classes, electives, and a capstone creative project to round out your degree.

Total Credits



Our hallmark courses include:

  • Reading and Writing Across the Genres
  • Literary Editing
  • Reading as Writers
  • Special Topics
  • Workshops in all four genres (fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, screenwriting)

For a complete list of all the courses you will take and their descriptions, consult our Graduate Catalog.

View Catalog

Paying for Your Education

Ready to Apply?

Review our admission requirements, dates and deadlines, and instructions. Then complete our online application.

Applications for the fall semester will be accepted until July 10; applications for the spring semester will be accepted until November 1. To ensure full consideration for academic-year graduate assistantships, applications must be complete by January 31.

More Information

If you would like to learn more about this program or about Ball State Graduate School in general, please complete our online form to request more information. Or if you’d like to speak with someone in our department directly by phone or email, please contact us.

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