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Flexible Low-Residency Program

Flexibility in Scheduling and Studies

At Spalding, we understand the lives of writers. That’s why we offer the most flexible low-residency program you’ll find.

We hold residencies in May, July, and November, when travel is easier for many writers. We offer two semester lengths, so you can customize your weekly workload during independent study—spring and fall semesters require 25 hours a week, with graduation in two years; summer independent study courses require just 12 to 15 hours a week, with graduation in four years. There’s also a “stretch” option, pairing spring residency with the extended independent study. Tuition is the same no matter which option you choose. You can even mix and match semester lengths and graduate in three years, or you can take a leave of absence and extend your study even longer.

Flexibility is also our pledge in the content of your studies. We’re committed to offering students as many worthy options as possible. Special offerings include a teaching seminar, a book-length manuscript workshop, a full semester of study in translation, and more. And we make it possible for you to study in two genres while still graduating on time in four semesters.

Low-residency is inherently more flexible than traditional, campus-based MFA programs. Only low-residency can offer both the lively camaraderie of a peer group and intense one-on-one mentoring with expert faculty in which you’ll receive feedback on far more pages than you would in a traditional program. At Spalding, we offer more faculty feedback than most other low-res programs as well. Prose and script writers receive detailed professional commentary on up to 900 pages of new and revised creative writing; poets and picture book writers receive mentored critique on up to 140 new and revised poems or picture books over the course of the program. Few other programs can match that volume of in-depth critique.

Low-residency programs typically offer a larger, more diverse faculty than traditional programs, as well as a more diverse student body. Take a look at our faculty page to learn about our outstanding teachers from a wide range of backgrounds. Their varied viewpoints will help you develop into a more rounded writer.

Perhaps most important, low-residency programs teach you how to integrate writing into your daily life, in the thick of your other commitments. You won’t get that opportunity in traditional programs, where you step away from “real life” for two or three years to do nothing but write—and then are left to figure out how to keep writing once you’ve gone back to your job and family responsibilities.

Once you’ve graduated, we’ll continue to be there for you. Check out our alumni page to see the many ways we support our alums.