Which MFA?

The University of Texas at Austin offers two MFA programs in creative writing through the New Writers Project (NWP) and the Michener Center for Writers (MCW). While the programs have separate admissions processes and distinct plans of study, with only a few exceptions, they share courses, faculty, events, and communities. Some applicants choose to apply to both programs, while other applicants find that only one of the two programs meets their needs. Information about the Michener Center for Writers can be found on their website. The differences between the two programs include:

  • NWP is housed within the Department of English. Our students are funded through teaching assistantships in both literature and creative writing contexts for five out of their six semesters in the program, with one semester funded through a non-working fellowship. MCW students are funded through nonworking fellowships and do not teach.
  • NWP offers concentrations in fiction and poetry, while MCW offers concentrations in fiction, poetry, playwriting, and screenwriting. Additionally, MCW students are required to work in two genres, whereas NWP students may elect to work in a second genre, but are not required to do so.
  • NWP typically accepts three poets and three fiction writers into the program each year for a total cohort of eighteen students. MCW accepts an incoming class of twelve students per year distributed across four genres (with more fiction writers and poets typically accepted than screenwriting or playwrighting) for an overall cohort of thirty-six students. However, given shared courses and events, in many ways the cohorts of both programs intermingle to create one community.

Please note that both MFA programs have completely separate admissions processes. Yet applicants who apply to both MFA programs do not need to pay the application fee twice. When submitting their second application, applicants should select the option that says “I will pay The University of Texas at Austin directly, outside of ApplyTexas.” Once the second application has processed, the graduate school will automatically waive the application fee.


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  • New Writers Project

    Department of English
    204 W 21st Street B5000
    Austin, Texas, 78712-1164
    (512) 471-4991