College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
MFA Creative Writing

Tuition, Admission, Scholarships and Financial Aid


Tuition for the MFA in Creative Writing at Butler University is set at $730 per credit hour for the 2014-2015 school year. Allowing for small annual increases in tuition, a student entering the program in fall 2014 should expect total tuition and fees for the degree around $26,000.

A quick glance at the tuition costs for other MFAs shows that Butler is an extraordinary value, especially when one considers the high quality of our faculty and visitors, our small class sizes, and our auxiliary programming. As our program is entering only its fourth year, we believe that it is an important service to provide an affordable MFA to the Central Indianapolis community, and to encourage out-of-state students that they can study here without mounting excessive debt. 


The deadline for applications for fall 2015 is March 16, 2015. Applications for the following spring (2016) will be accepted on a rolling basis after that date. All applications require: completed application form, official transcript, personal statement, and writing sample. No GRE is required.

Questions may be directed to Diane Dubord at Butler Admissions.


The admissions committee of the Butler MFA will notify all applicants by April 30, 2015, whether they have been accepted, declined, or waitlisted. In addition, any students receiving scholarship support or other awards will be notified at this time. We will ask accepted students to notify us of their decisions by the third week of April. Students not responding/deciding at that time may lose their place, and/or their awards or scholarships.

Every year, we matriculate approximately 15 new students, divided roughly equally across our three core genres of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. For fall 2012, we admitted (without necessarily matriculating) approximately 35% of applicants. Please note, however, that we are a young and rapidly growing program, and that our applications-to-admissions ratio is increasing each year.

Our Students

Approximately half of our new students come from the local Indianapolis community, and half come from out-of-state. As of fall 2014, there are roughly 60 active students in the program. In age, they range from 21 to 65. Approximately half (mostly, members of the local community) take the program part-time (1 or fewer courses per semester), and half take the program full-time (2 courses or more per semester).

Scholarships, Awards, Financial Aid and Other Information

The MFA at Butler does not offer 'free rides': tuition remission with fellowship/assistant support. As a responsible program, we recommend that applicants receiving such support offers from other programs should attend those programs. We also believe, however, that the quality of our MFA is comparable to many well-established and well-funded programs. As well, we try to minimize the financial burden of our students, through low tuition and a growing system of scholarships, awards and stipends tied to professional development, and easily accessible financial aid. We believe we are one of the best values in the country.

Scholarships and Awards

A variety of funding opportunities are available. Students can be awarded partial scholarships as well as work study opportunities that provide valuable experience for professional development. Graduate students can work as Peer Tutors in our Writer's Studio, a 10- to 12-hour-per-week position; serve as Mentors in our First-Year Seminar program and undergraduate Creative Writing classes, supporting faculty in individual classes; coordinate for our Writing in the Schools program, working for our outreach program with Shortridge High School in Indianapolis. Our students also receive stipends for providing targeted support for MFA programs such as our publishing enterprises, Booth and Pressgang, and Efroymson Center for Creative Writing (ECCW).

Financial Aid

Financial Aid is available to graduate students through Federal Direct Loans, Federal Direct Plus Loans, and private loan mechanisms. As a general rule, graduate students must attend the MFA full-time (no less than six credit hours per semester) to be eligible (please consult with the Office of Financial Aid to confirm such details in your case). Loans are also available for summer study.

Visit the financial aid website for more information. For counseling, please contact Financial Aid at (317) 940-8200 or toll free at (877) 940-8200.

Health Insurance

University-sponsored health insurance is not available to graduate students. Graduate students are advised to consider health insurance policies issued by the American College Student Association.

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