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School of Graduate and Professional Studies

Master of Arts in Professional and Creative Writing

Why pursue a Master of Arts in Professional and Creative Writing degree at North Central College?

The online Master of Arts in professional and creative writing helps writers be successful, whether they are looking to write a novel or polish their professional writing skills. Our program cultivates the writing, reading and critical thinking skills necessary for business professionals and creative writers. Our students are often both.

Our classes center on a community of writers who share common goals and practices, and they are led by faculty mentors, who publish widely and who care deeply about the success of each student. There’s a strong emphasis on personal development and skill-enhancement. The degree honors the entirety of the writer who aspires to write for internal and external audiences within and beyond the workplace.

Students will be able to build a graduate thesis around their passions, interests and professional goals and will receive exceptional faculty support tailored to their needs. Current students are working on science fiction, crime novels, children’s literature, screenplays, and creative nonfiction. The program gives students the structure and freedom to thrive as writers. 

  • Cohort Model
  • Enrolling for Fall 2023 Cohort
  • 100% Online

Launch with a group of students who have shared interests and progress through the program taking each course together.  Providing support, teamwork, and shared resources.

Learn More

Watch a Recorded Information Session

Benefits of a Cohort Model

  • Structured program that supports busy graduate students through faculty mentorship and a community of writers
  • A comprehensive program that can be completed in 2 years
  • A thesis course that results in a polished creative or professional project

Learn how you can save up to 20% in Graduate tuition

Graduate Aid and Costs 

Graduate students are eligible for up to $20,500 in the federal direct unsubsidized loan annually. (fall, spring, and summer semesters included)


A Unique and Balanced Combination

The unique professional and creative writing curriculum balances both theory and practice in meaningful and engaging ways.

The program is ideal for those professional writers who understand the value of creative writing as a means to enhance their competencies. At the same time, the program is designed for creative writers who wish to enrich their professional and technical writing skills.

Our intentional, holistic program will help you develop the industry-standard skill sets that will help you become a dynamic, flexible and well-rounded writer.


How to Write and Publish a Book

Learn tips about the publishing process from Jennifer Smith, Chair of English and explore what it takes to be a professional and creative writer.

Master of Arts in Professional and Creative Writing Curriculum

The Master of Arts in Professional and Creative Writing is 10 courses (30 credit hours) and includes:

  • Core courses focused on the fundamentals of professional and creative writing
  • Specialized courses in learning to write grants, book proposals, and articles for print and web sources
  • Creative writing courses tailored to the craft of fiction, memoir, and screenwriting
  • A capstone thesis that allows each student to produce a major project of their own design

Courses are offered in asynchronous, seven-week sessions allowing you to learn on your own schedule but with close faculty mentorship. Take one course every session to complete your degree in two years.

Degree Requirements

A minimum of 30 credit hours to include:

Online Certificate in Creative Writing

If you are looking to obtain an additional credential or certificate to augment your professional skills sets, the online certificate in creative writing provides you the continuing education that will meet your professional and personal passions in creative writing and publishing. 

The certificate is a 3-course, 9-credit hour online program. 

Core Course

Elective Courses

Two of the following:

Pathway to the M.A. in Professional and Creative Writing

If you want to further your study in our M.A. in professional and creative writing program, you can apply your 9-hour certificate credit to the 36-hour professional and creative writing master’s degree. 


Graduate Online Learning

We pride ourselves on giving personal attention to our students. Our faculty are committed to getting to know their online students and work diligently to foster community within the program. Our online programs are personal but flexible. They are rigorous and challenging, yet supportive and encouraging. Our online students will not only walk away with a meaningful degree but also a community.

Learn more about graduate online learning at North Central College.