Creative Writing and Literature Degree

Develop your skills in creative writing and literary analysis through literature courses and writing workshops in fiction, screenwriting, poetry, and nonfiction. Through online group courses and one-on-one tutorials, as well as a week on campus, you'll hone your craft and find your voice.

Key learning outcomes

Through the master’s degree in the field of Creative Writing and Literature you will:

  • Master key elements of narrative craft, including characterization, story and plot structure, point of view, dialogue, and description.
  • Develop skills across multiple genres, including fiction, nonfiction, and dramatic writing.
  • Analyze works of literature and learn how to approach these texts as a writer and a scholar.
  • Practice the art of revision as a means to hone your voice as a writer.

Program Overview

The degree includes 12 courses with one week on campus.

  • Get started. You begin by completing two stipulated degree courses as outlined on the degree requirements page. This is your opportunity to demonstrate your commitment and ability to perform well as a Harvard student.
  • Apply to the program. While you are completing your second degree course, you submit your application. We have application cycles in the fall, spring, and summer.
  • Continue your studies, online and on campus. As you progress through the program, you can choose from courses offered online and on campus all year round, fall, spring, and summer.
  • Complete your thesis. You work one-on-one with a thesis director on an original creative writing piece of a minimum of 50 pages. The thesis might be a novel (or part of a novel), a collection of short stories, a screenplay, play, or work of nonfiction. In the end, you produce a creative body of work worthy of publication.
  • Graduate with your Harvard degree. You participate in the annual Harvard Commencement, receiving your Harvard University degree: Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Extension Studies, field: Creative Writing and Literature.

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Cost

Affordability is core to our mission. Our 2018–19 graduate tuition is $2,750 per course; the total tuition cost of earning the graduate degree is approximately $33,000.

There are a number of financial aid options available once you’re admitted to the program.