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My Words. My Time. My MFA.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do you accept applications from Young Adult writers?
A: Yes, we welcome YA writers who seek to master their work in literary YA Fiction.

Q: I missed the Priority Application Deadline.  Can I still apply?
A:  We do accept applications after Priority deadlines.  However, because Residency takes place at the Lied Lodge & Conference Center in Nebraska City, we must make room reservations for students according to the Lied’s deadlines and availability.  While they cannot guarantee room will be available, the Lied does make every possible effort to accommodate late reservations.  Contact Jenna Lucas Finn to discuss your particular circumstances.

Q:  Do you offer Summer Courses?
A:  No. Although we hold Summer Residency before the start of the Fall Semester (typically, in July), it is considered a Fall Course for the purposes of tuition, registration, and financial aid.  You will enroll for a total of 15 credit hours (3 for Residency Session, 12 for Seminar) during the Spring and Fall semesters.

Q: Is it possible to study more than one genre in your program?
A: Yes, we do offer the opportunity to study cross-genre, both at residency and, in some cases, on an individual basis.  Many writers have an interest in multiple genres.  At the same time, we believe that, when choosing to enroll in an intensive MFA in Writing program, your work is best served by a focus on one main genre for the four semesters you are enrolled, even if you have other interests.  In order to truly earn a degree that means you have “mastered” your craft, it is necessary to cultivate a level of intense critical analysis, creativity, and professionalism that results from specific focus on one genre.

With the above in mind, Residencies are designed so that you will not only be offered the opportunity to attend lectures on all genres, but you will also be encouraged to do so. In addition, we hold Special Topics Workshops, sometimes within one genre, other times across multiple genres. 

If you are interested in pursuing an intensive study in another genre after completion of your fourth semester, you may present a statement of purpose and portfolio (similar to the initial application process) and, if approved, you may choose to study one or more additional semesters in that genre. Requests are evaluated on an individual basis.

Q: What financial aid, scholarships, or assistantships are available?
A:  Financial Aid packages are offered on an individual basis; for details, contact the Office of Financial Support and Scholarships. All students who are accepted into our program are automatically considered for merit-based scholarships, including, but not limited to, those listed below. Please contact us with questions. Amounts vary.

    Regents Tuition Scholarships waive a significant portion of tuition
    Advantage Scholarships waive a significant portion of tuition
    The Karen S. Kane Memorial Fellowship offers cash awards for exemplary work in fiction, poetry, playwriting, and literary nonfiction
    The Michael S. Corum Memorial Scholarship is applied towards Residency Meals & Lodging
    The Tonie Harrington Residency Assistant Scholarship covers Residency Meals & Lodging for one student each session
    The Lied Lodge & Conference Center sponsors one new student each residency by deducting the entire lodging portion of the Meals and Lodging fee
    Friends of the UNO MFA in Writing Scholarships are applied towards tuition and/or Residency Meals and Lodging fees
    The Academy of American Poets Prize for students of the UN MFA in Writing program recognizes outstanding work in poetry with a cash reward

Q: How much time off do students have between semesters?
A: The Spring term typically ends during the first two weeks of May, and Summer Residency is usually held in July. Although limited preparation for residency is required, our students enjoy several weeks of Summer Break. The Fall term ends in early December, and Winter Residency begins late December.

Q: Do I need to complete the program in four consecutive semesters?
A:  No. Your personal circumstances might require, for example, that you enroll in only Spring or Fall semesters, or you simply might choose to take semesters off. In most cases, University policy requires that you complete your degree within ten years.

Q: Is it possible for me to contact faculty, current students, or alumni?
A:  All of the above would be happy to respond to your questions. You can request contact information from Jenna Lucas Finn. You can also feel free to post questions on Facebook or the MFA Blog, run by alumni and current students.

Q: What support do you offer alumni?
A:  Our students, faculty, and alumni create a special writing community. Alumni are offered a number of opportunities to enjoy the same support, access to information, and professional connections they found available during enrollment in the program. In addition, we routinely bring in visitors from the publishing world, including agents, book doctors, and editors, who will meet in individual conference one-on-one with alumni and advanced students. Through email and other distance tools, inlcuding social media connections like Facebook and the MFA Blog, Alumni also maintain contact with students and faculty, find professional opportunities, continue to share in-progress creative work, maintain relationships, and plan reunions. Alums have a standing invitation to participate in residency on a variety of levels. Whether returning as a visitor for a day, a participant in the annual Alumni Reading and Panel, a participant for the entire residency, or as an Alumni Assistant under partial scholarship, many return to refuel their creative energy, support current students, and form new professional and personal relationships.

If you have other questions or concerns, please contact Jenna Lucas Finn, Administrative Director.