MFA Creative & Professional Writing


Low-Residency Program

Our program employs a combination of online study and one-to-one mentorships so that our faculty and students can live anywhere and congregate on campus at Western Connecticut twice per year (August and January) for a week of study and planning. Recently, we’ve expanded our residencies to include events in Dublin, Ireland and the Bram Stoker Festival as well as a summer residency at The Highlights Foundation Retreat Center.

Because of its nature, our program will appeal both to traditional graduate students and students who already have families and/or careers. We understand the difficulty of scheduling a course of study around existing responsibilities. Our program is designed to accommodate you by offering 2, 3, and 4-year schedules, according to personal preference and scheduling limitations.

If you choose to take more than two years to complete the program, the Coordinator will work with you to create a plan of study that works for you – either by scheduling whole semesters off or by combining semesters of full-time and part-time study

Click here for a sample residency program

About Residencies

The program hosts two residencies per year; one during the first week of August and the other during the first week of January. For full-time students, attendance is required at any residency that correlates to any semester in which you are enrolled (for an alternative, please see the Campus Workshops section). August residencies correlate to Fall semesters and January residencies correlate to Spring semesters.

The residencies provide the essential locus for building community in the program. You will gain more from our program by taking advantage of the presence, work, and comments of your colleagues during residencies. Engagement and activity in the residencies will increase the likelihood that you will be able to take advantage of networking opportunities with students and faculty before and after you graduate.

At the residencies, you can expect a week of intensive work and engaging entertainment. Each workday begins at approximately 9 AM and involves workshops, lectures, and meetings with faculty. The day concludes with readings and other social events after dinner and typically ends at about 9 PM.

In order to foster a sense of community and create a rich residency experience, attendance at all events is required for all students. The residencies are conveniently located in Danbury on the Westside Campus. The program provides lunch and coffee/snacks during the day; students provide their own dinners, usually at one of the many restaurants near campus. Students arrange their own accommodations; a variety of hotels adjacent to or near campus offer discounted rates for MFA students, and many of those hotel offers include breakfast. Some students choose to save on expenses by sharing rooms.     While we understand that Danbury residents may choose to sleep at home in their own beds, they should plan on being away from home and away from work for the full day every day of the residency. We do not recommend that students who live more than 20 minutes or so away commute during the residency. The residency schedule is thrilling but also can be exhausting, and we want to emphasize the importance of the residencies and the need to have full student participation.