University of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA

Degrees Offered



Fiction, Poetry, CNF

Residency type


Program length

3 years

Part-time study

Yes, you can enroll in the program on a part-time basis, but you should keep in mind that the statute of limitations on the degree is four years.

Financial Aid

In each incoming class, the Writing Program awards two Teaching Assistantships to incoming students in each of the three genres, so there are six students each year who enter as TAs. At any given time, approximately 18 students in the Writing Program are active TAs.

Every year, between 11 and 21 new students enter the MFA program. Of these, six students are awarded TA positions. This means that between 25% and 50% of each year’s entering students are fully funded (with salary, medical benefits, and tuition remission).

Pitt’s English Department is well-known for its excellent teacher preparation, which is an asset to students who seek careers in teaching after graduation. English Department TAs teach 1 course per semester, typically a course with 24 students or fewer. For teaching this course, work defined as requiring approximately 20 hours per week, full tuition scholarships and medical benefits are provided, and TAs are paid a salary. TAs who are making satisfactory progress as students and teachers will have their appointments renewed for an additional two years. After the second year, TAs generally teach advanced composition and introductory creative writing classes.

Graduate Student Assistantships

A Graduate Student Assistant (GSA) typically assists a faculty member in library research, editorial duties, or similar academic tasks. For such services, a GSA receives a salary for the term of their contract, either one or two terms. A full GSA position requires 20 hours of work each week, a half GSA position 10 hours per week. The University offers GSAs holding full or half positions full or partial tuition remission.

Every MFA who is not a TA is eligible to be considered for a GSA position. Out of the 36 students currently enrolled in the program, 4 have full GSAs and 5 have half GSAs.

K. Leroy Irvis Fellowships

MFA applicants will be considered for K. Leroy Irvis Fellowships, which are designed to help the university recruit and retain underrepresented minority graduate and professional students, and ultimately enhance their presence in the professorate. These fellowships provide distinguished minority graduate students with individual mentoring and a first-year stipend independent of teaching responsibilities. The value gets adjusted each year, but the fellowship carries full tuition remission, medical benefits, and a stipend of at least $16,000. The stipend for an Irvis Fellowship is the same as for a TAship.

Teaching opportunities

Taships are available


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