Creative writers are among the most versatile professionals that transcend time. While not always lucrative, a career in creative writing is rewarding for passionate artists.

Generally speaking, a university’s Creative Writing program is evaluated based on the number of awards their alumni have won or how many award-winning and globally renowned writers are among their faculty members. Some universities also offer interactive workshops, seminars, and immersive summer programs, allowing students to travel to cities recognized as literary hotspots.

To gain a professional advantage, aspiring writers look for universities that provide the best programs for Creative Writing. In the article below, we talk about some of the best creative writing schools in the world.

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Top Creative Writing Schools in the World

1. University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge is a culturally diverse institution with almost 40 colleges and schools that host over 20,000 students from more than 150 countries. It is over eight centuries old and has built a solid reputation above numerous universities worldwide.

Recognized as one of the best creative writing schools in the world, the University of Cambridge’s Masters in Creative Writing program lasts two years. It is specially designed to be accessible to working professionals and international students. The degree granted by the university can become a ticket for graduates to pursue a Ph.D. in the same field at other universities in the UK or abroad.

Through the program, students can develop skills in fiction or nonfiction writing. The first year provides them with a background in writing in various genres, while the second year allows them to explore their own writing style with the help of a supervisor.

2. Columbia University

Columbia University opened in 1754 as the King’s College. It is the oldest higher education institution in New York and one of the oldest in the US. It currently has 17 schools and four affiliate schools with numerous programs ranking among the best nationally and globally.

The School of the Arts at Columbia University offers an undergraduate degree in Creative Writing. The program lasts five semesters, and students have to complete five workshops, four seminars, and three elective courses within such period. Students of this prestigious institution for creative writing may select between the Single-Genre Major and the Cross-Genre Major. The latter one allows them to combine two genres.

Graduates may pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree in the same field. Columbia University’s MFA degree is a top-ranking program that requires students to earn 60 points to graduate.

3. Princeton University

Princeton University is another one of the world’s best creative writing schools and was founded in the mid-18th century, making it one of the oldest universities in the US. It also ranks among the top academic institutions in the country, attracting some of the most outstanding individuals who comprise its over 8,000 student population. Among its notable alumni are 18 Nobel Prize awardees, two US presidents, and three US Supreme Court Justices.

The university’s Creative Writing program under the Lewis Center for the Arts offers undergraduate students an opportunity to develop their writing skills under the supervision of some famous and active professional writers. Students can participate in workshop courses to learn poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and more with a small group of students and faculty members.

4. Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University was inaugurated in 1876 as the first research university in the US. It takes pride in its outstanding academic programs that produced graduates and alumni who won numerous prestigious awards, including Grammys, Emmys, Pulitzer, and Oscars.

The university offers an undergraduate program major in Writing Seminars where students can take poetry & fiction writing courses and literature courses and participate in seminars on the history and technique of prose and poetry.

The Master of Fine Arts program at Johns Hopkins University is highly selective and grants qualified students full tuition, health insurance, and teaching fellowship worth a rough $30,000. It lasts two years and requires students to take residency in Baltimore.

5. University of Chicago

The University of Chicago is a research university that opened in the late 19th century. Over the years, it has been affiliated with over 90 Nobel laureates and has become one of the top ten universities in the US. It is currently home to over 17,000 students across 12 schools and divisions.

The Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing degree at the University of Chicago offers in-depth training in a student’s choice of literary genre: fiction, nonfiction, or poetry. Within four years, students must comply with the major requirements, including a fundamental course in Creative Writing Seminar, two technical seminars relevant to their primary genre, three advanced workshops, four literature courses, two research electives, a thesis or project workshop, and a BA thesis.

6. New York University

New York University (NYU) was founded in 1831 and has always been an innovative academic institution from the get-go. New York is home to many multi-awarded novelists, poets, and creative nonfiction writers, making NYU one of the top creative writing schools across the globe.

NYU offers undergraduate and Master of Fine Arts programs in Creative Writing administered by award-winning writers and outstanding faculty members. Undergraduate students may participate in intensive summer writing programs in Florence, New York, or Paris. They may also join writing competitions in the department and take advantage of internship opportunities.

Meanwhile, the MFA program provides a vibrant environment for students to learn from a gifted group of instructors and participate in exciting and interactive outreach programs, reading series, seminars, and more.

7. University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is yet another excellent creative writing school that thrives on cutting-edge education techniques and technology. It opened in 1740, and its long history has significantly helped improve and expand the university’s culture of innovation.

The university’s School of Arts and Sciences offers a Certificate in Creative Writing, requiring students to take four out of eight courses: Poetry Workshop, Fiction Workshop, Screenwriting, Advanced Nonfiction, Journalism, Craft of Creative Writing, Writing about Place, and Modern & Contemporary US Poetry.

Penn also has a four-year Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences (BAAS) degree in Creative Studies, where students can select Creative Writing as their area of concentration.


I hope that you found this article on the best creative writing schools in the world informative and helpful. Make sure to also check out our Scholarships Page for different information on scholarships and universities across the globe!