University of Nevada Las Vegas

Las Vegas, NV

We are a Creative Writing International program, which makes us very unusual in the field – we require 6 credits of International Focus Experience, requiring residency abroad in a non-English speaking country for at least 10 weeks (12 weeks or a full semester preferred – and through base grants, and mentoring for other funding, our program funds between 80% and 100% of the costs of the international experience). Also, we require 3 credits of Literary Translation, and the completion of a sample literary translation in close work with a writer and/or translator. (Note: we define Native American reservations as qualifying for the International Focus Experience, including literary translation from a Native American language). This International Focus and Literary Translation requirement, we believe, positively affects the writer’s development, encourages global awareness, and brings the world into the writing and into our program. We also have a unique relationship with the Black Mountain Institute, which in part funds our program, but also through which our students engage in city-centered and cultural-consciousness centered activities and events, contributing to the building and maintaining of a thriving literary community. Our students also engage with and at times work with the very accomplished group of Black Mountain Institute fellows who reside with the Black Mountain Institute on fellowships to work on their writing. The BMI resident fellows is a group that changes seasonally and/or yearly, providing our writers with invaluable exposure to some of the most talented writers and public intellectuals in the nation (and world).

Degrees Offered



Fiction, Poetry, CNF

Residency type


Program length

3 years

Financial Aid

Fully supported – $15,000 base Graduate Assistantship for ALL students, plus other funding opportunities, including average $4,000 + for International Focus Experience requirement – all tuition is also paid – the only responsibility of the student is to pay fees and health insurance, which averages about 13% of the total; access grants and other funding usually raises the amount of the base G.A. by $1,000 + in the 2nd and 3rd years; and 2nd and 3rd year students may apply for $500 in travel support from the English Department.
The BMI-Ph.D. with Creative Dissertation is a fellowship Ph.D., which offers $26,000, of which $17,000 is a base Ph.D. G.A. and $9,000 is a Black Mountain Institute Fellowship (with about 11-12% taken out for fees and health insurance, which varies per student). ALL tuition is paid. Ph.D. students typically divide their duties between teaching and editing (about 50-50).

Teaching opportunities

Almost all students teach to fulfill G.A. duties; but some prefer work tutoring students in our Writing Center and/or editorial duties or administrative roles in the department – most students split teaching with another duty

Editorial opportunities

About one-third of our M.F.A. students are engaged in some part of their G.A. duties with one of the journals/magazines published by the English Department or the Black Mountain Institute – “Witness”, “Interim”, or “The Believer” – and gain valuable skills in literary publishing.

Cross-genre study

Cross-genre work is required – ALL M.F.A. students are required to take at least 1 workshop in a genre other than the major genre. (Ph.D. students are not required to do this, but many do anyway).


Send questions, comments and corrections to

Disclaimer: No endorsement of these ratings should be implied by the writers and writing programs listed on this site, or by the editors and publishers of Best American Short Stories, Best American Essays, Best American Poetry, The O. Henry Prize Stories and The Pushcart Prize Anthology.