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What is the current stipend?

The stipend for 2020-2021 will be $24,000.

How much are fees?

Each semester, students pay fees equaling $750.

How big is the entering class?

We accept approximately six fiction writers and six poets a year, for a total of twelve.

How many students are in the program overall?

There are generally thirty-six writers in the program.

Does Gainesville have a music scene?

For a city of just over a hundred thousand, Gainesville is home to a surprising number of musical acts, including Hot Water Music, Less than Jake, Against Me!, Sister Hazel, and Hundred Waters. We were also home to Tom Petty and Bo Diddly. Each October, Fest, a weekend-long music and comedy festival, brings in hundreds of bands and comedians to city. Past notable acts have included Andrew WK, Chris Gethard, Descendents, The Gaslight Anthem, Hum, Lucero, The Melvins, Superchunk, and Tim Barry.

Does Gainesville have an airport?

The Gainesville Regional Airport hosts multiple flights a day to and from Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, and (as of March 2019) Dallas.

Do all of the faculty teach every year?

Yes, faculty members teach a workshop or a forms course each year.

What is the cost of living in Gainesville?

According to this cost-of-living calculator, the cost-of-living in Gainesville is 44% lower than in Brooklyn, 16% lower than in Chicago metro, 16% lower than in Portland metro, 19% lower than in Philadelphia metro, and comparable to living in St. Louis. A pint of domestic beer costs around $5 and a studio apartment costs around $700/month.

Why is equal funding important in the MFA?

We believe that preferential funding can create an atmosphere of toxic competition among MFAs.

If I am accepted, can I sit in on a workshop before I sign?

Yes, email David Leavitt ( for scheduling.

Who are some notable alumni?

We’re proud of our alumni. Many have been published in exceptional journals like The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry, and Tin House, and anthologies like Best American Stories, Best American Poems, Best American Non-required Reading, and Best American Essays. Many of their novels have been published by the likes of FSG, Norton, Knopf, and McSweeney’s. The awards they’ve accrued are numerous: The New Yorker’s “20 Under 40 Fiction Issue”, Publishers Weekly Notable Book of the Year, Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Section, a finalist for the National Book Award, the Flannery O’Connor Award, Military Journalist of the Year, Shirley Jackson Award for Short Story Collection, the New Criterion Poetry Prize, and the Walt Whitman Award.

Please see our notable alumni and alumnae page for more information.

Where are graduates teaching now?

We have tenured or tenure-track alumni at Cleveland State University (Imad Rahman), Dickinson State (Peter Grimes), Grand Valley State University (Oindrila Mukherjee), Grinnell College (Hai-Dang Phan and Ralph Savarese), Lewis & Clark (Jerry Harp), Texas Tech (John Poch), Marshall University (Eric Smith and Daniel O’Malley), Miami University (Margaret Luongo), Ohio Wesleyan (David Kaplan), Penn State (Robert Bernard Hass), University of Arkansas (Geoffrey Brock), University of California, Fullerton (Natalie Graham), University of Cincinnati (Chris Bachelder), University of Colorado, Denver (Christopher Merkner), University of Idaho (Alexandra Teague), University of Illinois, Carbondale (Mike Magnuson), University of Massachusetts (Noy Holland), University of Montana (Kevin Canty), University of Oregon (Geri Doran), and University of the South (Kevin Wilson).

What, besides teaching, are graduates doing now?

Some work or have worked in publishing in such places as The New Yorker, Virginia Quarterly Review, and The New England Review. One writes for TV (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Scrubs). Another writes diet books. A few went on to found 32 Poems. Many contribute to magazines and websites like The New Yorker, The Nation, The Atlantic, Time, and The New Republic. Many have won fellowships from places like The New York Foundation for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Breadloaf, the NEA, Yaddo, and three graduates have received the Stegner fellowship in poetry.

How long is the program?

Three years.

Will I take coursework in the third year?

Most likely you will take at least a seminar in the fall semester of your third year, though this is avoidable if you front-load your coursework. You will not take workshops in the third year.

Is there a visiting writers program?

In the fall, we invite four writers to our Florida Writers Festival for two days of readings and craft discussions. Writers who attend our festival have included Donald Barthelme, Saul Bellow, Anne Carson, Jeffrey Eugenides, Seamus Heaney, Lorrie Moore, and Grace Paley. For a more complete list, visit our Writers Festival page. In the spring, we invite four editors to campus for two days of discussions and one-on-one editing sessions between editors and students.

How do students get around? Car/bus/bike?

Gainesville is a small city with a reliable and free bus system (with student ID). Most students get around by bus and bike, especially to campus where parking is difficult. Traveling by car is equally as easy, except on campus, which is nearly always congested.

Tips on finding housing?

We provide admitted students with an informative housing guide and a buddy among current MFA students.

What kind of coursework does the program consist of?

Students take workshops, forms courses, graduate-level English seminars, a reading tutorial, and can take electives within or without the department. Check out the Department Courses page for more information.

What are your undergraduates like?

Our undergraduates are intelligent and inquisitive. The class of 2020 graduated high school with an average GPA of 4.4 and an average ACT score of 30. We’ve sent undergrads to a lot of wonderful MFA programs, as well as into some stellar jobs: reporting for The Chicago Tribune, working as a spokesperson for the Department of Labor under Obama, writing for the New York Times Book Review and TLS, and teaching at NBC. Two went on to win the American Academy of Poets chapbook prize.

What kind of classes do MFA candidates teach?

In their first year, MFA candidates team-teach English Comp 1101 and 1102. In their second and third years, MFA candidates may teach creative writing workshops in their concentration, composition courses (English 1101 and 1102), Writing for Engineers, or other courses of their choice as part of a 1/1 teaching load. MFA students are guaranteed one section of creative writing in both the second and third years.

What resources are there, within the department or at UF, for job placement upon completion?

The program runs a two-hour job workshop each fall and provides full information about the first jobs of past MFAs.

What is there to do in Gainesville?

The entertainment options reflect the city’s large college-age and young professional population. Numbers may help. There are thirty-ish bars, a three-story barcade, a cigar bar, at least ten good coffee shops (that aren’t Starbucks), an escape room, an art museum, a science museum, four breweries, ten or more music venues, two record stores, four movie theaters, three playhouses, three pool halls, ten-ish dance clubs, multiple hookah lounges, restaurants of many cuisines, including Thai, Japanese, Greek, Chinese, Korean BBQ, Cuban, Jamaican, vegan (the city is very vegetarian and vegan friendly), Indian, and American BBQ. We’re also close to hiking trails, rivers for canoeing, kayaking, floating, and fishing, and parks. We’re a little more than an hour from the Atlantic Ocean, two hours from Orlando, two from Tampa, and five from Miami.

When is the application due?

The deadline for application to the MFA program is January 15, 2021.