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Students take eight courses, half in writing and half in elective studies, over a two–year period to ensure maximum time for writing. In general, students take workshops with two and sometimes three different faculty writers in their respective genres.

(Note: The MFA in Playwriting is offered by Theatre and Performance Studies.)

Students often select electives such as workshops that focus on literary translation or on special topics (e.g., screenwriting or narrative strategies), but may also take studio and performing arts courses, and classes from all academic fields. A creative thesis is submitted in the final semester. The program numbers approximately thirty students in any given academic year.

Additional Resources

Playwriting seminar room/laboratory; literary arts seminar room; Clerestory magazine; contemporary writers series; International Writers Project; writers in residence program; Geri Braman Hill Lectures; Weston, Hawkes, Assatly, and Harper Prizes in Literary Arts; John Hay Library's Harris Collection of American Poetry and Plays.

Admission Requirements

  • Writing Sample: Required (must be in one genre). The writing sample is the most important part of the application.
  • GRE General: Not required
  • GRE Subject: Not required

Application Deadline: December 15

Financial Aid

The Graduate School provides a Financial Aid package in the first year of study covering tuition, health fee and health insurance and, beginning in 2016–17, a full fellowship stipend instead of a half fellowship stipend. In year two, those students who are in good standing and are appropriate for the classroom are offered a two-semester teaching assistantship, which covers tuition, health fee and health insurance, and provides a stipend.

Literary Arts Program
Brown University
Box 1923
[email protected]

Visit the Literary Arts Program


Department Chair: John Cayley

Director of Graduate Studies: Carole Maso